After years of backing headline-grabbing consumer internet deals, it seems that venture capitalists are paying more attention (and more money) to the seemingly staid and stodgy enterprise technology companies (the businesses that sell technology to make businesses work better). Their mission: to explore new ways of organizing data, to seek out new models for efficiency and security for… Read More
It’s been a great week for Britain’s crowdfunding platforms.
On Wednesday night, Funding Circle, the crowdlending platform for small businesses that also operates in the US, announced that it has raised $65 million to keep growing its operations. And yesterday, Crowdcube, one of Britain’s leading equity crowdfunding platforms, announced that it has raised £3.8 million ($6.5 million) of a £5 million ($8.5 million) round.
The investment was led by Balderton Capital, which has also invested in peer-to-peer lender Zopa, and general partner Tim Bunting is joining the Crowdcube board of directors.
“We’re delighted to secure growth finance from such a renowned VC who will undoubtedly add tremendous value both strategically and operationally,” said Crowdcube CEO and co-founder Darren Westlake in a statement. “We’ve built a pioneering and award-winning service over the last few years. This investment, alongside the crowd, puts us in an even stronger position to provide essential growth finance for businesses and inspire a new generation of investors.”
The rest of the cash — the £1.2 million ($2 million) — Crowdcube will be raising on its own platform. The campaign will open on Tuesday, and will probably not take long to reach its goal. Last year, the company raised £1.5 million in three days.
Earlier this week, Crowdcube announced that over £30 million ($51 million) has been raised for 131 businesses since launching in 2011, with half of that coming this year. The company keeps an updated infographic chronicling some of the stats about its raises, check it out below.Read More →
Expect Labs Lands In-Q-Tel Investment, Will Help U.S. Intelligence Integrate Its MindMeld Technology
TechCrunch Startup Battlefield alum Expect Labs has closed a strategic investment and software development agreement with In-Q-Tel, the investment arm of the U.S. Intelligence community. Read More
Funding Circle, the online peer-to-peer lending platform for small business, announced last night that it has raised a $65 million Series D round.
The round was led by Index Ventures, with previous investors Accel Partners, Union Square Ventures, and Ribbit Capital also participating. Funding Circle had raised $58 million in previous rounds, with the last $37 million raise coming only nine months ago.
The money will be used to support the company’s growth, expand its product range, and fuel international expansion. Currently, it operates in the UK, where it was founded, and in the US.
Interest rates on the platform range from 9.99 to 20.99 percent, and the loans run three to five years. To date, the company has helped to lend out $525 million, and it’s expecting to lend $600 million by the end of the year, with US loans making up $100 million of the total.
“This latest round of funding will fuel our global ambitions and power the next phase of our evolution — catering for the increase in demand we expect to see over the next 12 months,” said co-founder and CEO Samir Desai in a statement. “Our vision is to build a better financial world, helping more small businesses access finance and offering attractive returns to investors.”
Additionally, Funding Circle announced that Robert Steel (pictured) is coming on as a board member. Steel is the CEO of Perella Weinberg Partners, and has previously held top positions at Wachovia and Goldman Sachs. He also served as the Under Secretary for Domestic Finance of the US Treasury, experience that will serve the company well as it continues to expand its US operations.Read More →
Balderton Capital is leading an investment into investment crowdfunding platform Crowdcube. Yes, things really have got that meta in the startup investment world. Read More
Crowdfunding for education in Egypt: Funding for civil society democratised | Ahram OnlineCrowdfunding has been steadily growing in popularity around the world as an alternative fundraising tool; over the past three years, Egypt has been catching up with the global trend. In 2012 and 2013, several initiatives and artists successfully used crowdfunding platforms such as indiegogo, kickstarter and the Lebanon-based Zoomal to raise funds for their projects, such as independent media collective Mosireen, urban-discourse platformCairobserver, revolution graffiti book Walls of Freedom and for films by Omar Robert Hamilton and Sherief Elkatsha.
Mosaic, Enphase unveil partnership | RechargeMosaic offers a fully automated online portal that allows homeowners to process all paperwork instantaneously, to have a solar energy system installed and to benefit from a prepaid service plan for no money up-front – while lowering their monthly electric bill.Through the Mosaic Home Solar Loan, homeowners maximize their return on investment by keeping the investment tax credit and owning their solar system.Additionally, the Mosaic Home Solar Loan mitigates any potential issues for the homeowner when selling the house. At that time, the homeowner can re-pay the loan at any time with no penalty or transfer it to the new homeowner, according to the two companies.
