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Syndicate Room in push to expand IPO offering

The first equity crowdfunding platform to become a member of the London Stock Exchange is ramping up its efforts to allow retail investors to access main market listings by launching a new fundraising round.

The offer to participate in Syndicate Room’s £2.3 million round will open on the company’s website on May 10 and the proceeds will be used to support its new equity capital markets activities, the platform said on May 9.

Founded in 2012, Cambridge-based Syndicate Room enables individuals to make equity investments in early stage private companies online, for a minimum of £1,000.

The firm became a member of the LSE in March, meaning its users can invest in retail tranches of initial public offerings. The approach is designed to allow investors to invest in the various stages of a business, from seed funding to listing.

The benefits of getting retail investors involved via online platforms include lower costs and the ability for companies to generate marketing around their IPOs and products.

Syndicate Room’s funding round comes a year after it raised £1.2 million in 33 hours through its own platform. As well as growing its equity capital markets business, it plans to double its staff numbers over the next six months, to more than 40 employees.

Goncalo de Vasconcelos, chief executive and co-founder of Syndicate Room, said the company wanted to address the high number of people in the UK who would like to become equity investors but do not know where to start.

Syndicate Room surveyed more than 3,100 people in the UK for a report titled Bridging the Equity Divide, and found that the majority, 53%, believed their net worth would increase if they invested in equities. Around 40% of those surveyed said they would have invested in IPOs had they known about them.

De Vasconcelos said: “The money will be used to further cement our position and reputation in the crowdfunding market and to fully roll out our equity capital markets, IPOs and placings”.

“We did the initial roll-out to show what we can do to the capital markets and the results far exceeded our expectations, so we feel we are on to something special”

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