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Balderton Capital Follows Long History of Backing Disruptive and Innovative Businesses; Invests £3.8 Million in UK Equity Crowdfunding Site

22 Jul

Crowdcube, named one of the hottest Fin-Tech firms in Europe in 2013, will use the £5 million investment to further expand its operations in the UK and internationally

By Robert Hoskins

 Exeter, Devon, United Kingdom – One of Europe’s largest venture investors, Balderton Capital, leads a £5m round with a £3.8 million stake in Crowdcube, the world’s first and leading investment crowdfunding platform. Crowdcube will complete its Series B round by offering a £1.2 million crowdfunding.

Crowdcube, named one of the hottest FinTech firms in Europe in 2013, will use the £5 million investment to further expand its operations in the UK and internationally

Crowdcube, named one of the hottest FinTech firms in Europe in 2013, will use the £5 million investment to further expand its operations in the UK and internationally

Darren Westlake, CEO and co-founder comments, “We’re delighted to secure growth finance from such a renowned VC who will undoubtedly add tremendous value both strategically and operationally. We’ve built a pioneering and award-winning service over the last few years. This investment, alongside the crowd, puts us in an even stronger position to provide essential growth finance for businesses and inspire a new generation of investors.”

Balderton Capital, which has also invested in disruptive financial tech companies such as Zopa, Nutmeg, GoCardless and Wonga, as well as other fast-growth internet businesses like Lovefilm and Betfair, has a long history of backing disruptive and innovative businesses. Partner Tim Bunting, who will join Crowdcube’s board of directors said, “We love the way Crowdcube is disrupting and democratizing investment into businesses seeking growth finance; Balderton is always looking to support new approaches to traditional financial services, and Crowdcube’s trailblazing model makes investment accessible, affordable and transparent. We’re excited about working with this team and building on their dominant position in the crowdfunding market.”

Crowdcube, named one of the hottest FinTech firms in Europe in 2013, will use the £5 million investment to further expand its operations in the UK and internationally. The firm is planning to double its team to 50 as well as open new offices in London and Scotland, while expanding its head office in Exeter. It is also expanding internationally beyond the seven joint ventures that it has already established.

Since it launched in 2011, Crowdcube has raised over £30 million for more than 130 start-up, early stage and growth businesses. More than half of this finance has been secured in the first half of 2014, demonstrating the accelerated growth for the innovative crowdfunding market, the willingness for people to invest in British businesses and the demand by businesses for seed and growth capital.

Crowdcube estimates that these companies are already boosting the British economy with the creation of 3,000 new jobs over the next three years. In addition, some fast-growth businesses like Righteous, Tidy Books and East End Manufacturing are contributing to Britain’s exports, supporting the Chancellor’s challenge to double Britain’s exports to £1 trillion by the end-of-the-year.

Other Crowdcube milestones include:

  • It was the world’s first crowdfunding platform to offer equity to investors in 2011.
  • Crowdcube has successfully crowdfunded two previous rounds on its own website raising £320,000 in 2011 and £1.5 million in 2013.
  • In September 2013 Kevin McCloud’s Hab Housing broke the world record for equity crowdfunding investment with 649 people putting in £1.95 million.
  • Crowdcube was the first crowdfunding company to sign up an international partner and now has a presence in seven countries:BrazilSwedenDubaiPolandItalySpain and New Zealand.
  • January 2014 saw the launch of the first managed venture fund for crowdfunded equity investments.
  • In June 2014 Crowdcube launched its Mini Bond product, disrupting the retail bond market in the same way that it has equity finance. River Cottage, which raised £1 million in less than 36 hours and Chilango are the two companies that have already launched Mini Bonds on Crowdcube.
  • The latest firm to raise finance is a start-up founded by the team behind Fitness First and Jatomi Fitness, James Balfour and Giles Dean. 1Rebel will launch a chain of contract-free ‘high intensity’ boutique gyms in London, which allow members to book classes online and via an app on a pay-as-you-go basis.

As the world’s first equity crowdfunding platform, Crowdcube enables everyday investors to fund British businesses in return for a share in the company. Since February 2011, over 80,000 savvy investors have registered with Crowdcube, helping to raise more than £30m for over 130 UK businesses. The ground breaking model lets entrepreneurs showcase their investment opportunity online and bypass the traditional business angel, venture capital or bank route, giving them more control and access to more investors.

