Seedrs Founder Jeff Lynn: We are experiencing meaningfully higher levels of fundraising and investment activity than the same time last year

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Crowdfund Insider | | Aug 11, 2020

Seedrs lobby - Seedrs Founder Jeff Lynn: We are experiencing meaningfully higher levels of fundraising and investment activity than the same time last yearSeedrs is a top UK based investment crowdfunding platform that is active in both the UK and continental Europe. Launched in 2012, Seedrs is a trailblazer in online capital formation for early-stage ventures. Since inception, Seedrs has booked over 1100 funded deals recording about £950 million in investment while hosting the most robust marketplace for secondary transactions for crowdfunded securities. Many well-known tech-names have utilized the platform to raise growth capital while enlisting a wider audience of investors that may become unofficial brand ambassadors. Revolut, one of the top UK based digital banks, has crowdfunded on Seedrs.

When COVID dropped the world into a global pandemic, like almost all businesses, Seedrs was impacted. Yet out of the shattering economic decline, Seedrs, like some other online investment platforms, has adapted and in many respects thrived. Seedrs quickly embraced the Future Fund schemed crafted by HM Treasury to help support startups and early-stage ventures that did not qualify for loan based Coronavirus support programs. In the weeks since the Future Fund became actionable, Seedrs has helped dozens of early-stage firms to utilize the government program to raise matching funds in a convertible security offering. Seedrs is probably the most active digital platform leveraging the Future Fund.

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Seedrs co-founder Jeff Lynn was Seedrs longtime CEO until passing the baton over to Jeff Kelisky and stepping into the role as Chairman of the firm. As Chairman, Lynn has remained a staunch advocate of Seedrs’ mission to recreate early-stage funding Recently, Crowdfund Insider queried Lynn about Seedrs performance during the COVID pandemic. Our conversation is below.

How has Seedrs adapted to the new environment of social distancing and remote work?

Jeff Lynn: As a digital business, we’re very fortunate that we’re able to work remotely, and that we can continue to provide the same level of service to our entrepreneurs and investors as we could when we were in the office. That being said, I think the whole team misses getting to work together in person, and looks forward to being back in the office eventually.

Do you anticipate that some of these changes will stick long term?

Jeff Lynn: Like many businesses, we are having a conversation with our team about how to combine the benefits of working from home, which we’ve all experienced over the last few months, with the value that comes from being in the office. I don’t know where that will land in the long run, but it would not surprise me if we see a general shift in the working world — at least among digital businesses — to one in which most people work in the office a few days a week and at home the other days.

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Seedrs quickly moved to list issuers under the Future Fund scheme. How many issuers have participated in this program? How is it working out so far?

Jeff Lynn: It’s been great. The Future Fund is a very important initiative that has helped to unlock private capital during a time when it might have frozen up, while at the same time providing additional government funding in order to extend runways and help businesses navigate (and in some cases continue to grow) through this crisis. So far we’ve had 26 Future Fund campaigns, and there are more to come. We’re very pleased to be able to play a part in this powerful and unusual funding opportunity.

Just recently, variable pricing was announced for Seedrs Secondary Market – a significant change. How is your marketplace progressing? A quick glance displays a lot of green (higher values).

Jeff Lynn: We’re thrilled with the continued growth of the Seedrs Secondary Market. It is one of the pillars of our well-publicised efforts to move beyond crowdfunding and toward becoming a full-scale marketplace for private capital. And the introduction of a basic form of variable pricing, which launched this month, is a key part of the Secondary Market’s evolution. We won’t know the exact impact on numbers until after this month’s trading cycle closes, but just based on observation it looks like there has been a significant takeup of the opportunity to offer shares at a premium or discount.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Seedrs Founder Jeff Lynn: We are experiencing meaningfully higher levels of fundraising and investment activity than the same time last year 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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