E-Car Club raised £100,000 on Crowdcube back in 2013. The company went on to raise further capital from “socially minded investors”, including some of the crowdfunding investors, and then received funding by Ignite Social Enterprise. Details of the transaction were not revealed.
E-Car Club, launched in 2011, is a startup that focuses on the electric car sharing business. Headquartered in London, the company currently operates across London, Hertfordshire, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Warwickshire and Fife. The company was said to have established a “distinctive partner-led car sharing solution”. EuropCar Lab, a portion of the EuropCar group dedicated to innovation, has acquired a majority stake in the company.
Chris Morris, Managing Director, E-Car Club stated, “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Europcar as our new majority shareholder and strategic partner. Since discussions began we’ve been incredibly impressed by their approach to innovation and commitment to alternative mobility solutions. This is an incredibly fast moving sector and working with an organisation of Europcar’s calibre will enable E-Car Club to continue on its path to further growth.
According to CrowdCube, investors that helped to finance the company, received a “multiple return” on their investment;
“The 63 members of our crowd that invested in E-Car Club will receive a multiple return on their investment following E-Car Club’s sale to Europcar, Europe’s leading car rental and mobility company. “
The exit was described as a “significant milestone” for Crowdcube.
There has been much debate on the efficacy of investment crowdfunding. Early stage investing in particular is a risky venture. Due to the young nature of the industry there remains little data on returns for investors, although there have been several crowdfunded companies that have provided exits. Crowdcube, and its growing popularity, may now add this one to the win column.
All investment crowdfunding platforms emphasize the importance of portfolio diversification for risk mitigation. Data from Angel groups has been referenced in the past to show a diversified portfolio of early stage companies may deliver sizable capital gains.
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