Jeff Kelisky

Jeff Kelisky, Seedrs CEO

Investment manager pumps £4m into Seedrs

Woodford Investment Management has invested £4m into crowdfunding platform Seedrs.

Seedrs, the UK’s most active equity crowdfunding platform, has announced a £4m investment by Woodford Investment Management (Woodford).

The investment will be made through two Woodford-managed funds, Woodford Patient Capital Trust plc (WPCT) and Omnis Income and Growth Fund (Omnis).

This investment follows on a £6m investment in Seedrs made by Woodford in 2015. In addition to the investment from Woodford, Seedrs will conduct a crowdfunding campaign to give existing shareholders and new investors the opportunity to participate. Details of the crowdfunding campaign will be announced shortly.

The fundraising round values Seedrs at £40m on a fully-diluted, pre-money basis. This represents a 27.2% increase in share price from Seedrs’s last fundraising in mid-2015 and a 135.9% increase in share price from its late 2013 funding round.

Seedrs will use the capital raised in this fundraising round to launch new product capabilities that will materially increase liquidity and return potential for investors and businesses; build out increased sales and marketing efforts, launch a select set of strategic partnerships, and massively scale campaign execution through automation, machine learning and AI.

Jeff Kelisky, chief executive officer of Seedrs, said: “We are thrilled to have Woodford leading the round with £4m, taking their total investment into Seedrs to £10m. The capital we are raising will allow us to deliver our next stage of growth.

"Equally important to everyone at Seedrs was gaining agreement that we could open up an amount for the crowd. We already have nearly 1,000 crowd investors following raises in 2013 and 2015 and many investors were disappointed to miss out on our last round.”

This fundraising follows on a string of recent accomplishments including amongst others:

  • Funding over 510 deals with more than £250m invested into campaigns on the platform including a £3.8m round for Revolut from over 4,300 investors in August
  • Launching the equity crowdfunding sector’s first Secondary Market in May 2017, from which some investors have realised up to 19x returns on their investments
  • Becoming the sole equity crowdfunding platform appointed to the Royal Bank of Scotland Capital Connections Programme in May 2017
  • Being named the most active investor in UK private companies by independent research agency Beauhurst in February 2017
  • Publishing its inaugural Portfolio Update, a groundbreaking move for the space in Autumn 2016. Landmark analysis shows that on a fair value basis as of 30 September 2016, investing through Seedrs has produced better annualised rates of return (IRRs) than most other asset classes with platform-wide IRR increases from 14.44% to 49.1% when impacts of SEIS and EIS tax reliefs are taken into account.
  • Continuing to work closely in partnership with Sir Andy Murray, who has now backed almost 30 early-stage businesses on Seedrs, promoting the success of European SMEs
  • Being shortlisted in 2017 for Digital SME of the Year (DL100), Fintech 250 (Future of Fintech), Fintech 50 (The Fintech 50: Seedrs is The only crowdfunding platform on it), Alternative Finance Provider of the Year (2017 British Small Business Awards), Tech Company of the Year (National Technology Awards)

The fundraising round remains subject to consent by the Financial Conduct Authority and customary closing conditions.