Equity crowdfunding platform Seedrs has announced that 2017 was its most successful year to date.
The investment platform saw a number of achievements during the year, including award wins, an oversubscribed funding round led by Woodford Investment Management, record-breaking deals and the launch of the industry’s first fully functional secondary market.
Seedrs announced a secondary market in the first half of 2017 after recognising the growing demand for liquidity from investors. The innovative product allows shareholders in Seedrs portfolio businesses to trade shares during a one-week window each month.
The Seedrs secondary market continues to grow quickly, with five times the number of shares listed in the December trading window as had been listed in the market’s first window in June.
In addition to the many investor exits achieved through the secondary market, Seedrs saw two company-level exits in 2017.
Blow LTD, the on-demand beauty services startup, facilitated an opportunity for Seedrs investors to sell their shares to retail giant Debenhams. Only a small handful of investors chose to sell, given the company’s strong prospects ahead, but those who did achieved up to a 3x return.
Wealthify, the robo-advisory platform, agreed the sale of a majority interest to insurance leader Aviva. Seedrs investors, some of whom only purchased their shares a few months ago, will sell their stakes as part of the transaction for a nearly 20% gain.
Seedrs broke multiple records this year with its funding rounds, and it has now surpassed £300m invested into campaigns on the platform since launch, with over 560 deals funded to date.
Jeff Kelisky, CEO at Seedrs, reflects on his first year at the company: “Since joining Seedrs in January, I have been hugely impressed and delighted by what we have built and the opportunity we have ahead of us. The continued success of so many of our portfolio companies validates everything we are working so hard to achieve, but also the very essence of what equity crowdfunding stands for - helping ambitious growth focused businesses thrive with patient capital, and starting to deliver sizeable returns to investors.
“Seedrs has been live for five years, and in a long term asset class where we have always talked about returns from the seven year mark onwards, the trajectory is already incredibly positive. 2017 has been a standout year for both Seedrs and the wider space, but we have long been looking ahead to 2018 and planning how we can continue to lead the equity crowdfunding space with innovative technology, game-changing products and many more portfolio success stories.”