Investments 

Seedrs launches bid to push crowdfunding to advisers

Seedrs launches bid to push crowdfunding to advisers

Seedrs has launched a programme to introduce financial advisers and their clients to equity crowdfunding.

In the past 18 months, the company said it has seen increased levels of interest from financial intermediaries looking for new opportunities for their clients.

Under the new programme, Seedrs offers intermediaries a non-advised solution for their sophisticated and high net-worth clients who are looking to have their own portfolio of seed enterprise investment schemes (SEIS) and enterprise investment schemes (EIS) qualifying investments.

The platform will handle all legal and tax admin online with no ongoing management fees.

Thomas Davies, chief investment officer at Seedrs, said: “Equity crowdfunding has become increasingly interesting to accountants, brokers and financial consultants.

“The Seedrs nominee structure gives advisers the peace of mind that their clients are investing on the same terms as professional venture capital firms firms, receiving full voting rights, often pre-emption rights, consent rights and tag along provisions to protect minority shareholder rights.

“Furthermore, investors can get as involved as they like with businesses, support great ideas as a mentor, beta tester, customer and contribute towards innovation, progress, economic growth and job creation across Europe.”

According to Seedrs’ most recent portfolio update investing through the company produced platform-wide annual rates of return increasing from 14.44 per cent to 49.1 per cent when impacts of SEIS and EIS tax reliefs was taken into account.

More than £3.6bn was invested into 1,203 equity deals in the UK in 2016, of which 23 per cent of all equity investment was done through equity crowdfunding platforms.

Seedrs completed 11 per cent of those deals and has now funded over 540 deals and had more than £280m invested into campaigns on the platform.

Late last year the Financial Conduct Authority tightened the rules on loan-based and investment-based crowdfunding.

The regulator's proposals included strengthening rules on wind-down plans; additional requirements or restrictions on cross-platform investment and extending mortgage-lending standards to loan-based platforms.

It came after the regulator found investors were struggling to compare platforms with each other or to compare crowdfunding with other asset classes due to the complex and often unclear product offerings.

The difficulty for investors to assess the risks and returns of investing on a platform was also highlighted as cause for concern for the City watchdog.

damian.fantato@ft.com

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