Investing in startups through crowdfunding in a unique first for a public figure
Tennis champion Andy Murray has announced that he has entered a long-term partnership arrangement with Seedrs, the London-based equity crowdfunding platform.
The arrangement will see Andy joining the Seedrs Advisory Board to provide advice to the firm with respect to businesses working in the health, sport and wearable technology spaces. Andy will not be offering advice to individual investors or recommending specific campaigns.
He will also be investing regularly in startups and other early-stage businesses through Seedrs and helping Seedrs to grow its brand in the UK and internationally.
Equity crowdfunding is revolutionising the way startups and other early-stage businesses are being funded. It involves the raising of funds by obtaining many small investments from a large number of people through online platforms.
This form of business fundraising is proving increasingly popular, and it allows businesses not only to obtain the capital they need but also to build a community of supportive investors who can help them grow.
The equity crowdfunding market is growing quickly. Since its launch in July 2012, Seedrs has reported 15% month-on-month growth, and within the next few years it expects to be funding hundred of millions of pounds into thousands of businesses each year.
This partnership represents the first time a major public figure has teamed up with an equity crowdfunding platform in this way, and it heralds a significant milestone in the development of the equity crowdfunding industry.
Andy Murray shared his perspective: “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. Equally as important was working with people I trusted and who fully understood the huge responsibility of handling people’s money. I’m looking forward to working with Seedrs and the entrepreneurs of tomorrow.”
Matt Gentry, who runs Andy’s management company, 77, added: “Andy is a keen investor, with his own management agency alongside a property portfolio, which includes a hotel. Crowdfunding is a space we’ve been looking at for a while, to complement his business interests, and he’s excited about being able to help startup businesses and entrepreneurs in the UK. Andy’s been lucky enough to have support from sponsors throughout his career, not only helping to aid him and his team financially, but also adding valuable mentoring in many cases. For him the opportunity to give something back to help to up and coming business men and women was very appealing.”
Jeff Lynn, CEO and co-founder of Seedrs, celebrated the announcement as follows: “Andy Murray is the perfect partner for Seedrs as we drive our growth to the next level. In many ways, he represents the exact combination of qualities that entrepreneurs need to be successful: determination, focus, integrity and skill. We are particularly looking forward to working with him as a member of our Advisory Board: we believe he can bring 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.”
Lord Young of Graffham, the Prime Minister’s former Enterprise Adviser and a long-time champion of equity crowdfunding, said this about the announcement: “Both modern tennis and equity crowdfunding have their origins in Britain, and Andy Murray and Seedrs are world-leaders in their respective fields. It is wonderful to see the two coming together in this unique partnership, and I believe the outcome of it will be to see more great British businesses raising the capital they need, and more investors having the chance to be part of those businesses.”
About Andy Murray
Andy Murray, currently ranked number 3 men’s professional tennis player in the world, is the British No.1, 2012 US Open Champion, 2013 Wimbledon Champion and reigning Olympic Singles Champion.
From winning his first tournament as an under-10 junior at the Dunblane Sports Club to his first junior major at the US Open it became apparent Andy was destined for the top.
After turning pro in 2005, Andy won his first ATP title, the SAP open in San Jose, a year later. Fast forward two years and seven more tour titles, Andy reached his first grand slam final, the 2008 US Open. However in 2012, having lost in three subsequent grand slam final appearances, Andy became the US Open Champion.
This was hot on the heels of an illustrious Gold Medal victory at Wimbledon during the London 2012 Olympics.
Andy then ended years of British heartbreak on the same turf just a year later by becoming the first British male in 77 years to win the highly coveted Wimbledon Championships in London in July 2013.
Currently on 33 career titles, Andy is Great Britain’s most successful tennis player of the Open era, the first Briton to reach 500 ATP match wins and his maiden grand slam title ended Great Britain’s 76-year wait for a male grand slam champion.
Seedrs is the largest crowdfunding platform in Europe to focus solely on equity investments.
It allows all types of investors to invest as little or as much as they like (from
£/€ 10 up) in businesses they believe in and share in their success. And it allows ambitious businesses in all sectors to raise capital and build community through an efficient, online process.
Seedrs has funded nearly 200 deals to date, and it is growing 15% month-on-month. Details on its recent activity levels are available at http://learn.seedrs.com/2014-infographic/.
All investments made through Seedrs offer voting shares to investors and use professional-grade subscription agreements. This ensures that investors get the same level of protection that angel investors and venture capitalists enjoy.
Seedrs is open to investors and entrepreneurs across Europe, and it plans to launch in the United States later in 2015.
Seedrs is authorised and regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority. It was the first equity crowdfunding platform in the world to gain regulatory approval.