Fireflock launched today with the goal of quickly establishing itself as a leading provider of growth capital within the UK. In a similar style to the recently launchedVentureFounders, Fireflock is placing an early emphasis on professionalism. The platform is the brainchild of seasoned investment professional Callum Campbell, who explained:
“Equity crowdfunding has experienced tremendous growth since inception: growth which has served to validate the model. A more professional approach is now required to ensure that companies not only have access to capital but are able to build the knowledgeable and experienced investor base required to scale.”
“Fireflock offers experienced entrepreneurs and professional investors the opportunity to invest in some of the most exciting and innovative companies in the UK today. We are confident that our investor network, tailored approach and performance related fee structure will appeal to the highest calibre of entrepreneur.”
Both Fireflock and VentureFounders have seemingly identified deficiencies in the makeup of the UK equity crowdfunding scene as it stands. Fireflock is looking to remedy those weaknesses through a couple of different methods.
The first is an emphasis on attracting the right types of fundraisers. The platform will actively target businesses that sport a scalable concept, a highly investible management team and a defensible valuation. And Fireflock has launched with 4 pitches which, if fully filled, will amount to £425k right off the bat.
The platform also claims to provide its investor base with an unprecedented volume of information for each fundraising company. Such information includes thorough business plans, financial projections and detailed director profiles – as well as the ability to access the company via interactive discussion forums. Increased transparency, particularly in terms of financial forecasting for fundraisers, is a clear area of need within the current market.
Another distinguishing feature that has been incorporated into the Fireflock platform: offline meet-ups. Much like the CrowdBnk model, Fireflock will host regular events in order to allow prospective fundraisers to meet potential investors in person. It’s a feature that will doubtless help businesses to win over investors that might otherwise have sat on-the-fence.
What I would broadly term as “next-gen” equity crowdfunders often advertise the fact that they will offer ongoing support to entrepreneurs up to and beyond the point of fundraising. Indeed, the truly progressive platforms are – like their network of investors – reliant on a significant exit of some kind in order to extract a significant portion of their fee. Fireflock will be on-hand to help with the pitch-building process and will continue to support businesses until they are fully funded – but there is no mention on the site of interaction beyond that point.
Will Fireflock be able to carve out a spot within the UK’s vibrant equity crowdfunding arena?