By bundling up the best of the world’s crowdfunding opportunities with an equally comprehensive amalgamation of more conventional businesses for sale, Businessagent.com aims to become to investment and crowdfunding what Rightmove is to houses and estate agents.
‘Equity crowdfunding is a “highly disruptive” idea whose time has come and it’s going to change the face of small business finance. So this is an exciting time – not just for crowd funding businesses and their investors but also for the world of equity investment as a whole,’ says founder Sacha Bright, who describes the site as ‘the UK’s first equity crowd funding aggregator’. ‘In response to the banks’ lending to start-ups dwindling by 8%, there’s been a quiet revolution in the last couple of years – one that we’ve been watching with great interest. And I can report that our observations are quite dizzying! There are already more than 500 crowd funding websites globally and the alternative finance sector as a whole has attracted investment worth £1.74 billion over the past two years in the UK , with equity crowdfunding growing by 371% between 2012 and 2013. Could this be the birth of a new stock exchange for small business? Could small businesses raise capital in a similar vein to listed companies?
The opportunity for businesses seeking funding is exciting, nevertheless, the size and pace of the sector’s growth, not to mention its novelty, makes it bewildering to the uninitiated. At least, until now. This is where Businessagent.com comes in as the first portal of its kind for this sector – helping investors and those seeking funding alike by aiming to pull together a large part of the market on one platform .
‘Just as Rightmove advertises houses for estate agents,’ Sacha continues, ‘our site aims to list equity crowd funded opportunities from every crowdfunding site in the UK – and by earning commission on those listings we aim to emulate in this market the likes of Moneysupermarket, Confused.com et al.’
So what makes businessagent.com unique? Sacha’s points out that almost every other aggregator focuses on general financial news – rather than actually pulling together all the equity investment opportunities out there. Equally importantly, with its combination of crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending with some 10,000 businesses for sale along with the latest website design methods, an affiliate network and – perhaps most telling – a commission-only, pay-by-results advertising model, Business Agent may be more attractive to advertisers and investors than any other website.
Customer uptake is exceeding expectations – and it’s not just crowd funding aficionados that the site’s drawing in. Business Agent’s unique business model is also proving to be a powerful magnet for high-net-worth individuals who are already interested in buying and investing but who aren’t necessarily familiar with the equity crowdfunding model. So it’s creating new converts to the concept itself!
As you might expect, Mr Bright raised his initial seed capital through crowdfunding. In fact, in Angel’s Den’s second most popular pitch to date, Business Agent’s funding target of £50k was oversubscribed by 200% The resulting £150k from 29 individual investors is proof indeed that this company walks the talk and that the equity crowdfunding model has potential if the offer’s sufficiently attractive!
‘I genuinely believe that crowdfunding represents a revolution in the way businesses find funding for start-up and growth and it’s our intention to make Business Agent the hub of that revolution,’ Sacha concludes.
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