Crowdcube was founded in the UK in 2011 by Darren Westlake and Luke Lang, and was Europe’s first equity crowdfunding platform. Westlake and Lang came up with the idea after watching a television programme called Dragon’s Den, in which entrepreneurs presented their startups to business angels to raise finance.
After seeing so many great ideas go to waste, they decided to create a platform so that practically anyone could invest in a new company.
Friends, family, fans and customers can be turned into investors and businesses are provided with real-time campaign data as well as online resources and expertise. Startups are charged a success commission of 7 percent and there are no carry or investor fees.
“Everyone should have access to high growth companies, not only the rich and well connected people,” Westlake tells El Referente. “Crowdcube was the first equity crowdfunding platform in the world. We also are one of the only platforms working on a European level, making exciting companies from any country for investors anywhere.”
The startup raised 7,062,00 euros for 21 Spanish companies in 2017, almost doubling the amount raised on the platform in 2016.
Around 75,000 euros was needed to launch Crowdcube in 2011. They raised more than 15 million euros in five rounds of investment and they were backed by Balderton Capital, Draper Espirit, Numis Stockbroker, GuanQun Investments and more than 5,000 small investors and Business Angels.
Crowdcube entered the Spanish market in mid 2013, after realising there was a growing interest in startups here.
Crowdcube has invested in startups like Geobando, Brainlang, Fashiop, Garage Beer and Vagalume Energy among many others, and has received over 50 awards including Best Crowdfunding Platform by International Financial Awards in 2017 and Best Equity Crowdfunding Platform for Startups 2015 by AltFi.
Crowdcube’s aim is to reach half a million registered investors by mid 2018, and is currently working on new products and expanding to France, Germany and Holland.