Tag Archives: News

Seedrs Welcomes Domaine Chanzy as First IPO Campaign

Domaine Chanzy Seedrs

Today sees the launch on Seedrs of a campaign for Domaine Chanzy SA, a leading Burgundy winemaker. What makes this campaign exceptional is that it is part of Domaine Chanzy’s IPO on the London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM). The ticker symbol will be “WINE”.

Last September, Seedrs broke ground by hosting the first-ever equity crowdfunding campaign for a quoted company, Chapel Down. That campaign was huge success, raising £3.95 million through its crowdfunding and placing components.

At the time, our Chief Investment Officer, Tom Davies, said on Bloomberg that he thought it was only a matter of time before we started seeing IPOs raised through Seedrs. Even he didn’t realise that it would happen so soon.

Domaine Chanzy is looking to raise a minimum of £1.9 million to fulfil the ever-increasing demand for its award-winning wines and satisfy its working capital requirements. Upon admission, the winemaker will be the only French company listed on AIM. In parallel with crowdfunding campaign, Domaine Chanzy is raising funds through a placing led by several City corporate finance firms.

The Domaine Chanzy campaign is a significant step forward for equity crowdfunding in Europe and opens up the opportunity to participate in IPOs to a much wider range of investors. Here are a few reasons why we think it’s so interesting:

  • Investors large and small will be able to invest as much or as little as they like, from £10 up.
  • In addition to the shares they purchase, investors will be offered substantial discounts on Domaine Chanzy wines. Those who purchase a minimum of 1,000 shares (£1,200) will be entitled to discounts of up to 55% on wines ranging from Domaine Chanzy’s entry-level offerings to its premier Grand Cru.
  • The shares will qualify for Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) relief.
  • Investors who invest through Seedrs will be represented by us as nominee. This means that they will not need to establish separate brokerage or trading accounts. Investors will be free to sell their shares on AIM at any time (provided that sufficient demand exists).

We are proud that a company with a regional wine making heritage that goes back almost 250 years chose Seedrs to raise funds in an innovative way. It’s a great opportunity for the company to raise investment from a larger, more diverse, base of investors, enhance its profile among UK and other potential consumers in Europe and an appealing way to build long-term brand engagement among a wide base of investors.

Our vision has always been to provide a platform for people to invest in the businesses they believe in. Being a part of the AIM float for Domaine Chanzy further showcases our dedication to innovating fundraising and democratising investment.

To see Domaine Chanzy’s campaign, please visit: https://www.seedrs.com/chanzy.

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Seedrs Referrals and Fees – An Improved Approach

We are announcing today a significant expansion of our referral fee arrangements, as well as a new, more nuanced approach to our fee structure.

The Referrals, Company Fees and Investor Fees pages on the Seedrs site lay out the specifics, and this blog post gives you some background and context to these changes.

Referrals

Word-of-mouth is one of the most effective ways through which new investors learn about Seedrs, and we want to incentivise people to spread the word as much as we can.

We are therefore significantly expanding our referral fee programme as follows:

  • If you introduce an investor to Seedrs, we will pay you a referral fee equal to 50% of the company fees we earn from that investor’s investments over the next two years. This means that on most investments you will receive 3.75% of the amount invested by the person you referred. While this is a bit less than the 5% we offered under our old system, it now covers two years of investments rather than one —meaning that you will earn more from referring a regular investor than you would have in the past.
  • We will deposit your referral fees into your Seedrs account as you earn them, and you can choose to withdraw them or invest them at any time. Unlike our previous system, in which promotional funds could only be invested and not withdrawn, you now have the choice to take your referral fees in cash. So go out and buy that new Tesla.
  • You can also choose to pay it forward by having referral fees paid into the account of the investor you referred instead of to your account.

You can see more information about these referral fees on our new Referrals page and in our Referral Fee Terms. And if you have any questions about how these referral fees work, please do contact us.

Fees

When we launched Seedrs just over two years ago, we were keen to adopt as clear and simple of a fee structure as possible.

