Europcar has acquired E-Car Club, one of the first businesses to seek equity capital through Crowdcube.
The parties claim that this is the first successful exit for an equity crowdfunded business, with the 63 Crowdcube backers receiving a multiple return on their combined £100,000 investment.
E-Car Club is the first entirely electric car sharing club for businesses and communities. Social entrepreneurs Chris Morris and Andrew Wordsworth started the businesses in 2011 and they turned to Crowdcube in 2013 to raise growth capital.
The sale to Europcar sees the investors enjoying a successful exit from the company – something that Crowdcube claim hasn’t happened previously.
The platform’s co-founder Luke Lang called the exit “another momentous milestone in the history of equity crowdfunding”.
“Delivering financial returns are vital to the long-term growth of equity crowdfunding so we’re extremely proud to be the first to achieve this in just over two years after investors backed E-Car Club,” he said.
Lang added that, although investing in early stage businesses in risky, “it can also be very lucrative if you diversify judiciously”.
“E-Car Club, whose crowd investors included business owners, serial investors and senior directors at global banks as well as everyday investors, is a great example of how our investor community is sophisticated and understands the importance of diversification,” he said.
E-Care Club co-founder Morris said that the partnership with Europcar would give the business the “investment and resources that we need to accelerate our growth and reach more communities”.
“We will continue to have a social mission at the heart of our business: to improve mobility on a local level whilst simultaneously reducing the cost and environmental impact of each journey taken,” he continued.
Further reading: Five ways crowdfunding is used for good