In a slightly odd but rather significant move, world no 3 tennis player Andy Murray has entered into a strategic partnership with equity crowdfund platform, Seedrs.
We’re well-used to celebrities and sports stars in particular lending their name to certain causes, businesses or industry sectors, but this is interesting because it’s the first time a major public figure has teamed up with an equity crowdfunding platform in this way. One sign of many that crowdfunding is coming of age.
Jeff Lyn, CEO of Seedrs, says: “We think it heralds a significant milestone in the growth of Seedrs and the development of the equity crowdfunding industry more generally.”
Murray will join the Seedrs Advisory Board and will work with Seedrs to offer strategic input to its management team as the business grows. Murray will also take an active personal role by investing through Seedrs as he builds a portfolio of early-stage investments. He selected five businesses in which to make an initial investment – we’ve listed these below.
Murray decided equity crowdfunding would be the best route to allow him to take an active interest in saying where his money goes, giving him the chance to access dealflow, in the tech sector particularly. He’s also, very unusually for anyone, never mind a celebrity, telling everyone what he invests in.
Murray says, “I’ve always been interested in investment, and being able to get involved in an innovative way to help support British startups really appealed to me.”
Murray identified the five, very different businesses he wanted to back initially:
- 2015’s Start-up of the Year Oppo Ice Cream;
- FinTech50 2015, annual travel ticket subscription service CommuterClub;
- the UK’s fastest growing P2P lender Landbay, which recently announced a partnership with Zoopla;
- We Are Colony, a global film streaming platform founded by BAFTA-winning filmmaker Sarah Tierney;
- and Readbug, the ‘Netflix for Magazines’.
Lyn adds: “We are also looking forward to working with Andy as a member of our Advisory Board. We believe he brings a different perspective into certain aspects of the early-stage business community in the health, sport and wearable technology spaces, and we look forward to his input and support.”
Seedrs has received more than £100 million of investments on its platform, funded more than 320 deals to date, and on average raises up to £7 million a month. Seedrs is backed by fund manager Neil Woodford, Lord Rothschild’s Augmentum Capital, Faber Ventures and more than 1,000 of its own customers.