Boxing Day delivered a special gift to BrewDog and Crowdcube. The Scottish craft brewer closed the largest ever UK crowdfunding round at £10 million. The funding was listed on Crowdcube and stands as the largest to date. Crowdcube also points out that their record was topped three times in 2016 helping to push the total raised since platform launch to £210 million. It is also indicative of the fact that later stage companies are recognizing the power and potential of crowdfunding as an effective method to sell securities.
BrewDog, one of the UK’s fastest growing food brands, raised its £10 million target in just three weeks. More than 2,700 people invested in the BrewDog Bond, which will pay 7.5% interest per annum. The average investment was £3,600 and the largest £200,000.
Luke Lang, co-founder of Crowdcube, labeled 2016 “another standout year” for his crowdfunding company. He also said it was an important year for the entire industry. Beset with economic challenges, this sector of finance continued to evolve and growth.
“…we’ve continued our history of record-breaking and finished the year with our best quarter yet, with over £15 million having been invested through the platform in December alone, investment is up 20% in the six months post-Brexit. Our investor community has now topped 340,000 and we’ve seen more than £265 million pledged through Crowdcube to date; both are clear signs that investors’ appetite to back innovative and ambitious businesses remains strong.”
Recapping the year, Crowdcube said that over 51,000 investments were made through Crowdcube in 2016. During the year more than £80 million was successfully raised for startup, early and growth stage businesses from the UK and Europe.
With more established businesses raising finance on Crowdcube, such as Biscuiteers, Innis & Gunn and Vivobarefoot, Crowdcube has seen the average funding round increase to £642,000, up from £550,000 in 2015.
goHenry, a fintech trailblazer, was the first businesses in 2016 to set a new record for the largest crowdfunding round after raising £4 million in April. The record was then broken by Crowdcube’s own funding round, which saw £7.7 million raised from over 3,500 people who invested alongside Balderton Capital, one of Europe’s largest investment firms. This was an important event as Crowdcube filed a prospectus to hurdle a legal barrier to raising the sizeable sum – thus paving the path for others to follow.
Focusing on delivering capital gains for investors and potential exits, Lang said that over the next year he expects other companies to follow prior exiting firms to drive solid investor returns.
“Over £5 million has been returned to investors on Crowdcube over the last two years from bond interest payments and equity exits through trade sales to the likes of Europcar and AB InBev – a further indication of how crowdfunding is maturing,” said Lang. “We also predict an increase in businesses coming to Crowdcube for later-stage growth funding and that more businesses that have funded on Crowdcube will go on to secure follow-on investment from venture capital and institutional investors, such as Farmdrop which closed a £3 million funding round led by Atomico last year.”
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