Draper Esprit leads £8.5m Crowdcube investment

Online crowdfunding platform popular with Irish start-ups also wins backing from Channel 4

This is the second time Draper Esprit has backed Crowdcube. Photograph: iStock

This is the second time Draper Esprit has backed Crowdcube. Photograph: iStock

 

Draper Esprit, the Dublin- and London-listed tech-focused venture capital firm, has led an £8.5 million (€9.73 million) investment in Crowdcube, one of the largest online crowdfunding platforms in the United Kingdom.

Broadcaster Channel 4 is also investing in the company through its commercial growth fund, with Balderton Capital, founded by Barry Maloney, also participating.

This is the second time Draper Esprit has backed Crowdcube. It took part in a £6 million (€6.87 million) funding round in 2015.

Crowdcube, which has facilitated more than 100 fundraises of £1 million (€1.15 million) or more, is to use the new funding to further expansion both in the UK and overseas.

More than £500 million (€572 million) has been made in pledged investments on Crowdcube in start-ups since it was established, including in well-known companies such a Brewdog, Monzo and Revolut.

It has also proven popular with Irish start-ups, with Buymie, HouseMyDog, Lightly Technologies and See.Sense, among the companies to raise funds via the platform.

Record quarter

The funding comes as Crowdcube achieved a record quarter for revenue, reporting £1.6 million (€1.8 million) for the third quarter, up 60 per cent on the same period a year earlier. Investment pledged through the platform in the July to September period increased by 97 per cent.

Annual revenue for Crowdcube is forecast to rise to £6 million (€6.8 million) in 2018, up from £3.9 million (€4.4 million) a year earlier.

“Crowdcube has demonstrated significant progress and impressive growth in the last 12 months. They have a proven and scalable platform, seven years of unrivalled experience, strong brand awareness and a clear market opportunity in the UK and abroad,” said Simon Cook, chief executive of Draper Esprit.

“They are the world’s leaders in equity crowdfunding, and I expect them to continue blazing a trail of innovation and success,” he added.