All Street, the first UK company to provide research reports for crowdfunding investors, has launched.
All Street will send out five objective research reports a month to help inform the investment decisions of people interested in investing in equity, debt or social impact crowdfunding.
Emanuela Vartolomei, Managing Director and Founder of All Street, commented:
“Crowdfunding is growing exponentially and All Street wants to bridge the information gap for investors. While the Financial Conduct Authority is keen to keep an eye on regulations for crowdfunding platforms and who is allowed to invest, impartial information about the investments themselves - and the management teams behind them - is still scarce.
“Screening ventures is one of the most time-consuming parts of the investment process so our reports are designed to help people make sound decisions quicker. Reliable financial information shouldn’t be a luxury, that’s why we want to produce affordable research reports to empower everyone to make better financial decisions.”
Danny Cox, Head of Communications at Hargreaves Lansdown, explained:
“The alternative lending space is growing at an unprecedented rate. More and more people want to get involved in crowdfunding to diversify their investments, or simply to support a company they like. It is vital that investors have ready access to as much information as possible to help them make the right decisions in this complex area.”
All Street has developed a standardised research report format that includes consistent key investment information. All Street reports will provide:
- A general assessment of the investment opportunity - the strengths of the crowdfunding project, areas for further investigation, a simple risk analysis and an overview of the platform
- Expert analysis of the business model - All Street speaks with the management team and provide investors with background information of key people, funding plans, social return, revenue model and financials
- Wider market analysis - industry experts provide a summary of wider industry conditions, how the company fits within the market and how it compares with its competitors
Julia Groves, Chair of the UK Crowdfunding Association (UKCFA), added:
“There are now 5.5 million people in the UK without access to advice since the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) was implemented, so anything that helps provide everyday investors with information about the risks and potential rewards has to be welcomed. Given that we may soon have a situation where people are investing their pension money into crowdfunding projects, independent research and guidance is increasingly important.”
In order to remain independent, All Street will be funding its research reports by selling them to investors. In order to raise funds for its service All Street has launched a three-month rewards based crowdfunding campaign where the company is pre-selling discounted subscriptions for its reports. The campaign will also help the company to raise brand awareness and additional funds for the company’s development.
One of the crucial components of the crowdfunding industry is the transparency that sets it apart from traditional investments. However, with equity crowdfunding in particular there have been concerns that retail investors are not fully aware of the risks. It is a very high risk asset to put money into and some industry commentators think it is unlikely that investors will see any returns. So far in the UK there have been very few exits from crowdfunded companies. Mill Residential REIT raised £1.5 million through Syndicate Room and floated on AIM soon after. The reports from All Street can help to inform investors about the risks, as well as the opportunities within crowdfunding.