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Invesdor - The Crowdfunding Service from the North

Invesdor is a leading equity-based crowdfunding platform in Northern Europe. We are an investment matching service between unlisted growth companies and investors from around the world.

Vår berättelse

It is late 2011. The Finnish start up environment is blooming, new exciting ventures come to life and hordes of entrepreneurs are ready to conquer the markets. Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, emerging ventures talking about the power of the crowd in supporting projects are rising. The crowdfunding wave is starting and entrepreneurs and artists are already surfing it to collect capital from donors and backers. Equity, however, is still restricted in the United States, but not in most European countries.

Back in Helsinki, in 2012, a group of Finnish professionals with backgrounds in investment banking, finance, law, marketing and sales seizes the opportunity and joins the few pioneers in the equity crowdfunding industry. Invesdor is born.

Invesdor entered the market challenging the entrepreneurial finance environment by providing a new innovative way to raise capital and invest. Invesdor has conquered its home market in Finland with more than 2.000.000 Euro raised in 15 successful cases (1).

The company has developed strong partnerships with existing financial institutions (such as wealth management companies Taaleritehdas and Alexandria, law firm Fondia, and investment bank Summa Capital), created the first secondary market for equity crowdfunding (in cooperation with Privanet), and successfully executed the first live crowdfunding event in the world.

We stand today on the edge of a revolution in finance that is redesigning international flows of capital. We are launching our funding round to support international expansion and to introduce debt crowdfunding services.

The story has just begun.

 

(1) Note: Three of the successful offerings are Invesdor's own rounds. In total Invesdor has raised 233,700 euros via its own platform.

Vår affärs- och marknadssituation

Invesdor is a leading equity-based crowdfunding platform in Northern Europe. We are an investment matching service between unlisted growth companies and investors, allowing the former to access capital, contacts and knowledge and the latter to diversify their investment portfolios to new asset classes. 

The company is actively contributing to the history of equity crowdfunding in Europe and worldwide. Since the beginning of its activities, Invesdor has been working on the cutting edge of the industry introducing successful global innovations to the market:

  • The first secondary market for crowdfunded equities in cooperation with Privanet
  • The first real cooperation with established traditional finance institutions (two wealth management companies and an investment bank in Finland)
  • The first live crowdfunding event (PitchHelsinki)
  • Invesdor was selected as the only crowdfunding platform in the RedHerring Top 100 Europe ranking in 2014

We are now raising funds for international expansion and launching new services. We continue to make the history of crowdfunding by supporting entrepreneurial growth across Europe. 

We are creating a bridge between traditional angel-, stock-, bond- and mutual fund investors and growth company financing and revolutionizing the way ventures access capital.

Our superior partners and the experience of our team in banking and investment related activities represent an important asset for the development of our service. With our strong team we keep on building more meaningful products and services for European entrepreneurs.

The industry

The crowdfunding industry helps entrepreneurs access capital and leverage on their shareholders for marketing and visibility purposes. 

The market has been growing rapidly in the recent years reaching more than 5 billion USD in 2013 with a growth rate of 90% from 2,7 billion USD previous year. Moreover, the worldwide crowdfunding market is expected to reach 300 billion USD in 2025, which represents a cumulative yearly growth rate of more than 40%. 

The industry is generally divided into four main segments:

  • Donation crowdfunding
  • Reward crowdfunding
  • Debt crowdfunding
  • Equity crowdfunding

While the first two focus mostly on arts and projects the latter two entail a higher level of complexity. Equity and debt crowdfunding, in fact, refer mainly to existing companies financing themselves by issuing new shares or debt instruments.

Given the background of the team and the strong partnerships established with the financial organisations, Invesdor focuses on equity, and in the near future, debt crowdfunding

Equity crowdfunding is the smallest but fastest growing segment of the market. With a cumulative yearly growth rate of 194% between 2012 and 2014 it is expected to reach one billion USD by the end of this year. The upcoming growth is justified by the imminent change of legislation in the U.S. market and the positive feedbacks from European markets. The European Union and the individual State regulators have been following the market closely and are working towards a harmonized framework to facilitate the growth of the industry.

In Finland, Invesdor promotes contacts with the regulators and strongly supports initiatives in favour of the safe markets. The Finnish Ministry of Finance in cooperation with Ministry of Employment and the Economy published earlier this year a report defining the equity crowdfunding market size as two million EUR, where Invesdor represents more than 60 per cent market share.

Operations

Equity crowdfunding:

We currently offer our service to unlisted growth companies from Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Estonia, which are looking for capital, visibility and product validation. Investors can come from anywhere around the world as long as they comply with their local jurisdiction before investing. Investments in growth companies are always associated with high risks but also with high potential returns.

We have successfully validated our business model in Finland since may 2012 with a growing amount of companies and investors wanting to work with us. 

