SimplySwitch founder Karen Darby launches socially-focused crowdfunding platform

Crowdmission will allow social, environmental and health-related businesses to raise money from the crowd

Serial entrepreneur Karen Darby has announced the launch of a new crowdfunding platform, aimed at socially, environmentally and health-focused start-ups.

Launched this month, CrowdMission claims to be unique amongst equity crowdfunding sites by requiring that every business listed on its platform must provide an obvious benefit to society, health or the environment.

This social impact must be above and beyond the normal social benefits of enterprise, such as job creation or stimulation of the local economy; Crowdmission said it was particularly keen to work with social entrepreneurs, green energy businesses and bioscience companies.

A number of businesses are already raising funds on the Crowdmission platform, including renewable energy ‘potential predictor’ Power Predictor, which is looking to raise £250,000 on the site.

Pitches will work on the standard crowdfunding model in which private investors can back listed businesses from as little as £10 in exchange for a proportionate amount of equity.

Crowdmission founder Karen Darby is a serial entrepreneur, best known for her success in founding energy tariff comparison site Simply Switch. Announcing the launch, Darby said: “We believe there’s not only a new breed of social entrepreneur emerging, but there’s a new breed of investor – ordinary people who want to back good businesses.

“Ultimately, we would love to help bring to market a cure for cancer or some new technology that radically reduces pollution. Innovators in bioscience and green technology don’t necessarily see themselves as social entrepreneurs, but to us they’re heroes.”

Darby also expressed caution about the incoming FCA regulation on crowdfunding, warning that the City watchdog may try to restrict such services to investment funds and high net-worth individuals. “This fledgling industry needs to stand firm and not accept every rule proposed by the regulator,” Darby said. “While crowdfunding is quickly being embraced by both investors and businesses, the ‘nanny state’ stance being taken by the FCA may well smother the crowdfunding model in its infancy. This is something that can’t be allowed to happen.”

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