Crowdcube Acquires Semper, Setting Sight on Secondary Market

Published 5 months ago

UK-based equity crowdfunding platform Crowdcube has purchased secondary dealmaking startup Semper, marking its entry into the secondaries market in Europe.

Semper to Join Crowdcube Brand

The deal will result in Semper’s integration into the Crowdcube brand in the coming months. Mathias Pastor and Balthazar de Lavergne, Semper’s co-founders and former directors at The Family, a French startup community, will continue to oversee the secondary side of the business.

Since its inception in 2013, Crowdcube has run crowdfunding campaigns for companies such as Monzo, Revolut, and Qonto, raising a total of £1bn for more than 1,300 businesses.

The Rise of Secondaries

The secondaries market in Europe has been slow to develop, but growth investors are keen for deals as they seek to utilize the substantial capital that has been gathering dust due to a lack of major funding rounds.

Crowdcube is banking on this trend to continue as it integrates Semper into its retail investing platform. Crowdcube’s co-founder and co-CEO, Matt Cooper, believes that businesses are increasingly looking to secondary sales for liquidity.

Semper’s Role and Its Acquisition by Crowdcube

Founded in 2021, Semper assists startups in selling secondaries for shareholders. Since its launch, Semper has facilitated €10m worth of secondary sales for companies like Swedish digital health scaleup Kry, French DIY marketplace ManoMano, and French mobile games developer Voodoo.

With Semper’s integration into Crowdcube, the platform will offer secondary deals to retail investors. Over the past 18 months, Crowdcube has managed £20m in secondary share sales. The acquisition of Semper will strengthen Crowdcube’s commitment to the asset class and broaden its services to run crowdfunding deals for later-stage companies.

The French Connection

Since gaining regulatory approval from the EU in 2022, Crowdcube has been expanding its business in Europe, helping 66 companies from 10 European countries raise over €70m.

The acquisition of Semper offers considerable network effects in France, Crowdcube’s fastest-growing market and most significant opportunity, and Europe more broadly. Crowdcube’s expansion in France is driven by the country’s new budget laws, which offer tax breaks for investments in early-stage companies, expected to generate an additional €500m of funding for startups annually.