Investx appoints ex-Royal Bank of Scotland director to its board to develop new breed of SME funding platform
Investx today announced the appointment of Richard Chambers to its board as Chief Operating Officer. Richard brings a wealth of experience from HSBC Leveraged Finance and Royal Bank of Scotland Corporate Transactions and over 14 years he has secured over £500 million in bank funding for private equity backed small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
SMEs are considered the powerhouse of economies, however the growth of these established businesses is often constrained due to difficulties in obtaining new capital, and an understandable reluctance for SMEs to take on significant amounts of unsecured debt.
For potential investors, outside of venture capital and private equity funds, it’s difficult to make an equity investment in companies that are not publicly listed, and if investment is made through funds, that money is usually locked up for years.
Investx has recognised these challenges and is building a blockchain-powered platform to allow established SMEs to raise funds based on selling equity in their businesses, while also creating a secondary market to provide liquidity in a traditionally illiquid market, thus opening up an entirely new asset class for investment.
Part of building the Investx platform is bringing high quality deal flow, and Richard has secured hundreds of millions of pounds of funding during his tenure supporting private equity backed businesses. He was most recently at Royal Bank of Scotland’s Corporate Transactions Team, where he focussed on raising event-driven debt packages for SME customers, and was able to see first-hand the challenges they face
Richard Chambers explains: “This is a unique opportunity to build a business with the capability to match up established SMEs seeking funds with investors who want to invest in SMEs – a market that currently is not open. Having come from a traditional banking background, I have witnessed first-hand the large proportion of SMEs which struggle to access funding easily and cost effectively. In many cases, debt is not the most appropriate product as monthly capital repayments and interest charges eat into cash flow.
“Through Investx, we will provide equity investment into smaller businesses in a cost effective manner by using blockchain technology, and for the first time, we will build liquidity into the investments by creating a secondary market which means investors are not locked in for years. This has the potential to revolutionise how SMEs access capital, and will align investors and businesses with the success of the business.”
Peter Edgar, CEO of Investx said “Investx has built its business on supporting established SMEs in securing capital investment, and we are excited to be able to open this opportunity up to the wider investment community through the Investx crowdfunding platform.
“Investx fills a clear gap in the marketplace for established SMEs which are seeking additional capital but are typically under-supported by traditional lenders. Richard’s vast experience will ensure that demand is high amongst SMEs, and we are proud to have recruited someone of his calibre.”
Investx will be holding an initial coin offering in Q4 2018 and is currently seeking investors for its private sale.