Funding positions Crowdcube as the first platform to operate under new European regulations
BOSTON, November 23, 2021 — Circle Internet Financial, LLC, owner and operator of SeedInvest, a leading startup fundraising platform in the U.S., today announced they are leading Crowdcube’s $13.5 million round by taking a stake worth approximately $10.5 million in the business, aligning two of the most prominent and pioneering platforms in their respective markets. Crowdcube is the largest startup fundraising platform in the U.K. The strategic partnership will help pave the way to a global future for internet-native capital formation at every level of private fundraising, from seed stage to public offering.
Historically, the U.K. and the U.S. have been the only markets for online, startup fundraising but that changed on November 10 with new European-wide regulations. The investment will enable Crowdcube to accelerate its launch into emerging European markets, capitalizing on the recent regulation that provides uniform rules across Europe for investment-based and lending-based crowdfunding services related to business financing.
The investment, made via USD Coin (USDC), the leading dollar digital currency powering always-on internet-native commerce and payments, supports Crowdcube’s goals to enable entrepreneurs to raise capital from their dedicated communities and is Circle’s largest strategic investment to date in the European market. Leveling the playing field for entrepreneurs and individual investors is an important area of focus for Circle, which acquired SeedInvest in 2019.
“Private capital online fundraising is at a pivotal moment of maturation. We are thrilled to work with Crowdcube to roll out online fundraising across Europe and celebrate this significant milestone towards the inevitable global future of the industry,” said Ryan Feit, CEO, and Co-Founder of SeedInvest. “Expanding online fundraising to new markets creates a massive opportunity for internet native capital formation where individuals and businesses can connect and transact digitally from anywhere.”
With the recent regulatory changes, companies in the European Union can now raise up to €5m from European investors (and additional capital from investors in the U.K. and U.S.). Crowdcube announced last week that it expects to be the first platform with pan-European and U.K. regulatory approvals. Crowdcube’s first-mover advantage in Europe will give investors and entrepreneurs access to cross-border equity opportunities.
“Combining Circle’s strategic investment with our decade of knowledge and experience of capital raising in Europe, Crowdcube is extremely well-positioned to capitalize on our first-mover advantage into Europe’s high growth investment market. Capital raising and private company investing have never been so exciting,” said Darren Westlake, CEO, and Co-Founder of Crowdcube. “In the first instance, we’re considering a crowd round to offer Crowdcube’s community of investors to participate in our round, alongside Circle, supporting our growth as Europe’s preferred private investment marketplace."
Feit will join Crowdcube’s Board to help guide their European expansion. Circle joins existing backers, Draper and Balderton Capital, and a cohort of high-profile entrepreneurs who have invested in Crowdcube. Crowdcube will also open this investment opportunity to users on their platform who are passionate about supporting the company’s growth.
Circle is a global financial technology firm that enables businesses of all sizes to harness the power of digital currencies and public blockchains for payments, commerce and financial applications worldwide. Circle is the principal operator of USD Coin (USDC), the leading dollar digital currency powering always-on internet-native commerce and payments with a circulation greater than $35 billion and over $1.3 trillion in on-chain transactions. Today, Circle's transactional services, business accounts, and platform APIs are giving rise to a new generation of financial services and commerce applications that hold the promise of raising global economic prosperity for all through the frictionless exchange of financial value. Additionally, Circle operates SeedInvest, a leading startup fundraising platform in the U.S. that has funded over $400 million online and supports a rapidly growing network of over 600,000 investors.
The European marketplace for retail investment into private and public companies, Crowdcube enables entrepreneurs to raise finance with the added benefit of being backed by their community. For investors, Crowdcube provides a way to hand-pick a stake in an innovative business they believe in that traditionally would have been restricted to professional investors.
Since it was founded in 2011, Crowdcube has funded over 1,130 deals. With over one million members, a total of £1bn has been invested on the platform to date.
Businesses that have successfully raised funds with Crowdcube include BrewDog, Camden Town Brewery (acquired by AB INBev), carwow, JustPark, eCar Club (acquired by Europcar), Feedr (acquired by Compass Group), Freetrade (primaries and secondaries), Grind, Innis & Gunn, Mindful Chef (acquired by Nestle), Monzo, Parcel2Go, Pod Point (acquired by EDF), Revolut, and Nutmeg (acquired by JP Morgan).