Crowdfunding is becoming an ever more popular way for UK tech companies to raise investment. And it’s not just small rounds of a few thousand here and there. This year alone has seen some really impressive funding rounds being closed on platforms such as Crowdcube and Seedrs.
Here’s a look at the top rounds secured on these two platforms so far in 2017.
1. Revolut – £3.8m
Revolut is a challenger bank offering business and personal accounts, a prepaid MasterCard debit card and free international bank transfers. It closed its crowdfunding round in early August.
The London-based firm sought to raise £3,808,002 but closed the round at £3,927,802 at a pre-money valuation of £275.9m. It gave up 1.36% equity to investors.
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2. Landbay – £2.4m
Landbay, a buy-to-let mortgage lender that uses peer-to-peer technology to fund loans, closed its £2.4m bridge crowdfunding round back in March.
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“The funds will enable us to continue to expand our operational capacity as we ramp up lending, as well as launch new mortgage and investment products,” said Gray Stern, co-founder and chief commercial officer at Landbay.
3. Monzo – £2.4m
Monzo (previously trading as Mondo), is a challenger bank offering pre-paid debit cards, current accounts (currently in beta), real-time payment notifications, zero fees on spending abroad and zero fees on overseas ATM withdrawals.
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The London-based firm raised £2,392,020 from 6,484 investors. Monzo’s pre-money valuation was £84.8 and it gave up 2.83% equity in return for the investment.
4. Den – £2.27m
Vertical: Smart home/IoT
Den is a London-based startup that has created smart light switches and plug sockets. The products look like traditional switches and sockets, but can be controlled via a mobile app.
The firm closed its £2,270,366 crowdfunding round in March having only set out to raise £1m. It offered equity of 11.10% in return for the investment and had a pre-money valuation of £8m.
5. Moteefe – £1.75m
Moteefe is a platform that enables users to design and sell their own collection of customised products.
The firm sought to raise £1,750,186 in return for 20% equity, but ended up raising £1,758,504 at a pre-money valuation of £7m.
6. Pixelpin – £1.5m
Pixelpin has created an alternative to traditional passwords. Users upload an image, then select four points on that image. In order to access a website or account, the user just has to remember, and click on, the four points of the image.
The Cheltenham-based startup raised £1,523,834 in July having sought investment of £1,388,623 in return for 13.97% equity. It received a pre-money valuation of £8.6m.
7. POD Point – £1.5m
Vertical: Electric vehicles, transport tech
POD Point creates charging points for electric vehicles. The company’s mission is to put an electric vehicle charge point in all places that drivers park for an hour or more.
The firm raised £1,528,970 from 976 investors, surpassing its target of £1,550,000. It gave away 4.20% equity and had a pre-money valuation of £35.3m.
8. Powervault – £1.5m
In an attempt to disrupt the energy storage market, Powervault has developed an energy storage device that can be installed by the user. It stores ‘free’ electricity generated by solar panels during the day, then releases the stored energy during the evening when household demand peaks.
Powervault raised 210% of its £750,000 crowdfunding target, securing a total of £1,579,810 from 1,262 investors. The startup gave up 16.35% equity and had a pre-money valuation of £8.1m.
9. Freetrade – £1.2m
Freetrade is a platform designed to let users invest in stock markets around the world, with zero commissions or fees.
The firm set out to raise just £300,000 on Crowdcube, but ended up securing £1,071,850. It gave away equity of 21.13% and had a pre-money valuation of £4m.
10. Wise Alpha – £1.2m
WiseAlpha is an online platform that allows people to invest in secured corporate loans of blue-chip British brand name companies.
The company secured £1,245,940 from 1,037 investors, exceeding its initial target of £500,000. Wise Alpha gave up 16.29% equity at a pre-money valuation of £6.4m.
It’s interesting to note that five of the 10 companies on this list are in the FinTech sector.
Tom Horbye, senior campaigns associate at Seedrs, said: “We see a great deal of innovative and exciting FinTech businesses look to crowdfunding as a source of capital alongside VCs and angels. These businesses often turn to us for a few reasons: to top up their rounds, enhance customer engagement, acquire new customers and encourage long-standing advocacy for their brands.”
Luke Lang, co-founder of Crowdcube, agreed, stating that crowdfunding helps companies feel closer to their customers, and vice versa.
“The increase of Europe’s leading FinTech pioneers turning to Crowdcube to raise growth finance is a clear sign of how these emerging players value the ability to have a close and collaborative connection with their customers.
“This desire is met by investors, which are eager to back innovative companies that are disrupting the old world of finance,” he concluded.