There is no denying the fundamental role of alternative finance in supporting British businesses. Investors clearly have the appetite for SME investment – recent IW Capital research revealed that 71% of private investors with over £40,000 worth of investments feel confident in the growth capabilities of UK SMEs and 54% are looking to the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) for the new tax year.
While these are reassuring findings, there is still a tendency for investors to direct their attention towards start-ups as opposed to established SMEs with proven scaling potential. Since our inception in 2011, IW Capital has sought to address this problem by providing growth finance to scale-up businesses – helping them transform into recognised market brands.
For this reason, we are proud to see one of our portfolio companies – BorrowMyDoggy – nominated for Best Sharing Economy Startup in the 2016 Europas Conference & Awards Furthermore, the company’s CEO, Rikke Rosenlund, has been named as a nominee in the CEO of the Year category. Last year, IW Capital and our sister company Crowdfinders raised £1.5 million of pledged finance to BorrowMyDoggy. These nominations are fantastic achievements – they demonstrate just how far growth finance and investor confidence can help propel British businesses forward. Be sure to support this brilliant company by casting your vote here.
As recently discussed by our CEO, Luke Davis, in an article featured in Global Banking and Finance Review, another perfect example of growth finance supporting scale-up businesses to come from IW Capital’s portfolio is currency exchange platform WeSwap. With an initial customer base of 200 users and £20,000 worth of currency swapped per month, IW Capital helped facilitate investment of £3.5 million. Since this successful round of funding, WeSwap has scaled at a phenomenal rate, with 160,000 users and swapping over £2 million a month.
The scaling doesn’t stop there. As part of a new funding drive, we have so far raised £150,000 in pledged finance for portfolio company Incanthera – an oncology business revolutionising tumor treatments. This funding comes as part of our Race to Scale initiative, ensuring that businesses proven in concept are not challenged by finance. If you are a business looking to scale, find out more about Race to Scale and submit business proposals here.