PrimaryBid underlines growing presence in retail market with £38mln fundraise

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PrimaryBid, the crowdfunding platform aimed at retail investors, has capped its recent run of success with a £38mln fundraise.

A host of big name firms took part in this latest round of debt funding including existing shareholder the London Stock Exchange (LON:LSE)  Draper Esprit, (LON:GROW) and funds run by OMERS Ventures, Fidelity International and ABN AMRO.

PrimaryBid shot to prominence as at the start of coronavirus lockdown when contract cater Compass used its app as part of a £2bn share issue.

Since then, Whitbread, Ocado, Segro and housebuilder Taylor Wimpey have all used the app for a retail offering alongside a large equity raise.

Former Goldman Sachs banker Anand Sambasivan set the business up in 2016 as a way for smaller investors to take part in fundraises normally reserved for institutions.

PrimaryBid said it has completed over 41 capital raises for companies and investment trusts since April.

Sambasivan, added:  “The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the effectiveness of the public markets, with companies recapitalising quickly and efficiently.

“Our technology has allowed thousands of retail investors to participate on equal terms with institutional investors, unlocking a large and important source of liquidity and long-term share ownership for corporate issuers”. 

Charlie Walker, head of primary markets at the LSE said this latest investment was part of the exchange’s commitment to broadening retail investor access to public equity markets.

“PrimaryBid has become an important part of the U.K.’s capital raising ecosystem,” he said. 

“I look forward to working with them as we expand PrimaryBid’s offering to retail investors in new markets, build our team and technology platform, and deepen our integration into the capital raising ecosystem,” he added.

However, some commentators questioned the LSE’s stake in PrimaryBid and suggest this creates a clear conflict of interest with other crowdfunding groups that offer similar services.

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