Seedrs is a UK-based equity crowdfunding platform. Founded in late 2009, it opened its marketplace in July 2012 and has since raised ~$8.8 Million for companies across 56 successful campaigns.
The Seedrs’ community is 29,000+ users strong, and full of diversity. Issuers and investors from all generations have signed up, with listed entrepreneurs ranging in age from 22 to 58; and investors 18 to 94.
Seedrs lists its core objectives as follows:
- Transform the startup world by giving entrepreneurs a platform to leverage their friends, family and existing base of supporters to collectively raise investment. These investors represent a large new pool of capital and can act as mentors, supporters and advocates for these young companies.
- Give ordinary people the opportunity to invest in the startups they choose to:
- Get exposure to the returns from a portfolio of startup investments;
- Enjoy the excitement of being part of dynamic, high-growth businesses; and
- Help friends, family and community get their business ideas off the ground.
In November 2013 Seedrs went Pan-European and began supporting issuers and investors in the Economic Union, European Economic Area, and Switzerland (32 countries). It facilitates these cross-border transactions by setting up UK-based vehicles for each international investment.
Seedrs listed its first non UK-based company, GlassUp, a hardware company domiciled in Italy, in early 2014.
Seedrs supports a “nominee structure,” opposed to a direct investment model. In its nominee structure, individuals do not invest directly in the company; rather they invest in a pooled fund that is managed by Seedrs (the “nominee”) Seedrs does allow for direct investment, but an agreement must be separately made between the issuer and investor. More on its nominee structure from Seedrs:
The nominee structure allows us [Seedrs] to manage the investment for you while still giving you the full economic interest in the business. By using a nominee structure, you get the benefits of being a shareholder – financial returns, the opportunity to vote and keeping informed about the business’s progress – and the startups get the benefits of your investment without either of you having to face the burdens of a direct shareholding.
Any type of business can seek capital through Seedrs. However, it only approves startups it believes will be of interest to its members; and it vets every issuer to ensure their campaign is “fair, clear and not misleading.”
Seedrs initially focused on idea-stage, pre-revenue technology startups. While it’s maintained its focus on startups—early-stage, growing businesses—it now supports a large number of industries and has raised capital for all sorts of issuers, from film production companies to restaurants to managed funds.
On average: successful campaigns have raised ~$150,000, sold 13% of their company, and raised at a post-money valuation of roughly $1.1 million. But given the dispersion of raise types and sizes the averages can be deceiving. For instance, Seedrs’ smallest successful campaign, Spherical Systems, raised $15k at a valuation of around $100k, while it’s largest, its own campaign, raised $4.1M at a $12.1M valuation.
In late 2013 Seedrs also began offering access to managed funds. Glentham Capital Limited raised ~$240,000 to provide financing for selected Hollywood films and was the first such fund to raise capital on Seedrs.
Chief Executive Officer
Jeff is a qualified lawyer with extensive experience in the worlds of corporate transactions and early-stage businesses. He began his career practicing corporate law with Sullivan & Cromwell LLP in New York and London and later served as co-chairman of the investment committee of a UK seed investment fund. He also serves as the Chairman of The Coalition for a Digital Economy (Coadec) and has acted as a strategic adviser to several startups. Jeff holds an MBA and a BCL (advanced law degree) from the University of Oxford, a JD from the University of Virginia and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania.
President and Chief Operating Officer
Carlos is an IT development and security expert with nearly ten years of industry experience, most of them in a leading role. Most recently he served as Head of New Product Development at Sysvalue, an innovative information systems security consulting firm based in Lisbon, and he has also worked as an information security consultant to a range of leading European financial institutions. Carlos holds an MBA from the University of Oxford and a Masters in Computer Engineering from Instituto Superior Técnico, the leading Portuguese engineering university.
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