Seedrs and Crowdcube named 2016’s top investors

Latest report from Beauhurst suggests crowdfunding is "emerging as a real alternative for later-stage companies" with growth-stage funding up 10%

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Crowdfunding platforms dominated investor rankings in 2016 with equity-based crowdfunding platforms Seedrs and Crowdcube named the most active UK investors respectively, according to a new report from Beauhurst.

Analysing investments into non-listed UK companies from January to December 2016, The Deal found that Seedrs and Crowdcube facilitated more transactions than any other investors in the country (134 and 124 deals respectively)- together responsible for 86% of all crowdfunding activity and 21% of equity investments.

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While overall crowdfunding deal numbers fell 14% from 2015 – most significantly at venture stage – deal numbers were reported to have increased by 10% at growth stage, suggesting that the market is maturing.

According to Beauhurst, around 80% of growth-stage companies that raised crowdfunding in 2016 were crowdfunding for the first time. This, Beauhurst says, shows crowdfunding is emerging as a real alternative at the later stages of a company’s growth.

The Business Growth Fund was the third most active investor in the UK last year with 48 deals, followed by Scottish Enterprise with 47 deals.

Across the investment space, 2016 has seen yearly deal numbers fall for the first time “in recent memory”. A trend which Beauhurst CEO and co-founder Toby Austin has commented on:

“A year ago we predicted that 2016’s investment numbers would be flat on 2015’s. At the time, we thought that was a pessimistic outlook. It looks like we weren’t pessimistic enough.

“The figures speak for themselves: deal numbers and investment are both down in double figures. Even the relatively new kids on the block, crowdfunding platforms, haven’t escaped the negative trend, with their deal numbers falling by 14%.

“But there are still some things to celebrate from 2016. We saw some mammoth investments made into UK companies that genuinely have the potential to be world-leaders in their industries. We saw a number of successful exits, demonstrating that the cycle of investment can indeed pay off. And even crowdfunders had something to celebrate, with their reach expanding significantly into the funding of later-stage companies.”

Read The Deal in full here.

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