Digital platform VentureCrowd raises $31m for alternative assets

Digital platform VentureCrowd raises $31m for alternative assets

VentureCrowd CEO Steve Maarbani.

Brisbane-based crowdfunding equity investment platform VentureCrowd managed to raise $30.7 million for startup and property ventures in FY21, including recent pre-IPO funding for Toronto-based Cubed Biotech which was 168 per cent oversubscribed in just under two weeks.

VentureCrowd had originally targeted a pre-IPO raise of $500,000, but that figure has since gone up to just above $970,000.

The average deal size for the financial year was $1.75 million; a similar sum to the $1.8 million it raised for digital health app Cardihab within just four weeks on the platform, to be used for channel expansion, ramping up enterprise sales, running clinical trials and further user acquisition.

During FY21 VentureCrowd successfully exited three venture capital deals, including two ASX-listed companies.

The platform achieved a 107 per cent return on its exit of online airport transfers service Jayride (ASX: JAY) and 295 per cent on respiratory diagnostics technology group 4DMedical (ASX: 4DX), in addition to its returns on online housekeeper service Jarvis.

"We are immensely proud of the results we have delivered to our members this financial year," says VentureCrowd CEO Steve Maarbani.

"We have focused on bringing the most innovative and promising deals to the platform throughout the year and it's great to see our membership base grow exponentially, along with their trust in us. It is even more remarkable that this has happened in a very volatile year.

"Our extraordinary growth is representative of the continued rise of equity crowdfunding."

Maarbani asserts that good entrepreneurship will thrive in times of crises, and predicts the industry will see more purpose-driven businesses emerge in the wake of the pandemic in sectors that directly address immediate consumer concerns including in foodtech, healthtech, medtech and education.

"Future-focused investors will back these new ventures and the base of people rallying behind these worthwhile projects will expand to include more everyday, retail investors," he says.

"Alternative finance is here to stay- equity crowdfunding not only provides capital for a venture, but also legions of potential customers that are already familiar and loyal to a brand, with a vested interest in its success."

Since its inception in 2013, VentureCrowd has raised more than $150 million in total.

In FY21 the average investment size was $45,826, with 57 per cent of VentureCrowd members investing more than once. The fastest deal closed in just six days, and the group paid more than $7.5 million in distributions to investors across several property and venture capital projects.

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