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CrowdShed to Open New Equity Crowdfunding Site in London

12 Nov

According to the Nesta/Cambridge University UK Alternative Finance Industry report equity crowdfunding has grown by over 410% in 2014 in the United Kingdom

By Robert Hoskins

London, UKCrowdShed will offer rewards, lending and donation-based crowdfunding opportunities, focused on creative, academic, charity and cause-based projects. Equity funding will be added in 2015, with an ethos of making business better.   CrowdShed is set to challenge the established crowdfunding model and redefine how people find their funding and fund something new. With the backing of GLI Finance Crowdshed.com is now well placed to launch in Q3, 2014.

Crowdshed to Open New Equity Crowdfunding Site in London

Crowdshed to Open New Equity Crowdfunding Site in London

Crowdfunding is a nascent industry already dominated by a few key players, each with a niche business model concentrating around one specific area of crowdfunding. CrowdShed is different, creating a holistic environment that offers funders and fund-seekers the widest opportunity to create and locate the project that’s perfect for them.

This multifaceted approach offers unrivaled scope to introduce like-minded funders and fund-seekers – people who might not have connected except through CrowdShed. The equity crowdfunding site is also creating a real-world space to bring funders and fund-seekers together to work, grow ideas, find inspiration and hold events, informative SHEDtalks, and Q&A sessions.

CrowdShed received significant seed investment from GLI Finance Limited (GLIF), the London Stock Exchange listed specialist provider of finance to small and medium sized enterprises.

Geoff Miller, CEO of GLI Finance, said, “This exciting partnership continues the extension of our platforms and compliments and diversifies our exposure to the crowdfunding space, as CrowdShed will provide rewards, lending and donation-based crowdfunding opportunities as well as SME Finance.

CrowdShed is well positioned to become a leading player in Europe within this space and we are delighted they have chosen to partner with us. We look forward to building our partnership with them.”

Henry Freeman, CrowdShed CEO, stated, “It’s great that GLIF recognizes the inherent opportunity and growth potential of crowdfunding as a real alternative to traditional investment and fundraising channels. CrowdShed is democratizing the crowdfunding process for all and contributing not only to better business but also to the good of society as a whole. We don|t believe that concepts like fiscal success and social, corporate or environmental responsibility are mutually exclusive. The crowd is sustainable, carries momentum easily, is self-supporting and self-perpetuating, and has the power to affect change for the good. This is the heart of what we do at CrowdShed.”

Statistics for the crowdfunding market tell of rapid and continuing growth with an estimated global value of $5.1 billion for 2013, up 89% on 2012. Europe accounts for 35% of the market share with $945 million raised, up 65% on 2012. Growth in the US market was bigger still, up 105% to a total of $1.6 billion.

This driver of finance from wealthy and high net worth individuals is supported by recent research from the Nesta/Cambridge University Report into alternative finance which forecasts that the alternative finance market, comprising the entire crowdfunding industry in the UK, is expected to grow to £1.74bn by the end of 2014 with further projected growth to around £4.4bn in 2015.

According to the Nesta/Cambridge University UK Alternative Finance Industry report, released Monday 10 November, equity crowdfunding has grown by over 410% in 2014.

Dermot Finch of the Prince’s Trust admitted that crowdfunding is something the Trust is exploring, working with CrowdShed to help young people fund the business initiatives they’re developing. He pointed out that, “We’re helping lots of youngsters get back on their feet and trying to give them the confidence to follow their own business ideas and crowdfunding is the ideal source of capital for their ventures, combining a blend of equity and donor capital.”

The ideas that Kenyon developed whilst running his crowdfunding campaign – creative marketing, strong social media messaging, building up momentum quickly – clearly worked and in fact the Nesta report confirms that these are the types of qualities needed to deliver a successful crowdfunding campaign.

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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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PERES Indiegogo Campaign Gives Moms and Senior Citizens Technology to Sniff Out Possible Food Poisoning by Alerting Users of Spoiled Food

15 Apr

The unique electronic-nose scanner “smells” food to test for freshness. Scan results are instantly reported on a mobile app – helping users provide healthier food for their families and avoid health risks like food poisoning

By Robert Hoskins

London, UK – Are your parents getting older and have lost their sense of smell?  Many senior citizens and customers in third world countries without access to dependable refrigeration can now pre-order a PERES, a first-of-its-kind handheld device and mobile app, which provides information about the freshness and quality of meat, poultry and fish and protects against food poisoning, is now available for pre-order on Indiegogo.

