Mon. May 20th, 2024

Right here’s an attention-grabbing transfer. Founders Future, a widely known VC agency within the French tech ecosystem, acquired an fairness crowdfunding market referred to as Sowefund. Whereas phrases of the deal stay undisclosed, Sowefund has been worthwhile since 2022 with round 20 staff.

Following this transfer, Founders Future now has two separate but complementary companies. With its VC funds, which I’ve not too long ago coated, Founders Future raises cash from restricted companions, which embrace skilled buyers and household places of work, after which invests in promising startups. In different phrases, it’s VC as normal.

With its crowdfunding platform, it matches retail buyers with startups that wish to increase cash from their neighborhood of customers or from private finance specialists who wish to diversify their financial savings with dangerous however probably rewarding investments. Going ahead, Founders Future and Sowefund will nonetheless function utterly individually — there gained’t be any synergy between these two actions.

So why would a VC agency go downstream and purchase a crowdfunding platform?

“We observed two main developments. The primary pattern, which you’ve got actually observed, is that you’ve a brand new technology of buyers who wish to get extra palms on — with each private and non-private corporations. They need transparency and so they wish to spend money on the actual economic system,” Founders Future founder and CEO Marc Menasé informed me.

“The second remark we’ve made is that, our job with the fund may be very skilled and really disciplined in its day-to-day strategy. And we will carry these strategies to an organization concerned in crowdfunding financing. And it’s true that this hasn’t been performed a lot,” Menasé added.

And Founders Future has already seen how crowdfunding corporations work with a few of the agency’s portfolio corporations — as an example, Taster and raised some cash on Crowdcube, the British funding platform that expanded to France in 2022.

Elevating the bar for fairness crowdfunding

Sowefund’s two co-founders Benjamin Wattinne and Georges Viglietti will stay on the helm of the crowdfunding platform going ahead. However Founders Future has a multi-million funding plan to develop Sowefund’s staff within the coming 12 months or two.

“What we wish to do is carry our know-how to make sure that Sowefund turns into extra skilled and actually the go-to platform for co-investment with professionals. That’s actually what we wish to obtain,” Menasé stated.

Since 2014, Sowefund has dealt with 103 crowdfunding campaigns. General, corporations have raised €81 million from greater than 110,000 retail buyers (that’s $86 million at at present’s change fee) — no phrase on the efficiency of those investments. Current campaigns embrace Ekwateur, Agriloops, Lunii, Axioma, Extracadabra and Futura Gaïa.

Extra not too long ago, Sowefund acquired an settlement to be licensed as a European crowdfunding service supplier. It means it might function in different European nations sooner or later.

However the Sowefund staff (and Founders Future) wish to go one step additional relying on regulatory modifications. Finally, Sowefund wish to supply the chance to spend money on funds, corresponding to VC funds, affect funds, and many others. However that’s not but doable.

Founders Future’s transfer can also be attention-grabbing due to the timing. VC investments have slowed down over the previous couple of years world wide. As many VC corporations are nonetheless passing on offers that may have made sense a couple of years in the past, it’s time for startup CEOs to search out inventive methods to increase their runways.

“The potential funding pool amongst people is gigantic. So you’ve got individuals who wish to spend money on corporations they know and use — or they’ve a optimistic sentiment for these corporations. And there are an enormous variety of them,” Menasé stated. “So I believe what’s nice about fairness crowdfunding is that it’s an alternate or a complement in a context the place financing is troublesome for corporations.”

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