With the fundraising campaign closing today, Startup Wise Guys has become the first accelerator in Europe to successfully raise funding for its next program via public equity crowdfunding. The campaign enabled non-professional investors to easily build a diversified portfolio and help disrupting the accelerator funding process as such.
Up to date 389K (which is 130% of indicated goal) were committed by about 120 investors on the Funderbeam platform. The majority of the investors have placed interest through relatively small tickets (below €5K), whereas the largest ticket has been €30K.
Herty Tammo, co-founder and lead investor of Startup Wise Guys stated: “The biggest learning we can share from this experience is that unless you approach investors individually and directly, you cannot pull it off. And as our peers had warned us – surprisingly or not, but almost half of investments are done last minute. In our case – more than 40% of commitments were placed on December 15th, which initially was the official last day of the fundraising campaign. We even had to extend the deadline to finalize some incoming deals.”
The gathered funding will be further invested in 10 selected B2B startups both as a direct investment of €20K in each startup with €250K pre-money valuation, as well as an indirect investment via acceleration services, training and mentoring in the amount of €15K per startup. Total investment together with acceleration services is therefore €35K per startup resulting in a €437,5K pre-money valuation per investment.
The selection process for this startup batch has already started and early stage B2B startups are invited to apply now.
The next Startup Wise Guys program will start on March 13th, in Tallinn. The 10 selected B2B startups will relocate to Tallinn and go through an intensive 3 month business training, where they will work with a pool of over 100 international mentors to shape their business model, build their prototypes and products, and sell their ideas to investors.
The crowdfunding campaign on the Funderbeam platform lasted for 29 days (+extension) with a goal to attract €300K minimum interest to fund the next Startup Wise Guys accelerator program in Tallinn, in 2017. While the first 20% were committed already in the first 24h of the campaign, the majority was only invested on the last day (43%).
So far, Startup Wise Guys has accelerated 60 companies with founders from over 30 countries and completed 6 cohorts. The Tallinn-based accelerator focuses on B2B.