If you live in the U.K. or the U.S., you may already be quite familiar with equity crowdfunding. And yet, few French startups turn to their community of users to raise some new funding. Thanks to recent regulatory changes, British investment platform Crowdcube plans to shake things up as it is officially launching on the French market.
And you may have noticed a recent crowdfunding campaign in the French tech ecosystem already. I recently covered Finary’s Series A round. The company wants to reimagine private banking with a comprehensive financial aggregator combined with financial recommendations.
Finary also planned to raise part of its Series A from its community via Crowdcube. It makes sense, as Finary is a wealth management platform and crowdfunding rounds also represent alternative investment opportunities.
And it’s been quite successful, as the startup managed to raise €2.17 million ($2.4 million at today’s exchange rate) from 983 Finary users in 21 minutes. People had the opportunity to invest anything from €10 to €5,000. On average, they invested €2,200 each to become Finary shareholders.
The next French crowdfunding campaign on Crowdcube will be Qonto. This is quite significant, as Qonto is one of the highest-valued French startups. The company offers business bank accounts to small and medium companies based in Europe. Earlier this year, the startup announced a $552 million Series D round (€486 million) at a $5 billion (€4.4 billion) valuation.
As there might be a lot of interest for such a well-known company, Qonto is focusing on its user base in France, Italy, Spain and Germany. Qonto customers will be able to pre-register until April 19th before the official launch of the campaign.
“Companies enjoy the community aspect of equity crowdfunding more than the fundraising element,” Crowdcube Country Manager France Pauline Pham told me a few weeks ago.
And you can see it in Crowdcube’s track record in other countries. Some of the better-known startups that have raised money through Crowdcube include Revolut, Monzo, Citymapper, Cowboy and Freetrade. These are consumer startups with thousands or sometimes millions of users.
While Crowdcube seems like the perfect match for fintech companies, the company doesn’t want to restrict its platform to trendy tech companies. “We are not just thinking about tech companies but all sorts of unlisted companies,” Pham said.