Kirsty Ranger is CEO and founder of IdeaSquares. IdeaSquares began their journey fundraising on Seedrs as a platform to crowdsource feedback for business ideas. After multiple requests from users to support them with crowdfunding as successfully as they did, IdeaSquares decided to pivot into crowdfunding support and the rest is history. IdeaSquares has now supported clients in raising millions of pounds/Euros on Europe’s leading equity crowdfunding platforms, Seedrs and Crowdcube.
Klaus-Martin Meyer: IdeaSqares itself went through serveral successful pitches on Seedrs. What are the biggest challenges if you decide to collect funds on a crowdfunding platform?
Kirsty Ranger: The biggest challenge is bringing everything together. There is an awful lot to prepare for a successful equity crowdfunding campaign and sometimes you just don’t know the things you needed to prepare until you’re in the thick of the fundraising, which is why having some experts on hand in the lead up is useful, to tell you the things you didn’t know that you needed to know. Crowdfunding is not like any other form of fundraising, it’s a marketing exercise as well as a fundraising exercise and if you get it wrong, you can be in trouble. You really, really need to prepare and having the time and resource available for that preparation can be a challenge for small and growing companies.
Klaus-Martin Meyer: You partnered with the two leading UK platforms. What are the differences between both platforms from your point of view?
Kirsty Ranger: There are some key differences between the two platforms and it’s important to do your research and take the lead on the decision as to which is right for you. If you want to understand the key differences, we have some really helpful information on the following pages;
Klaus-Martin Meyer: You recently worked together with a non-UK client for the first time. What are the particular challenges with an international client? Why should a German company that wants to crowdfund on Seedrs call you before?
Kirsty Ranger: To be very honest, we didn’t really approach this client any differently to our UK based clients. The formula is very, very similar. We are now working with multiple international clients and probably the biggest challenge for the clients, not so much for us, is understanding the specific requirements of a UK regulated platform, which is obviously something we can help with. You will also need to bring your own crowd on a journey towards investing via a UK regulated platform and this is something that a good communications plan can help with. Whilst there are an abundance of non-UK based Seedrs investors, it obviously has a huge UK based audience and it’s very important that a non UK entrepreneur is presenting their pitch in a way that is very familiar to this audience. This is an opportunity for you to really expose your brand to one of the largest online investor audiences available. Being based in the UK and having successfully raised investment from this audience ourselves places us perfectly to support German clients with getting this right.
Klaus-Martin Meyer: Seedrs and Crowdcube as well are investing ambitiously in new international markets. Will you follow suit?
Kirsty Ranger: Of course! We will go wherever our partners go because wherever they are, there will be entrepreneurs that need our help to make it over the line with them.
Klaus-Martin Meyer: Your company is part of the crowdfunding ecosystem. Where will this ecosystem grow during the next five years in your opinion?
Kirsty Ranger: There are big things to come for the Crowdfunding industry. Entrepreneurs can expect things to get much more competitive and I don’t just mean competing for investment, I also mean competing for a space on the platforms. It’s not as easy as one might think to be accepted to raise investment on a leading platform like Seedrs or Crowdcube and the effort involved in getting accepted will likely increase. We see this as a positive for us of course because we really do play a part in polishing your application. I also think we need to keep an eye on what will be expected of entrepreneurs after they crowdfund. The industry is maturing and with that comes increased responsibility to deliver results for investors. Both Seedrs and Crowdcube are exploring the secondary liquidity market at the moment which is very interesting. This will no doubt raise the profile of this industry enormously. I think the UK and the rest of Europe are leading the way at the moment in Equity Crowdfunding and as the rest of the world catches up, they’ll be looking towards us to see where things can go next. We are setting the standards in this industry and we of course are here to help entrepreneurs to meet those standards.
If you’d like to talk about preparing a successful equity crowdfunding campaign, book a call with IdeaSquares now by visiting ideasquares.co.uk