UK equity crowdfunding firm Seedrs has signed up to become the equity finance provider for NatWest’s Capital Connections alternative financing platform targeting SMEs. The initiative already includes P2P lending firms Assetz Capital and Funding Circle, working capital provider iwoca and property-secured lender Together, along with NatWest Social & Community Capital for social enterprise and charity activities.
The bank says traditional funding routes aren’t always the best option for fast-growth start-ups, which is why it has teamed up with a range of alternative funders for Capital Connections services.
Seedrs has funded over 500 financing rounds for UK SMEs, with more than £210 million invested into campaigns on its platform. “It is encouraging to see a High Street bank embracing fintech and recognising the importance of alternative finance for funding the UK’s start-up ecosystem,” says Jeff Lynn, the firm’s CEO.
The UK saw 82 successful equity crowdfunding campaigns in the first quarter, an 11% rise on the previous quarter, with £47 million invested, according to the latest Beauhurst metrics. Seedrs snagged the majority (35) of those campaigns, ahead of Crowdcube (29) and Syndicateroom (13).
The biggest deal of the quarter? That would be Lightpoint Medical’s £3.3 million financing operation which was conducted over the VentureFounders platform.