Balderton Capital is one of the largest venture capital firms in Europe, committed to finding and helping talented entrepreneurs build great companies. Based in London, the firm manages $2.2 billion.

 

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Indiana Joins the Elite List of States that Allow Equity Crowdfunding from Unaccredited Investors

22 Jul

Indiana entrepreneurs can raise up to $2 million and Indiana investors can invest up to $5,000 per opportunity

By Robert Hoskins

Indianapolis, Indiana – Secretary of State Connie Lawson announced the rules for crowdfunding in Indiana which will allow Indiana investors to direct their equity investments to homegrown Hoosier entrepreneurs through the Internet. Indiana entrepreneurs can raise up to $2 million and Indiana investors can invest up to $5,000 per opportunity.

Indiana Joins the Elite List of States that Allow Equity Crowdfunding from Unaccredited Investors

Indiana Joins the Elite List of States that Allow Equity Crowdfunding from Unaccredited Investors

“Crowdfunding creates a new way for Hoosier entrepreneurs and investors to invest in Indiana,” said Secretary Lawson. “Previously, entrepreneurs could only solicit funding from wealthy investors, limiting their ability to grow their business and preventing smaller investors from taking advantage of up and coming opportunities. Now, all Hoosiers will have a chance to invest in Indiana.”

Crowdfunding began as an online fundraising strategy to facilitate the public donating  small amounts of money, often through social networking websites, to help musicians, filmmakers and other artists finance their projects. Indiana moves to the forefront of using the concept of crowdfunding as a tool to help facilitate the equity investment market. Through Indiana’s new crowdfunding rules, small businesses and entrepreneurs will be able to tap into the “crowd” in search of investments to finance their business ventures.

Congress passed the JOBS Act in April of 2012 authorizing the Securities Exchange Commission to write federal rules for crowdfunding. Those rules have not been finalized. The Indiana General Assembly passed crowdfunding legislation for the state during the 2014 legislative session and tasked the Secretary of State’s office with writing the rules. Secretary Lawson, Securities Commissioner Carol Mihalik and their team worked tirelessly to complete the rules by July 1 to give emerging Indiana businesses the tools they needed the day the law went into effect.

“Crowdfunding has potential to be a great capital formation tool for start-up businesses,” said Securities Commissioner Carol Mihalik. “Hoosiers need to be aware of the risks before they invest and they should always do their research before investing. As always, our efforts to fight fraud and impose consequences will continue regardless of the type of investment.”

For more information and to view the rules, entrepreneurs and investors can view Secretary Lawson’s website http://www.in.gov/sos/investinindiana. Investors and entrepreneurs

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Top 10 Texas Equity Crowdfunding Sites (Portals)

22 Jul

Top 10 Equity Crowdfunding Sites for Accredited and Non-Accredited Investors in Texas

By Robert Hoskins

Austin, Texas – We set out to write a story on the Top 10 Equity Crowdfunding Sites in Texas, but according to Google there are only few rewards-based and equity-based crowdfunding sites (see lists below) that are planning to serve the Texas market place.

Suffice it to say that there is a huge opportunity for people with finance, legal and marketing experience to get into the Texas crowdfunding business.

Texas ranks #2 only to California by population with an estimated 26 million people, and approximately 20 million of those are 18+ years old.  When the Texas Intrastate Crowdfunding Exemption Rule goes into effect in November 2014, unaccredited investors will be able to invest up to $5,000 per year in start-ups and existing businesses, which represents a potential investment capital pool of $100 billion.

If you’d like to explore what it takes to setup a crowdfunding site in Texas, please give us a call at (512) 627-6622.

Top 10 Texas Sites – Unaccredited Investors:

Rank © Front Page PR   Global Rank
#1 www.texas.trucrowd.com     485,665
#2 www.nextseed.com     992,563
#3 www.massventure.com  1,388,521
#4 www.texascrowdfunding.com  3,315,899
#5 www.investpeer.com  5,659,309

Source: Feb 2015 SimilarWeb Website Statistics

Top 10 Texas Sites – Accredited Only Investors:

Rank © Front Page PR   Global Rank
#1 www.seedinvest.com    184,226
#2 www.microventures.com    241,967
#3 www.investx.com    403,141
#4 www.dreamfunded.com 1,267,585
#5 www.texasenetworks.com 1,721,280
#6 www.realtywealth.com 2,647,893

Contact us at 512-627-6622 if you would like to add your Texas crowdfunding portal to our list.

More Top 100 Crowdfunding Lists:

 

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