Equity crowdfunding platform VentureCrowd has today announced that it has raised $2 million in an oversubscribed funding round, and partnered with Melbourne-based Kentgrove Capital to give Australian investors the opportunity to invest in Israeli startups.
VentureCrowd had last month announced its intention to raise $1.5 million, with $500,000 of the round to be raised through its own platform. It has ended up raising $1 million through its platform, with $1 million coming from “a small group of cornerstone investors”, with over 30 wholesale investors taking part in total.
David Lamm, founder and portfolio manager of Kentgrove Capital, said, “I am very impressed with the early traction and quality of startup deals that VentureCrowd has delivered to wholesale investors.
“VentureCrowd is easily the most active Australian equity crowdfunding platform. VentureCrowd’s ambition to be the leading online platform for alternative investment opportunities is compelling as alternatives are the fastest growing investment sector and yet also one of the most fragmented in terms of access and distribution.”
Jeremy Colless, founder of VentureCrowd, said the partnership with Kentgrove Capital is just the first of several international agreements to come.
“Investors and issuers in China and South-East Asia have adopted online financial portals and crowdfunding platforms with great speed and interest. In time, we expect to see two-way dealflow, with Asian investors gaining access to Australian alternative assets via VentureCrowd as well as local investors gaining access to international opportunities.”
This funding round will also help VentureCrowd accelerate its plans to open up new investment opportunities in alternative assets, including private equity and venture capital, and property, agriculture, and commodities.
Rob Nankivell, CEO of VentureCrowd, added that the funding will also be used to help the platform expand to include retail investors with the Federal Government soon to pass its long-awaited changes to equity crowdfunding regulations. The team is expected to grow from eight to 20 employees within the next 12 months.
Almost $10 million has been raised through VentureCrowd since the platform launched in late 2013, with hundreds of investors buying into startups including ingogo, HeyYou (formerly Posse and Beat the Q), and CrowdMobile. These raises have ranged from a $50,000 seed round to a $4.2 million raise that was part of a $12 million Series C round for ingogo.
Nankivell has said the platform has an exciting pipeline of startup deals at the ready heading into 2016, and expects the platform will successfully complete raises for 20 to 30 Australian startups over the next 12 months.