US fintech Republic has acquired London-based online private investment platform Seedrs for $100m (£75m) months after the UK’s competition regulator blocked Seedr from merging with rival Crowdcube.
The Competition and Markets Authority said in March that Seedr and Crowdcube would have a 90% combined share of the UK’s equity crowdfunding platform market.
Seedrs has now turned to the US, with Republic also providing an investment platform. The companies said the deal will create the first global private investment marketplace with offerings across North America and Europe.
The acquisition follows Republic’s recent £112.5m Series B financing. Davidson Kempner Capital Management LP participated, becoming a shareholder of Republic via Seedrs shares acquisition. The transaction is expected to be completed by early 2022.
Post-acquisition, Republic aims to expand in Europe and help Seedrs expand its reach as well, alongside delivering new products for European investors and private businesses.
Republic offers investment in private market equity, debt or cryptocurrency offerings through its retail platform. It claims to have around $1bn under management through its private asset management practice. Seedrs claims to be the first regulated securities crowdfunding platform in the world. Around £1.5bn has been invested in the platform, the company said.
“We knew international expansion was necessary to achieve cross-bordered participation,” said Kendrick Nguyen, Republic founder and CEO. “With Seedrs, We anticipate further developing the strengths of both companies from retail, secondaries, crypto, and communities to create a clear industry leader.”
Jeff Kelisky, CEO of Seedrs, said: “Seedrs’ ambition has always been to build a global private equity marketplace. This transaction is a natural development of our partnership with Republic to achieve and go beyond that ambition.“
With the acquisition, Kelisky joins Republic’s leadership team while continuing as Seedrs CEO. Seedrs’ current leadership team remains the same with its goal to grow its UK business further and deliver on Republic’s European expansion plans.