Country: United Kingdom
Non-Accredited Investors: Yes
Business Selective: Yes
Investor Selective: No
Notable Alumni: Escape the City, Front Up Rugby
This British crowdfunding portal, founded in 2011 by Exeter-based Darren Westlake and Luke Lang, has the distinction of being the first Financial Services Authority (FSA)-authorized portal. This authorization, which the company earned earlier this year, makes CrowdCube the first crowdfunding site to legally sell direct shares of startups to its investors in the UK— a true and open ECF site.
In its short lifespan so far, CrowdCube has gathered over £5,000,000 (over $7,700,000) from almost 30,000 investors, and celebrated its 50th successfully funded business late last month. It has been cited by officials from the Bank of England as an example of the revolutionary power of equity-based crowdfunding portals.
The portal’s leadership has expressed a desire to take the portal global, and so U.S. investors will likely gain access sometime soon after the SEC implementation of the JOBS Act in late 2013-2014.