Filter articles: 42 articles
1 May 2018
When backing any sort of business, to ensure that there is every prospect of making an acceptable return on exit, it is absolutely vital that you do not pay too high an entry price.
13 March 2018
Whilst remaining supportive of the generous tax reliefs offered to investors under the Enterprise Investment Scheme (‘EIS’), the government has now acted to ensure that lower risk, asset-backed companies are no longer qualifying ventures under the scheme.
16 January 2018
It is now 6 years since Equity Crowdfunding was created in the UK. In the current market, where capital is increasingly difficult to find for start-ups and early growth companies, the latest Bank of England (BOE) figures for net lending from the UK’s High Street banks to SMEs, show October’s figure fell by £400m. In the 6 months to October 2017, the average had grown by just £100m per month. The per month growth rate in lending to SMEs is getting perilously close to zero. The BOE classifies businesses with an annual debit account turnover of less than £25m as SMEs.ⁱ
1 December 2017
The USA has struggled with the concept and implementation of Equity Crowdfunding. For a nation that invented rewards-based crowdfunding and still has the world’s two leading platforms, in Kickstarter and Indiegogo, watching as the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) wriggles and squirms to get the right balance between deal flow and investor protection, is fascinating. Especially when you sit it beside the European model, as led by the UK.
27 November 2017
Gary Robins, Head of Business Development at Growthdeck, comments on the EIS investment limits announced in the Autumn Budget 2017:
3 October 2017
I have been meddling with Alternative Finance (AltFi) since 2011. It’s endlessly fascinating. So, today I don’t want to talk about the alternative investment Equity Crowdfunding, but the alternative currency, Bitcoin.
7 September 2017
Equity Crowdfunding is defined by investors buying shares in a private company, usually a start-up or early growth outfit. The company receives a group of backers and cash, and shareholders receive a share certificate, and often rewards, related to the company’s activity. It is related to pure rewards-based crowdfunding (as seen on Kickstarter) and peer-to-peer lending, but the issue of illiquid shares for cash sets it distinctly apart.
31 August 2017
We’re very proud to have been shortlisted for Most Impactful Investment at the prestigious Growth Investor Awards for our £1.6m investment into Kelda Showers/Technology.
8 August 2017
There has been some confusion about what equity crowdfunding (“ECF”) means. Numerous reports and analysis in some heavy duty ‘papers have compared company funding achieved online via a platform, such as this one, with more general SME growth or start-up funding, achieved via alternative routes – i.e. borrowing from Funding Circle or similar compared to using Angels Networks or VCs. These last two methods are not equity crowdfunding.
4 July 2017
Recently we hosted the latest instalment in our regular series of themed evening events for sophisticated investors, ‘Investing in… MedTech’, in association with Nash & Co.
22 June 2017
We seem to be plagued by a fundamental misunderstanding when it comes to Fintech. Numerous reports on its growth lump all the various elements together. It’s about as useful as telling a farmer people are eating much more. He wants to know what they are eating.
8 June 2017
Very few facts are known about what Brexit will really mean and what the real effects of withdrawing from the EU will be on the UK tech start up scene. Or at least that was so until recently. Actions taken by the EIF (European Investment Fund) in the last month show that it has essentially ceased taking applications from the UK. This is a massive blow to what has been a UK success story – the UK tech start up hubs. Not only the EIF but it also appears that EIB may well follow suit. This will all depend on the outcome of those negotiations. However, as we head to the polls to vote for the inevitable Tory Government (per the polls at time of writing – usual health warnings apply), signals from May’s team are getting increasingly belligerent; a little like her necklaces. A very hard Brexit, or no deal at all, seems increasingly possible.
25 April 2017
For me, due diligence is not just a fact checking exercise. It includes an analysis of the sector in which the company operates, the team behind the company and the way they portray themselves. It isn’t a science though. Judgements have to be made and the only way to try and ensure that they are well-founded is to access as much information as possible and to rely on your analysis. This post will look at the potential pitfalls as well as the key indicators of a competent team building a company with potential. It will attempt to offer some guidance in enabling you to be as best-positioned as you can be in making an investment decision.
30 March 2017
The art of good diligence is an essential part of any small company investor’s armoury. We might argue that is the most important if you allow the term to cover the breadth of checks that a professional investment manager will carry out. Gone are the days when due diligence covered basic checks on a company structure, its share classes, debts and management team. Investment managers are now looking at a more holistic approach.
4 March 2017
I thought it was time to look in some detail at the two distinct types of equity crowdfunding that have evolved since 2011. The two are distinct in a number of ways, but here we are going to look at how the differences affect shareholder rights...
31 January 2017
So, the big news at the end of 2016 was the rumour that US based Indiegogo, which was thinking of offering equity crowdfunding, has now turned this thought into a reality.
23 January 2017
Growthdeck was delighted to be awarded the 2016 prize for 'Up and Coming Crowdfunding Platform of the Year' from AltFi. James Wrighton, CTO, accepted the award on behalf of the team at the awards lunch on 18th January.