PERES is an innovative electronic 'e-nose' which enables users to determine the quality, freshness of beef, pork, poultry and fish

PERES is an innovative electronic ‘e-nose’ which enables users to determine the quality, freshness of beef, pork, poultry and fish

The world’s first portable ‘e-nose’ and its iOS/Android mobile app enables users to determine the quality, freshness of meat, poultry, and fish and whether it has gone bad and could potentially cause food poisoning. The device also helps to limit unnecessary food waste, by testing the meat which is out of date or close to expiring.

To operate the device, users simply point the PERES at meat and click a button. It works by analysing a sample of the gases for volatile organic compounds and amonia. Within a few seconds, users receive information on their smartphone or tablet about the food’s freshness, whether it’s been left unrefrigerated and whether there may be a risk of food poisoning.

Food-related illness is a global challenge and in the U.S. alone it’s estimated that there are 48 million cases of food-borne illness, resulting in 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths, each year (source:CDC).

“The World Health Organization estimates that one out of three people living in industrialized countries may be affected by food-borne illness each year,” said Augustas Alesiunas, CEO of ARS Lab LTD (creators of PERES). “Having suffered through the horrible experience of food poisoning myself, I decided to create a device that would help families quickly and easily check the freshness and quality of food.”

The PERES can also help reduce the costly problem of food waste by determining if food is still fresh and safe to eat. It’s estimated that the average U.S. household of four is losing $275-$455 per year on food that’s needlessly trashed. It’s also estimated that up to 90% of Americans throw food out prematurely (source: NRDC/Harvard Report).

With its Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, ARS Lab LTD is raising funds to complete product development and to bring PERES to market in late 2014. The Indiegogo goal is set for $50,000; and with early contributions, the campaign is on pace to surpass this goal. The campaign is set to run until May 31, 2014.

“We believe PERES will be an invaluable tool for families to monitor the safety and freshness of their food, and we are extremely grateful for the support and validation the device is receiving from early contributors on Indiegogo,” added Alesiunas.

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Former Investment Banker, Erik Wachtmeister, Launches Crowdcube Equity Crowdfunding Campaign to Build BestofAllWorlds.com

5 Feb

 Best of All Worlds is raising money to build a private online community of equity crowdfunding investors

By Robert Hoskins

Best of All Worlds, based in London, UK, aims to raise up to £500,000 through Crowdcube equity crowdfunding campaign and other private fundraising efforts, and money raised will be used to support additional web and mobile development.  Crowdcube is part of the next generation of business investment, offering start-ups and entrepreneurs a new way to connect with investors to raise venture capital.

By matching similar passions, niche interests and backgrounds, BOAW provides an intimate and private online environment that targets top influencers, creatives, and entrepreneurs from around the world.

By matching similar passions, niche interests and backgrounds, BOAW provides an intimate and private online environment that targets top influencers, creatives, and entrepreneurs from around the world.

After a successful private beta phase, which has seen Best of All Worlds (BOAW) grow to a community of over 30,000 active users in over 100 countries worldwide, the site maintains its invite-only status, allowing users to access and navigate relevant information and intelligence from a ‘trusted’ few, rather than the overwhelming levels of information available in the wider online community.

By matching similar passions, niche interests and backgrounds, BOAW provides an intimate and private online environment that targets top influencers, creatives, and entrepreneurs from around the world. BOAW enables its members to evolve their passions, grow their trusted networks and discover new opportunities.

“Best of All Worlds offers its users a forward-facing and innovative approach to global social discovery both for social and professional use,” said Erik Wachtmeister, Best of All Worlds Founder.  “We are always embracing new ideas and technology and crowdfunding is a great way to offer our members and other investors to participate in our journey.”

Best of all Worlds aims to be the ultimate discovery and matching platform for people, products and services. Rather than focusing on past events, as many social networks such as Facebook do, BOAW connects members with new opportunities and people, around interests and passions – creating a trusted global network of individuals. BOAW has developed its own proprietary state-of-the-art location-based search engine and matching algorithm, offering users tools to discover and interact with trusted members that share the same passion. BOAW also offers global city guides and interest-based groups and forums, with user-generated recommendations and feedback systems.

