CROWDFUNDING platform Crowdcube has raised £8.5m in a funding round led by venture capital firm Draper Esprit.
Draper Espirit has taken a £6m stake in the platform, alongside Channel 4 and Balderton Capital, which backed peer-to-peer lender Zopa in its early days.
The round marks Balderton’s fourth investment in Crowdcube, and the second time Draper Esprit has backed the platform, following an initial investment in 2015.
The fundraise will be followed by a crowdfunding campaign, which will publicly launch on 14 November to supplement the institutional investment.
“We’ve transformed equity finance and funded more businesses than anyone else in the UK to become a preferred choice for British entrepreneurs,” said Crowdcube in a statement.
“This latest investment, from two highly-regarded venture capital investors who are significantly increasing their stakes in Crowdcube and a famously forward-thinking media company, is fantastic proof of our progress and potential.
“It will enable us to accelerate our journey to profitability and expand faster in the UK and overseas, so we can help more innovative and ambitious businesses from across the globe grow, expand and make a difference to the world.”
A number of P2P lenders have opted to raise equity finance via Crowdcube, such as LandlordInvest.
The funding comes on the back of Crowdcube reporting record revenue of £1.6m for the third quarter of 2018, with investment pledged through the platform up to £50.4m in the period.
Meanwhile, its annual revenue is forecast to rise to £6m in 2018, up from £3.9m in 2017.
“Crowdcube has continued to demonstrate great progress and growth in the last 12 months and we’re pleased to be supporting the company alongside Channel 4 and Crowdcube’s global investor community,” said Suranga Chandratillake, partner at Balderton.
“In the last seven years, Crowdcube has built a scalable platform and is the world leader in equity crowdfunding. We look forward to being partners on the journey ahead.”