Equity crowdfunding is kind of disrupting the finance industry. Now, it is possible for individuals to invest, often along with experienced angel investors. Hunger to aim to invest in new Facebook or Skype type of companies is no longer privilege of venture capital funds. However, it must be stressed that mortality of startups is high and investing is thus very risky. Equity crowdfunding is becoming sexy also in the EU. New crowdfunding platforms are emerging, some have ambitions to become pan-European hubs connection startups with smart money. The best offer investment syndicates, an opportunity to invest along with experienced investors who share their new deals.
I help startups get funded and also work with top crowdfunding platforms and angel investors active there. Here is a short list of a few active equity crowdfunding campaigns I liked in February. (Warning: This is not an investment recommendation, make your own judgement before/if you invest).
Top US platform AngelList just launched in the UK, led by great Philipp Moehring. Before AngelList, Philipp worked for Seedcamp, one of the best European business accelerators. With AngelList you can now invest for instance in Seedcamp £20M pre-seed and seed venture acceleration fund. Seedcamp has made over 130 investments to date, 80%+ of which have raised follow-on funding to the tune of £150M+. Its track record includes successful exits to date (Grabcad, Ubervu, RentMineOnline, 7 others) and highly disruptive investments (Transferwise, Farmeron, EDITD, Brandid, Frontback, Traity, myBuilder, 120+ others). Philipp aims to find good angel investors who will invite other investors to coinvest with them. And yes, Philipp knows that creating a pan-European platform is not easy “completely diff. prospectus regimes & investment promotions rules hurt startups across EU and make 28 instead of a single market”.
Companisto is the leading portal in Germany. I like this deal – EBS Technologies, NEXT WAVE™ system, a unique neurological stimulation system for the treatment of neurologically-based visual impairments. EBS technology serves the needs of as many as two markets: ophthalmology (with the very important medical indication of glaucoma) and neurology (with the also very important medical indication of stroke). Investors like Earlybird, the leading German VC, also invest.
OurCrowd, one of my favorite platforms, opens the door mainly to great early-stage deals in Israel, but some European spices can be found, too. Each year in Israel there are 500+ venture financings and over 1000+ angel financings. Deal flow continues to rise and there is huge pent up and growing demand among Israelis and foreigners to participate in Israel’s “StartUp Nation” culture – and not just through investing in public stocks or mutual funds. OurCrowd gives an option to invest in startups like AutoLap or Borro, often with experienced investors and/or mentors
Invesdor is the leading platform in Scandinavia, planning to expand to Europe under the mifid licence. Here is the list of current crowdfunding campaigns and here is my recent interview with Invesdor CEO. Recently, Invesdor agreed to cooperate wih the business angel network FiBAN, which is a good deal for all, in my view. “For us, the most important thing is to create reliable operating methods for the markets of early-stage companies both in terms of business angel investments, crowdfunding and other means of financing,” commented CEO of FiBAN Jan D. Oker-Blom.
CrowdCube and Seedrs are the leading UK platforms. And here are their new campaigns – CrowdCube and Seedrs. Investing in startups in the UK is sexy thanks to tax incentives. Her Majesty is smart. About SEIS : “To stimulate and support entrepreneurship, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) offers two tax incentive schemes for UK taxpayers who invest in qualifying startup and small, early-stage companies which have permanent establishments in the UK”.
Over the past few years, a new way of funding ideas and projects has emerged; crowdfunding uses the collective cooperation of a group of people (the “crowd”) to pool resources together in support of a specific project. There are two main crowdfunding models: equity-based crowdfunding where people contribute funds to a business or project in exchange for equity and donation-based crowdfunding where people donate to a project in exchange for tangible, non-monetary, rewards. A relatively new phenomenon, crowdfunding is booming worldwide. Donation-based crowdfunding (sites like KickStarter and IndieGogo) has seen tremendous growth in the past couple of years. Now, equity-based crowdfunding is taking off.
I have a richer list with more tips. If you want to subscribe to my monthly list of 10 investment tips, send me an email to (pavel . curda at gmail . com ).