You'll find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions below. If you don’t find the answer you’re looking for below, please get in touch and we’ll do our best to help.
It is important to note that nothing in this document constitutes tax advice. Tax reliefs are not guaranteed, depend on the entities invested in maintaining their qualifying status and may be withdrawn at any time by HMRC. The tax treatment of the EIS scheme depends on the individual circumstances of each investor and may be subject to change in the future. Investors should seek professional advice regarding their personal circumstances.
What is the SyndicateRoom nominee?
SyndicateRoom operates a nominee structure. This means we group together all individual investments under a single nominee, greatly easing the administrative burden for both you and the companies that raise finance on SyndicateRoom.
This means that each company has only one legal shareholder to represent all platform investments (SyndicateRoom Nominees Ltd). Any investment by Fund Twenty8 is transacted separately and treated as an independent investment.
In practice, the nominee focuses the flow of communication between investors and the companies they have invested in, resulting in a faster and more efficient process.
How does it work?
Very simply: it acts as a go-between for you and the companies you invest in, easing the administrative burden. The nominee is the legal owner of your investments, but you remain the beneficial owner and retain full economic rights to your shares. This arrangement is created at the point when you decide to invest.
The nominee will take care of all communications surrounding the closure of SyndicateRoom investment monies and (S)EIS documentation for the SyndicateRoom investors (the underlying, beneficial shareholders).
We'll also handle all ongoing actions between the company and SyndicateRoom investors regarding, for example, pre-emption raises and shareholder voting, for the life of your investment.
In the unlikely event that SyndicateRoom or the nominee service provider cease trading, shares held by the nominee will be transferred to you as the beneficial owner and you will then become the direct shareholder; alternatively you can instruct that the shares are transferred to a replacement nominee of your choice.
SEIS and EIS certificates
The SyndicateRoom nominee keeps share certificates on your behalf and arranges SEIS and EIS certificates, so neither you nor the company you've invested in have to worry about burdensome paperwork. You still receive a confirmation of your investment as well as your SEIS and EIS certificates to keep hold of.
Importantly, the SyndicateRoom nominee does not make voting or other decisions on your behalf. Instead, it collects votes or decisions from the investors and passes these on to the company. You are not prevented from attending company meetings such as AGMs.
SyndicateRoom will provide any company updates and an annual review of all your investments.
The SyndicateRoom nominee will administer your investment in the case of dividend payments or an exit.
There are no upfront or ongoing fees for investors – you keep any profits from your investments.
What are the risks of investing in private companies?
Investing in any type of equity carries significant risk, however, investing in startups is particularly risky due to the early-stage nature of the business and inherent lack of liquidity. You should not invest unless you are prepared to sustain a total loss of the money you have invested.
Any decision to invest must be made on your own account and you must read all the documentation that is provided in relation to the investment opportunity. SyndicateRoom will not provide any advice on these investments, we will only execute the transactions for you. You will therefore be responsible for any loss as a result of any investment you make.
Please ensure you fully read and understand the risks involved in any decision you make. If you have any doubt whether or not an investment is suitable for you, you should obtain independent expert advice.
What countries can SyndicateRoom's funds accept investment from?
The funds SyndicateRoom operates which are currently accepting investment can only accept investment from people in the UK, EU, Nordic countries, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, New Zealand, Peru and Hong Kong.
At present we cannot accept investments from the US, Canada, Tunisia, Brazil or Argentina.
If you aren’t sure whether you can invest from where you are, please contact us and we’ll be able to let you know.
What type of investor am I?
When you join SyndicateRoom you will have to certify that you are one of the following:
1. Sophisticated investor
- I am working, or have worked in the two years prior to the date below, in a professional capacity in the private equity sector, or in the provision of finance for small and medium enterprises; or
- I am a member of a network or syndicate of business angels and have been so for at least the last six months prior to the date below; or
- I have made more than one investment in an unlisted company in the two years prior to the date below; or
- I am currently, or have been in the two years prior to the date below, a director of a company with an annual turnover of at least £1 million.
2. High-net-worth individual
I had, during the financial year immediately preceding the date below, an annual income to the value of £100,000 or more; or
I held, throughout the financial year immediately preceding the date below, net assets to the value of £250,000 or more. Net assets for these purposes do not include:
The property which is my primary residence or any loan secured on that residence;
Any rights of mine under a qualifying contract of insurance within the meaning of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Regulated Activities) Order 2001; or
Any benefits (in the form of pensions or otherwise) which are payable on the termination of my service or on my death or retirement and to which I am (or my dependants are), or may be, entitled.
You can start the registration process here (don’t worry, you’re not committing to invest if you join and it's free to sign up). Essentially, you’ll be certifying that you understand the risks of investing in early-stage companies and that you can make your own decisions.
How do I make a complaint?
Syndicate Room Ltd (“the firm”) takes complaints very seriously. Effective and transparent procedures for the reasonable and prompt handling of complaints have been established, implemented and maintained by the firm and are described below.
In the first instance, if you have a complaint, you should direct this to our CEO, Graham Schwikkard, at:
Syndicate Room Ltd
All complaints must be made in writing, either by post to the above address, or by email using [email protected].
(1) These procedures:
- Allow complaints to be made by eligible complainants and any reasonable means
- Recognise complaints as requiring resolution
(2) Once a complaint has been received by the firm, the firm will:
(2.1) Investigate the complaint competently, diligently and impartially
(2.2) Assess fairly, consistently and promptly:
- The subject matter of the complaint
- Whether the complaint will be upheld
- What remedial action or redress (or both) may be appropriate
- If appropriate, whether it has reasonable grounds to be satisfied that another firm may be solely or jointly responsible for the matter alleged in the complaint, taking into account all relevant factors
(2.3) Offer redress or remedial action when it decides that this is appropriate
(2.4) Explain to the complainant promptly and, in a way that is fair, clear and not misleading, its assessment of the complaint, its decision on it, and any offer of remedial action or redress
(2.5) Comply promptly with any offer of remedial action or redress accepted by the complainant
(3) The firm aims to resolve complaints at the earliest possible opportunity, minimising the number of unresolved complaints which need to be referred to the Financial Ombudsman Service. Where a complaint against the firm is referred to the Financial Ombudsman Service, the firm will cooperate fully with the Financial Ombudsman Service and comply promptly with any settlements or awards made by it.
(4) On receipt of a complaint, the firm will:
- Send the complainant a prompt written acknowledgement providing early reassurance that it has received the complaint and is dealing with it
- Ensure the complainant is kept informed thereafter of the progress of the measures being taken for the resolution of the complaint.
(5) If we consider a complaint to have been resolved by the close of business on the third business day following receipt, we will send you a ‘summary resolution communication’, which:
- Refers to the fact that the complainant has made a complaint and informs the complainant that the respondent now considers the complaint to have been resolved
- Tells the complainant that if he subsequently decides that he is dissatisfied with the resolution of the complaint, he may be able to refer the complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service
- Provide the website address of the Financial Ombudsman Service and refer to the availability of further information on this website: www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk
(6) If (5) does not apply, the firm will, by the end of eight weeks after its receipt of the complaint, send the complainant a final response; or a written response which:
- Explains why it is not in a position to make a final response and indicates when it expects to be able to provide one
- Informs the complainant that he may now refer the complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service
- Encloses a copy of the Financial Ombudsman Service standard explanatory leaflet
It is expected that within eight weeks of their receipt, almost all complaints to the firm will have been substantively addressed by it through a final response or response.