UK-based hydrogen fuel cell car company launches equity crowdfunding campaign

By Guglielmo de Stefano on Wednesday 6 April 2016

Savings and Investment

Riversimple announces the launch of an equity crowdfunding campaign to match a €2m EU grant using ShareIn’s technology.


Riversimple – a pioneering hydrogen fuel cell car company – today launched an equity crowdfunding campaign on its website, employing ShareIn’s technology. For those who don’t know, ShareIn is a UK equity crowdfunding platform that provides users with the opportunity to launch their crowdfunding campaign directly on their own websites. Riversimple has secured a grant of €2m from the European Union towards the cost of the beta test and is now using crowdfunding to raise ‘matching funds’.


Founded 15 years ago, Riversimple is planning a car – by the name of Rasa – that is a lightweight hydrogen powered car designed by the former chief designer for the Fiat 500, Chris Reitz. This innovative product represents the first step towards mobility with zero impact on the environment. The company believes that building a successful and resilient business to thrive, within the constraints of the 21st century, demands a new approach to technology, a new business model and new corporate governance. They defined it a “Whole System Design” approach, a model that ensures that every step and every investment they make, gets them closer to their end goal.


From the Riversimple’s website, we learn that the company is offering up to 7.5% of its equity. Its initial target is £1m and its stretch target is £3m. The campaign will close in 28 days. Our understanding is that this equates to a valuation of £43m post money i.e. if they only attract £1m of interest then they will sell just 2.5% of company.  



ShareIn’s CEO and co-founder Jude Cook, commented:

“We provide the technology and financial regulation for Riversimple to run their equity crowdfund so they can focus on their mission of reducing the environmental impact of personal transport,”

Rasa – named after Tabula Rasa, that in Latin means ‘Clean slate’ – is a two-seat, hydrogen powered road car, capable of travelling 300 miles on a single tank of hydrogen. This revolutionary car is very light – the engineering prototype weighs 580 kg – and it embodies various key features:

  • Four electric motors, one in each wheel
  • Motors as brakes – recovering over 50% of kinetic energy when braking
  • Super-capacitors to store this energy and provide most of the power for acceleration
  • A low powered hydrogen fuel cell (8.5 kW)
  • A body made of lightweight composites

If you want to learn further details about the product, just click here


The next step of the company is to build a series of Rasa cars for the public to test and refine in a 12-month trial, which will be completed by the money raised through the crowdfunding round.


Chief Engineer and Founder of Riversimple, Hugo Spowers, concluded:


“It’s a lighter, simpler transport option for customers and it leads to a longer term business relationship with a number of significant advantages,” says


“Above all it is disruptive, turning the traditional business incentive to design cars for obsolescence on its head.  In fact, when you sell “mobility” as a service the business incentive is to design cars for longevity, low running costs and sustainability.”

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