Harper Macleod, Crowdcube in crowdfunding deal

Crowdcube CCO Matt Cooper

Equity crowdfunding platform Crowdcube has joined forces with Scottish law firm Harper Macleod to target “the huge potential for growth” in Scotland.

The two organisations launched a strategic partnership to target what they believe is still an untapped market of Scottish businesses that could benefit from equity crowdfunding.

Since it was established in 2011, Crowdcube has funded 17 Scottish businesses, raising £19.8 million in the process.

In 2017 the numbers were £1.7 million for three businesses.

However, this represents only 6% of its UK market as a whole, leaving Scotland way behind other parts of the UK when it comes to businesses taking advantage of crowdfunding.

“Through the partnership, both organisations will co-operate to ensure equity crowdfunding is considered as part of the funding mix for an increasing number of Scottish growth businesses, for whom it has the potential to be a gamechanger,” said Harper Macleod.

“Companies working with both Harper Macleod and Crowdcube can save on the overall cost of conducting their crowdfunding campaign.

“The partnership will also see the duo raise awareness through a series of events across the country.”

A launch event in Glasgow highlighted Scottish equity crowdfunding success stories to date and the opportunities which exist as the level of public funding for early stage and growing businesses comes under increasing pressure.

Crowdcube CCO Matt Cooper said: “Whilst Crowdcube has helped fund a number of businesses in Scotland, including Ellon-based BrewDog, we think there is a huge opportunity to further support businesses in the country.

“We’re looking forward to working with the Harper Macleod team to broaden the funding opportunities for entrepreneurs across Scotland.”

Crowdcube has more than 500,000 crowd investors and the market capitalisation of its 630 funded businesses is more than £390 million.

Last year alone it helped raise more than £87 million for 133 businesses across the UK.

A recent report from Beauhurst, which tracks the UK’s fastest growing businesses, ranked Crowdcube as the leading sources of Series A level funding in the UK in 2017, with 33 deals of £1 million or more.

Cooper added: “There’s a huge opportunity here and this is the first step in making sure that Scottish businesses do not miss out.”

Harper Macleod is recognised as one of the leading advisers to early stage and high-growth businesses in Scotland with a particular specialism in ensuring that those looking for funding are ‘investor ready’.

Paula Skinner, a partner in Harper Macleod’s corporate team, said: “We’ve been impressed by Crowdcube’s success rate for businesses seeking funding and we know they are committed to bringing more of this success to Scottish growth businesses.

“That’s why we’re delighted to announce this official partnership.

“Over the past five years when we’ve been involved in crowdfunds for our clients, the market has matured – you can see this in the figures which show Crowdcube is now the number one source of Series A level funding in the UK.

“Crowdfunding is now a vital part of the funding mix and something we make sure our clients consider.

“Having this close relationship with Crowdcube will benefit all the people we work with within Scotland’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and I believe it’s another positive step in the constant push to helping our businesses scale-up to the next level.”