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Crowdcube raises £10 million from crypto giant Circle and eyes European expansion

Evening Standard | Oscar Williams-Grut | Nov 23, 2021

Crowdcube Darren Westlake - Crowdcube raises £10 million from crypto giant Circle and eyes European expansionBritain’s biggest crowdfunding platform Crowdcube is eyeing major expansion to Europe and could one day put company stock on the blockchain after raising £10 million from a US cryptocurrency business.

US business Circle is backing the crowdfunding platform, which has helped the likes of BrewDog, Revolut and Mindful Chef raise money from small time investors. Existing investors Balderton and Molten also took part in the funding round.

Circle owns SeedInvest, a similar startup funding platform in the US. Crowdcube boss Darren Westlake told the Standard the investment extended a partnership between his business and SeedInvest. The pair have in the past partnered up to offer dual listings for startups looking to raise cash in both the UK and US.

“We’ve known SeedInvest for a longtime,” Westlake said.

See:  Crowdcube partners with Seccl to shake up IPO market

The investment from Circle follows the collapse of merger talks with rival UK platform Seeders earlier this year. The deal was blocked by the competition watchdog, a decision that raised questions about the future of both businesses.

Westlake said Crowdcube had done “incredibly well” since then and became operationally profitable earlier this year. He decided to raise money to fund expansion to Europe after a rule change meant companies could raise up to €13 million from retail investors in Europe.

Crowdcube “spoke to all the usual suspects” about investment before being approached by Circle.

While Circle operates SeedInvest, it is best known for cryptocurrency. Founded in 2013, the Goldman Sachs-backed startup originally worked on crypto payment products but has found success with a ‘stablecoin’ -- a cryptocurrency pegged to the dollar. Its USDC stablecoin has a circulation of $33 billion

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Crowdcube raises £10 million from crypto giant Circle and eyes European expansion The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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