This week, Crowdcube, Europe's largest private market investment platform, has acquired Semper, a leading secondary liquidity platform for an undisclosed amount.
Since receiving pan-European regulatory approval in 2022, Crowdcube has helped 1300 companies from 10 European countries raise over £1 billion collectively. Companies that successfully fundraised on the platform include Monzo, Revolut, Qonto, Cowboy, and BrewDog.
The volume of secondary share sales has increased sharply on Crowdcube over the past 18 months, with £20 mn of secondary share sales on behalf of companies, including Freetrade, Sun God and Marine Power Systems.
By acquiring Semper, Crowdcube is creating for the first time the opportunity for founders to reward high-performing staff who have been integral to their growth journey and early angel investors while simultaneously building a community of shareholders within their customer base.
Until recently, secondary transactions were primarily the domain of professional and institutional investors, but now, companies can involve both institutions and their community of customers in a secondary liquidity event, granting access to some of Europe's most promising startups.
Since launching in 2021, Semper has supported more than €10 million of secondary sales for European startups, and partners with companies including Kry, Mano Mano, and Voodoo.
Balthazar de Lavergne, co-founder of Semper, comments:
"We started Semper to help iconic companies attract and retain top talent by making equity more tangible.
We've built the infrastructure and networks across Europe for companies to offer liquidity to their team members and early investors; we're now excited to expand on those foundations by partnering with Crowdcube.
Together, we can provide a wider range of liquidity solutions for European startups throughout their growth journeys, with participation from both institutional and retail investors."
Bill Simmons, Co-CEO of Crowdcube, comments:
"The potential to create the largest private market investment platform in Europe is vast, and we are just getting started.
Our acquisition of Semper positions us favourably to capitalise on current interest and momentum in and around the private markets.
Semper excels in delivering secondary liquidity transactions.
As the deal closes with Semper, we are proud to offer Europe's top secondary liquidity solution for companies, employees, and investors, complementing our existing primary liquidity solution for companies and investors."
In 2021, an attempt to merge Crowdcube with fellow equity crowdfunding platforms Seedrs failed after the UK competition watchdog CMA 'provisionally' found that the proposed deal would effectively 'reduce competition and innovation'.
Seedrs was then acquired by US private investment firm Republic in 2022 £86.5 million.
Lead image via Crowdcube and Semper.