Envestors is this week launching its new integrated platform that connects the world of early-stage investments – making it easier for investors to find opportunities and for entrepreneurs to get the funding they need to grow and exit. With its ‘deal sharing’ capability it aims to be a game-changer in the industry.
Traditionally the investment industry has been slow to adopt digital. This has left it fractured and disconnected, which has constrained the industry by making it harder for everyone: for investors to build diverse portfolios; for start-ups to find investors; and for the networks who facilitate the process to get the best opportunities for their members.
The digital platform, Envestry™, will connect existing players. Its aim is not to replace the existing players, but rather to connect everyone – from accelerators to angel networks to matchmaking events – making investment easier and quicker.
The most exciting feature, the ‘game changer’, is deal sharing. Closed networks can have their own platform that they control. They can then opt to share certain deals, and not others, with other networks. For example, a clean tech network in Manchester may decide to showcase a green deal from a female founder network in Bristol. This way early stage companies reach a wider pool of investors, and investors have a greater choice of deals.
The platform is now available to any organisation involved in matching high growth companies with investors, mentors and advisors. These include accelerators, incubators, angel networks, start-up events companies, workplace providers, membership bodies and associations.
The need for the platform was identified by Envestors own experience of managing its private investment club. The company wanted a way to make it easier for investors to learn more about the deals, so Envestors launched their own platform. Quickly other networks expressed interest in accessing it.
“We saw that while the platform was solving a problem we had internally, there was a much bigger problem to solve – the fragmented state of the early stage investment market. This leads to issues with start-ups getting in front of investors, and means it’s challenging for investors to build a diverse portfolio. So, we set ourselves a new mission to connect up the investment space using the platform.” explains Oliver Woolley, CEO of Envestors.
“What sets Envestors apart from other platforms, is our history. We know how to run an investment club. As the saying goes; we eat our own dogfood! We’re still running the club, so when we work with other networks, whether they are long-running or emerging, they are not just getting tech, they are getting years of experience and support.”
The new integrated Envestry platform allows investors: access to increased deal flow by allowing them to see all the deals in the country across multiple networks; to follow deals and receive automatic updates; interaction with founders online through Q&A, as well as seeing other investor questions; online access to documents, videos, pitch decks, business plans, sales forecasts; ability to pledge, transact, manage and track progress online; to upload existing investments; receive shareholder updates through the platform; rest assured that deals are clear, fair and not misleading, knowing that all opportunities on the platform are signed off for FCA compliance.
For companies looking for investment, Envestry allows them to: create a company and deal profile with ability to edit; track investor interest using analytics; engage with investors through updates and Q&A tools; track pledges and progress; transact online; manage investor relations online (this is important because companies often do multiple raises and, in most cases, return to previous investors). In addition, Envestors offers expert services to help companies get ‘investment ready’.
For investment networks Envestry enables them: to have their own branded platform with complete control; offer share deals on a platform or deal-by-deal basis; maintain a database of investor interests to facilitate matching; empower their investors to build their portfolio by making it easy to find opportunities and conduct due diligence online; increase the chances that your companies will raise capital by making it easy for investors to learn more about them; comply with regulation; and reduce manual processes (for example, paper-based investor application forms, deal summary handouts etc.)
The platform, prior to launch, has been Beta-testing with early customers including:
- SetSquared – the number one global incubator, a collaboration between the Universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey
- CQRS – works with unlisted business to prepare and pitch for investment
- Conviction investment partners – a syndicate of global investors that offers milestone-based investing
- Plerith – a Bristol-based investment network
- Prospedia – UK’s first private equity seed-funding platform focused exclusively on co-investing into early-stage future mobility technology
- The Business Group – Sussex-based network
- OBN Ventures – life sciences membership organisation
- Kickstart Capital – focuses on S/EIS opportunities
- Stakeholderz – matches high growth businesses with investing directors
After a successful pilot stage and testing, the Envestry platform is launching this week and is now available for start-ups, investors, and networks. This the start of a drive to connect the entire investment industry across the UK by creating a single place to go to in order to find investment or to find investment opportunities.