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World’s first crowdfunder Crowdcube smashes £100m investment mark

The world’s first crowdfunding platform, launched in the UK back in 2011, is celebrating raising more than £100m from the crowd during the past four years.

Crowdcube, which was founded in Exeter, has helped some 290 companies successfully raise cash from almost 200,000 investors, including more than 20 £1m-plus deals.

The platform has helped the likes of JustPark raise £3.7m and Adzuna bag £2m in 2015, while also seeing its first exit with the sale of E-Car Club to Europcar.

The company that tipped them over the line was fellow Devon-based tradespeople’s app Powered Now, which raised its second Crowdcube round, of £350,000, last week.

This success has secured the company a 52% share of the UK market, according to Crowdsurfer.

Crowdcube is now seeing significant growth in debt crowdfunding, as well as the equity deals it has made its name on.

It is also receiving more business from VC-backed companies looking to raise funds, as well as welcoming VCs like Index Ventures and Passion Capital to invest alongside retail investors.

Financial returns received by investors so far this year have been in excess of £600,000.

Speaking to Tech City News for the upcoming September issue of the magazine, Matt Cooper, commercial director of the platform, said that Crowdcube was “right place, right time, right solution. We found something traditionally hard for businesses to do – raise finance – and took it online and democratised it. There were lots of early Old Street tech and digital entrepreneurs and so went out and talked to them.

“Founders and CEOs now understand that they don’t need to speak to the bank manager about growth capital – they can engage with and grow their customer-base at the same time.”

Cooper says that future plans could include US expansion, if the regulation catches up with the “forward looking” policymakers here in the UK, as well as a new Manchester hub.

“There are talented businesses, entrepreneurs and founders in Manchester and we’re wondering if it can replicate London. There isn’t great availability of early-stage funding, but there also isn’t great awareness of alternative finance outside of the South East.”

Cooper says Crowdcube is ultimately hoping to “put the public back into IPO” by facilitating the first crowdfunded listing via the Crowdcube platform.