The Great British Startups Cup 2014: Group F

Find out who the main players are of our alternative finance group…

Demand for alternative finance is on the rise and with the sector recently peaking at £1bn transactions, we look to the pioneers who are changing up the finance industry.

Get to know these major funding players as we prepare for kick-off…


The world’s first equity-based crowdfunding platform, Startups 100-listed Crowdcube has enjoyed rapid growth since its launch in February 2011 thanks to its offering which enables people to invest in “innovative” businesses in return for a direct equity stake. Founded by Darren Westlake andYoung Gun Luke Lang, in just three years the Exeter-based company has facilitated over £26m in 120 businesses to date and has secured authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Trump card Crowdcube right tilt
Trump card Marketinvoice left tilt


An online marketplace which allows small and medium-sized enterprises to sell their unpaid invoices to a pool of independent investors, MarketInvoice’s unique proposition has seen it become a popular funding option within the small business community. Launched in 2011 by Young Gun Anil Stocker and Ilya Kondrashov, the London-based platform has attracted hundreds of entrepreneurs who trade their invoices instantly with qualified buyers which range from hedge funds, to family offices, and global high-net worth investors. Since launch the site has processed over £180m through traded invoices.

Platform Black

Convinced that there must be a better way for businesses to keep on top of cashflow, in 2011 Louise Beaumont and Colin Levins launched Platform Black; an invoice trading platform which gives small and medium companies the opportunity to auction off their unpaid invoices to the highest bidder. The martketplace also offers a supply chain finance option allowing suppliers to trade company-validated invoices at attractive terms and claims to boast a 100% success rate.

Trump card Platform Black right tilt
Trump card Seedrs left tilt


Supporting early-stage and pre-revenue start-ups to secure investment, Seedrs is determined to address the funding gap often experienced by new businesses. Launched in July 2012, the Startups 100-listed equity-based crowdfunding platform has scaled quickly and at last count had facilitated over £10m in 108 businesses. The site is also popular across the waters after it became the “world’s first” equity platform to operate overseas; opening its website to entrepreneurs and investors across Europe.


Refereed by: Doug Richard
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