People’s Champion Finalist: Seedrs
Meet the Startups Awards People’s Champion contender and one of the UK’s top equity crowdfunding platforms
Start-up name: Seedrs
Founders: Jeff Lynn and Carlos Silva
Started in: 2009 (launched 2012)
Based in: London
Business description: Equity crowdfunding
Seedrs is another Startups mainstay, having placed on our Startups 100 index this year and covered almost since inception. Vying with Crowdcube for the title of the UK’s top equity crowdfunding platform, Seedrs sets itself apart with its nominee-based approach to investing; instead of each backer receiving an individual stake in a company, Seedrs acts as voting nominee shareholder on behalf of the platform’s investors. This means it can guarantee regular engagement and communication from investee companies and entrepreneurs, allow investors to have a say, and release entrepreneurs from the burden of having to deal with hundreds of individual investors.
Jeff Lynn and Carlos Silva’s platform has also quickly set its sights on an international approach – Seedrs is the first regulated platform to operate throughout Europe. An investor in Stockholm or Estonia can back a company based in Greece, Germany or another European country, giving investors access to an untold number of exciting international opportunities.
It can also count itself as the first crowdfunding platform to host an investment round for a publicly-traded company, when The Chapel Down Winery decided to reach out to armchair investors passionate about English wine. In less than three weeks, the Winery has set a new crowdfunding world record – raising £3.9m from more than 1,400 investors
In November 2013, Seedrs needed to raise capital to fund its ambitious European growth, and decided to do so via its own platform. Just three hours in, the business had smashed its own £750,000 target, and had raised £2.5m from more than 900 investors by the end of the week. You can’t get a more resounding endorsement of a platform’s viability than that.
Why Seedrs made our 50:
A commitment to investor protection, a European approach, and several world firsts makes Seedrs unique, and it is one of the UK’s top crowdfunding platforms.