Crowdcube, a leading equity crowdfunding platform, has announced a new initiative to boost deal flow by supporting startups and growth businesses outside London. The goal is to double equity crowdfunding deals in under 5 years by partnering with six supporters of regional SMEs.
Luke Lang, co-founder of Crowdcube, said that doubling equity funding deals in the regions in five years is an ambitious target, but it reflects the shared commitment of Crowdcube and their partners to drive real change.
“Working together makes all of our networks, technology and access to funding much more powerful. There is brilliant entrepreneurial talent and dedication across the country – we’re going to free more of that potential.”
Crowdcube says by working with these six partners that the combination of their technology, networks and regional funding expertise offers a powerful way to boost SME growth in the regions. Good for the platform and good for the UK economy.
Working in concert, the partners and Crowdcube will engage with regional SMEs, advising them on their suitability for crowdfunding and co-investment, share information, and work with Crowdcube to help them launch funding rounds on Crowdcube’s platform.
The new partners working with Crowdcube include:
- G by Grant Thornton
- Harper Macleod
- Techstart Ventures
- Virgin StartUp
Additionally, Crowdcube will assess recommendations from local investors who wish to refer SMEs to Crowdcube and its partners.
Simon Calver, Head of BGF Ventures, explained that while they see many great companies in London and the South East, they need to work harder to ensure UKs vibrant regional economies can support entrepreneurs as well;
“With 12 UK offices, BGF’s regional commitment matches Crowdcube’s ambition to accelerate the growth of more earlier-stage companies, wherever they are in the UK, with funding, advice and support.”
Sarah Abrahams, Head of Growth Finance at G by Grant Thornton, added that crowdfunding is now established as a mainstream source of finance. Their collaboration with Crowdcube will address a “critical funding gap”
“Grant Thornton’s powerful global network of more than 47,000 people in over 130 countries and Crowdcube’s 500,000-strong crowd of investors, we are excited to be working with Crowdcube, in support of entrepreneurs at a local, regional and national level.”
Andrew Hutchison, Head of Strategy Virgin Startup, said that London’s success in supporting high growth companies means there is a need to focus on and support the regions;
“We are well aware from our experience that there are thriving startup ecosystems all over the country but they currently lack the support and resources that are enjoyed by entrepreneurs in London – so we are thrilled to be partnering with Crowdcube on this timely national initiative.”
Crowdcube says that regional deal flow increased from 38% in 2016 to 50% in 2017 but the overall picture is of London increasingly dominating SME equity fundraising deals from all sources.
Data cited from the research firm Beauhurst shows there were 328 regional funding deals in 2011 compared to 160 for London, while in 2014 the figures were 770 and 629, and in 2017 the figures were 736 and 769, with London having overtaken the regions during the year.
Crowdcube believes there is great potential for regional startups and growth businesses, and the difference equity funding can make.