Equity crowdfunding site Seedrs sees record £85m invested across 2016
More than 159 deals funded through crowdfunding platform in 2016, with tennis star Andy Murray completing 18 investments
Seedrs hit a new peak for equity investment in 2016, with more than £85m invested in 159 campaigns on the crowdfunding site throughout the year.
Launched by Jeff Lynn and Carlos Silva in 2012, Startups 100-featured Seedrs has now facilitated more than 450 deals to date and seen £190m invested through its platform.
As well as the opening of an office in Berlin, October 2016 was a record-breaking month for the crowdfunding site with almost £20m invested in total.
Major deals included employee benefits firm Perkbox’s £4.35m campaign and peer-to-peer travel money platform WeSwap’s £2.4m round, which both saw investment from tennis star Andy Murray – just two of 18 he completed throughout the year. With 3,000 backers, WeSwap also set the record for the most participants in a single campaign.
Last year also saw a growing trend for venture capital (VC) firms and other institutions to invest alongside the crowd with Draper Esprit, Ascot Capital, Zoopla, Unilever Ventures and JamJar Ventures all participating in campaigns.
In November, accounting software firm FreeAgent, which closed £1m on Seedrs in 2015, raised £10.7m listing on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM), in what was thought to be the first time a company had gone on to IPO after raising finance through equity crowdfunding.
Lynn commented: “The ongoing success of many of our portfolio companies is exactly why equity crowdfunding is instrumentally important to the future of the early stage investment and why sophisticated investors should be looking at this asset class as a part of their broader investment portfolio in 2017.”
Simon Cook, CEO of Draper Esprit, added: “We are strong believers that VCs, angels and the crowd can work together to provide the right long term patient capital to the best entrepreneurs, empowering teams to build global companies that last.”