Crowdfunding update #16 September 2021

It's been a while - I'm sorry. More on that below. Anyway, let's dive in:

News 📰

Equity Crowdfunding Platform News 🏗️

Crowdcube unveiled their secondary offering, cubex. The product gathers expressions of interest from buyers/sellers through surveys, which can then later be used to arrange a deal. Crowdcube's recently hired Chief technical officer "David Halsey" (ex- money supermarket, ex-Ebay and ex-HMRC) will help scale cubex and "community IPOs" - an upcoming Crowdcube exit/secondaries product. Crowdcube is also set to launch in Scandinavia and France later this year, having already began hiring for key roles in these regions.

Seedrs have launched a 'private section' on their website. The section will promote non-public deals, e.g. promoting undersubscribed pre-emption campaigns to those who aren't existing investors. The section is restricted to sophisticated investors or HNWIs. Seedrs had a bumper H1, generating £4.1m in revenue; 89% growth on H1 2020. This breaks down to £207 million (a record 6 months; 64% growth on H1 2020) invested by 29k individual investors (49% growth over H1 2020). £13 million in secondary sales and exits were realised.

General News (exits, raises and more) 🏗️

Nothing - the new hardware startup by Carl Pei (founder of OnePlus) released their first product, "Ear1" - a pair of true wireless earbuds. Check them out:

Above: Nothing's first product, the "Ear1" - true wireless earbuds

Heura foods - Spain's answer to Beyond Meat, raised €16m from a range of impact VCs shortly after raising €4m in a crowdcube round this year. The funds will go towards expanding in the UK and US, whilst also developing a plant-based pork product.

Revolut has reached a ~£24bn valuation in a recent funding round that saw the company raise ~£577m from the likes of Tiger Global and SoftBank. They first crowdfunded on Crowdcube in 2016 at a ~£45m valuation.

Cazana, a data insights platform on cars in Europe, is acquired by Cazoo for £25m. Cazana boasted backers such as Passion Capital (early investors in Monzo, GoCardless, Marshmallow, etc). Having raised ~£1.5m at £20m pre-money on Crowdcube in 2019, this represents a ~1.15x return for the crowd.

Oddbox - a 'wonky' fruit and veg subscription box service (Think HelloFresh but for would-be wasted fruit & veg), has raised £16m at a £96m valuation - this represents a 10x uplift on their seedrs (pre-emption) round 1 year ago...! The company had a year of bumper growth in 2020, growing revenue 6x to ~£30m ARR.

Grind, the Shoreditch-born Coffee chain has received £22m in investment from prominent angel investors at a valuation of £50m pre-money, having raised on Crowdcube at ~£34m pre-money (2019) and £18m pre-money (2017) previously. Earlier investors have been offered the chance to sell their shares at a discount in this round. The investment will go towards growing Grind's direct-to-consumer coffee pod business, with US expansion a primary focus.

Monzo and Curve launched buy now pay later products, both called flex, in a competitive move against the likes of Klarna. Monzo declared losses of ~£130m against £79m in revenue in their latest annual report; they have over 5m customers (~5% of which are premium customers, i.e. Monzo plus or Monzo premium), alongside 770,000 business customers. Curve, meanwhile, had recently raised ~£70m (+£10m in a record breaking crowdfund) at a ~£592m valuation (tripling their previous crowdcube valuation from 2019) in preparation for their US launch.

Upcoming Campaigns 📆

Freetrade - a commision free stockbroker, i.e. the UK/Europe's answer to Robinhood. They will launch in sweden this year, with expansion across mainland Europe, Japan and Canada planned for the near future. Freetrade has grown revenue 5x to somewhere north of a £12m run rate, and user numbers ~4x to over 900k in the past twelve months. Their campaign will launch sometime in Q4 this year.

Bux- Another commision free stockbroker, although based in mainland Europe (currently live in the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, France, and Belgium), having recently launched in Ireland also. Bux most recently raised a ~£58m series B led by Tencent and Prosus ventures. This upcoming round will be a pre-emption of their series B.

Chip - A savings, invesetment and/or financial management app. In the past twelve months, Chip have increased revenue 6x, and users by 49% to 400k. They are looking to raise up to £20m, some of which is rumoured to have already been secured from VCs. Pre-register here.

Plum - Another savings, invesetment and/or financial management app! They have over £1bn in client assets and 2m customers. They are live in the UK, France, Spain and Ireland. Raised funds will go towards entering new European markets, launching their own prepaid or debit card, as well as a stock trading and cryptocurrency investing features. Pre-register here.

Circa500 (formerly known as Tickr) - Think Nutmeg or moneybox, but for ethics/sustainability-focussed investors. They currently have 140k users.

Pre-register here.

Crowdfeed labs🔬

I haven't been that active lately, and I failed to deliver on a due diligence post i'd promised earlier - sorry folks! This was partly because the crowdfunding sector had been a bit quiet lately but truth be told, my life's been very busy and, as much as I love crowdfunding, this blog isn't high on my priority list. I think its important to set the right expectations; i'll update y'all when I can, perhaps quarterly - but that's not a promise...! So grateful for you all as readers btw <3

Thanks for reading! Please do let me know your thoughts on these campaigns and news in the comments. Feedback is always appreciated too! 🤗

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