The Growing Alternative Finance Industry

Equity Crowdfunding shrugs off Brexit Uncertainty

The latest equity crowdfunding statistics released by OFF3R last month revealed that the first half of 2017 was the strongest 6 months for equity crowdfunding to date. The data was released just as the EU and UK negotiating teams sat down for their second round of Brexit negotiations in Brussels. The latest data is a real boost for the UK economy in light of some of the sluggish performance data that is being seen in other sectors.  

Six of the leading equity crowdfunding platforms that form the OFF3R Index raised nearly £130M in 2017 for UK private companies. This is £2M above the previous half yearly record that was reached back in the second half of 2015. March 2017, where Over £40 million was raised, buoyed the latest data and the period as a whole was characterised by some very large fundraises from Q1 2017.

The data also revealed that competition for the largest equity crowdfunding platform by total funds raised is hotting up. Crowdcube, Seedrs and Syndicate Roomestablished themselves as the market leaders in this sector by total funds raised. The establishment of three large players in the equity crowdfunding sector reflects the position of the more established P2P lending sector. 

It is a very encouraging sign for the industry that the last 6 months were the strongest yet for equity crowdfunding. However, the real barometer of the industry performance will come at the end of the year. 2016 saw a year on year increase of 9% in total funds raised from 2015. A good second half of the year will mean that the industry should be able to surpass that target.

Peer to peer lending levels continue to rise

The data also revealed that peer to peer lending levels continue to rise in the UK. The peer to peer lending statistics showed that over £1.8 billion was lent in the first half of 2017 by the nine platforms that make up the OFF3R Index. This is an increase of over £350 million from the previous half year period at the end of 2016.

The figures were enhanced by the fact that over £330 million was lent in June. This represents the highest amount lent on a month by month basis. Another milestone was also reached last month, when Ratesetter announced that they had lent over £2bn as a platform.

The data also revealed that Assetz Capital had a record breaking month in June 2017. The total amount lent of over £30 million by the platform was higher than any previous period since the OFF3R Index began. All of this news is positive for the P2P Lending sector that is benefitting from the low interest rate environment the economy is currently in. As with equity crowdfunding, it will be very interesting to see how the P2P lending sector performs in the second half of 2017.


Valerie Krutanova