Crowdcube’s co-founder and chief marketing officer Luke Lang is leaving the equity crowdfunding platform and is joining new peer-to-peer lending platform Plend.
Lang launched Crowdcube with co-founder Darren Westlake in 2011, providing everyday investors with the opportunity to buy equity stakes in UK start-ups and scale-ups via its platform. A number of P2P lending platforms have raised money on Crowdcube, such as Ablrate and JustUs.
“After 12 years and a great deal of thought, I’ve taken the really difficult decision to move on from Crowdcube,” Lang said in a LinkedIn post.
“Over the last decade, Crowdcube has pioneered a new approach to funding that has become a vital source of investment for thousands of ambitious businesses across the globe and empowered everyday people to own an equity stake in businesses they believe in.
“However, after emerging from the pandemic even stronger, hitting profitability and with exciting plans in place for further growth, I feel that now is a good time for me to move on and let others write the next exciting chapter in Crowdcube’s history.”
Lang said that he is going to have “a well-earned rest over the summer” before taking up the role of Entrepreneur In Residence at SETsquared Exeter – a business incubator hub which is part of the University of Exeter.
“I’m also delighted to be joining [chief operating officer ] Robert Pasco and [chief technology officer] James Pursaill at Plend, a start-up on a mission to improve access to affordable lending by using Open Banking to revolutionise credit scoring,” Lang added. “Hopefully, the first of many new adventures for me.”
Plend is a new P2P lending platform which uses open banking and a modern credit checking process to connect individuals seeking funding with investors seeking yield.
Plend will officially launch later this year, targeting returns of 10-11 per cent.
In an exclusive interview with Peer2Peer Finance News last month, Pursaill and Pasco (pictured) underlined the social and ethical ambitions of the business.
“As we talked to more people and built our network and looked for a solution, the social lending element became quite prominent and that’s where the P2P aspect came from, allowing retail investors to get involved,” said Pasco. “It was also a way in which we could brand ourselves as being an impact-led business, which is what we wanted to do.”
A planned merger between Crowdcube and rival Seedrs was blocked by the UK antitrust regulator earlier this year, after an investigation found that it would reduce competition and innovation in the market.
According to the Competition and Markets Authority, Seedrs and Crowdcube controlled between 90 and 100 per cent of the UK’s equity crowdfunding market between them.