  • We have received 300 business applications on our platform so far
  • 57 companies cleared for funding
  • 15 successful cases 
  • 2.000.000 EUR invested or committed for Nordic growth companies
  • International reach and networks growing rapidly

The successful cases come from various industries, from B2B to B2C, from IT, to fashion and retail with the smallest one having raised 20.000 EUR and the largest 288.000 EUR. In average our clients have:

  • Raised 100.000 EUR 
  • Received on board 50 investors per company
  • Established a median Pre-money valuation of 1.150.000 EUR
  • Offered between 10% and 19% of equity to their new investors

Our earnings logic in equity crowdfunding is an upfront listing fee of 500 euros as well as a success fee of 6% + VAT of the amount raised.

Ownersportal: 

Not satisfied with the available service offering for unlisted limited companies, we decided to create a new share registry service. Ownersportal.net is a cloud-based tool for limited liability companies to update and maintain their share registries and for investors to access information of their holdings. 

It can be scaled internationally and will be used as a back-office tool in our secondary market. The company operating Ownersportal.net is 50% owned by Invesdor Oy.

Secondary market:

In January 2014 Invesdor, in cooperation with Privanet, launched the first secondary market for crowdfunding in the world. The first companies will start trading in June 2014.

At Invesdor we understand that although some growth companies provide “dream” exit opportunities as multi-million dollars M&As or IPOs, many ventures become well functioning and profitable business but do not provide a clear exit via a trade sale to their investors.

For this reason we teamed up with Privanet to provide exit opportunities to small and large investors who are striving for a market with higher liquidity. The result of such innovation will be a more fluid environment, where higher number of exits will create a higher number of investments. Key is that money circulation can be increased.

Debt crowdfunding:

This service represents an evolution of a finance focused service like Invesdor. We want to give our customer companies the possibility to raise not only equity capital, but also debt to better meet their financial needs.

Our team is already working on the development of the service to assure a more fluid capital flow to the market. 

Based on our discussions with the authorities, we have been indicated that Invesdor does not need a licence from the Financial Authority to operate. Although, it is possible that the stand of the authorities may always change. 

The expansion plan

Invesdor plans to expand its operative presence to other Nordic countries in 2014 and later on selectively to other European countries in a second phase. We want to establish professional and good quality partnerships locally in order to deliver superior quality to entrepreneurs as well as to investors in the countries which we are entering.

In 2013 Invesdor focused its energy on the Finnish market to validate the business model and to establish key activities and partnerships. These effors led us to reach more than 60 per cent market share in Finland. 

During 2014, we are planning to expand to other Nordic countries by leveraging our networks and existing contacts.

During 2015, we plan to start expansion to Continental Europe. However, this is subject to a major new financing round later.

Leveraging networks: 

As in many finance related activities, equity and debt crowdfunding require the presence of local highly qualified partners able to create the network of entrepreneurs and investors needed for the platform. We are currently in touch with potential local partners in order to execute our expansion plan.

Moreover, Invesdor  has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a major European equity crowdfunding platform. The MoU has been approved by the boards of both companies but it is not certain it will lead to a final collaboration agreement.

Nordic Crowdfunding Alliance:

Invesdor is a founding member of Nordic Crowdfunding Alliance, which was established between Northern European crowdfunding platforms that aim to promote cross-selling, entrepreneurship and crowdfunding in the region. The Alliance is promoted and financed by Nordic Innovation and Nordic Council and includes plaforms from Finland (Invesdor and Mesenaatti), Denmark (Booomerang), Norway (Fond) and Iceland (Karolina Fund). Invesdor is the only equity-based crowdfunding member of the alliance and is proud to promote the crowdinvesting culture in the rest of the region. Total financing for the Nordic Crowdfunding Alliance is 8 million NOK (980,000 euros) for a period of three years.

This initiative has a high strategic value for Invesdor since it allows us to increase our presence and visibility in other Nordic countries and to create synergies with local, high quality, rewards-based platforms. 

Vårt team

Vårt team

Invesdor founding team has great experience from banking, finance, law, IT development and sales. Strong orientation towards finance sector is an important asset of the company as crowdfunding is all about making the existing models more efficient.

The great team below is also supported by our excellent networks and advisers as well as our equity partners (Taaleritehdas, Alexandria, and Summa Capital) and of course our first class operational team.

