Brussels-based Roundtable has raised €3 million from some 100 angel investors in order to boost angel investing operations in Europe, and simplify the process in the process, as it were. Launched in late 2022, the platform has already facilitated over 100 deals, actions that represent approximately €50 million in assets under administration.
The €3 million will be put to use helping the startup to expand its reach and message across Europe, as well as further enhance the product offer. To put that bluntly: Roundtable wants to make itself better, go further, and get more individuals involved in supporting startups on an individual level without all the red tape or exclusive backchannel networking activities usually reserved for the word-of-mouth crowd.
What makes the operation a stand out, and quite frankly, putting its own name and tech on the line is in the fact that instead of going the traditional make stuff better and expand route of securing institutional or debt funding, Roundtable is eating its own dogfood and cobbled together the €3 million it believes necessary to accomplish these goals in exactly the same manner its set out to support other startups - through a collective of angel investors.
Now, if you’re thinking like I did, “How is this different from crowdfunding?” Roundtable co-founder and CEO Evan Testa (that’s tesTa, not TesLa. Wouldn’t that be something?) explains, “We believe that community investing is what will bring startup investing into the mainstream. Unlike crowdfunding, which has shown its limitations due to adverse selection, community investing fosters a more closely-knit and transparent environment. This allows investors to assess and fund startups in a more efficient and selective manner, leading to better outcomes. In addition, founders benefit from having a more engaged investor community supporting them.”
As opposed to San Francisco-based Angellist, which holds a number of complimentary ethe, according to Roundtable, the platform has been build with a distinctly European character, designed to suit the specific requirements of European investors, as it complies with European directives. With that said, Roundtable isn’t strictly a European affair, as it also enables its investors to also deploy capital anywhere in the world.
“Although investing in startups as a group was already possible, our platform has significantly simplified the process of community investing and made it much more user-friendly,” says Testa. “Similar to how home rentals existed before Airbnb but it was the introduction of their simplified user experience and intuitive interface that fueled the explosive growth of holiday rentals. By setting a new standard for community investing, we aim to make it accessible to a broader audience.”