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Seedrs: A 2017 crowdfunding retrospective

The platform looks back on its achievements over the past year after reaching £300m.

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The platform looks back on its achievements over the past year after reaching £300m.

Equity crowdfunding platform Seedrs has had its most successful year to date since launching in 2012, in a great result for the sector.

This year it crossed the £300m invested mark, having now funded over 560 deals to date on the platform. Its nascent secondary market has also performed well, with investors achieving 682 exits through the process and receiving up to 19x returns. The market saw five times the number of shares listed in the December trading window compared to its first window in June.

Notable funding rounds from the UK alternative finance sector this year included a £3.8m raise for banking app Revolut as part of a £50m Series B, and several successes in the peer-to-peer lending space for Assetz Capital and Landbay.

Robo-advisory platform Wealthify also provided one of two company-level exits on Seedrs in 2017, having agreed the sale of a majority interest to insurance leader Aviva. Seedrs investors will sell their stakes as part of the transaction, at a near 20 per cent gain.

CEO Jeff Kelisky, who only came to the platform this year, commented: “Since joining Seedrs in January, I have been hugely impressed and delighted by what we have built and the opportunity we have ahead of us.

Seedrs has been live for five years, and in a long term asset class where we have always talked about returns from the seven year mark onwards, the trajectory is already incredibly positive.”

However 2017 hasn’t been without its issues for the platform, as Seedrs became embroiled in controversy over a planned fundraising round with peer-to-peer lender Wellesley & Co. in January.

The fundraise, which sought to raise a minimum of £1.5m, or as much as £4m, was pulled from the equity crowdfunding platform after Wellesley receiving a First Gazette notice for compulsory strike-off from Companies House on the eve of its launch.

In spite of this, Seedrs’ portfolio companies have performed well throughout the year, including significant returns from property management platform AirSorted and smart-home systems maker Den.

“The continued success of so many of our portfolio companies validates everything we are working so hard to achieve, but also the very essence of what equity crowdfunding stands for - helping ambitious growth focused businesses thrive with patient capital, and starting to deliver sizeable returns to investors,” continued Kelisky.

“2017 has been a standout year for both Seedrs and the wider space, but we have long been looking ahead to 2018 and planning how we can continue to lead the equity crowdfunding space with innovative technology, game-changing products and many more portfolio success stories.”

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