Crowdcube, the world’s first equity crowdfunding website, today announced that it is now authorised by the Financial Services Authority (FSA). The authorisation makes Crowdcube the only regulated equity crowdfunding platform where investors can become direct shareholders in UK businesses.
Crowdcube is a world leading innovator in the business finance sector and has raised over £5 million for UK businesses. More than 28,000 investors have registered on its website since its launch in February 2011.
FSA authorisation is awarded to organisations that pass rigorous scrutiny of systems and controls, resources and suitability. Crowdcube will also now offer its investors’ additional protection with access to independent experts from the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) and claim compensation from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
Crowdcube applied for its FSA authorisation in 2011. Darren Westlake, co-founder and CEO of Crowdcube commented: “We’re delighted to be the first authorised crowdfunding platform that allows investors to become direct shareholders in UK businesses. Our authorisation and the additional investor protection it affords will increase satisfaction and confidence, which is at the heart of our business and will be crucial to our long term success in the UK.
“In the last two years we have pioneered and led the equity crowdfunding market which is set to boom in 2013 and beyond. We want to continue to be first choice for entrepreneurs seeking equity finance and for people looking to invest in start-up and early stage businesses in the UK.”
The Rt Hon the Lord Young, advisor to Prime Minister David Cameron on Enterprise, commented: “Crowdfunding is a highly innovative and important source of finance for UK businesses. I am delighted to see that the UK financial services industry and its regulators are reacting dynamically to new models of business finance, such as equity crowdfunding, so that the UK can maintain its position as world leaders in this space.” Lord Young was the author of the 2012 government report, which advocated crowdfunding ‘Make Business Your Business – Supporting the start-up and development of small businesses ‘, which was the first comprehensive report on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) since the Bolton Report of 1971.