Private equity investment platform Seedrs has announced a record-breaking year with the highest levels of investment on the platform to date.
The Woodford-backed platform saw nearly a 60% increase in investment activity from last year, recording £195 million invested into pitches on the platform in 2018.
2018 saw 186 successful pitches from businesses who raised on Seedrs from 12 different countries, 28 of which were fundraises of over £1 million. Highlights included fast-growing international money transfer platform Transfergo, which raised €11.3 million from 1,047 investors, German portfolio company Sono Motors, one of Seedrs’ biggest European success stories, returned to raise €6.1 million, and wellness platform Urban Massage raised £3.5 million.
The Seedrs Secondary Market, which launched in June 2017, saw tremendous growth over the past twelve months. Now having delivered over 5,800 exits to investors, the desire for liquidity from both sides of the market in the early-stage asset class has now been clearly demonstrated. Investors have been generating highly profitable returns on the Seedrs Secondary Market, with the largest being a 23.3x return in portfolio company DeskLodge; many of these returns have been magnified further by generous UK EIS and SEIS tax reliefs.
In July 2018, the launch of Seedrs AutoInvest marked the sector’s first expansion into investment automation. The innovative product allows investors to build a diverse portfolio of early-stage businesses they don’t want to miss out on, in a more efficient way than ever before.
The Seedrs Anchor Investor Service, which supports businesses in finding institutional capital, had an impressive first year of operation. The exclusive service which no other equity crowdfunding platform offers, secured over £17 million in investment offers for 15 businesses in 2018. Whilst the service was initially designed to support Seedrs’ portfolio companies in their later stage rounds, it has quickly expanded to support new businesses raising on the platform. JaJa received £1.5 million through the Seedrs Anchor Service, taking its total raise on Seedrs to £5 million.
Finally, in September of this year, Seedrs released the latest report in its industry leading Portfolio Update series, which aims to bring transparency and data to what has historically been an opaque asset class. The report showed a 12.02% platform-wide IRR when looking at all 577 deals funded on the platform between July 2012 and the end of 2017, and when SEIS and EIS tax-reliefs were taken into account, it jumps to 26.42%.
Jeff Kelisky, CEO at Seedrs, says: "The past twelve months have been sensational for Seedrs; we’ve seen record levels of investment on the platform, while increasing our momentum in delivering real product and service innovation to the market. We launched another industry first in 2018 with AutoInvest, which alongside the ongoing success of our Secondary Market, delivered two entirely new financial products in this asset class, both of which demonstrated strong adoption from launch. These efforts continue to solidify our leadership in early-stage private equity at a pan-European level. We have big plans for 2019, starting with the launch of the Seedrs EIS100 Fund in the first quarter, with more to come as the year unfolds.”
Tim Levene, CEO at Augmentum Fintech plc, a significant shareholder in Seedrs, adds: “In 2018 Seedrs once again proved itself to be the market leader in this exciting and growing industry. From record-breaking numbers to sector-changing initiatives, we are delighted with their performance over the past twelve months, and looking forward to further growth and innovation throughout 2019.”