Crowdcube to expand into Europe despite Brexit
Since Crowdcube first established equity crowdfunding in 2011 it has accumulated a crowd of over 390,000 members, who have invested more than £235 million in 520 raises. Which leads to no surprise that in another record quarter and in further evidence that the sector is now a mainstream funding option, which has enabled 29 fast growing business to raise over £23 million, 2.7 times the nearest competitor according to the latest figures from Beauhurst (full report out this week).
Although they have cemented success in the UK, Crowdcube has plans to expand into Europe, amidst Brexit.
This move to Europe is to meet demands from founders of venture and growth stage businesses who are keen to raise funds in from its 400,000-strong investor base in the UK and gain access a more liquid financial services market.
Luke Lang added: “We feel it is the time to expand our operations outside of Spain where we are already well established as the largest crowdfunder and offer our investors the opportunity to have greater exposure to other markets. Despite posturing from some EU leaders, we’re confident Britain will retain its position as a financial services powerhouse because of its innovation and flexible regulatory regime.
“The success of UK crowdfunding is the envy of Europe and fintech has even fewer borders than traditional finance. In a modern, connected world there is a huge opportunity to offer UK equity crowdfunding for smaller EU based businesses who through our platform would have access to the largest Europe’s largest crowdfunding community of over 390,000 investors. We are still hammering out the details so watch this space.”
A record-breaking 10 companies surpassed the £1 million milestone in the first three months of 2017, including one of the UK fastest growing tech firms, POD Point, which raised £1.5m of a £9m round led by Barclays Bank and Draper Esprit, Aviva-backed Cocoon and Cauli Rice who secured £1.5m from over 1,000 investors.
Luke Lang, co-founder of Crowdcube, commented: “This record start to 2017 shows how established growth-stage businesses, seasoned entrepreneurs and institutional investors trust Crowdcube with the big, more complex fundraises, while investors know we're the place to find exciting, often VC-backed, investment opportunities.”
Reflecting the wide variety and growth stages of businesses turning to Crowdcube, the largest amount raised was £2.45 million by challenger bank Monzo, which was part of its +£20 million funding round, while successful Mumpreneur online retailer, All By Mama successfully raised £75,000 in seed funding.
Other highlights for the quarter included three liquidity events from Brewdog, Celixir and Mettrr Technologies:
- Brewdog shareholders were given the opportunity to sell up to 40 shares following the acquisition of a 22% in the company by American private equity firm, TSG Consumer Partners.
- In a share buy-back Cardiff-based heart medicine company Celixir delivered investors a 2.7x return to crowd investors who injected £691k in the business in 2014.
- Just six months after Crowdcube announced that it would pioneer secondary liquidity on its platform Mettrr Technologies became the first company to do this as angel investors snapped up crowd shares delivering a 9x return.
- In all, investor returns have now exceeded £5m, with other exits including Camden Town Brewery, E-Car Club and Wool and the Gang and via regular bond interest, more than any other platform.