If you live in the UK or the US, you may already be familiar with equity crowdfunding. And yet, few French startups turn to their community of users to raise new funds. Thanks to recent regulatory changes, the British investment platform Crowdcube intends to shake things up by officially launching on the French market.
And you may have already noticed a recent crowdfunding campaign in the French tech ecosystem. I recently covered Series A of Finary. The company wants to reinvent private banking with a comprehensive financial aggregator combined with financial recommendations.
Finary also planned to raise some of its Series A from its community through Crowdcube. This makes sense because Finary is a wealth management platform and crowdfunding rounds also represent alternative investment opportunities.
And it was quite successful as the startup managed to raise €2.17 million ($2.4 million at today’s exchange rate) from 983 Finary users in 21 minutes. People had the option of investing between €10 and €5,000. On average, they invested €2,200 each to become Finary shareholders.
The next French crowdfunding campaign on Crowdcube will be Qonto. This is quite significant because Qonto is one of the most valued French startups. The company offers business bank accounts to small and medium enterprises based in Europe. Earlier this year, the startup announced a $552 million (€486 million) Series D funding round at a $5 billion (€4.4 billion) valuation.
Since there could be a lot of interest in such a well-known company, Qonto is focusing on its user base in France, Italy, Spain and Germany. Qonto customers will be able to pre-register until April 19 before the official launch of the campaign.
“Companies value the community aspect of crowdfunding more than the fundraising element,” Pauline Pham, Crowdcube’s Country Manager France, told me a few weeks ago.
And you can see it in Crowdcube’s track record in other countries. Some of the best-known startups that have raised funds through Crowdcube include Revolut, Monzo, Citymapper, Cowboy, and Freetrade. These are mainstream startups with thousands or even millions of users.
Although Crowdcube seems like the perfect partner for fintech companies, the company doesn’t want to limit its platform to trendy tech companies. “We’re not just thinking about tech companies, but all kinds of unlisted companies,” Pham said.