UK-based crowd equity platform Crowdcube has raised £6 million ($9.3 million) from stockbroker Numis, Tim Draper, his London-based VC firm Draper Esprit and existing backer Balderton Capital. As a result Crowdcube is now valued at £51 million.
The move will also now it to offer a way for investors to access companies which are about to go public, bringing IPO investment opportunities to the platform. IPOs will join the investments on Crowdcube, which include bonds, funds and VC rounds.
Crowdcube co-founder and chief executive Darren Westlake said “We want to put the ‘public’ back into IPO.”
CrowdCube claims over 200,000 people have made investments in CrowdCube-backed companies, totalling £100 million since 2011. They say this has historically been used for raising capital for small businesses and some cash-driven brands like the River Cottage and the Eden Project. However, critics say this figure only represents those who have merely signed up and may be dormant, as opposed to some estimates that put the figure of genuinely active investors at closer to 15,000 to 20,000 people.
Yesterday Seedrs – which tends to attract more tech-led investments – raised £10 million from Woodford Patient Capital Trust and Rothschild-backed Augmentum Capital, to expand in the U.S., valuing the company at £30 million.