Crowdcube raises investment led by US unicorn Circle to help create a global marketplace for investment into private companies
- Investment to accelerate Crowdcube’s expansion across Europe, capitalising on an evolving European regulatory landscape
- Marks the largest strategic investment from Circle into Europe, along with follow on investment from Molten Ventures & Balderton Capital
London, November 23, 2021 – Crowdcube today announced that it has raised £10 million ($13.5 million) led by Circle Internet Financial, LLC, owner and operator of SeedInvest, a leading startup fundraising platform in the US.
The investment aligns two of the most prominent and pioneering platforms in their respective markets: Crowdcube is the largest equity crowdfunding platform in Europe with 1.2 million members and £1 billion invested. The strategic partnership will help pave the way to a global marketplace at every level of private fundraising, from seed stage to public offering.
Historically, the UK and the US have been the most developed markets for equity crowdfunding but that all changed on November 10 with new European-wide regulations. The investment will enable Crowdcube to accelerate its launch into Europe, capitalising on the recent regulation that provides uniform rules across Europe for capital raising and retail investment services.
The investment, in which existing backers Molten Ventures (formerly Draper Esprit) and Balderton Capital also participated, supports Crowdcube’s goals to enable entrepreneurs to raise capital from their dedicated communities wherever they are in the UK or Europe and is Circle’s largest strategic investment to date in the European market. Leveling the playing field for entrepreneurs and individual investors is an important area of focus for Circle, which acquired SeedInvest in 2019.
“Combining Circle’s strategic investment with our decade of knowledge and experience of capital raising in Europe, Crowdcube is extremely well positioned to capitalise on our first-mover advantage into Europe’s high growth investment market. Capital raising and private company investing have never been so exciting,” comments Darren Westlake, CEO and Co-Founder of Crowdcube. “In the first instance, we’re considering a crowd round to offer Crowdcube’s community of investors the opportunity to participate in our round, alongside Circle, supporting our growth as Europe’s preferred private investment marketplace”.
“Private capital online fundraising is at a pivotal moment of maturation. We are thrilled to work with Crowdcube to roll out online fundraising across Europe and are confident this will be a significant milestone towards the inevitable global future of the industry,” said Ryan Feit, Director of Circle and CEO and Co-Founder of SeedInvest. “Expanding online fundraising to new markets creates a massive opportunity for internet native capital formation where individuals and businesses can connect and transact digitally from anywhere.”
With the recent regulatory changes, companies in the UK and EU will now be able to raise up to €13m from retail investors in a single offering of either primary or secondary shares (€8m from UK investors and €5m from European investors). Crowdcube announced earlier this month that it will be the first platform with pan-European and UK regulatory approvals. Crowdcube’s first-mover advantage in Europe will give investors and entrepreneurs access to cross-border equity opportunities.
Feit will join Crowdcube’s Board and Jeremy Allaire, CEO and Co-Founder of Circle, will be an Observer. Circle joins existing backers Molten Ventures and Balderton Capital who have invested in Crowdcube. Crowdcube is considering opening this investment opportunity to users on their platform who are passionate about supporting the company’s growth.
The funding comes as Crowdcube achieved a record year of growth with £200million invested (+21% YoY) and over 208k investments made, and a growing community with 174k new members this year bringing the total to 1.2 million. The fintech’s valuation has increased by 57% to £140 million since its last funding round in 2018 and it has raised around £30 million in total from both institutional and retail investors.
The European marketplace for retail investment into private and public companies, Crowdcube enables entrepreneurs to raise finance with the added benefit of being backed by their community. For investors, Crowdcube provides a way to hand-pick a stake in an innovative business they believe in that traditionally would have been restricted to professional investors.
Since it was founded in 2011, Crowdcube has funded over 1,130 deals. With over one million members, a total of £1bn has been invested on the platform to date.
Businesses that have successfully raised funds with Crowdcube include BrewDog, Camden Town Brewery (acquired by AB INBev), carwow, JustPark, eCar Club (acquired by Europcar), Feedr (acquired by Compass Group), Freetrade (primaries and secondaries), Grind, Innis & Gunn, Mindful Chef (acquired by Nestle), Monzo, Parcel2Go, Pod Point (acquired by EDF), Revolut, and Nutmeg (acquired by JP Morgan).
Circle is a global financial technology firm that enables businesses of all sizes to harness the power of digital currencies and public blockchains for payments, commerce and financial applications worldwide. Circle is the principal operator of USD Coin (USDC), the leading dollar digital currency powering always-on internet-native commerce and payments with a circulation greater than $33 billion and over $1.3 trillion in on-chain transactions. Today, Circle’s transactional services, business accounts, and platform APIs are giving rise to a new generation of financial services and commerce applications that hold the promise of raising global economic prosperity for all through the frictionless exchange of financial value. Additionally, Circle operates SeedInvest, a leading startup fundraising platform in the U.S. that has funded over $400 million online and supports a rapidly growing network of over 600,000 investors. Learn more at https://circle.com.