Raising Finance

The ten biggest crowdfunding deals in Britain during 2016

6 min read

16 December 2016

Former editor

With equity crowdfunding on the rise, Real Business brings you 2016's ten biggest crowdfunding deals – including a beer brand and one swapping currency.

For any company considering alternative finance as a fundraising method, it pays to know what kind of businesses are proving successful in different finance verticals. With equity crowdfunding, it helps to look at the biggest crowdfunding deals to see if trends emerge.

Statistics produced by OFF3R, an online marketplace for alternative investments, shows that the ten biggest crowdfunding deals were worth a combined £32.36m – an average of £3.24m per transaction.

From the moment The Rushmore Group became the first company to raise more than £1m through a British equity crowdfunding platform at the end of 2011, seven-figure deals have become increasingly prevalent.

Back in September, platform Crowdcube revealed that 34 companies had joined its £1m club, with 24 doing so from 2015 onwards. Only one of the deals recorded by OFF3R in its top ten is worth less than £2m.

Lex Deak, founder of OFF3R, told Real Business: “Although 2016 has thrown it’s fair share of political and economic spanners into the works, we’re enthused by the progress that equity crowdfunding has made. Alongside record breaking volumes, we’re seeing a groundswell in new job creation and innovation.

“The investor risks remain of course, but the industry is working hard together to improve processes and transparency. I think 2017 is going to be very exciting.”

To provide you with some insight on the biggest crowdfunding deals in 2016, we’ve broken down the deals to provide vital statistics.

(10)

Business: GripIt

Sector: Manufacturing

Founded: 2008

Amount raised: £1.95m

In one line: The oldest business in the list of 2016 biggest crowdfunding deals, GripIt has developed a simple way of hanging plasterboard. The company is a former Dragons’ Den success story, with Deborah Meaden investing £80,000 in August 2015.

(9)

Business: Tandem

Sector: Finance

Founded: 2013

Amount raised: £2.34m

In brief: While digital bank Tandem’s crowdfunding deal was notable, the £22m it raised on the side through a club of investors and venture capital firms dwarfed it. The company now has nearly £25m to play with in its efforts to disrupt the British banking sector.

(8)

Business: Witt Energy

Sector: Cleantech

Founded: 2013

Amount raised: £2.39m

In brief: Witt uses a 3D pendulum to drive a transmission system – meaning any motion can be converted into electrical power. The deal it closed on Crowdcube made it the biggest fundraising for a cleantech company through crowdfunding, overfunding by an impressive 322 per cent.

(7)

Business: WeSwap

Sector: Currency

Founded: 2010

Amount raised: £2.46m

In brief: Another finance entrant to the list of biggest crowdfunding deals, but WeSwap is in the currency space and allows users to swap with others. Heralding itself as the world’s first person-to-person currency exchange, it also offers a pre-paid MaserCard to access funds.

(6)

Business: Innis & Gunn

Sector: Beer

Age: 2003

Amount raised: £2.47m

In brief: Independent brewer Innis & Gunn joined the likes of Camden Brewery and BrewDog in deciding to use crowdfunding to finance future growth. It only set out to raise £1m, but broke through that target in 72 hours and the overfunded to a level of 235 per cent.

Keep reading to find out which businesses made the top five of our biggest crowdfunding deals of 2016 list.

(5)

Business: Micrima

Sector: Healthcare

Founded: 2005

Amount raised: £2.57

In brief: An unusual inclusion in the list given that it is not a consumer-facing business, but instead is pioneering a non-ionising and non-invasive radio wave technology for detecting breast cancer. Originating at the University of Bristol, the company also has the backing of innovation charity NESTA and the government-backed Angel CoFund.

(4)

Business: SyndicateRoom

Sector: Alternative finance

Founded: 2013

Amount raised: £3.1m

In brief: Another crowdfunding platform to use its own service, SyndicateRoom is ramping up the number of businesses raising money through its service and promotes the fact it allows members to invest alongside professionals and get the same class of shares and price per share.

(3)

Business: goHenry

Sector: Payments

Founded: 2012

Amount raised: £4m

In brief: Making its presence felt in the pre-paid card space, goHenry is geared towards children and encourages them to learn about saving and spending responsibly.

(2)

Business: Perkbox

Sector: Business services

Founded: 2014

Amount raised: £4.35m

In brief: A member of our exclusive Future 50 club, Perkbox is an employee and customer engagement platform providing a range of rewards and incentives. The business was originally called Huddlebuy, but relaunched in 2014 and has now raised nearly £7m.

(1)

Business: Crowdcube

Sector: Alternative finance

Founded: 2010

Amount raised: £6.7m

In brief: Serving to demonstrate the power of equity crowdfunding, Crowdcube used its own platform to raise £6.7m for future growth. It has now banked £15.52m through a combination of crowdfunding and venture capital, and will hope its success encourages others to follow suit.

Have a look at OFF3R’s handy infographic to see which platform each company used to raise its capital.

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