Too many financial services firms annoy their customers with complex or hidden charges, and we were—and are—determined to avoid that. We do not believe in hidden legal fees, payment charges, administrative levies or whatever else our competitors may choose to sneak in.

Instead, we set our straight 7.5% company fee (commission) and 7.5% investor fee (carry) because we felt that, in addition to representing outstanding value for the work we do (see our Company Fees and Investor Fees for an overview of everything that is covered by our fees), they are transparent and easily understood charges.

The Need for Flexibility

We have no desire to move away from that clarity and transparency. At the same time, we have come to appreciate as we have grown that one size does not necessarily fit all, and that an effective fee structure needs to be a flexible one.

This has been especially true as we have started funding larger transactions: while a 7.5% company fee is excellent value for relatively smaller deals, we appreciate that it may not be the right price for rounds above £/€ 500,000.

We’ve also taken on board feedback from businesses that they see funds coming from their direct connections as different from funds coming from investors who learn about their campaign through marketing efforts or by browsing the platform. We are still creating a huge amount of value with respect to the former—by providing a simple and efficient way to aggregate all of those investments—but perhaps not quite as much value as we do for the latter.

On the investor side, we recognise that some large investors want to use Seedrs but hold and manage their shares directly rather than through our nominee structure. The Seedrs nominee structure is designed to offer a full suite of investor protections to those investors who do not have the time, money or inclination to negotiate and enter into contracts with each company on their own. But it doesn’t mean that large angel investors cannot use us as well, and we want to offer a fee structure that works for them. You can read more about holding shares directly in our recent blog post.

A More Nuanced Approach

All of this has led us to adopt a slightly revised fee structure.

Our standard 7.5% company fee can now be reduced in three situations:

  • If a business is planning to raise more than £/€ 500,000, we are willing to discuss either reducing the 7.5% or capping the total fee amount.
  • If a business brings a pre-identified investor who invests £25,000 or more and holds his or her shares directly, we will charge no fee on that investment.
  • When a business brings any other investor who is not already a Seedrs member, we will reduce the fee we charge on that investment by 50%.

Meanwhile, we will charge investors no fee where they hold their shares directly rather than through our nominee structure.

We feel this fee this approach maintains our commitment to clarity and transparency while at the same time incorporating flexibility and tying our fees more closely to the value we create.

More details of this new fee structure are set out on our new Company Fees and Investor Fees pages, and please contact us with any questions.

Equity crowdfunding term sheet

At Seedrs, we hold ourselves, our startups and our investors to very high standards because we want every company that raises funding on Seedrs to be set up with the best chances for success in the future. Achieving success for a startup often means being able to go on and raise follow-on funding from large angel syndicates or venture capital firms and eventually go on to a successful merger, acquisition, private equity investment or IPO.

Seedrs Term Sheet May

The new plain English equity crowdfunding term sheet from Seedrs contains a summary of the key legal terms.

We’ve always set our legal standards at the level needed to be compatible with the rest of the startup funding ecosystem. This means putting in place very specific investor protections, contractual agreements and making sure that all the paperwork is in order.

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Crowdfunding Europe – TechChill Baltics and Mini Seedcamp in Latvia

We set out to Latvia to connect with the local ecosystem as a part of our new European outreach and community building efforts. In this series, we’ll be sharing our travels to the diverse local startup eco-systems around Europe.

We decided to pay a visit to the Latvian capital after a couple of great tips from our friends at TechHub about how the local ecosystem has been developing in the past couple of years. The timing couldn’t have been better as TechChill Baltics – an event covering the Nordic and CEE startup scene was happening then as well. Also, Seedcamp was organising one of their Mini Seedcamp events the day before TechChill.

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Startup Investing Trends from YC Founder

Startup accelerators like Y Combinator (YC), TechStars and Wayra are increasingly releasing young, vibrant companies into the mainstream. Some say there are too many startups and not enough investors to support them.

But, in a recent essay aimed at startup investors, Y Combinator founder and successful startup investor, Paul Graham says there are plenty of reasons to be more optimistic about investing in startups.

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