25 April 2015
A helping hand to launching a new venture
Over the past five years there has been a boom in the number of new businesses being founded in the UK, in 2014 there were more than 500,000. At the same time, there has been a surge in alternative sources of finance for early-stage start-ups for whom traditional bank finance is not necessarily the right option.
VentureFounders, an equity crowdfunding platform making angel style investing more affordable and accessible, is one such option. B P Collins’ corporate team has been providing legal support and our editor caught up with co-founders Paul Moravek and James Codling to find out more.
Why did you set VentureFounders up?
Our aim was to bring a curated offering of venture capital and angel style investments to investors in an efficient and cost-effective way. In addition, we wanted to make the process of raising capital and beyond more streamlined and efficient for businesses.
We offer a more bespoke and professional service, both to businesses looking for finance through crowdfunding, and to investors wanting to diversify their investment portfolio.
We have known each other for 15 years, having worked together at JP Morgan. We had a meeting of minds and scoped how we thought we could move the crowdfunding market on, making use of our backgrounds in venture capital and equity finance.
How is VentureFounders different?
It is much more than a crowdfunding platform. We offer long-term advisory services and partnership to the businesses seeking funding and provide access to a curated range of well-structured early stage and growth capital opportunities for investors.
We screen all of the investment opportunities on our platform, conducting detailed due diligence before presenting to our investor base. All of this vital information is presented on our website for investors to see.
We also believe that the role of crowdfunding shouldn’t end just because the investment round has completed. We create long-lasting relationships with our investment businesses, checking in throughout their growth cycle, often taking a board observer seat and providing regular updates to shareholders and helping to maximise returns on their behalf.
What is your criteria for partnering with a business?
The team’s extensive experience in corporate finance, private equity, deal structuring and start-ups means we are well placed to identify the businesses that meet our criteria, ie: those with potential for growth and profit, a sustainable competitive advantage, a clear path to commercialisation, a strong management team and viable monetisation options.
Our team is complemented by a senior advisor panel of industry leading experts and entrepreneurs, including Justin Urquhart Stewart, Founder of Seven Investment Management, and Martin McCourt, the ex CEO of Dyson.
Who is your target market?
Entrepreneurs – we’re aimed at growing businesses that have already demonstrated early signs of strong potential. Typically between one and three-years-old, they will be up and running with a strong management team in place and a detailed business plan. The company must be UK-based and in terms of deal size, looking to raise between £250,000 and £2 million.
Investors – typically we work with sophisticated and high net worth investors who have already established a diverse portfolio of investments and are interested in angel style investments at a level that is much more accessible and affordable.
Our entry-level investment is £2,500. The reason that we set this minimum is that we believe this is an appropriate minimum threshold for more serious investors looking to self-select their own portfolio whilst also indicating a suitable level of risk appetite.
Visit the VentureFounders website here.