Exclusive: Crowdfunding execs take pay cuts, as staff furloughed amidst coronavirus crisis

By John Reynolds on Wednesday 15 April 2020

Alternative Lending

Executives at Crowdcube, Seedrs and SyndicateRoom are taking pay cuts, some as high as 25 per cent.

Exclusive: Crowdfunding execs take pay cuts, as staff furloughed amidst coronavirus crisis
Image source: Image provided by Crowdcube

Executives at Crowdcube, Seedrs and SyndicateRoom are taking pay cuts, some as high as 25 per cent, and all three crowdfunding platforms are furloughing staff as they look to soften the financial impact of Covid-19.

The pay cuts and furloughing of staff come as Crowdcube and Seedrs say they have seen a slowdown in activity on their platforms in March compared to the previous year, as investors take fright amid the coronavirus crisis.

But Crowdcube said investment levels have now stabilised while Seedrs said they returned to normal levels.

Seedrs Executive Chairman and co-founder Jeff Lynn and Chief Executive Jeff Kelisky will take a 25 per cent cut on their monthly gross incomes, as will the five other members of the Seedrs executive team.

Seedrs said the pay cuts will be reviewed on an on-going basis.

The salaries of executives at Seedrs are not publicly available, but according to Companies House, the highest-paid director(understood to be Kelisky) was paid £225,807 in the year ending September 2018.

Seedrs would not disclose to AltFi the specific numbers of staff it was furloughing but said they represented a "small minority of Seedrs 90-person workforce".

Crowdcube Chief Executive and co-founder Darren Westlake (pictured) and co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer Luke Lang are also taking 20 per cent pay cuts on their gross salaries "during this period".

According to Companies House, the highest-paid director at Crowdcube (which is understood to be Westlake) was paid £183,899 in the year ending September 2018.

Companies House also shows that Crowdcube had 65 employees in the period. Crowdcube said it is also furloughing staff, but would not give a specific number.

Lang told AltFi: "We took the difficult decision to put a limited number of employees on furlough leave, who will continue to be paid under the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. We also took the decision to plug the gap between the 80 per cent paid by the government and full pay so no employee suffers any loss of earnings."

"Due to the nature of their work and flexibility of remaining team members, we do not expect the level of service or range of products we offer to our customers to be affected as a result of this."

SyndicateRoom said it was also cutting executive pay and furloughing staff but would not give specific details.

Marcin Zaba, Head of Marketing at SyndicateRoom said: “Yes, we’ve furloughed some staff to help ease the impact of reduced revenue following a quiet EIS season. We’re looking forward to bringing them all back as soon as the economic situation stabilises."

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