UK-based equity crowdfunding platform Seedrs has raised £7.5m in a Series A round, and will soon launch a £2.5m crowdfunding campaign to cap the fundraise off.
The landmark Seedrs campaign has been led by WPCT, the investment trust ran by renowned fund manager Neil Woodford, which holds £800m in AUM. WPCT has been accompanied in the round by Augmentum Capital – a leading VC firm. Tim Levine, Managing Partner of Augmentum, has joined the platform’s Board of Directors. The pair of prominent investment firms have stumped up £7.5m between them. The £10m round will be closed out with a £2.5m campaign, which will be hosted on the platform, giving Seedrs’ investors the chance to share in the company's growth.
For Seedrs, the fresh injection of £10m will reportedly be used to ramp up marketing activities in both Europe and the UK, to bolster the platform itself, and to launch the platform's US operation. Seedrs readied itself for life in the US in November through the acquisition of the platform “Junction Investments”, following the Funding Circle blueprint for crossing the pond.
Seedrs’ Series A round values the platform at £30m on a fully-diluted, post-money basis. Of course, the £2.5m kicker needs to close before that £30m valuation can be realised, but with names like Neil Woodford in the fold, we can’t imagine the campaign staying open for long. Mr. Woodford has been throwing his weight behind the alternative finance space of late, having recently invested £8m in the consumer lending brand RateSetter, as part of a £20m raise. Woodford is also a P2PGI shareholder.
To date, investors have hungrily snapped up the chance to buy shares in the UK's leading equity crowdfunding platforms, when offered the opportunity. SyndicateRoom hosted a self-sustaining round in early May and raised £1.2m in just 33 hours. Crowdcube raised £1.2m in July the previous year in just 16 minutes, as part of a £5m round that included Balderton Capital. The £2.5m round is yet to go live on the Seedrs site. We’ll be watching for the posting.
“We are absolutely thrilled to have Woodford and Augmentum leading this investment round in Seedrs. The capital we are raising will allow us to deliver our next stage of growth in the UK, Europe and the United States. As importantly, though, is the signal this investment sends to the market. The greatest fund manager of our time and the greatest financial family in history have looked at the equity crowdfunding space, decided that there is a huge opportunity to be won, and decided that Seedrs is the one that’s going to win it. We are honoured to have both investors on board, we look forward to working with them as we continue to grow.”
AltFi is returning to Amsterdam for its second annual Summit in the city. The inaugural event last year was a roaring success, with key figures from across Continental Europe's alternative finance and digital banking sectors highlighted. These included Jeroen Broekema, managing director of Funding Circle Netherlands, and Mieke van Engelen, head of innovative partnerships at ABN AMRO's standalone lending platform, New10.