Crowdcube, the UK’s largest equity crowdfunding platform, is out with a report on Q1 2017 operations. The online marketplace is reporting “another record quarter” having funded 29 early to mid-stage business for a total of over £23 million. Crowdcube states that this represents 2.7X more than their nearest competitor regarding platform volume. Crowdcube expects to top 2016’s total of £80 million. The average amount raised by companies has increased to £790,000, up 44% from a year ago. Six businesses were funded via the Crowdcube Spain operation.
Additionally, Crowdcube said ten companies raised over £1 million during the first three months of the year including;
- POD Point, which raised £1.5m of a £9m round led by Barclays Bank and Draper Esprit,
- Aviva-backed Cocoon
- Cauli Rice who secured £1.5m from over 1,000 investors.
- The largest amount raised was £2.45 million by challenger bank Monzo, which was part of its +£20 million funding round
Crowdcube said the interest of professional investors, including VCs and Angels, is indicative of the trend for large money to invest side-by-side smaller investors. Crowdfunding platforms from around the world are experiencing a similar phenomena with some industry followers calling the partnering of institutional money and retail investors as the future for sustainable sector growth.
Crowdcube called their success the “envy of Europe” and perhaps, the US. Management also said it intends on expanding its platform to other countries:
“We feel it is the time to expand our operations outside of Spain where we are already well established as the largest crowdfunder and offer our investors the opportunity to have greater exposure to other markets. Despite posturing from some EU leaders, we’re confident Britain will retain its position as a financial services powerhouse because of its innovation and flexible regulatory regime. The success of UK crowdfunding is the envy of Europe and Fintech has even fewer borders than traditional finance. In a modern, connected world there is a huge opportunity to offer UK equity crowdfunding for smaller EU-based businesses who through our platform would have access to the largest Europe’s largest crowdfunding community of over 390,000 investors. We are still hammering out the details so watch this space.”
Other highlights for the quarter included:
- BrewDog receiving a significant investment from US based TSE Consumer Partners valuing the brewery at more than a billion dollars
- In a share buy-back, Cardiff-based heart medicine company Celixir, who raised funding on Crowdcube in 2014, delivered investors a 2.7x return to crowd investors who injected £691k in the business.
- Mettrr Technologies became the first company to utilize Crowdcubes secondary trading feature as angel investors purchased shares delivering a 9x return.
- Total investor returns stand at £5 million
In many respects, the UK has the most robust investment crowdfunding market in the world. The sector of finance has gone from providing startup capital to providing growth funding for more mature companies. This is expected to continue as deals get larger and more mature companies see the benefit of enlisting a broader shareholder base.