Seedrs is ramping up its continental Europe activities with the launch of a new office in Amsterdam.
The move marks the first time that Seedrs has established a physical presence outside of the UK, despite having been open to European investors and entrepreneurs for some years. The Amsterdam office will provide the launch pad for Seedrs to expand its activities into Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg. Dutch entrepreneur David Mozes has joined the company as regional manager Benelux. Mozes is a former co-founder of light-as-a-service company LED Lease. He began his career in investment banking.
Seedrs was granted an EU-wide financial services passport by the UK FCA on 13 July. The passport allows Seedrs to roll its services out to any country within the European Union. Seedrs says that it does not expect the UK’s vote to Leave the EU to impact its Benelux plans, and that it will hope for a final Brexit settlement which preserves the financial services passport. Failing that, the company will seek new regulation (and a new passport) in a remaining EU country – and may well use its new Amsterdam office as a base to do so.
Seedrs CEO Jeff Lynn had been a vehement backer of the Remain campaign prior to the Brexit result. Commenting on the Benelux expansion, Lynn said: “We have always had a pan-European vision for Seedrs, and the launch of our Amsterdam office brings that vision one step closer to reality. I have been very impressed by what I have seen of the early-stage ecosystem in the Benelux, and we made our first step into the region last year when we partnered there with ING. Now I am looking forward to Seedrs becoming a key player in financing startup and growth companies across the three countries.”
Seedrs tied up with ING in October 2015 to provide a “fast-track service” for local businesses wishing to raise equity capital on the platform, as well as to raise awareness of equity crowdfunding throughout the region. The company has already funded a Belgian company named Maily, which is an email platform for young children.
Seedrs says that the Amsterdam office is just the start of its “on-the-ground expansion” plans in Europe, and that it intends to open more offices on the continent in the near future.
David Mozes, Seedrs’s new regional manager Benelux, said: “I am thrilled to be joining Seedrs, which has firmly established its place at the leading equity crowdfunding platform in Europe. Having both been an entrepreneur and worked in finance, I have a strong sense of what is needed to make an early-stage investment platform successful in the Benelux. Seedrs already has all the right components in place, and now it is my and my team’s job to spread the word and bring the platform to the Benelux ecosystem.”
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.