Last week, equity crowdfunding platform Seedrs offered shares to their broader audience as part of a funding round to raise £10 million. According to the platform,£2.5 million in equity was madeavailable for registered investors on its site. This is not the first time Seedrs raised capital on its own platform – and it is probably not the last.
Gonçalo de Vasconcelos, CEO of competing platform SyndicateRoom, released a statement on the funding round:
‘I’m pleased to see that Seedrs successfully completed their own raise today. It shows the progress and growing maturity of the equity crowdfunding industry in the UK.
‘However it’s disappointing to note that the institutional investors are receiving preferential shares whilst the crowd is not, effectively treating the crowd as second class citizens. This is something SyndicateRoom has long been advocating against. To make equity crowdfunding truly equitable we believe that all investors in the round should have access to the same class of shares and same price per share, which is exactly what happens at SyndicateRoom.’
Crowdfund Insider reached out to Seedrs for clarification on the share structure and received a response that investors were acquiring the same ordinary shares that founders, and all other shareholders, received with the exception of two institutions which received Series A preferred. New investors did receive EIS tax treatment, which is advantageous, whereas the preferred shares did not. The preferred shareholders did receive some ‘limited downside protection’. This was all made clear to the individuals who participated in the offer.
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