Digital Tech Case Study: Crowdcube
Becoming a financial institution in the digital age
For many businesses, crowdfunding is seen as the investment platform of the digital age. Pioneered by Luke Lang and Darren Westlake who created the world’s first investment crowdfunding platform in 2011, Crowdcube has gone on to help more than 500 businesses raise finance and has over 400,000 members, who have invested over £245m.
The Exeter firm has big ambitions, with additional offices in London and Manchester and has expanded into the European market. With offices already in Spain, Crowdcube has secured a partnership with co-working space firm WeWork to open offices in France and the Netherlands.
Flexible digital location
With a business model based on a digital platform, Luke and Darren had the freedom to be located where they desired and chose Exeter for its work and lifestyle balance. Luke Lang, co-founder and CMO of Crowdcube, said: “The decision to base Crowdcube in Exeter was driven by the culture and environment we wanted to create at the company.
“The city’s close proximity to outstanding countryside and the coast provides our employees with an unrivalled work-life balance, which has, in turn, had a positive impact on our team’s creativity and morale.”
The Crowdcube success story is typical of the fast-growing tech sector in the city. Exeter is attracting established tech firms, as well as seeing an increasing number of tech start-ups. Supported by an array of business support services, such as SETsquared, more businesses are flourishing.
Eight Exeter entrepreneurs have been honoured at a House of Commons event that celebrated the ‘Top 50 entrepreneurs’. The founders of Crowdcube were both selected from a list of over 1,000, by SETsquared, a partnership between the universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey that supports high-tech start-ups.
Joe Pearce, Head of Business Support at SETsquared’s centre in Exeter, said: “Exeter has a great network of business support services, such as SETsquared, that have been set up to bolster the tech sector. Crowdcube is an excellent role model for start-ups; two people, who had a great idea, utilised the latest in technology and are delivering a solution that benefits the masses.”
Crowdcube is the world’s leading crowdfunding platform. It provides access for everyday investors to back inspiring and ambitious businesses alongside professional investors, angels, and some of Europe’s leading venture capital firms. By accessing a diverse investor community, businesses are able to pitch for investment by setting out their vision and ambitions for the company and inviting investors to be part of their story and share in their future success.
Crowdcube has identified and captured a desire to invest in unique and interesting businesses. With growth plans overseas, its roots are firmly located in Exeter where Crowdcube has added to the local economy taking staff from the University of Exeter and attracting leading talent from further afield.
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