We're pleased to announce that we have raised £10 million ($13.5 million) led by Circle Internet Financial, LLC, owner and operator of SeedInvest, a leading startup fundraising platform in the US.
The investment aligns two of the most prominent and pioneering platforms in their respective markets: we are the largest equity crowdfunding platform in Europe with 1.2 million members and £1 billion invested. The strategic partnership will help pave the way to a global marketplace at every level of private fundraising, from seed stage to public offering.
Historically, the UK and the US have been the most developed markets for equity crowdfunding, but that all changed on November 10 with new European-wide regulations. The investment will enable us to accelerate our launch into Europe, capitalising on the recent regulation that provides uniform rules across Europe for capital raising and retail investment services.
The investment, in which our existing backers Molten Ventures (formerly Draper Esprit) and Balderton Capital also participated, supports our goal to enable entrepreneurs to raise capital from their dedicated communities in the UK or Europe. It is Circle's largest strategic investment date in the European market. Levelling the playing field for entrepreneurs and individual investors is an important area of focus for Circle, which acquired SeedInvest in 2019.
Combining Circle's strategic investment with our decade of knowledge and capital raising experience in Europe, we are extremely well-positioned to capitalise on our first-mover advantage into Europe's high growth investment market. Capital raising and private company investing have never been so exciting. Now, we're considering a crowd round to offer our community of investors the opportunity to participate in our round alongside Circle, supporting our growth as Europe's preferred private investment marketplace. If you'd like to own shares in Crowdcube, express your interest here.
"Private capital online fundraising is at a pivotal moment of maturation. We are thrilled to work with Crowdcube to roll out online fundraising across Europe and are confident this will be a significant milestone towards the inevitable global future of the industry," said Ryan Feit, Director of Circle and CEO and Co-Founder of SeedInvest. "Expanding online fundraising to new markets creates a massive opportunity for internet native capital formation where individuals and businesses can connect and transact digitally from anywhere."
With the recent regulatory changes, companies in the UK and EU will now be able to raise up to €13m from retail investors in a single offering of either primary or secondary shares (€8m from UK investors and €5m from European investors). We announced earlier this month that we would be the first platform with pan-European and UK regulatory approvals. Crowdcube's first-mover advantage in Europe will give investors and entrepreneurs access to cross-border equity opportunities.
Feit will join Crowdcube's Board, and Jeremy Allaire, CEO and Co-Founder of Circle, will be an Observer. Circle joins existing backers Molten Ventures and Balderton Capital.
The funding comes as we achieved a record year of growth with £200million invested (+21% YoY) and over 208k investments made, and a growing community with 174k new members this year, bringing the total to 1.2 million. Our valuation has increased 57% to £140 million since our last funding round in 2018, with around £30 million in total raised from both institutional and retail investors.
Now, we're considering a crowd round to give you, our community, the opportunity to be part of our next chapter alongside Circle, Balderton Capital and Molten Ventures (previously Draper Esprit). If you'd like to own shares in Crowdcube, you can express your interest here.
Investments of this nature carry risks to your capital. Please invest aware.