Author Archives: Peter Thomson

About Peter Thomson

Peter Thomson is the Chief Marketing Officer of Seedrs.

Seedrs opens Convertibles to the crowds

Seedrs achieved another first today by launching the first ever convertible investment round on a crowdfunding platform. Future Ad Labs, one of the earliest campaigns to raise money on Seedrs nearly two years ago, has returned and will be the UK’s first startup to use the new form of funding.

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The convertible will allow investors to invest in Future Ad Labs today, with their investment converting into shares in the future at a discount on the future valuation. This means that Seedrs investors will receive more shares for their money than future investors.

Convertibles are very popular among startups and investors in Silicon Valley. They offer a way to raise and invest money now, while deferring the need to place a value on the company until some time in the future. This can be particularly useful when a startup is looking to raise large venture capital funding in the near future, but doesn’t want a valuation placed on their company now which may affect those negotiations.

Following the launch of convertibles, investors can now use Seedrs to invest in the equity of high-growth businesses in three different ways. In addition to straight equity campaigns, Seedrs pioneered the use of fund campaigns last autumn, and convertibles represent our third offering.

All three types of campaigns are about investing in real shares: we believe that when you invest in a business at its early, risky stages, you should get to participate in its upside—which is something that debt and rewards don’t allow.

Each type of campaign in Seedrs gives investors a different way to get equity exposure, from investing directly into a single business (straight equity), to investing in a pool of businesses (funds), to joining a future fundraising round at a discount (convertibles).
For more information on how our three types of campaigns work, and how they differ from each other, please see our new guide the types of campaign.

Future Ad Labs has been a major startup success story. The company has developed a portfolio of game-changing advertising solutions that replace frustrating experiences on the web with interactive advertising formats.

One of Future Ad Labs’s predecessor companies, Digital Spin, began life by raising £60,000 from 70 investors via Seedrs in July 2012.  After merging with Future Ad Labs, the business went on to receive a further $1 million investment from venture capital firms as well as other industry angel investors in 2013. Passion Capital led the investment round and other investors include Balderton Capital and Ballpark Ventures.

For more information about Future Ad Labs, please see their campaign.

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NearDesk raises one of the largest-ever equity crowdfunding rounds

NearDesk has just closed one of the largest equity crowdfunding rounds in Europe, raising just over £1 million pounds from 364 investors. This brings the total number of investors in the company to over 500 people. The most recent funding round included participation from several large investors including Juno Capital and Renaissance Capital Partners.

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GIving customers a vested interest
NearDesk is an excellent example of a company for whom the influx of new customers, advocates and industry influencers from an equity crowdfunding round is just as important as the cash raised. Like recent Seedrs successes Blue Crow Media, LoyalZoo and Shareight, NearDesk used their funding round as an opportunity to engage with their customer base.

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Marketing internship

Seedrs is growing quickly and we’d like to invite a recent graduate who is interested in breaking into startup marketing to join us. We’re offering a paid internship with a six month term so that you can get real experience and a solid taste of life inside a fast growing startup.

Marketing internship

You’ll get involved in all aspects of marketing Seedrs to startups and investors.

Seedrs is disrupting early stage startup finance by making it easier than ever before for startups to raise capital from their own communities and for investors to build a diversified portfolio of startups. Our marketing team builds communication with investors, startups and also helps startups communicate with their own community of potential investors. We take a holistic view of marketing so our branding, communication, public relations, growth hacking and even product design are all run together as a single team.

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Insights on startup survival from a Guardian discussion panel

The Guardian recently ran an interactive question and answer session about surviving your first year as an entrepreneur. The session was sponsored by Nominet who run the Nominet Internet Awards. The panel was facilitated by Matthew Caines the editor of the Guardian’s Culture Professionals Network.  The session covered some fascinating topics like the difference between the corporate world and life in a startup. I’ve chosen a couple of the key conversations and insights to quote below. Check out the discussion page itself to see the rest of the comments and questions.

Joe Scarboro London

Joe Scarboro of the 3beards (Photo by Makeshift).

Why did you want to become an entrepreneur?

Joe Scarboro: Doing and creating something meaningful is the key, as well as being the master of your own destiny. I’d always had that feeling of wanting to do my own thing, at every job I’ve had I always felt that I’d be doing things a bit differently if I were in the driving seat!

Jeff Lynn: I wanted to create value, full stop. I didn’t want to look back on my life and feel that all I had done was push paper around for 40 years. I was determined to do something that had (or at least tried to have) a lasting impact. The specific idea only came later.

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Five steps to a great equity crowdfunding video

A great equity crowdfunding campaign deserves a great video to tell your story. Your video is your best chance to convey your excitement and passion for the business and to get potential investors as excited as you are – it can’t be rushed and deserves at least as much care and attention as the rest of your fundraising efforts.

At Seedrs, we review hundreds of campaigns every month and have a few dozen live at any one time. As an equity crowdfunding platform, we also see the data and analytics behind who is investing in what and how potential investors behave when they look at a campaign page. We’ve learned several things about what does and doesn’t work for crowdfunding videos. Continue reading

Five things to get sorted before you start crowdfunding

Some of the most important things that a startup can do to make their equity crowdfunding campaign successful happen before the campaign is even created. Equity crowdfunding is a great way to raise capital for an early stage business but it needs to be done properly. I’ve seen startups make all sorts of mistakes, so I wanted to share some of the most important lessons that we’ve learned.

Marketing for crowdfunding

The most important work for a crowdfunding round happens before the campaign goes live.

As the Chief Marketing Officer of Seedrs, I spend a lot of time speaking with entrepreneurs who are trying to raise funding. One of the most misunderstood, but important parts of our business is the nominee structure. The nominee structure is designed to take care of the back-office investment details so that the entrepreneur can focus on getting out there to connect with their investors.

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Seedrs scales up marketing team with new CMO

Hi,

I’m Peter Thomson the new Chief Marketing Officer for Seedrs. I’ve worked with Seedrs as an advisor for some time now and I’m excited to be joining the team full-time.

Peter Thomson

Peter Thomson Seedrs Chief Marketing Officer

I have known Jeff, Carlos and the Seedrs team since last year when we worked together on a user interface design project. I fell in love with the straightforward and transparent way that Seedrs brings entrepreneurs and investors together.

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