Funded club business E-Car Club creates the first successful crowdfunding exit.
CrowdCube, the United Kingdom’s largest equity crowdfunding platform, announced the first crowdfunded company exit with the sale of E-Car Club, the UK’s first entirely electric car sharing club for businesses and communities, to Europcar, Europe’s leading car rental and mobility company. Started in 2011, E-Car Club raised GBP100,000 on CrowdCube from 63 investors, the largest of which was GBP15,000, smallest GBP1,500. CrowdCube says that these investors received “a multiple return on their investment” but did not publish the actual return.
E-Car Clubs sale to Europcar creates a world’s first successful crowdfunding exit.Investors receive a multiple return on their investments via Crowdcube.com
We are pleased to announce that equity crowdfunders who invested seed capital in E-Car Club via the platform are today to receive a full exit from their investment.
In a worldwide first, 63 investors helped E-Car Club, the UK’s first entirely electric car sharing club for businesses and communities, to raise £100,000 in 2013 are to be given a multiple return on their investment following the sale of the business to Europcar. Europe’s leading car rental and mobility company.
E-Car Club was founded by social entrepreneurs Chris Morris and Andrew Wordsworth as a start-up in 2011. E-Car was one of first companies to seek equity capital via Crowdcube where its business model combined with its social purpose appealed strongly to investors. The company combines the increasing popularity of pay-per-use car clubs as an attractive, affordable alternative to traditional car ownership, with the improved performance and reduced price of electric vehicles. E-Car Club works closely with councils, social landlords and community group partners to deliver improved economic, social and environmental outcomes for local residents.
“By joining forces with Europcar we now have access to the considerable investment and resources that we need to accelerate our growth and reach more communities,” said Christopher Morris, Co-Founder of E-Car Club. “We will continue to have a social mission at the heart of our business: to improve mobility on a local level whilst simultaneously reducing the cost and environmental impact of each journey taken.”
Following its fundraising on Crowdcube, E-Car Club went on to raise further growth capital via a group of socially minded investors, some of which included the original crowd investors, before securing institutional investment through Ignite Social Enterprise LLC, the UK’s first social impact fund specifically targeting energy related ventures, backed by Centrica Plc.
Many investors in E-Car Club have gone on to invest in other businesses seeking growth capital via Crowdcube such as Powervault, an electricity storage device to capture solar power, which raised £150,000 and £700,000 in 2014 and 2015 respectively. Powervault, like E-Car Club was launched by Andrew Wordsworth via his Sustainable Venture Development Partners (“Sustainable Ventures”) vehicle works with investors, entrepreneurial managers and corporate partners to originate, build and grow businesses in the low carbon and sustainability sectors.
Investing in early-stage businesses is risky but it can also be very lucrative if you diversify judiciously. E-Car Club, whose crowd investors included business owners, serial investors and senior directors at global banks as well as everyday investors, is a great example of how our investor community is sophisticated and understands the importance of diversification having made an average of 12 investments each on Crowdcube. As crowdfunding becomes mainstream it’s now commonplace for people to invest on Crowdcube alongside world-renowned venture capital firms, acclaimed angel investors, institutions and even the UK Government.
Key facts about E-Car Club crowd investors:
63 investors in 2013
Largest investment amount £15,000
Average investment £1,500
87.5% of E-Car Club investors went on to invest in other businesses via Crowdcube
Collectively the 63 investors have made 762 investments on Crowdcube
The average portfolio is 12 investments
The largest portfolio is 237 investments
RISK WARNING: Investments of this nature carry risks as well as potential rewards. Please #InvestAware as your capital is at risk. Approved as a financial promotion by Crowdcube Ventures Ltd, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (No. 650205)