Balderton is putting £3.8 million ($6.5 million) into UK-based Crowdcube’s Series B round — with a further £1.2 million being offered to crowd-backers (starting at 12:00 GMT on Tuesday 22 July), to make a total Series B round of £5 million.
Let no one accuse Crowdcube of not eating its own dog food. Indeed it previously successfully crowdfunded two prior rounds in its own platform — raising £320,000 in 2011 and £1.5 million last year.
Crowdcube launched its crowd equity investment platform in the UK back in 2011, and has grown to become one of two bigger names in the UK space. (Seedrs being the other.)
To date, Crowdcube says its platform has been used to raise more than £30 million for more than 130 start-up, early stage and growth businesses.
On the investor side, the platform has more than 80,000 registered users — and does not limit those who can invest to only professional investors.
It does screen the companies that list on its platform, though — doing background checks on company directors to verify the claims made by listing entrepreneurs. One in three of the businesses listing on its platform this year have hit their funding target, according to Crowdcube co-founder Luke Lang.
“None of our competitors have achieved the traction and investment that we have,” says Lang, discussing the competitive landscape. “The £15m raised for businesses this year alone is greater than anything any of our competitors have done over the past two years since they started launching.”
Lang says he expects the crowded crowd equity funding space to ultimately consolidate — with “one or two major providers dominating and a few niche sites catering for very specific needs”. Obviously Crowdcube is gunning to be one of the big guns here.
Crowdcube’s own new cash injection will be used to further expand its operations in the UK and internationally — with a plan to double its team to 50 and open new offices in London and Scotland, as well as expanding its Exeter-based HQ.
On the international front, it will be expanding beyond its already established seven joint ventures. The current overseas footprint (via partnerships) covers Brazil, Sweden, Dubai, Poland, Italy, Spain and New Zealand.