First Seedrs Crowdfunded Company to IPO Shares on Exchange as Platform Claims Best Month Ever
FreeAgent (LSE: FREE), a company that raised capital on equity crowdfunding platform Seedrs, has listed its shares on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM. This IPO has provided early investors liquidity in their shares.
FreeAgent is a cloud based accounting platform. The company has been on a “mission to democratise accounting for freelancers and micro-businesses”. Business owners can subscribe directly to FreeAgent on a monthly recurring basis at £19, £24 or £29 per month (plus VAT) for sole traders, partnerships and limited companies respectively. FreeAgent raised £1.2 million on a pre-money valuation of £30 million in 2015.
FreeAgent successfully raised £10.7 million from institutional investors via a placing of 9,523,810 new ordinary shares raising gross proceeds of £8 million for the company, and 3,192,850 existing ordinary shares raising gross proceeds of £2.7m for the selling shareholders, in each case at a placing price of 84 pence per share. FreeAgent had a market capitalisation of approximately £34.1m upon market entry.
Seedrs CEO and co-founder Jeff Lynn commented on the IPO;
“We congratulate FreeAgent following today’s float on AIM and for becoming the first equity crowdfunded IPO. As the early stage investment space matures in the coming years, we look forward to seeing many more Seedrs companies floating or exiting. We strongly believe that this asset class will be very fruitful for investors with diverse investment portfolios, and FreeAgent’s listing is an early example of that. Despite Brexit, the UK is still attractive and safe for inward investment and will continue to be one of the number one destinations for entrepreneurs to set up a business with its favourable tax reliefs, streamlined business incorporation and simple transport abroad.”
More than £160 million has been invested into campaigns on Seedrs since July 2012 when the company launched. October became a record-breaking month for Seedrs with approximately £20 million invested into campaigns. Seedrs expects to cross the Atlantic and launch a US platform at some point in the near future. Seedrs will initially focus on Title II (Reg D 506c) crowdfunding offers as Reg CF was deemed too restrictive.
Seedrs pointed to a recent report by Beauhurst that labeled Seedrs the UKs “most active investor in private companies” during 2016. Seedrs has completed 122 deals by the end of Q3 and over 400 deals since platform launch.
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