Emerging Crowd is a London based cross-border crowd investment platform set to launch in Oct ’14. It will focus on unlocking the huge growth potential of strong, well-managed companies in emerging and frontier markets.
Emerging Crowd today announces the upcoming launch of its UK-based equity crowd investment platform aimed at unlocking the huge growth potential of strong, well-managed companies in emerging and frontier markets. The platform is planned to go live in October 2014 once FCA authorisations are in place and will provide ordinary investors with direct investment opportunities in individual growth stage companies through a secure, risk-managed and cost effective online process.
There are reportedly 3 million ‘DIY investors’ in the UK, and this is forecast to increase to 5.5 million by 2017. Emerging Crowd will provide this self-empowered community with the opportunity to explore new exciting markets through their investment choices. The Holy Grail for investors is to be among the first to identify a long-term investment trend and to get in on the ground floor. A quarter of a century ago it was almost inconceivable that ordinary investors could invest in a Chinese internet giant on a major stock exchange or that a South Korean automotive company would conquer international markets.
Lucien Moolenaar and Will Tindall (biographies below), the Co-Founders of Emerging Crowd, have both spent many years working on cross-border fundraisings in emerging and frontier markets. They observed that even profitable, well-managed companies often struggled to access private capital and that opportunities to invest in these growth stage companies were few and far between.
Lucien Moolenaar, Co-Founder of Emerging Crowd, explains:
“For established growth companies in emerging and frontier markets, traditional cross-border fundraising models often fail to provide the necessary transformational capital. Even the best companies are not adequately served by conventional banking and brokerage models. We have created Emerging Crowd to bridge this gap, so that investors can discover and invest directly in growth stage companies from around the world.”
The Co-Founders recognised that crowd investment had begun to revolutionise the marketplace for startups and early-stage companies in developed markets and felt that this technology could also bring much needed agility and transparency to later-stage emerging and frontier market investing. According to a recent report from the World Bank, crowdfunding in developing countries could grow to £50-55 billion over the next twenty years.
Will Tindall, Co-Founder of Emerging Crowd, commented:
“New technologies are greatly enhancing private market efficiencies. Emerging Crowd offers the potential for a major overhaul of a largely institutional framework for allocating capital to companies in emerging and frontier markets. It provides the possibility of leapfrogging the inefficient legacy systems prevalent in the developed world and opening additional sources of funding to these undercapitalised markets.”
The platform will be highly curated, and companies seeking to raise capital must already have strong financial performance and growth prospects, along with an experienced management team, strong corporate governance and near-term liquidity options.
Emerging Crowd is headquartered in London and will initially focus on selected emerging and frontier markets in Sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia and South-East Asia, including those countries that have demonstrated economic and political stability, a reliable investor protection framework, legal and regulatory certainty, transparency and market integrity.
Emerging Crowd will leverage best practices from both public markets and existing crowd investing, whilst reducing investment costs and eliminating the need for confusing and opaque investment structures. Investors will benefit from clear and compliant disclosures on the platform and will have direct access to issuers and their management before investing.
About Emerging Crowd
Emerging Crowd is headquartered in London and is focused on high opportunity emerging and frontier markets. Through a carefully curated process it will offer investors direct online access to high quality unlisted companies with strong management, sturdy financials, attractive valuations and near-term liquidity options.
The platform will provide companies within developing markets with the opportunity to raise capital of between £500k and £4 million and will become a catalyst for the growth of entrepreneurial ecosystems in these previously undercapitalised markets. Emerging Crowd will aim to deliver transparency and efficiency to a traditionally opaque and fragmented marketplace.
Lucien Moolenaar has over 20 years’ experience advising, structuring and executing corporate finance transactions globally, including IPOs and listings on many stock exchanges, public and private capital market fundraisings, and corporate acquisitions and disposals. Lucien spent five years in senior leadership positions at Renaissance Capital in London, including as Executive Director and Head of Legal for Africa, advising on the firm’s corporate expansion on the continent. Prior to that, he was a Director in the Investment Banking Legal Department of Merrill Lynch in the London and Johannesburg offices. He is a qualified lawyer admitted to the New York bar and also worked for eight years in private practice for London and New York law firms. Lucien was educated at Harvard University and Fordham Law School.
Will Tindall has a broad and deep understanding of wealth management, investment management, private equity and investor relations, having held senior positions in each discipline. He started his career at Arbuthnot Banking Group in London and then prior to moving to Asia, founded a strategic financial communications company. Will has worked across a number of international capital markets, most notably Hong Kong, Singapore and London. Prior to establishing Emerging Crowd, Will headed up the business development and fundraising for a Mongolia focused frontier investment-operating group, Asia Pacific Investment Partners. Here he was directly responsible for a number of successful capital raisings and was instrumental in growing the Group’s property, construction materials and financial services companies. Will holds a selection of financial services qualifications and a BSc in Economics and Finance from Exeter University.