Freetrade sails past £2m, but technical difficulties put crowdfunding on ice

By Oliver Smith on 25th April 2019

Fintech

A spokesperson told AltFi that the campaign likely won’t be “back up and running until tomorrow or early next week”.

Freetrade sails past £2m, but technical difficulties put crowdfunding on ice
Image source: Freetrade

Freetrade looked on-track for another bumper crowdfunding round today, but celebrations were cut short after Crowdcube’s website was overwhelmed by demand.

The commission-free stock trading app hit problems just after reaching £1m of funding in its first 10 minutes, as Crowdcube’s website crashed.

Crowdcube appeared to recover, but shortly after Freetrade hit £2m the startup’s crowdfunding campaign was “temporarily closed” by Crowdcube.

On Twitter Crowdcube posted the following apology:

A Freetrade spokesperson told AltFi that the campaign likely won’t be “back up and running until tomorrow or early next week”, which was also confirmed on the company's Twitter account.

On its technical issues, Crowdcube co-founder Luke Lang told AltFi: “We’re really sorry for any inconvenience caused. We experienced technical issues with our website following high demand from people wanting to invest in Freetrade this morning. Our website was back to normal shortly afterwards but Freetrade’s pitch remains temporarily closed while we resolve outstanding issues.”

For Freetrade CEO Adam Dodds, who has built his entire business on the proceeds of three crowdfunding rounds, the technical difficulties are obviously frustrating.

Read more - The Challenger: Freetrade’s Adam Dodds

The crowdfunding round—which was only initially targeting a £1m raise—is aimed at scaling the business, adding stock analytics, customer growth and European expansion.

Freetrade now claims to have 20,000 customers across iOS and its just-launched Android app.

UPDATE 2019-04-25 - It appears that some people's investments were duplicated on Crowdcube, Freetrade confirmed on Twitter that it hasn't yet exceeded £2m in funding.

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