22 November 2016
So, 5 years into the new world of equity crowdfunding, and from somewhere within a new FCA review of its regulation, how is the industry doing? Here’s one investor’s personal vision …
27 October 2016
We’ve woken up to some good news today – investors poured a record £1.8bn into the UK’s Enterprise Investment Scheme last year, according to new official figures from HMRC.
11 October 2016
My October posts will review some of the latest developments in equity crowdfunding from further afield. For now - Malaysia, India, New Zealand and America...
12 September 2016
Growthdeck is pioneering a new investment category, called 'Personal Equity', that seeks to provide a better way to connect sophisticated individual investors with businesses seeking funding. It aims to combine the best elements of mainstream Equity Crowdfunding with those of the traditional, but exclusive, worlds of Private Equity and Venture Capital.
31 August 2016
‘Then what?’, I hear you say.
23 August 2016
A report from Beauhurst has suggested that the number of deals on Equity Crowdfunding sites is showing a marked slowdown “post-Brexit”.
10 August 2016
This month we are blogging about the effects Brexit may have on the equity crowdfunding (ECF) industry. This one is focusing on the companies that use ECF to raise capital. As we have said before, we don’t really have a clue how this will all turn out, so this analysis is an attempt to look at what might happen – there is no certainty anymore.
1 August 2016
This month we are blogging about the effects Brexit may have on the ECF industry - this one is focusing on the investors.
21 July 2016
A clear divide is now appearing between the sort of equity crowdfunding practised by platforms like Crowdcube and Seedrs and a number of new entrant “challengers”.
15 June 2016
As we wait for the 23rd June and the UK’s vote on whether to stay inside the European Union, we look at the impact a move outside the Union would have on the Equity Crowdfunding industry in the UK.
13 June 2016
2016 will, I think, prove a pivotal year in the ECF sector. Developments in the USA are going to lead to the major platforms shifting their ground to gain competitive advantage. As yet, we have not seen any major ROIs for investors despite it being 5 years since Crowdcube created the ECF market. I think the first large winner will take all.
19 May 2016
A quick round-up of the latest news in the world of equity crowdfunding.
6 May 2016
Equity crowdfunding can present companies with a very considerable range of extra benefits over and above merely raising capital.
12 April 2016
There are few certain things in this life. However, over the centuries we have all agreed that a slow burn, mature approach to things will almost always produce a better quality product than a rapid, aggressive one. All things of quality take time to achieve. The mad rush to develop equity crowdfunding in the UK is in danger of proving this point.
23 March 2016
Recent Equity Crowdfunding activity has brought company valuations in sharp relief. Just how do you go about valuing a new company or one that has great potential but has yet to get to the growth stage? It is more of an art than a science and relies heavily on experience.
7 March 2016
In each business that we successfully fund, Growthdeck will be allocated what is known in the Private Equity industry as "a carry" - the right to acquire a stake in the investee company, typically 3-5% at a nominal cost. Growthdeck shareholders will be offered these shares, at the same nominal cost, in proportion to their shareholding in Growthdeck.
2 March 2016
Every now and then I’ll report on the latest happenings in the ECf world. It’s moving very fast so you don’t want to miss anything. Just two months into 2016 and we have already seen some very interesting developments.
1 March 2016
In the final part of our tour of the world's equity crowdfunding scene, we arrive on the continental shores of Europe. Not surprisingly, the European equity crowdfunding marketplace is highly fragmented and diverse, with varying degrees of regulation and competition.
29 February 2016
The equity crowdfunding situation in the USA is complicated. This is after all, the birth place of Crowdfunding and with the two leading rewards-based platforms in Kickstarter and Indiegogo, you might expect the next step, equity crowdfunding, to have been a cinch. You would be very wrong.
26 February 2016
In the second part of my overview of the world's equity crowdfunding scene, let's take a look at the fledgling industry in Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
10 February 2016
When it comes to Equity Crowdfunding (‘ECF’) the world is split into two. One half opting for lite or zero regulation, the other half restricting its use. This is a picture that is still being painted and 2016 is likely to see further changes. Which half has it right has still to be determined.
27 January 2016
5 years of heralded but unrealised returns, for pitches promoted using allegorical style business plans, have provided little evidence the current ECf model works. Investors have so far remained transfixed by the distant glow of the rainbow, whilst being buoyed up by SEIS and EIS rebates. Extra-lite FCA regulation has allowed the weeds to grow.
6 January 2016
The UK is a leading player in the expanding world of Fintech. New firms and technologies are cropping up all over the place (including our good selves at Growthdeck). But are they all secure? Viruses and other threats that affect browsers and personal computers are largely the user's concern, but there are some basic platform security requirements that any consumer Fintech firm should meet as a minimum:
4 January 2016
Equity crowdfunding is not (alas) renowned for its transparency. There is very little track record available (despite AltFi's best efforts to find it) and no one is really keeping score. Things might become clearer in the months and years ahead but the industry needs to make a concerted effort to keep investors better informed - it won't happen by itself.
Who is Dexster?
Sometimes controversial, always trenchant, Dexster is Growthdeck's resident blogger. Dexster will bring you his/her views on the crowdfunding scene covering a wide range of topics, including the growth of the equity crowdfunding industry, the risks faced by platforms, how businesses are faring, what investors need to look for when choosing a provider and much more.