The Brexit vote hasn’t put retail investors off backing startups.
Hot international money startup Revolut is seeing a flood of demand for its crowdfunding round, announced on Monday.
The startup opened pre-registrations for the campaign on Monday, with the aim of raising £1 million once the campaign went live. Would-be investors have smashed that target, pledging £10 million in just 10 hours. By Tuesday evening Revolut had £12.9 million pledged from over 6,600 investors.
If Revolut does end up raising anywhere near that amount, it will be the biggest ever raise on Crowdcube, the crowdfunding platform it is using. The record currently stands at £3.99 million, raised by kids debit card GoHenry in June.
BI has contacted Revolut to see if it plans on raising the investment target on Crowdcube above £1 million. We’ll update when we hear back.
The demand to invest in Revolut chimes with Crowdcube CEO Darren Westlake’s claim last week that: “The UK’s growing investment crowdfunding market, which was estimated to be worth £245 million in 2015, is vibrant post-Brexit.”
If Revolut does try to bag as much investment as it can, it may have to issue a full prospectus. EU law dictates that any crowdfund raise above €5 million must have a full prospectus as detailed as a company wishing to go public. This is a costly and time-consuming process (and why goHenry stopped at £3.9 million, the limit). Revolut’s campaign is due to go live next Monday and will likely be delayed if it does have to issue a full prospectus.
CEO and cofounder Nikolay Storonsky says in an emailed statement:
“It’s great to know that our users believe as strongly in our product as we do. That’s why we launched this campaign, to thank our users for their dedication and to give people the same opportunity to invest as professional VCs get.”
London-based Revolut is an app linked to a pre-paid MasterCard. It lets people load money from their domestic bank account and then spend in abroad in over 90 currencies around the world at the so-called interbank rate, the best exchange rate available with no fees.
Usually, FX (foreign exchange) brokers sell customers money below the interbank rate, making their money through fees and the difference they buy and sell at.
Revolut is only around a year hold but has over 200,000 users who have spent or transferred $500 million (£388.5 million) on its cards. 1,500 new customers are signing up on average each day.
The £1 million crowdfunding campaign comes alongside a £6.75 million ($8.69 million) funding injection from venture capital firms including London blue-chips Balderton Capital and Index Ventures. That round values Revolut at £42 million and crowdfunding investors will be able to buy-in at the same rate as the VCs.
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