SyndicateRoom wins FCA authorisation in double quick time!

Author

SyndicateRoom

25 March 2014

Just over six months since it launched, the equity crowdfunding platform SyndicateRoom has become only the third of its kind to be directly authorised by the FCA.

The authorisation is a recognition of the platform’s exceptionally high standards of service and transparency, and the explosive growth that SyndicateRoom has enjoyed so far appears to show that there are a large number of sophisticated investors out there looking to invest in angel investment opportunities.

FCA authorisation is not required of crowdfunding platforms, and previously SyndicateRoom traded as an appointed representative of a separate, FCA-authorised firm. But SyndicateRoom sought – and secured – the elevated status voluntarily, as part of its drive to bring equity crowdfunding firmly into the mainstream of investing. It now joins Seedrs and Crowdcube as the only equity crowdfunding platforms to be FCA authorised.

However there is an important difference – SyndicateRoom invites its members to invest only in companies which are also receiving investment from professional investors.

As a result it provides small investors with the peace of mind that traditional equity-based crowdfunding platforms do not: the knowledge that each company available for investment has been thoroughly vetted by professional, experienced investors who are putting their own money at risk together with the crowd too.

Since launch it has helped people invest more than £4million in fast-growing British businesses. The minimum investment is £500, though the average amount invested is over £5,000. Individual angels have each invested an average of £140,000 per company.

The companies selling equity on the platform have ranged from the aircraft designer e-Go aeroplanes to the cloud-based jukebox Psonar and the makers of the world’s first urinal videogame, Captive Media. Angel investors have included industry heavyweights such as David Ryan, Peter Cowley and Hermann Hauser.

Gonçalo de Vasconcelos, founder and CEO, SyndicateRoom, commented:

“Never before had normal people been able to invest in the same deals that professional investors invest in. This is true democratization of angel investment. SyndicateRoom gives private investors the chance to invest alongside experienced business angels, who are putting their own money on the line together with the crowd. We’ve sought to add an extra level of security and peace of mind for anyone wishing to invest in start-ups via a crowdfunding platform. Our incredible growth from the very beginning is the direct result of our model and vision. We are attracting the right investors and the right companies and we couldn’t be happier with the community we are building.”

“We found the FCA to be very helpful and thorough throughout our application. SyndicateRoom took just two months to become directly authorised by the FCA, whereas for competitors it took over 12 months to become approved. Together with the recent announcement by the FCA on the new rules for alternative finance platforms, it shows that the FCA is taking alternative finance seriously, which is hugely welcomed. When crowdfunding first arrived in Britain it was seen as the exotic preserve of a committed few. Now its simplicity and transparency are attracting ever more sophisticated investors looking for attractive returns.

“Our platform allows sophisticated investors to bypass the often opaque and expensive managed funds to invest directly in the businesses they like. We are proud to be FCA authorised, and thus held up to the same scrutiny and high standards as any other regulated investment.

“The difference is crowdfunding is a truly democratic form of investing. At SyndicateRoom we are determined to give sophisticated investors – large and small – the power to prosper by investing together with the top UK angel investors. Securing FCA authorisation is an important milestone for us on our mission to give our members access to the very same deals into which top UK private investors are putting their money.”

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