SyndicateRoom is poised for aggressive growth over the next six months, following its recent funding round on its own platform.
For CEO Goncalo de Vasconcelos, the business just grew to the point where it needed a series A round to keep up with its expansion plans. “We’ll need to double our team in the next ten to 12 months, and a lot of the focus will be on further developing our technology,” he told GrowthBusiness. The platform has a unique approach to FinTech, as explained by de Vasconcelos. “What you see in most companies in FinTech is the split between the ‘fin’ and the ‘tech’. Most platforms operate on the technology side, growing fast, whatever the cost. You can’t do that with the investor-led crowdfunding model. I don’t believe in the race for ROI. In fact, I’m astonished how investors would think that is a good approach. There needs to be a focus on the ‘finance’ part of FinTech. The only way it’ll be sustainable is if it works for investors.”
“Tom (Britton) and I started this business to build a brand that is good for investors and the companies they back,” de Vasconcelos added, stressing the importance of quality over quantity.
Super-angel investor and Abcam founder, Jonathan Milner led the £3.1 million round. Online investors included Unicorn AIM VCT, which invested the largest contribution, at £1 million. As always with SyndicateRoom raises, all investors had access to the same class of shares at the same price per share.
“To have such strong demand from both retail and institutional investors is the strongest vote of confidence we could have regarding our expansion plans within crowdfunding and equity capital markets. I am hugely excited about the times ahead of SyndicateRoom and its potential to become a billion dollar business,” de Vasconcelos said.
The round was valued at £25 million, but de Vasconcelos set a modest target of £2.3 million for its next step. The platform raised this in just 10 hours after going live on SyndicateRoom, refusing checks for the whole sum in the interest of opening up the round to the wider SyndicateRoom investor base. In May 2015, SyndicateRoom also completed a £1.2million funding round, which was completed in just 33 hours.
SyndicateRoom will boost its expansion into the equity capital markets and double its staff base over the next six months.
In March 2016, SyndicateRoom became a member of the London Stock Exchange, enabling crowdfunding investors to participate in IPOs and placings. It is the first platform of its kind to enter the public markets, enabling individual investors to have access to new equity issues on the same terms as institutions.
Of the Britons surveyed for SyndicateRoom’s Bridging the Equity Divide report, 40 per cent said that they would have invested in an IPO had they known about the opportunity to do so. This suggests that the public equity markets are missing out on a vital source of retail investment demand. With this new capability, SyndicateRoom aims to live up to its ethos of supporting companies from idea to IPO.