Neither Index Ventures nor Accel sold any shares in Funding Circle’s £1.5bn float.
Funding Circle has had a fairly turbulent start to life as a publicly traded company, losing close to a quarter of its value in the first week of trading. It now transpires that the firm's two biggest backers, Index Ventures and Accel Partners, are along for the ride.
As part of the offering, Funding Circle’s significant shareholders – effectively its management team and board members (including major investors) – had the chance to offload either a quarter of their shares or nothing.
According to regulatory filings, Funding Circle’s CEO Samir Desai, who held 7.7 per cent of the stock, sold a quarter of his shares as part of the offering. But neither Index nor Accel followed suit, instead choosing to hold their shares and weather the first year of trading, come what may.
“None of Index, Accel or DST sold in the IPO. Actions speak louder than words and you would think that demonstrates their commitment to and belief in the business and its future prospects, particularly now that it’s listed,” said Mark Austin, a capital markets partner at law firm Freshfields, who advised Funding Circle on the float.
Late-stage venture investor DST Global led Funding Circle’s $150m Series E round in April 2015.
Staying put seems a bold play for the trio of investors, given the precedent set by Funding Circle’s US counterparts Lending Club and OnDeck, which are down to $3.40 and $6.90 per share respectively, having listed in late 2014 at around $25 per share.
Index and Accel are regarded as two of the world’s premiere venture investors, having backed many of the world’s best-known technology firms, including the likes of Facebook, Deliveroo and Slack.