2017 Marks Seedrs’ Biggest Year to Date
Seedrs continued its reign as the most active funder in UK private companies in 2017, as the London based fintech company announces its biggest year since launch. With £125 million invested into campaigns on the platform and 168 deals funded in the 12 month period, the Woodford-backed investment platform has seen another year of impressive growth. The company recently surpassed £300 million invested into campaigns on the platform and has now funded over 590 deals since its launch.
5-year old Seedrs completed over 130% more £1 million+ campaigns in 2017 than the previous year, breaking a number of records in the process. Challenger bank Revolut raised its cap of £3.8 million from over 4,200 investors in August 2017 as part of their £50 million Series B round led by Index Ventures, awarding them the accolade of the largest number of investors in a campaign on Seedrs.
Seedrs continued to strengthen its position across Europe with businesses raising from 8 different European countries across the year. 2017 illustrated an eco-automotive trend with Berlin based Sono Motors raising €1.8 million and Dutch startup Bolt, hailed as the ‘Dutch Tesla on Two Wheels’, raising €3.2 million from an impressive 2,400 investors. Bolt became Seedrs’ biggest non-UK crowdfunding campaign of all time by both amount raised and number of investors.
Strong interest from venture capital firms in equity crowdfunding in the UK has continued to increase exponentially in 2017 with Seedrs seeing an influx of co-investment from widely respected VCs such as Oxford Capital, Draper Esprit, Ascot Capital and more. Moreover, VC interest was not solely limited to the UK. Dutch based trading app Bux allocated €1.4 million to the crowd as part of its €10 million Series C led by Germany’s Holtzbrinck Ventures, one of Europe’s most successful venture capital firms. Bux hit it’s funding target on Seedrs in just 24 hours from over 2,000 investors.
In a game-changing move for the sector, June saw the launch of the Seedrs Secondary Market after responding to a growing demand for liquidity from investors and industry bodies. The innovative
product allows shareholders in Seedrs portfolio businesses to trade shares during a one-week window each month. In 2017, shares in 147 different businesses were traded, with investor exits just shy of 700. Many investors achieved impressive returns, some up to 19x returns on a tax-adjusted basis*.
Later in the year, Seedrs successfully closed its own £10 million funding round led by star fund manager Neil Woodford who increased his existing stake in the investment platform with an additional £4 million. In addition to this, 1,900 of Seedrs’ own customers invested a further £6 million into the oversubscribed round.
Sir Andy Murray continued backing British businesses on Seedrs, further diversifying his early-stage portfolio with over 10 investments into a range of sectors from healthtech to fintech. Murray’s portfolio on Seedrs now exceeds 25 investments.
Jeff Kelisky, CEO at Seedrs: “I am thrilled with the company’s growth and progress over the last 12 months. From record-breaking campaigns with over 4,000 investors and portfolio exits to launching pioneering new products, 2017 has been an outstanding year for Seedrs. This year we saw £125 million invested into campaigns on the platform which is a 44% increase from 2016 and more than any other private equity platform. The results in 2017 have definitively established our leadership of the industry.
“The ongoing success of our portfolio with exit opportunities, such as Wealthify and blow LTD, alongside the number of impressive investor exits on our Secondary Market, demonstrate that sophisticated investors are actively looking at this asset class as a part of their broader portfolio.”
2018 Trends: the Seedrs team has predicted a few trends for the startup ecosystem in 2018:
1. Continued interest and evolution in blockchain, specifically companies that allow trading of coins post ICO.
2. Further developments and focus in cybersecurity following on from the increased legislation around data protection, with GDPR taking effect in 2018.
3. Sustainable ventures will continue to see growth in its demand as the companies in this sector continue to innovate with new technologies amidst increased consumer awareness in the use of fossil fuels and green energy.
4. It’s not just about London: post-Brexit, the UK will see deepening interest and investment into building key hubs and entrepreneur skills in areas such as Manchester, Swansea, Edinburgh, Belfast and more.