The Best of All Worlds iPhone app allows members to access the platform while on the go, to discover people, places and things close to them, or to browse other locations and seek inspiration. The app aggregates feedback from members and obtains real-time relevant information on members’ interests, location and mode (private, family, professional, social or party).

Best of All Worlds Management Team

The founding team of BOAW consists of two highly experienced entrepreneurs in global social media, Erik and Louise Wachtmeister, founders of ASMALLWORLD, as well as Rob Meadows, Chief Technology Officer at BOAW, who founded Originate, a global software venture fund.

Erik Wachtmeister – CEO, Stockholm, Sweden

A pioneer in social media, Erik launched ASMALLWORLD in early 2004, to connect and reconnect friends in real life. Erik realized as early as 1998 that there was a need for a private online platform without commercial bias and information overload. Erik’s career in finance spanned 16 years of investment banking including Lehman Brothers and Rothschild in London, New York and Los Angeles. He created his own business in 1993, doing private placements for public companies. In 2000, he started Viking Internet, an investment company that he later took public on the LSE. Erik holds a BSFS from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, Washington D.C., and an MBA from INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France.

Louise Wachtmeister – Board Member, Stockholm, Sweden

As co-founder and marketing director of ASMALLWORLD, Louise Wachtmeister defined its advertising strategy in the critical first three years that brought in the start-up’s first major advertising partners. At the same time, Louise oversaw ASMALLWORLD’s press relations, with over 100 features in major publications around the globe. Previously she worked at Scandinavia’s leading public relations firm JKL Group. A gold and silver medalist (400m and 800m relays) in the Swedish National Track Championships, she was elected as a local representative to the Stockholm City Council sports and education committee from the age of 19. Louise went to Stockholm School of Economics, writing her master’s thesis on branding.

Rob Meadows – CTO, San Francisco, CA

Rob has over 20 years’ experience in Software Development and Architecture. He is a founding partner at Originate, a Global Software Venture Fund. Prior to Originate he was the founder of Lumitrend Mobile and former software engineer at IBM, Qualcomm, and Slam Dunk Networks.

As the world’s first equity crowdfunding platform, Crowdcube enables everyday investors to fund businesses in return for a share in the company. Since February 2011, more than 57,000 savvy investors have registered with Crowdcube, helping to raise more than £17m for over 90 UK businesses. The ground-breaking model lets entrepreneurs showcase their investment opportunities online and bypass the traditional business angel, venture capital or bank route, giving them more control and access to more investors.

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Notes:

  • Best of All Worlds is invitation-only and free to members;
  • The Best of All Worlds site is accessible on: IE 8+, Firefox 3.5+, Chrome (all), Safari (all);
  • The Best of All Worlds app is available free on iOS, iPhone and iPad: http://bit.ly/boaw-app

 

Ingenious Britain in the UK offers 25% Stake in New Equity Crowdfunding Platform on Crowdcube

18 May

Ingenious Britain, the small business campaign, community and advice and information portal, has announced that it is launching a crowdfunding initiative to raise a £500,000 investment in return for a combined 25% equity stake in the business.

By Robert Hoskins

Ingenious Britain announced that it is launching a crowdfunding initiative to raise a £500,000 investment in return for a combined 25% equity stake in the business.

Ingenious Britain in the UK offers 25% Stake in New Equity Crowdfunding Platform on Crowdcube

Ingenious Britain in the UK offers 25% Stake in New Equity Crowdfunding Platform on Crowdcube

The investment will be used to fund, among other things, a more dynamic portal suited to the needs of small businesses, an enhanced digital marketing and content strategy, a fourth print (and digital) Ingenious Britain magazine each year, an expanded personal support network to SMEs online, by telephone and by email and, most excitingly, the launch of ‘Ingenious Britain Live,” which will be the UK’s most interactive and vibrant small business event.

“We are practicing what we preach and are taking Ingenious Britain to the crowd. With the investment we’re planning exciting and innovative multimedia content and events in the space which will prove invaluable to the UK’s five million small businesses,” commented Mark Moore, Ingenious Britain CEO.

“People can pledge as little or a much as they wish and we will work as hard as we can to make sure their investment reaps dividends for us, for them and for Britain’s small business community.”

The crowdfunding campaign is available to be viewed via Crowdcube by clicking here.

The UK’s five million small and medium-sized businesses make up 99.6% of all British businesses; they employ 54.5% of our workforce, and account for 49.5% of our annual GDP. Ingenious Britain has reached hundreds of thousands already, providing advice, information and support through events, social media feeds, its online portal, community and magazine.

