Just days before Shaw Academy was set to close its highly successful equity crowdfunding campaign, which secured well over its £2.2 million funding target, Crowdcube reportedly shut down the funding round, claiming that the online education provider apparently failed to follow its platform’s rules.
According to Irish Times, Crowdcube revealed that Shaw Academy had not adhered to its investment program despite numerous requests. The UK-based equity crowdfunding platform stated:
“As a platform regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, we were unable to close the fundraise while ensuring accuracy and fairness for all investors.”
Crowdcube also reported that communications between Shaw Academy to prospective investors were not approved. While revealing his thoughts about the equity crowdfunding platform’s decision to pull the campaign, Co-Founder and CEO of Shaw Academy, James Egan, explained:
“We refute any wrongdoing at all on our part and feel that the process was lacking in support and guidance throughout. Over the last number of weeks, the process had become incredibly frustrating with almost all the funds invested coming from our own audience [which was] quite the opposite to what our expectations were. In addition, the support and guidance for this matter was totally non-existent. As frustrations developed throughout the campaign, we looked at cancelling it on a number of occasions.”
Shaw Academy’s mission is to provide education that is accessible and affordable for everyone. Its platform offers live, interactive, online training in various subjects and is provides internationally accredited professional diplomas. The platform stated that since 2014 it has taught more than 4,000,000 students from all over the world, and it is teaching over 250,000 new students per month.
Egan added that Shaw Academy currently has a huge demand that was not met through the equity crowdfunding round, but he and his team are now looking at all available options on what to do next.
A user posted the entire letter from CC on another Shaw Academy article we reproduce it here.
“The Pitch, ‘Shaw Academy,’ that you have invested in has been cancelled for the following reason:
“Unfortunately, despite numerous requests, Shaw Academy has not adhered to Crowdcube’s investment process, meaning that as a platform regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, we were unable to close the fundraise while ensuring accuracy and fairness for all investors.
“Contrary to our advice, we also identified communications by Shaw Academy to prospective investors, that were not approved by Crowdcube as ‘fair, clear and not misleading’ and therefore potentially posed a risk to investors.
“This means that Crowdcube is no longer approving or completing the investment round for Shaw Academy, and as a result, no funds will be taken by Crowdcube.
“Please note that as Crowdcube is no longer approving or completing the investment round for Shaw Academy, this investment does not have the same protections as when investing via a regulated platform.
“As such, your investment will also be cancelled.”
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