Freetrade completes Series A with $7.5m from Draper Esprit after hitting crowdfunding limit

By Oliver Smith on Thursday 31 October 2019

Editor's PickSavings and Investment

Freetrade’s total Series A round raised $15m at a £52m post-money valuation.

Freetrade completes Series A with $7.5m from Draper Esprit after hitting crowdfunding limit
Image source: Freetrade.

Share trading app Freetrade completed its $15m Series A this morning, with earlier crowdfunding rounds in 2019 being topped up with $7.5m from Draper Esprit.

The Draper Esprit cash is the first VC financing Freetrade has raised, up till now the stock trading startup has been entirely crowdfunded.

“To be honest, there's just a limit on how much you can crowdfund and we hit that in the year,” Freetrade CEO Adam Dodds told AltFi.

Freetrade is a fee-free stock trading app where basic trades, executed at the end of the day, are free while instant trades cost just £1.

Its earlier crowdfunding round in 2019 faced difficulty after first being overwhelmed by demand and taking down Crowdcube’s website. A second crowdfund was later launched and reached £4m.

Draper is investing in the business on the same terms and at the same £52m post-money valuation as the startup’s crowd investors did earlier this year.

“Our crowdfunders can feel comfortable that they're getting the same deal as Draper Esprit, and that's important to Draper Esprit as well,” said Dodds.

 “Draper is perfect for us. They're on the board of crowdcube, they get crowdfunding, it's not a battle to tell them why we did crowdfunding, plus they're a publicly-listed VC, you can actually buy their stock on our app.”

Freetrade also announced several features coming up on its roadmap, including bringing fractional share trading to its UK and European equities which AltFi first revealed the company was working on in July, the feature will be a world-first according to the company.

“You're gonna see some stuff that hasn't been seen anywhere else in the world in 2020,” the CEO teased.

The startup is facing growing pressure, not just from incumbent trading platforms as they rethink their pricing strategies, but also a growing number of low-cost digital platforms launching in Europe like Stake, Revolut and Robinhood.

“It feels like validation,” says Dodds. “When I started Freetrade I felt a little out in the woods, this crazy Canadian in London saying this is gonna be huge, trust me… now a couple of years later, they're finally catching on.”

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