UK-based equity crowdfunder to open offices in Paris and Amsterdam.
Crowdcube, a major UK equity crowdfunding platform, is expanding into Europe with the help of shared workspace giant WeWork.
Crowdcube is already active in Spain, and can already facilitate investment into European businesses. But the new offices in Paris and Amsterdam are expected to ramp up deal-flow in both geographies.
Beyond simply basing itself in WeWork offices in both cities, Crowdcube has also committed to taking face-to-face meetings with any WeWork member firm that asks. The purpose of these meetings is to help educate startups about crowdfunding and how to go about raising capital, rather than simply to sell the services of Crowdcube, according to a spokesperson.
Crowdcube will also organise events for WeWork members, in addition to offering preferential office space rates at WeWork for previously successful fundraisers.
At first glance, the two firms look like a smart match. Crowdcube now has an investor base of approximately 390,000 people. WeWork has a global community of around 100,000 members – consisting of a large number of start-ups and technology firms.
WeWork raised $300m from SoftBank earlier this year, at a valuation of more than $17bn. Reports suggest that the Japanese firm plans to invest more than $3bn in total.
Crowdcube’s rationale for the expansion is three-fold: an increase in demand from European startups for UK-sourced growth capital, a growing number of European investors on the platform, and an increased demand for diversification beyond the UK from its UK investor base.
“We already have tens of thousands of investors from outside the UK who have invested close to £25 million on our platform,” said Matt Cooper, Crowdcube’s chief commercial officer. “By partnering with WeWork we can fast track our growth plans via their coworking hubs which are based in prime locations and attract business that want to engage with us understand how crowdfunding can support their ambitions.”
Gerard Grech, CEO of Tech City UK – a UK technology sector hype-shop, also commented: “Not only is this a clear sign of how tech companies in the UK are prospering, it also provides a platform for businesses from across Europe to tap into the UK's digital tech sector, which is growing twice as fast as the wider economy.”