Crowdcube set to launch in Italy

Deal will mark seventh partnership agreement signed by fast-growing crowdfunding platform

Equity crowdfunding platform Crowdcube today announced plans to launch its latest international venture in Italy, marking the seventh international joint venture agreement concluded by the firm.

Crowdcube will partner with Italian tech venture fund Xandas to facilitate the rapid roll-out of the platform in Italy.

The deal follows two previous agreements to launch in New Zealand and Spain and will see the platform launch in all three countries early next year.

Founded in 2011 by Darren Westlake and Luke Lang, Startups 100 company Crowdcube has since grown into one of the UK’s leading crowdfunding platforms, with 83 pitches raising a combined total of around £16m – seven times its nearest competitor in the UK.

The impending launch in three new countries follows international joint venture deals concluded in Brazil, Sweden, Dubai and Poland, with the Swedish site having gone live earlier this year and the other venture also set to launch in 2014.

Crowcube’s rapid international expansion is being funded by the £1.5m it raised using its own website in three days earlier this year, setting what was a crowdfunding world record at the time.

Darren Westlake, chief executive and co-founder of Crowdcube, said: “To successfully expand internationally it’s vital to have a strong presence at a local level, and this is why joint venture partnerships are an important aspect of our strategy for long term success.

“We’ve built a well-regarded brand – not just in the UK but also abroad, a powerful technology platform, and a wealth of knowledge and experience of equity crowdfunding that is second to none.

“However, people who understand the local culture and are already immersed in the start-up and investment scene are critical for success: it is not sufficient simply to build a website and hope that people come – we all know it takes more than that.”

Fabio Pezzotti, chief executive of incoming Crowdcube partner Xandas, said: “Italy, which became the first country in Europe to implement equity crowdfunding laws early this year, has tremendous potential.

“Our knowledge of the local start-up and investor eco-system and Italian financial regulations combined with Crowdcube’s state-of-the-art technology and know-how means we can rapidly launch and make a real impact in Italy, akin to what Crowdcube has achieved in the UK.”

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