London, United Kingdom (PressExposure) June 13, 2014 -- Three entrepreneurs from the banking, IT and property sectors have launched the UK's first fully regulated loan and equity crowdfunding online platform - FundingTree allows businesses to raise cash from the general public.
The online platform allows anyone to invest in, or give a loan to, businesses looking to raise capital - website users can invest as little as £50 up to 100 per cent of the investment sought.
FundingTree, which already has more than 150 businesses signed-up at launch, is the first online crowdfunding initiative in the UK to be approved by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority), which regulates the financial services industry.
CEO and co-founder Dillen Iyavoo is a banking expert who set up and managed a specialist hedge fund investing in global fixed income, equity and derivative products. He said: "All three co-founders have been involved in raising finance or equity for our own businesses and we identified an opportunity for a hybrid equity crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending platform.
Crowdfunding is a billion-pound industry and we aim to take a significant share of the UK market with a one-stop platform that matches SMEs with investors for both loans and equity. We aim to be the only crowdfunding platform that remains with you for the life of your business.
Despite just launching we already have a wide range of investment opportunities in small and medium-sized businesses ranging from a couture bridal accessories manufacturer, a global candy importer, through to the company which owns the rights to Stylophone, the much-loved children's musical instrument.
For businesses we are making the process of raising capital easier, giving an alternative to traditional bank finance. The crowdfunding element also creates 'word-of-mouse' brand awareness from online investors who become brand advocates.
For consumers we are offering a free service allowing them to tap into potential high-reward investments in smaller companies and exciting start-ups, with tax-saving incentives.
FundingTree allows the public to choose the businesses they want to invest in, the amount they want to invest and, if they're lending money, the interest rate that suits them.
We take care of the share distribution for equity-based investments and collect monthly repayments and deliver that direct to the investor for loan deals."
The business's other co-founders are George Anastasi, a young entrepreneur who has businesses in the retail and property sectors and who has designed and delivered complex IT projects, and Meb Ali who runs a property investment and property management business.
All three co-founders have been involved in raising finance or equity for their own businesses, and have extensive experience in the financial and professional services sectors.
FundingTree has a start-up team of six staff and is based at 40 Gracechurch Street, London. It is directly authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is registered to the Information Commissioner's Office.
- FundingTree is the first fully regulated crowdfunding platform in the UK able to raise both loans and equity investment for businesses that require finance today. It is directly authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is the only crowdfunding platform that remains for the life cycle of a business.
- Designed to help a business at every stage - from initially raising equity for a fantastic ground breaking idea/new venture to offering peer-to-business lending, to a running business to fund expansion, increasing stock levels, refurbishment, working capital or buying assets, to finally helping an established business looking for new equity investors to help buy out their nearest competitors - FundingTree can help all types of businesses to raise finance from a network of investors looking for good returns on their investments. Businesses seeking funding can sign up on our crowdfunding platform and create a pitch, stating the amount they are looking to raise, how the money will be used and the return investors can expect.
- For investors looking for an innovative and rewarding investment platform, FundingTree provides the opportunity to register in minutes; then invest money in or lend to, a great range of business opportunities to either buy shares or earn high interest rates. Searching by business type, investment or industry sector, investors can get a flavour of the proposal and people involved in each venture. By crowdfunding hundreds of UK businesses, investors can invest their money in the type of businesses and people they want to support. Many new business start ups offering equity benefit from tax saving incentives, which offer significant tax relief to individual investors.
- According to a NESTA report, investment crowdfunding in the UK is expected to hit Â£1.6 billion in 2014
- A 2012 report projected that global crowdfunding would to grow to $5.1 billion in 2013
- Crowdfunding is an alternative method of raising finance for a business, project or idea. Unlike angel investment, in which one person typically takes a larger stake in a small business, with crowdfunding an entrepreneur can attract a 'crowd' of people - each of whom takes a small stake in a business idea, by contributing towards an online funding target. It is believed that, in many cases, this model is more successful than attempting to source the full investment required from a single individual or organisation.