Crowdcube, the Exeter, UK-based equity crowdfunding platform, announced its plans to launch its latest international operation in Italy, thanks to the strategic partnership agreement signed with Xandas, a Milan-based company specialized in launching and operating highly innovative digital ventures.
The announcement follows recent agreements to open in New Zealand and Spain and operations will be Launched in all three countries in early 2014. Crowdcube has now signed partnership agreements in seven different countries (the others are Brazil, Sweden, Dubai and Poland) with the expansion funded with £ 1.5m growth capital raised via their Own equity crowdfunding website.
Led by Fabio Pezzotti, CEO, Xandas focuses on seed and early stage businesses and investment with a management team having a combined 30 years of experience in launching startups, fundraising and exits, international development and management. They have invested in Pointistic and Chupamobile, among others. Commenting on the announcement,
Pezzotti said: «We are delighted to partner with Europe’s leading equity crowdfunding platform, Crowdcube. Italy, which became the first country in Europe to implement equity crowdfunding laws early this year, has tremendous potential. Our knowledge of the local startup and investor eco-system and Italian financial regulations combined with Crowdcube’s state-of-the-art technology and know-how means we can rapidly launch and make a real impact in Italy, akin to what Crowdcube has achieved in the UK».
Led by Darren Westlake, CEO, and Luke Lang, Crowdcube enables everyday investors to fund businesses in return for a share in the company. Since February 2011, more than 50,000 investors have registered with Crowdcube, helping to raise more than £16m for over 80 UK businesses.They expect further agreements to be signed in 2014 and is already seeking potential partners in France, Germany, Canada and the USA.
With more than 50,000 investors in the UK and named one of the hottest FinTech firms in Europe , Crowdcube's founding duo have made a great progress with their ambitious plan to expand their business model overseas. The expansion is funded with £ 1.5 million growth capital raised in just three days earlier this year using its own equity crowdfunding website.
Crowdcube has already established joint venture agreements in Brazil, Sweden , Poland and Dubai , highlighting the interest and demand for alternative sources of funding around the world. Crowdcube Sweden Launched earlier in 2013 and operations in Brazil, Poland and Dubai are expected to go live early in 2014.
Crowdcube's international expansion aims to emulate the success that it has achieved in the UK since it launched the world 's first equity crowdfunding platform in February 2011. Eighty-three pitches have raised a combined total of more than £16 million, seven times the its nearest competitor in the UK , and has contributed to the creation of an estimated 1,400 jobs .
Darren Westlake, CEO and co-founder of Crowdcube, comments:
“To successfully expand internationally it is vital to have a strong presence at a local level and this is why joint venture partnerships are an important aspect of our strategy for long term success. We have built a well-regarded brand, not just in the UK but abroad, a powerful technology platform and a wealth of knowledge and experience of equity crowdfunding that is second to none. However, people who understand the local culture and are already immersed in the start-up and investment scene are critical for success; it is not sufficient simply to build a website and hope that people come; we all know it takes more than that.”
“We’ve been accepting investments from overseas investors in businesses on our UK site for some time now. But for equity crowdfunding to really take off people need to be able to invest in national businesses as well as overseas ventures.”
Xandas New Media Ventures is a Milan-based new media development company dedicated to fund, launch and operate highly innovative projects and services in Internet and Mobile services. It enjoys access to a network of top-tier companies professionals with whom it has partnered both for co-investment opportunities as well as for shares expertise and synergies on particular projects.