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Why Europe is the
Best Market in the World
for Equity Crowdfunding
Jeff Lynn
15 April 2013
Introduction
• I’m CEO and co-founder of Seedrs
• A bit of background on us:
− UK-based equity crowdfunding platform
− Startups can raise up to £150,000 through us
− Launched July 2012 – first platform of our kind in
the world to get regulatory approval
− Funded over £1 million across 21 startups
− Median investment is £100
@seedrs
www.seedrs.comSeedrs Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
Locating Seedrs
• When my co-founder and I began working on
Seedrs, we could have located it anywhere
− I’m American and have strong ties to India
− Carlos is Portuguese and has strong ties to Brazil
− We were living in the UK for our MBAs but were
fully mobile
• We chose to set up in the UK, with a view to
becoming pan-European, because we see
Europe as the best global market for equity
crowdfunding
@seedrs
www.seedrs.comSeedrs Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
Regulation
• When we started out, there was no JOBS Act
• U.S. rules-based system was far less welcoming
than European principles-based systems
• Even with the JOBS Act, European systems
are still the better ones for now
− JOBS Act is highly flawed and will take years of
regulation and further legislation to get right
− European systems, while disparate and
imperfect, have proven themselves much more
flexible
@seedrs
www.seedrs.comSeedrs Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
Legal Systems
• Europe is not the only region with a flexible
regulatory system
− Exists in some emerging economies too
• But the other key element of equity
crowdfunding is a strong
corporate/commercial legal system
− In the absence of personal relationships, contracts
and corporate law must be robust and enforced
• Very few other countries (bar the U.S.) have
as strong legal systems as we have here
@seedrs
www.seedrs.comSeedrs Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
Startup Culture
• Startup activity is accelerating faster in
Europe than anywhere in the world
− Lots of hubs, accelerators emerging
− Talent is flocking to entrepreneurship
• Macroeconomic situation encourages this
− Europe underperformed in the startup stakes when
other parts of the economy were more stable
− Increasingly, bright people see the need to
create their own value
• With increasing startup activity comes
increased demand for funding @seedrs
www.seedrs.comSeedrs Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
Lack of Seed Funding
• Seed funding is highly inefficient in Europe
• Very regional, with strong government intervention
• Startups need to be in right place/sector at right
time to get the first funding they need
• Equity crowdfunding is largely about creating
efficiencies in seed funding
− Allows startups and investors to find each other
and do deals much more easily
− The more inefficient the market, the more
potential for equity crowdfunding
@seedrs
www.seedrs.comSeedrs Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
Culture of Collaboration
• Equity crowdfunding is about returns
− Investors need to profit if this form of funding is to
gain traction
− Not some sort of 21st century alternative to
capitalism – it is capitalism made better
• But it’s also about collaboration
− Providing support along with capital
− Backing businesses which profit in part from
creating positive effects on the overall ecosystem
− This aligns best with the European approach to
business
@seedrs
www.seedrs.comSeedrs Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
Making it a Reality
• Europe has the potential to be the best market
in the world for equity crowdfunding
• However, we need to do a few things if we
want to fulfill that potential
− Harmonised legislation
− Encouraging and incentivising investors
− Optimism and confidence
@seedrs
www.seedrs.comSeedrs Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
Questions?
@seedrs
www.seedrs.comSeedrs Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
Jeff Lynn
jeff.lynn@seedrs.com
@jeffseedrs
www.seedrs.com

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Crowdfunding Day - Jeff Lynn (Seedrs)

  • 1. Why Europe is the Best Market in the World for Equity Crowdfunding Jeff Lynn 15 April 2013
  • 2. Introduction • I’m CEO and co-founder of Seedrs • A bit of background on us: − UK-based equity crowdfunding platform − Startups can raise up to £150,000 through us − Launched July 2012 – first platform of our kind in the world to get regulatory approval − Funded over £1 million across 21 startups − Median investment is £100 @seedrs www.seedrs.comSeedrs Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
  • 3. Locating Seedrs • When my co-founder and I began working on Seedrs, we could have located it anywhere − I’m American and have strong ties to India − Carlos is Portuguese and has strong ties to Brazil − We were living in the UK for our MBAs but were fully mobile • We chose to set up in the UK, with a view to becoming pan-European, because we see Europe as the best global market for equity crowdfunding @seedrs www.seedrs.comSeedrs Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
  • 4. Regulation • When we started out, there was no JOBS Act • U.S. rules-based system was far less welcoming than European principles-based systems • Even with the JOBS Act, European systems are still the better ones for now − JOBS Act is highly flawed and will take years of regulation and further legislation to get right − European systems, while disparate and imperfect, have proven themselves much more flexible @seedrs www.seedrs.comSeedrs Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
  • 5. Legal Systems • Europe is not the only region with a flexible regulatory system − Exists in some emerging economies too • But the other key element of equity crowdfunding is a strong corporate/commercial legal system − In the absence of personal relationships, contracts and corporate law must be robust and enforced • Very few other countries (bar the U.S.) have as strong legal systems as we have here @seedrs www.seedrs.comSeedrs Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
  • 6. Startup Culture • Startup activity is accelerating faster in Europe than anywhere in the world − Lots of hubs, accelerators emerging − Talent is flocking to entrepreneurship • Macroeconomic situation encourages this − Europe underperformed in the startup stakes when other parts of the economy were more stable − Increasingly, bright people see the need to create their own value • With increasing startup activity comes increased demand for funding @seedrs www.seedrs.comSeedrs Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
  • 7. Lack of Seed Funding • Seed funding is highly inefficient in Europe • Very regional, with strong government intervention • Startups need to be in right place/sector at right time to get the first funding they need • Equity crowdfunding is largely about creating efficiencies in seed funding − Allows startups and investors to find each other and do deals much more easily − The more inefficient the market, the more potential for equity crowdfunding @seedrs www.seedrs.comSeedrs Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
  • 8. Culture of Collaboration • Equity crowdfunding is about returns − Investors need to profit if this form of funding is to gain traction − Not some sort of 21st century alternative to capitalism – it is capitalism made better • But it’s also about collaboration − Providing support along with capital − Backing businesses which profit in part from creating positive effects on the overall ecosystem − This aligns best with the European approach to business @seedrs www.seedrs.comSeedrs Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
  • 9. Making it a Reality • Europe has the potential to be the best market in the world for equity crowdfunding • However, we need to do a few things if we want to fulfill that potential − Harmonised legislation − Encouraging and incentivising investors − Optimism and confidence @seedrs www.seedrs.comSeedrs Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
  • 10. Questions? @seedrs www.seedrs.comSeedrs Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority Jeff Lynn jeff.lynn@seedrs.com @jeffseedrs www.seedrs.com