“Encouraging them and helping them to perform better will have significant economic benefits for the UK economy,” adds Moore.

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Zomblogalypse Turns to Indiegogo Crowdfunding to Finance Feature Length Film Pre-Production Costs

5 Apr

By Robert Hoskins

Launched as a piece of zero-budget, webcam-shot fun in 2008, the series is set in the months after a worldwide zombie apocalypse, applying a healthy dose of wry British humour to the adventures of three incompetent survivors more interested in video blogging than survival techniques.

Blogging and Brains and Beans: How three idiotssurvived the Zombie Apocalypse.

Blogging and Brains and Beans: How 3 idiots survived a Zombie Apocalypse.

Over four years it picked up hundreds of thousands of views online and a dedicated fan base including genre legends like effects guru Tom Savini, Walking Dead comics artists Charlie Adlard, SFX Magazine and zombie film directors Marc Price (Colin) and Dominic Brunt (Before Dawn).

Original creators Hannah Bungard, Tony Hipwell and Miles Watts, fresh from micro budget features Crimefighters and Whoops! that were highlighted by reviewers at Empire, Time Out and Sight & Sound, have now teamed up with producer Steve Piper at British indie mainstay Coffee Films to reboot the series in a feature length format.

“It’s been a great few years and we feel very lucky to have been able to keep progressing making films which edge the budgets and production values up every time, but it’s difficult making the jump from micro-budget tens of thousands to the hundreds of thousands an adaptation needed,” comments Watts.

Enter Coffee Films, who were awarded by the European film industry as one of the most exciting emerging fiction talents in the early 2000s before embarking on seven years of critically acclaimed documentary filmmaking, most recently the half-million-dollar Killing Joke documentary The Death and Resurrection Show out this year

“I got to know Miles through a mutual friend and liked a lot of the early experimental comedy shorts he was making,” explains Piper, “when Zomblogalypse came out it was obviously a perfect evolution, a coming together of creative kindred spirits to create a very funny and entertaining world.”

The four filmmakers began developing a feature length screenplay almost a year ago, investing in development time to avoid the back-to-back-episodes feel many series adaptations fall into.

Promising to keep everything fans of the much loved web series delivered, scaled up to a true long-form storyline, the concept has already picked up interest from distributors and turned to crowd-funding to bridge the gap from screenplay to production.

“People tend to think that once you have a script financing just lands in your lap, and that can be true for the big names,” explains Piper, “but for most filmmakers you need a whole package of budget calculations, actors, key technicians and concept artwork to get to the next stage. Crowd funding has emerged as a really great way to get through that process if you don’t have twenty or thirty grand sitting around.”

Bungard continues, “It’s exciting, and a little bit humbling, that people are trusting you to make something that they’ll want to buy and be part of nearly two years in advance. So many people have supported Zomblog over the last five years, whether it’s our friends getting turned into zombies or people on the other side of the world sharing the YouTube videos; we feel very lucky they’ve stuck by us and are supporting us again making a movie version.”

The Zomblogalypse crowd funding campaign runs through April looking to raise £10,000 to meet pre-production costs, and has already pulled 15% of that within a few days of launch. Check it out yourself to reserve a DVD or fulfill a dream to be a screen zombie at http://igg.me/at/zomblogalypse/x/1907888.

View into Crowdcube’s Successful Equity Crowdfunding Platform in the United Kingdom

31 Mar

By Robert Hoskins

Founded in 2010, Crowdcube is the next generation of business investment in the United Kingdom. It is a new way to fund start-ups and business expansion by crowdfunding for equity, giving entrepreneurs a platform to connect with ordinary people and raise venture capital. By attracting lots of investors who invest smaller amounts of money into a person, company, product or idea you can bypass the traditional ways of raising venture finance.

Having founded, and worked for several entrepreneurial businesses Crowdcube’s founders understood how difficult it was to raise money in order to start and grow a small business. The task of securing investment is a notoriously perplexing and sometimes sluggish process that can be a struggle at the best of times. In today’s worldwide economic crisis this climate has become even more challenging.

Thus, Crowdcube now gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to take control of raising funding from their own network of friends, family, customers and strangers.

Stats Behind Crowdcube's Successful Equity Crowdfunding Platform in the UK

Stats Behind Crowdcube’s Successful Equity Crowdfunding Platform in the UK

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