In a note to followers, founder Karen Darby shared a brief update on the progress of CrowdMission, “the world’s first equity-based crowdfunding platform for social and environmental businesses”. Her mantra is that businesses can do social good while turning a profit. Equity investment and ethics can and do mix.
The official launch of the platform occurred on November 25, 2013 and the few weeks that followed the site has accepted pledges of over £52,000 by investors on their three initial deals: iPower, Big Blue Cuddle, Power Predictor.
CrowdMission also will be supporting the CleanTech Challenge 2014, organised by University College London and the London Business School. The international competition, now in its fifth year, encourages hundreds of post-graduates from around the world to develop ground-breaking clean technology business concepts. CrowdMission will host a workshop for all UK entrants to help them develop their business plans and get them ready to raise finance. They hope to work with one of the finalists and list their business on CrowdMission to help them to achieve their funding goals.
Site users may expect continuous improvements to their platform as Darby and her team continue to grow and improve the user experience.
A staunch advocate of the benefits of crowdfunding, Darby has warned of the perils of over-regulation from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Darby has launched a number of businesses in a career spanning three decades. Previously she founded SimplySwitch, the price comparison service, in one of the UK’s most deprived areas. Employing over 100 staff, SimplySwitch raised £500k for charity and helped thousands of consumers save over £20m on their household bills. In August 2006, Karen sold the business to the Daily Mail for £22 million, producing a 22-fold return for investors.