Currently, equity-based crowdfunding is the second most active funding source in the UK, far ahead of private investment and angel network vehicles. In all its form, equity crowdfunding has proven itself popular in the country, having created a successful alternative to borrowing or acquiring money by more traditional means. As the sector continues to grow and thrive, in no particular order, the following are some of the major players in the UK equity crowdfunding market.
Established in 2011 by Luke Lang and Darren Westlake, Crowdcube is the world’s leading investment crowdfunding platform. The company allows anyone to invest alongside professional investors in growth, early stage and start-up companies through equity and debt investment options. Investing in businesses on the platform is free and quick. To date, the company has raised more than £180m for over 400 raises and created a dominant UK market share of about 50 percent of the £245m UK equity crowdfunding market.
Launched in 2012, Seedrs is the world’s leading equity crowdfunding platform for investing in businesses. It was the first equity crowdfunding platform to get regulatory approval from the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK. In July 2012 it was named one of “East London’s 20 Hottest Start-ups and in November 2013, it was named one of the top 100 UK Businesses by Silicon Valley Comes to the UK.
- Syndicate Room
Founded in 2012 by Tom Britton, Goncalo de Vasconcelos and Gonçalo Vasconcelos, SyndicateRoom is the platform where investors make smarter and more exciting investments. It works by letting individuals to easily follow the investment decisions of professionals, on completely equal economic terms.
Founded by Dawn Bebe in 2010 and headquartered in Cornwell, Crowdfunder is the leading UK crowdfunding platform, connecting projects with people to make great ideas happen. The platform has over 442,000 members and thousands of projects. It provides a fund distribution and campaign sponsorship product that stimulates community engagement.
Founded in 2013, CrowdShed operates and offers online funding platforms, helping people, businesses, charities and art projects to get fund. The company allows individual to fund new ideas, good causes, dreams, businesses, and provides unique opportunities to invest in the best and brightest ideas from around the world.
- Venture Founders
Venture Founders is an equity investment platform that is designed to make capital more accessible for a range of early-stage and growth businesses. It offers investors a range of curated, structured, and good investment opportunities. The company was founded in 2013 by James Codling. Through it, you can invest a minimum of £1,000 in some of the UK’s most exciting and fastest growing companies.
- Angels Den
Angels Den is an investment platform that connects angel investors with businesses. It was founded in April 2007 and is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Headquartered in King’s Cross, London, the company enables investors to invest in pre-vetted SMEs. 94 percent of Angels Den funded businesses are still trading, nearly doubling the industry average.
- Code Investing
Founded in 2013 by Ayan Mitra, Code Investing is a digital investment platform that offers investment opportunities in high growth, small to medium companies. The platform assists businesses to raise growth capital through debt and equity with a focus on large debt financing raises.
Spacehive is the only UK-based crowdfunding platform exclusively for projects aimed at improving local civic and community spaces. It is also the world’s first funding platform for civic projects. Launched in March 2012, the company has funded more than £6.1 million of projects including a huge water slide down a high street in Bristol.
Crowdfunding site Zopa provides 2 to 5-year low rate loans to borrowers with good credit, and 5 percent interest rates to P2P lending contributors. Zopa is the Europe’s largest P2P lending service having now lent more than £1.8 billion. The company was founded by James Alexander, Richard Duvall and David Nicholson in 2005.