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EIS Crowd 10 December 2018

  • BY: Andrew Hore |
  • POSTED: 17/12/2018 |

One hundred fastest growing businesses in Britain
Crowdfunding platform Syndicate Room has published its list of the top one hundred fastest-growing businesses in Britain. The top company is Bulb, whose valuation has increased by 351.2 times between June 2015 and June 2018.
The research was undertaken by Beauhurst and covers private companies that raised money prior to 30 June 2015 and raised further money after that date, which meant that there were 1,479 companies eligible. The smallest cash raisings of less than £250,000 and pre-fundraising values of less than £1m were excluded.
Energy supplier Bulb offers one energy tariff and 100% of the electricity and 10% of the gas provided comes from renewable sources. Bulb has grown via social media and referrals, having initially raised £1.3m to start-up operations. The firm has built up a base of 850,000 customers and wants to add another one million people in 2019, which is faster than any firm in the sector has ever grown previously.
Fashion search engine Lyst is in second place with an increase in valuation of 134.8 times. Lyst was launched in 2010 and it can connect shoppers with more than 11,000 designers and stores, enabling them to buy from multiple outlets and pay one overall bill at the end of shopping. More than 70 million people use Lyst each year.
All the companies in the list have valuations more than eight times higher than three years ago. Rival crowdfunding platform Seedrs is 95 on the list with a multiple of nine times.
There were 73 technology-related business in the list in 2018, up from 44 in the previous year. Two-thirds of the 100 companies were based in London.
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finnCap uses crowdfunding for flotation
Broker finnCap raised an undisclosed amount of cash via a retail offer through platform PrimaryBid. In 2016, finnCap invested in PrimaryBid. finnCap subsequently completed its flotation on AIM on 5 December, having raised a total of £3.75m at 28p a share. The acquisition of Cavendish Corporate Finance was completed at the same time and this provides exposure to the private acquisitions market, which can have a different cycle to the stockmarket.
During September, advanced materials developer Versarien raised £5.15m at 145p a share in its latest fundraising via PrimaryBid, which helped with the company’s previous two placings. In November 2017, the company raised £2.9m at 18p a share. The original intention was to raise £1.2m. In March 2017, £1.5m was raised, after initially asking for £1m, at 15p a share.
Sexual health products developer Futura Medical used PrimaryBid to help it raise part of the £5.85m generated via a placing and open offer at 7p a share. The PrimaryBid offer was eligible for EIS.
PrimaryBid itself raised £2m during September. The cash will be used to grow the operation in Europe, thereby enabling investors in Europe to gain access to fundraisings by companies based in the Eurozone.  PrimaryBid is working with Euronext to roll out the service and the first country covered will be France. The service still requires regulatory permissions and the implementation of the technology infrastructure.
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Deal levels slow in third quarter
Research firm Beauhurst says that the number of fundraising deals in the third quarter of 2018 was 18% lower than the previous quarter at 363. The number of deals is the lowest for any quarter since the fourth quarter of 2014. The amount invested fell by 9% to £1.84bn, although it was still much higher than in the first quarter.
The largest decline was in the seed capital part of the market. The one bright area was fintech where there were a record number of deals. Advertising tech appears to be out of favour, while property tech is gaining momentum.
There was £49.6m raised from 82 deals by crowdfunding businesses in the third quarter, although other funds invested took the investment in these deals to £65.3m. That is the lowest number of deals since the first quarter of 2017.
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Challenger bank Monzo raised £20m in its latest crowdfunding round via Crowdcube. This cash will finance further technology investment, including an upgraded smartphone app. Monzo says it already has 1.2 million customers. The share price has increased from 235.66p at the time of the previous fundraising to 771.45p.

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