Leading European VC group, Draper Esprit, has led a £8.5 million funding round in UK crowdfunding platform Crowdcube. According to a release by the company, Draper Esprit has taken a £6 million stake in Crowdcube. The funding round also saw the participation of Balderton Capital and Channel 4 – via their Commercial Growth Fund. Crowdcube said the additional funding will be used to fuel expansion in both the UK and overseas following a “record breaking” 2018.
This is Balderton’s fourth investment in Crowdcube and Draper Esprit’s second investment. Crowdcube said it would allow retail investors to participate in the funding round with a public offer listed on their platform commencing November 14th. As Channel 4 invests in Crowdcube, a national TV campaign is scheduled for 2019.
Crowdcube says the most recent quarter saw record revenue of £1.6 million in Q3. This represents a 60% increase versus same quarter year prior. Investment pledges via the crowdfunding platform increased by 97% during the same time frame rising to £50.4 million from £25.6 million.
Crowdcube predicts that annual revenue for 2018 will total around £6 million – up from £3.9 million in 2017.
Crowdcube, the largest investment crowdfunding platform by volume, points to the fact that over 100 offerings have raised more than £1 million on its site. This is indicative of an ability to scale by funding later stage firms. Since 2011, approximately £355 million has been invested on the platform for 600+ companies. Crowdcube has also helped to fund three UK unicorns – firms with a valuation of over one billion dollars.
Importantly, Crowdcube is helping firms beyond London to raise capital as over 60% of the amount invested on Crowdcube this year went to businesses based outside of the city.
More than 90 overseas businesses have successfully raised on Crowdcube. Overseas businesses alone accounted for 18% of successfully funded businesses in the first half of 2018. Crowdcube has established a relationship with US based SeedInvest to cross list offerings.
“We’ve transformed equity finance and funded more businesses than anyone else in the UK to become a preferred choice for British entrepreneurs,” claimed Darren Westlake, CEO and co-founder of Crowdcube. “This latest investment, from two highly-regarded venture capital investors who are significantly increasing their stakes in Crowdcube and a famously forward-thinking media company, is fantastic proof of our progress and potential. It will enable us to accelerate our journey to profitability and expand faster in the UK and overseas, so we can help more innovative and ambitious businesses from across the globe grow, expand and make a difference to the world.”
“They have a proven and scalable platform, seven years of unrivalled experience, strong brand awareness and a clear market opportunity in the UK and abroad. They are the world’s leaders in equity crowdfunding, and I expect them to continue blazing a trail of innovation and success.”
Many well known businesses have successfully raised funds on Crowdcube including; BrewDog, The Eden Project, Freetrade, Innis & Gunn, Adzuna, Mindful Chef, Monzo, Parcel2Go, Revolut, and more.
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