Is consolidation beginning to take hold in the equity crowdfunding space? Barely a day removed from a merger between the newly launched Growthdeck and Squareknot, Acceleris Capital has announced a merger of its own with equity crowdfunding platform InvestingZone.
Acceleris is part of the Seneca Partners group. The company specialises in providing fundraising services and corporate finance advice to small businesses. Acceleris has raised over £25m for British companies under EIS over the past year, a total which includes a number of IPOs within the medical sector. The company facilitates investments by sourcing funds from investors – typically High New Worth individuals (HNWs) – and maintains an active role in the development of investee companies.
There are clear synergies between Acceleris and the InvestingZone platform. InvestingZone has been around since 2013, and is supported by Jon Moulton – Chairman of Better Capital. The platform was “developed specifically” for a more experienced class of investor. It’s difficult to say exactly how much funding has been matched via the site to date, but there’s at least a million pounds’ worth of investment sitting on the platform at present. InvestingZone tied up with FinnCap – a London-based brokerage for small-cap companies listed on the AIM – in order to launch a platform catering specifically to publicly traded companies in October 2014.
Though the exact specifics of this latest tie-up remain somewhat unclear, we see the merger as part of a broader push for “professionalism” in the equity crowdfunding sector. The VentureFounders team was speaking this very same language when they first arrived on the scene in late 2014, and the platform has since facilitated over £20m in early stage equity investment. SyndicateRoom's investor-led platform is growing great guns. Growthdeck has been touting around the value of its “professional grade due diligence” processes. InvestingZone’s deal with Acceleris furthers the trend. The two companies intend to bring more realistic valuations to the market, and to de-risk the equity crowdfunding proposition for investors in the process.
Acceleris CEO and Founder Norman Molyneux – who joins the board of InvestingZone – explained:
“More and more good quality UK companies with excellent growth prospects have not been able to secure funding from traditional sources. As a result, we believe it is an excellent time to invest in British businesses and the combination of Seneca’s EIS Portfolio Service, Acceleris’s Direct EIS investing and now InvestingZone’s platform provides optimal access to these opportunities for investors. This deal is another example of Seneca’s approach to providing capital for Britain’s hungry entrepreneurs.”