Finance

Revolut and Andy Murray were the jewels in Seedrs’ 2017 crown

By Oliver Smith 8 January 2018
Image: Steve Welsh/Getty Images for Andy Murray Live.
Summary

A year of hits and misses in review.

The crowdfunding supremos at Seedrs saw a whopping £125m invested across 168 campaigns in 2017, despite the industry’s earlier wobbles.

According to researchers at Beauhurst, this makes Seedrs “the most active funder in UK private companies” during the last year.

2017 in review

With financial technology being the current hotness it’s maybe unsurprising that Revolut, Europe’s biggest challenger bank, took the title of Seedrs’ biggest fundraise. It raised £3.8m in August as part of a larger £50m Series B round led by Index Ventures.

“Food & beverage and fintech continue to be the most popular sectors,” Tom Horbye, Campaigns Manager at Seedrs told The Memo.

“We saw, as predicted, a rise in AI enabled businesses – automation of the mundane, providing a more personalised experience for the everyday consumer was particularly popular in 2017.”

But Revolut’s title is only if you don’t count Seedrs itself, which raised £6m in October on its own platform again as part of a larger £10m funding round.

And all that cash came from an even larger group of investors from 58 countries last year, including tennis pro Andy Murray.

Jeff Kelisky, CEO at Seedrs.

The investor story

Murray, who sits on Seedrs Advisory Board, backed a further 10 companies in 2017, like flat-pack cycle helmet Morpher, growing his total portfolio to 25 investments.

It wasn’t all money-in however, investors celebrated two exits in 2017.

Investors in beauty business blow LTD were given the opportunity to cash out their shares at 3x their original price as Debenhams invested £7m in the group.

Meanwhile, robo-investor Wealthify, whose launch we covered in April 2016, was acquired by insurance giant Aviva in October.

Seedrs CEO Jeff Kelisky said these exits: “demonstrate that sophisticated investors are actively looking at this asset class as a part of their broader portfolio.”

Finally, Seedrs launched its own ‘stock market’ in May so that investors could trade shares in companies they’d backed, albeit with several caveats.

Read more: This flat pack bike helmet folds neatly away – & Andy Murray loves it

Seedrs’ top 5 biggest rounds of 2017:

  1. Seedrs – £7m (1,907 investors)
  2. Revolut – £3.8m (4,260 investors)
  3. Bolt – €3.2m (2,393 investors)
  4. CommuterClub – £2.5m (420 investors)
  5. Landbay – £2.4m (159 investors)