The UK’s first venture capital backed equity platform for buying shares in unlisted companies is to launch next week. Actively recruiting investors from next Wednesday, InvestingZone enables early stage UK companies to raise investment through crowdfunding, and enables private investors to invest confidently in unlisted equities.The platform was developed specifically for professional investors and is optimised for tablet and mobile devices, accessible anytime and anywhere. Investors can invest directly in start-ups, and tap into lucrative tax incentives, such as the Seed Enterprise Investment scheme (SEIS). Companies have already started to list their pitch details – they come from a diverse range of sectors, such as clean tech, SaaS, media and e-commerce. Investments will kick off when the site goes live at the end of the month. Its launch will make InvestingZone the only crowdfunding player with venture capital expertise. It is backed by E-Synergy, one of the consortium delivering the Access to Finance programme in London, South East England and the East Midlands. InvestingZone founders Richard Brockbank and Jean Miller are both directors of E-Synergy Limited. One of the platform’s private investors is city heavyweight Jon Moulton, founder and managing partner of investment firm Better Capital. He commented: “The market is ripe for crowdfunding. A real opportunity for a new method of raising money at a sensible cost has appeared. “Poor returns on savings, coupled with great tax incentives, can make unlisted equities an attractive proposition. Good UK prospects are going unfunded. Investing Zone can bridge this gap to connect investors with opportunities.” Jean Miller, CEO and co-founder of InvestingZone, said: “InvestingZone is driving an evolution in the financial services sector, accelerating the pace of growth in early-stage companies with this new source of funding. “This puts investors firmly in the driving seat, enabling thousands of business-savvy people to buy shares in unlisted companies online. The ‘crowd’ can do every bit as well as the so-called professional investors, release vast amounts of stagnant cash for the benefit of national growth and, as important as all this, have some fun doing it.” The platform also offers sophisticated tools and services to help investors make informed decisions and minimise risk, including a dashboard to monitor and manage investment portfolio on the go. It features structured investment pages to aid decision-making and comparability between opportunities; a portfolio to manage investments; straightforward transaction facilities; and an expert forum.
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