MH370 reward campaign organisers extend crowdfunding deadline | The Malaysian InsiderOrganiser Ethan Hunt said in a post on the crowdfunding website Indiegogo.com yesterday that the decision to extend the campaign for another 30 days was made “to ensure we have every opportunity to raise the funds required to meet our objectives.“While there is never a good time to commence a campaign, recent world events have conspired against us.
P2Binvestors Issues One of the Largest Loans in Crowdfunding History | Crowdfund InsiderP2Binvestor (P2Bi) announces a $2 million line of credit to a Boulder-based client, representing one of the largest single crowdlending transactions ever. This credit line adds to P2Bi’s rapid growth and puts the young company on track to achieve a lending portfolio of $25 million this fiscal year.
How does graphics crowdsourcing work in the business world? | e27Clients won’t be getting run-of-the-mill artwork either. CEO Yuya Kuratomi said to e27 that there’s an in-house art director who oversees the project and provides quality control. The biggest challenge he and his company have to face is cultural differences. “Because we are a global company working with artists from all over the world, there can sometimes be cultural differences (which include language barriers and timezone issues). Finding highly-skilled artists who can work in a client’s time frame is difficult, but it’s worth it in the long run.”
Citizens Proffer Solution To End Terrorism In Nigeria | Sahara ReportersTired of mere condemnations and the usual blame game, citizens on social media platforms responded to a call for suggestions on ways to combat this surge of terror. Over 1,000 suggestions were received in two days, with the hashtag #CitizensSolutionToEndTerrorism trending on Twitter on both days.
Yahoo Uses Crowdsourcing To Teach GPS To Find Scenic Routes | CBS LocalIt inspired Yahoo researchers to parse through metadata of more than 5 million pictures in Flickr and Foursquare to capture which routes people find interesting and enjoyable, even if it took longer.After converting votes from more than 3,300 individuals in London and Boston into quantitative measures of location perceptions, a smaller group of participants were asked to rate the researcher’s recommendations through photos.
Mapping the ‘sharing economy’ | Houston ChronicleAll that peer-to-peer commerce isn’t spread equally across the world, of course. Airbnb, perhaps the most successful so far, lists around 550,000 places to spend a night — in 34,000 cities around the globe. In the map shown above — a map that appears in Airbnb’s 2013 annual report — the trend is obvious: Most rentals are in cities that attract tourists. New Orleans is huge. Austin is significant. And Houston isn’t even a dot.
Housetrip targets mums not backpackers | Marketing WeekHousetrip launched a television advertising campaign in May created by McGarry Bowen that introduced the concept of “Housetripping” and the strapline “Do you Housetrip yet?”.Al-Qassab added that the TV activity was just the beginning of turning Housetrip into a household name and he was looking to sign partnership deals with some trusted brands in the near future.
Wellspring Announces New Web Address | Digital JournalThe Chicago-based Open Innovation software company was founded in 2003 as a spin-out of Carnegie Mellon University, initially providing technology transfer software solutions to universities and hospitals. Wellspring’s Sophia software platform is now used in universities across the world, in hospitals such as University Hospitals/Case Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, and by corporations such as Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products, as well as within government departments including the US Department of Veterans Affairs. Wellspring recently closed $5 million in capital from MK Capital, with plans to strengthen its existing products and provide new technologies in Open Innovation for all sectors of R&D.
GE Launches Global Ecomagination Innovation Challenge to Reduce GHG Emissions in Canada’s Oil Sands | The Wall Street JournalGE is calling for the best global minds, within and outside the industry, to help develop solutions that can be scaled and commercialized within the industry. The Challenge is in two parts, with submissions due September 30, 2014 and March 15, 2015 respectively. Winners of the Challenge can potentially share up to CAD$1 million in seed funding to further develop and commercialize the proposed solutions and will be eligible to become a supplier or contractor to GE on future projects.Read More →
Thomas Vass, manager of the Private Capital Market and a frequent contributor to Crowdsourcing.org, is an expert on the topic of companies raising capital. A crowdfunding evangelist, he’s published countless research articles on the matter.
Recently, Vass begun appearing on Wilmington, North Carolina-based WMYT 106.7’s program ‘Curtis Wright on the Beat.’ In a weekly segment called ‘Cape Fear Capital Connections,’ Vass and Wright discuss the state’s economic, financial, and stock market news, among other topics — including crowdfunding. The 30-minute segment airs every Monday at 7am.
In the latest episode, Vass discusses crowdfunding with guest Dwight Loftis, a South Carolina state representative who recently introduced an intrastate crowdfunding bill. You can listen to the conversation below, and also view the previous installments here.Read More →