By Lisa Walls-Hester on 1st July 2016
Competition grows in the equity crowdfunding space as Invesdor, the fintech pioneer from Finland, closes a fund raise scoring €1.2m to finance its expansion in the UK market.
Invesdor believes that the equity crowdfunding market is set for massive growth and says it launched a fundraise to secure its position in this increasingly competitive landscape. It sees the UK as the biggest equity crowdfunding market in Europe and says the fundraise represents an important milestone for the Invesdor’s development strategy.
It believes the UK is also an important market for many Nordic growth companies that are actively looking to engage with the UK investor community.
In 2015 the company received a Europe-wide MiFID investment firm licence, which initiated its globalisation expansion process in the UK, Norway and Denmark. It says the licence gives it a competitive advantage by enabling it to serve any company within the European Economic Area. As such Invesdor is positioning itself to become the leader in cross-border equity crowdfunding in Europe.
Invesdor describes itself as a fintech pioneer from Finland and the Nordic market leader in equity crowdfunding. The company is already active in Finland, Norway, Denmark, and the UK.
The platform was founded in 2012 in Helsinki and has grown into the leading Nordic player in the crowdfunding space. It has concluded over 57 successful funding rounds and has seen more than €13.5m invested in its client companies.
As a full-service platform, Invesdor offers equity and bond products and a range of support services such as campaign and presentation consultancy. It hosts an investor portal which allows users to keep track of their investments and post-round communication. Invesdor also partners with a service provider to deliver a secondary marketplace for shares and bonds issued via its platform.
Its latest funding round was the fourth time that Invesdor has raised funds through its own site; it believes that a large shareholder pool is an asset. The campaign drew in a total of 300 investors from 19 different countries. Invesdor’s pre-money valuation was €12m.
Co-founder and CEO Lasse Mäkelä said: “A large shareholder base is a strong marketing asset for us, they refer us clients, recommend our services and give development feedback. We are very happy to again see our crowd of owners grow significantly.”
Invesdor’s largest external shareholder, Nasdaq OMXH-listed Finnish wealth management group Taaleri Oyj, used the opportunity to increase its stake in the company bringing its ownership of Invesdor to above 10 per cent.
Commenting on the raise and the strategy for Invesdor Mäkelä said: ”We intend to remain the Nordic market leader, there is still much room for growth in the Nordic countries and to also grab a slice of the established UK market.”
He speculates that the equity crowdfunding market might be moving towards a period of consolidation and believes that a time of mergers and acquisitions for platforms looms.
Mäkelä says “We are facing a period of both high growth and heightening competition. There are interesting times ahead of us in European equity crowdfunding, and our investors seem to think so, too. Lately, it has seemed like new competitors are popping up everywhere you look. This is a welcome change because it grows the market and creates pressure to improve the quality of services. It will be very interesting to see what happens in the next years to come.”
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.