What does your company do? What problem are you solving?
Crowd for Angels is an FCA regulated crowdfunding company. We help ambitious growth companies to raise money from our investors. We deal with both equity and debt funding and were one of the first crowdfunding companies to offer the new Innovative Finance ISA.
Broadly, we solve two problems. On one hand we help SMEs looking to expand their operations to raise finance, providing them with the capital they need to grow their business. On the other, we offer investors with the potential to get involved with companies that they believe in and, hopefully, to make decent returns on their money.
How are you changing the world?
Crowd for Angels has recently launched an Initial Coin Offering, we believe the first one to have been launched by an FCA regulated company, and associated “Liquid Crypto Bond”. While cryptocurrencies and tokens remain effectively unregulated in the UK, as a regulated company ourselves we believe we can provide investors with an extra degree of trust in an ICO market which has often attracted suspicion and uncertainty.
The Crowd for Angels Liquid Crypto Bond with attached Initial Coin Offering (ICO) offers investors 4% interest p.a., fixed for 5 years, with investors in the bond being rewarded with ANGEL tokens for free. We believe that the bond & token offer is unique and provides investors with an inflation beating coupon, a tax efficient structure via the IF-ISA and a free opportunity to participate in the cryptocurrency asset class.
What is the major social impact your business has delivered so far as you see it?
We are keen on giving back to the community and educating the next generation of finance professionals. Last year we worked with the University of Roehampton to provide students with the opportunity to create their own business fundraising pitches.
Around 120 students at the university’s Business School were provided with dedicated access to the Crowd for Angels team, platform and other resources, learning the critical elements in building a crowdfunding campaign. They learned everything from how to set up a business, through to writing a business plan, developing financial forecasts and putting the final pitch in front of potential investors.
Crowd for Angels has always been an innovator. We were the first crowdfunding company to provide a declared share price as part of our pitches, pitched the first convertible bond from a listed company and were the first crowdfunding company to offer both debt and equity pitches on a single platform. The blockchain will allow current APIs, accessible to some, to be opened up to everyone. It will also allow for automatised back office data to be shared, smart contracts to replace paper contracts and the ability for global payments, KYC and data sharing.
The introduction of the ANGEL token, serves to reward users who use the system and support our ecosystem.
For us, the blockchain isn’t a passing boat, but a fundamental shift in technology that will be here to stay.
Is your company a disruptor or a collaborator?
Both. We believe our Initial Coin Offering discussed above is unique within the industry. Our “ANGEL” tokens will be used by us to help reward and incentivise investors on our platform and to provide an alternative currency to reduce our marketing costs.
We also work with and contribute to a number of industry bodies, including the UK Crowdfunding Association, in order to raise awareness of and advance the crowdfunding industry.
Where do you see yourselves in 3 years ? Is it doable?
In three years time we expect to be seeing the benefits of our ICO and bond fundraise start to accelerate markedly. On a slightly longer timeframe, due to a forecast increase in investors using our platform we are looking for total funds raised to reach £1 billion on an annual basis in 5 years.