Crowdcube raises £3.8m from Balderton Capital as part of £5m Series B round
Startups 100 company will double size of team and open new offices with venture capital backing
Equity crowdfunding platform Crowdcube today announced the start of a £5m Series B round of funding, led by £3.8m backing from leading European tech investor Balderton Capital.
Founded in 2011 by Luke Lang and Darren Westlake, the three-time Startups 100 company said it would use the funding to double the size of its team to 50 and open new offices in London and Scotland as part of a wider strategy to expand its operations in the UK and internationally.
Balderton Capital, a leading European tech investor which has backed companies including Zopa, Nutmeg, GoCardless and Wonga in the past, has contributed £3.8m to the anticipated £5m round, with the remaining £1.2m to be offered to the public in a pitch listed on Crowdcube’s own website next Tuesday (22 July).
It will mark the third time Lang and Westlake’s site has crowdfunded its own platform, raising £320,000 in 2011 and £1.5m in 2013 – a crowdfunding world record at the time.
The funding marks the culmination of a strong period of growth for the UK crowdfunding leader, which facilitated £12.4m of deals across 54 separate pitches in 2013, an increase of 562% from 2012.
The platform has already exceeded this total amount in 2014, raising more than £15m for businesses in the first half of the year. Overall, the business has raised more than £30m for start-ups across its life.
Amongst these successful pitches was Grand Designs star Kevin McCloud’s sustainable housing company Hab Housing, which raised £1.9m on Crowdcube in September 2013 – setting a new crowdfunding world record.
Crowdcube said it would also use the latest £5m funding to expand internationally, past the seven joint ventures it has already established.
Yesterday, Crowdcube also announced it has become the first equity crowdfunding platform to become a member of the British Venture Capital Association (BVCA), an association representing the interests of private equity and venture capital in the UK.
Darren Westlake, co-founder and chief executive of Crowdcube, said: “We’re delighted to secure growth finance from such a renowned VC who will undoubtedly add tremendous value both strategically and operationally.
“We’ve built a pioneering and award-winning service over the last few years. This investment, alongside the crowd, puts us in an even stronger position to provide essential growth finance for businesses and inspire a new generation of investors.”
Balderton Capital partner Tim Bunting, who will join the Crowdcube board of directors as part of the deal, added: “We love the way Crowdcube is disrupting and democratising investment into businesses seeking growth finance; Balderton is always looking to support new approaches to traditional financial services, and Crowdcube’s trailblazing model makes investment accessible, affordable and transparent.
“We’re excited about working with this team and building on their dominant position in the crowdfunding market.”