Still looking for the perfect last-minute gift for your loved-ones this holiday season? You’re in luck! We’ve compiled a list of offers, last-minute gift ideas and shopping tips for the savviest of gift-givers, from some of the most indulgent and interesting Seedrs-funded businesses.
Equity crowdfunding is evolving quickly. Naturally, equity crowdfunding fills the funding gap that exists for many early-stage businesses that are too risky for banks, too early for angels and too small for venture capitalists. But now, later-stage companies are catching on to the power of professionally managed crowdfunding platforms (like Seedrs). What we are starting to realise is that equity crowdfunding works really well for certain types of business, regardless of what stage they are at.
This month, publicly-listed, award winning English winemaker and craft brewer Chapel Down (listed on ISDX) launched a £1.6M crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs. In less than three weeks, they overfunded to almost £4M, from around 1,400 investors – which makes this the largest equity crowdfunding campaign ever. This was the first time a public company – anywhere in the world – campaigned for investment via equity crowdfunding. This is an excitingly innovative approach to raising growth capital, especially when most companies at their stage, with their positive financial traction, traditionally reach out to institutions and large individual investors in The City. This is part of the continuing evolution in crowdfunding.
So, why does campaigning on Seedrs make so much sense for larger, listed companies?:
Companies need investment to grow
Regardless of stage, businesses often need capital investment for growth. Publicly listed companies are no different and look to raise money from institutions and retail investors alike. But when they do this the company is not actually raising money through the exchange. Instead, the brokers and placers are the distribution channels through which the institutional and retail investors are accessed. Seedrs, in the case of Chapel Down, is a new type of distribution channel through which Chapel Down as a publicly listed company can access retail investors who might not otherwise have been able to be reached.
Raising investment takes time
When raising investment traditionally through brokers, it can be immensely time consuming and inefficient. Roadshows, sales calls, meetings, emails – it can be draining on the resources of a company. Seedrs provides a very quick, efficient and online process for the publicly listed company to reach out to these investors, and for these investors to quickly and easily subscribe for publicly listed shares.
It’s more than just funding
Inviting customers to invest in your business is a great way to build long-term brand engagement and resonance among people who are already bought in on a transactional level. By inviting them the chance to invest and be a part of your future, you’re inviting them to have a deeper, longer-term relationship with your business. Because these customer-investors will be literally bought into the business, they’ll have a vested interest in helping with user research and feedback, buy your brand instead of competitors, becoming brand evangelists, and keeping in touch.
Combine online and offline investors
Quoted companies likely have previous investors who will have pre-emption rights and may want to follow on their investment. Or, they could have interest among outside institutions. Bringing these offline investors online (through a placing or new share offer), along with a crowd of customers and potential customers, is dramatically more efficient. All investors, regardless of size, can be offered the same transparent terms and same (ordinary) shares; shareholder documentation is standardised; and the ongoing relationship between the business and its investors is more effectively managed through a post-investment investor relations web portal.
Offer more than investment
Many UK businesses may qualify to offer advantageous tax reliefs to investors, including EIS, that wouldn’t be applicable for shares purchased on an exchange. Investors need to hold shares for a minimum period of time to qualify for the reliefs (three years in the case of EIS), but many investors find the tax reliefs highly appealing for longer-term investments and prefer to have access to investments that qualify. Crowdfunding through a platform also makes it possible to offer investors additional perks like free samples, invitations to AGMs, early-access to future products, tours and more. These additional rewards aren’t easy to manage on an exchange.
Business crowdfunding has evolved from raising equity for startups, to crowdfunded funds, to crowd equity convertibles and now crowdinvesting in publicly-listed companies. Our internal legal team and professional processes mean we can continue to offer new, exciting ways for people to invest in businesses of all stages, sizes and types.
A great equity crowdfunding campaign deserves a great video to tell your story. Your video is your best chance to convey your excitement and passion for the business and to get potential investors as excited as you are – it can’t be rushed and deserves at least as much care and attention as the rest of your fundraising efforts.
At Seedrs, we review hundreds of campaigns every month and have a few dozen live at any one time. As an equity crowdfunding platform, we also see the data and analytics behind who is investing in what and how potential investors behave when they look at a campaign page. We’ve learned several things about what does and doesn’t work for crowdfunding videos. Continue reading
Some of the most important things that a startup can do to make their equity crowdfunding campaign successful happen before the campaign is even created. Equity crowdfunding is a great way to raise capital for an early stage business but it needs to be done properly. I’ve seen startups make all sorts of mistakes, so I wanted to share some of the most important lessons that we’ve learned.
As the Chief Marketing Officer of Seedrs, I spend a lot of time speaking with entrepreneurs who are trying to raise funding. One of the most misunderstood, but important parts of our business is the nominee structure. The nominee structure is designed to take care of the back-office investment details so that the entrepreneur can focus on getting out there to connect with their investors.
We set out to Latvia to connect with the local ecosystem as a part of our new European outreach and community building efforts. In this series, we’ll be sharing our travels to the diverse local startup eco-systems around Europe.
We decided to pay a visit to the Latvian capital after a couple of great tips from our friends at TechHub about how the local ecosystem has been developing in the past couple of years. The timing couldn’t have been better as TechChill Baltics – an event covering the Nordic and CEE startup scene was happening then as well. Also, Seedcamp was organising one of their Mini Seedcamp events the day before TechChill.