Crowdfinders, the UK’s frontrunner in new-era social funding, has launched the nation’s first-ever live crowdfunding summit, successfully introducing the concept of live business pitches that receive real-time investment pledges. Titled Rise to the Top, seven entrepreneurs delivered a series of competitive pitches to an audience of 400 high net-worth, ultra high net-worth, angel and institutional investors.  As a result, online dog community BorrowMyDoggy will receive £1.5m in committed investment, with full funding figures currently being tallied for the fellow companies who pitched on the day.

Sponsored by Seedrs and Crowdcube, and with Luke Davis (CEO of IW Capital), Alex Ricketts and Will Broome at the helm, the summit truly brought to life the concept of live crowd-funding, 400ft above London’s skyline. Keynotes on the day included Ben Sears, Investors Director at Seedrs; Simon Calver, former CEO of Lovefilm; Nicola Horlick, CEO of Money & Co; and Gonçalo de Vasconcelos, Co-Founder & CEO of SyndicateRoom.

Luke Davis CEO of IW Capital and Crowdfinders
Luke Davis CEO of IW Capital and Crowdfinders

Luke Davis CEO of IW Capital and Crowdfinders said at the event: “Social funding as a concept is nothing new – however crowdfunding continues to evolve due to the technology that defines it. By bringing international enterprise talent, investors, pitches, insights and real-time investments into one day, entirely dedicated to deal-flow and dialogue, crowdfunding is propelled into it next phase of delivery. I am a firm believer in the beauty of a face-to-face pitch and Rikke’s achievement is testament to this.

While online crowdfunding may be quicker, this often becomes purely transactional and misses the point that people buy people. However, events like today’s aims to put the power back into a pitch and support many more businesses just like BorrowMyDoggy.

Rikke Rosenlund, CEO of BorrowMyDoggy delivered an impressive portfolio of credentials surrounding the dog sharing platform’s progression. Since its inception in 2012, BorrowMyDoggy has built a community of over 250,000-member in the UK and Ireland. The site that matches dog-owners with dog-borrowers plans to use the funding to expand its list of services including launching additional user features and its first Android app, along with growing its dog-loving community.

Further live pitches included:

  • Brabham: David Brabham – Project Brabham is a “bold new approach” for racing that makes motorsport more accessible, more transparent and more engaging to fans. Above all this, it allows a team to be more self-sufficient.
  • A Spokesman Said: Kelvin MacKenzie – A Spokesman Said is a public platform that levels the field between you and the company that has let you down.
  • The Link App: Lauren Riley – The Link App helps law firms thrive against the competition, improve customer service, save time, money, and increase productivity.
  • Pink Lining: Rufus Pearl – Pink Lining provides the most stylish and functional changing bags, maternity bags and children’s bags.
  • Alquity: Paul Robinson – Alquity is transforming how people invest to achieve great returns while creating a better world for all. A new form of Environmental, Social and Governance investing.
  • Mayfair Brands: Roger Hatfield – Mayfair Brands produces and markets three premium spirits brands; Mayfair London Dry Gin, Mayfair English Vodka and Providencia Golden Rum

Speaking of the event, Will Broome, Co-Founder at Crowdfinders said: “Today’s event serves as a live manifestation of the emerging Alternative Finance marketplace – fast-paced, engaging, exciting and in real-time, introducing dynamic hand-selected businesses to proactive investors at an event which reflects all of these synergistic values. There is no other event in the finance world that combines money-markets with magicians or Cryptocurrency with contortionists. We aim to inspire and aspire our delegates to succeed”

UK’s First Live Crowdfunding Summit - Crowdfinders Live - Fulfills £1.9m Funding Goal in Committed Investment
UK’s First Live Crowdfunding Summit – Crowdfinders Live – Fulfills £1.9m Funding Goal in Committed Investment

Raising topics such as “Peer to Peer Across Borders,” “Debt or Equity: The Choice for Investors” and “What Do Investors Want?” the event opened a truly international discussion, appealing to both growing businesses and investors alike. While evaluating the UK’s position in the global crowdfunding community, Rise to the Top and further iterations of Crowdfinders Live aim to improve access to capital for the nation’s businesses, and enhance the scope of investment avenues available to them.

Alex Ricketts, Founding Partner of Crowdfinders said, “Crowdfinders has become more than a conference, it is now a community. We still have first class content, and host the important industry discussions, but now our guests and partners are doing business in the room. It has to be the only event where the ticket price can potentially be repaid a million times over during the course of the day”.

Rikke Rosenlund, CEO and Founder of BorrowMyDoggy said: “It was great to attend the event and be able to pitch in front of such a large group of investors. The day was extremely well organised, with a broad range of key note speakers and expert panels. I am thankful to have been part of it and to work with both Crowdfinders and IW Capital”

Valued at £146 million in 2015, the UK’s equity crowdfunding industry has demonstrated extraordinary growth, more than doubling in a year. Forecast to double again in the next 12 months, Crowdfinders Live events aim to accelerate further growth in the sector through knowledge sharing and expert insider insights. This was delivered in yesterday’s iteration through in-depth panel discussions and keynotes, from:

  • Ben Sears, Investors Director at Seedrs
  • Gonçalo de Vasconcelos, Co-Founder & CEO of SyndicateRoom
  • Nicola Horlick, CEO of Money&Co
  • Simon Calver, former CEO of Lovefilm
  • David Murray-Hundley, The Grumpy Entrepreneur
  • Lasse Mäkelä, CEO of Investor
  • Christian Mouysset, Co-owner of Hummus Bros
  • Daniel Gandesha, Founder of Property Partner
  • Rob Stross, Director of Sales and Marketing at WeSwap
  • Kiki Loizou, Small Business Editor at The Sunday Times (panel host)

To enhance Crowdfinders’ expanding social-funding community, the next event will travel to Manchester at the end of the year. On December 3rd at The Museum of Science and Industry, Crowdfinders will gather a fresh panel of speakers and pitchers, to demonstrate that crowdfunding is not a London-centric industry, but one with the potential to expand growing businesses nationwide.

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