Lasse Mäkelä

CEO, co-founder

With more than 17 years of experience working in finance, banking and building businesses, Lasse brings solid financial and capital raising experience to Invesdor. Beginning his career as an investment banker in London (Merrill Lynch), Lasse was involved in various capital raising initiatives, stock exchange listings and company mergers and acquisitions. From Merrill Lynch, Lasse moved on to became a partner in Icecapital Securities (Helsinki) specialising in capital raising and acquisition projects. After eight years in investment banking, Lasse moved to KONE Corporation, where he was responsible for company acquisitions and alliances. Before Invesdor Lasse was part of Consti Groups' and Corbel Holding's management groups, with responsibilities for acquisitions, finance and business development. Lasse has a BSc from the Cass Business School (City University, London) and an Executive MBA from Helsinki School of Economics.

http://fi.linkedin.com/in/lassemakela

Tero Weckroth

Chairman of the Board

With more than 17 years of working in financial and pharmaceutical industries and as a start-up entrepreneur, Tero brings international networks and experience to Invesdor. Tero began his career in the biotech industry at Serono, a Swiss pharmaceutical company, where he worked in R&D and marketing. He joined Alfred Berg, the Nordic investment banking arm of ABN AMRO, in 2000 and spent 11 years in equity brokerage business, a career that took him to London and Zürich. He spent the years 2003–2011 mostly abroad. After moving back to Helsinki with his family in 2011, he has focused on grassroots level work with Finnish start-ups in healthcare and financial sectors. Tero has extensive experience of equity brokerage, equity capital markets, M&A and start-up finance. Tero has a MSc in Pharmacy from University of Helsinki and an MBA from Helsinki School of Business Administration.

http://fi.linkedin.com/pub/tero-weckroth/0/27/5b9

Timo Lappi

Member of the Board, co-founder

Timo is a legal counsel to high growth companies, business angels and private equity investors on areas including financing rounds, transactions, corporate law and IPR. In 2006, after having worked for several years as a lawyer specialising in technology companies, equity investments and corporate acquisitions, Timo joined Fondia, a start-up company offering a new approach to corporate legal services. Timo is also a board member to several startup and growth companies and acts as board member of Boardman and Boardman 2020, a network which supports Finnish startups and the development of a pro-business culture in Finland. Timo combined legal studies at the Helsinki University (LLM) with business studies at Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration (BSc (Econ)).

http://fi.linkedin.com/in/tlappi

Mikko Bergman

Member of the Board

Mikko is managing partner at Summa Capital. With more than 17 years of experience as entrepreneur and in banking and corporate finance he brings important skills to the board. Mikko also worked at Deutsche Bank and Alfred Berg/ABN AMRO as an advisor to many significant companies.

https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=265135&authType=NAME_SEARCH&authToken=VxoZ&locale=en_US&srchid=709374791398339736668&srchindex=2&srchtotal=3&trk=vsrp_people_res_name&trkInfo=VSRPsear

Petteri Poutiainen

Member of the Board, co-founder

Petteri brings international sales and marketing experience to the Invesdor Board. He is well known for his high energy, positive never-give-up attitude and unlimited creativity. Currently Petteri has a senior management role at Oracle Corporation. He has a strong, over 15-year long track record in managing, coaching and recruiting the most successful multinational sales teams. Petteri holds an Executive MBA from the Helsinki School of Economics and a BBA degree from Helsinki Business Polytechnic. He has studied Marketing and Information Systems in Helsinki and Dublin.

http://fi.linkedin.com/pub/petteri-poutiainen/0/2b/500

Jouni Leskinen

Co-founder, Senior Advisor

Jouni has more than 16 years of experience on designing and implementing information management systems. He has been involved with the implementation and management of complex IT systems in sectors spanning banking and insurance, manufacturing and consumer products. Over the last ten years, Jouni has helped large-cap corporations develop business intelligence and analytics technology projects, first as a senior consultant at the SAS Institute and then as an entrepreneur. Jouni is a partner and co-founder of the fast growing Finnish consulting company Avarea, which specialises in information management and business analytics.

http://fi.linkedin.com/pub/jouni-leskinen/0/a34/606

Lare Lekman

Co-founder, senior advisor

Lare is one of the co-founders of Invesdor. His current role at Invesdor is that of a senior advisor. Lare has over 15 years of award-winning software and product development experience. His previous works include the movie development community wreckamovie.com, Ekahau Wi-Fi positioning system, and Wapit mobile services. Lare is also a Professional Scrum Trainer and Certified Coach.

http://fi.linkedin.com/in/larelekman

Miikka Poutiainen

Co-founder, Senior Advisor

With more than 15 years of experience working in the digital and creative industries, Miikka brings digital design, UX design and marketing communication expertise to Invesdor. Miikka's client list includes a number of the largest corporates and brands in Finland. Currently he is running his own design company PinkAgency and works as a Creative director and advisor for Invesdor. In PinkAgency he helps growth and established companies to develop their brand experience, marketing communication and to design user centric services for increasing the sales. Miikka holds M.A. from New Media in University of arts and Design Helsinki. Previously he have been working in several international and domestic digital and ICT companies in Finland like Knowit, Endero and Grey Interactive.

http://fi.linkedin.com/pub/miikka-poutiainen/15/445/326