PrimaryBid lands $50m from LSE, Draper Esprit & ABN AMRO
PrimaryBid, a UK-based fintech which connects individual investors with public companies raising capital, has landed $50 million of its own capital in a Series B round.
First reported by Sky News, the start-up landed a host of new investors. These include London Stock Exchange Group (LSE), ABN AMRO Ventures, Crowdcube-backer Draper Esprit, Shopify-backer OMERS Ventures, and Fidelity International Strategic Ventures.
Existing shareholders, Pentech and Outward Ventures, also participated in the round.
The fresh funding will go towards “key senior hires” and “technology investments”, preparing it for growth internationally. This is according to a company statement released on 26 October.
It adds to PrimaryBid’s notably smaller $8.6 million Series A, which it landed just over a year ago.
First stop, Europe
The international growth will initially start in Europe. The start-up says it has an “exclusive commercial agreement” with Euronext, Europe’s largest stock exchange. The partnership spans nine geographies on the continent.
Though PrimaryBid doesn’t mention which ones, Euronext’s main eight markets are: Amsterdam, Brussels, Dublin, Lisbon, London, Milan, Oslo and Paris.
The deal marks PrimaryBid’s second major commercial agreement with a stock exchange. It signed its first with new investor LSE back in November 2019. The partnership saw it open up access to specifically to UK equity offerings.
“PrimaryBid has become an important part of the UK’s capital raising ecosystem,” says LSE’s equity and fixed income head for primary markets, Charlie Walker.
Its backer, Craig Anderson, explains that traditionally, the equity capital market has been “dominated by an institutional focus and not geared for retail investors”. He adds that this consumer investor segment have been “unfairly restricted […] to the primary equity markets”.
Growth this year
Since April 2020, PrimaryBid has completed more than 41 capital raises for UK-listed companies.
The fintech claims to have experienced “rapid growth” this year, particularly during the pandemic. It says it unlocked “billions” in corporate fundraises for retail investors.
“As fintech specialists it’s been impossible to ignore the rise of PrimaryBid in 2020 and its success championing retail investors in the capital markets,” says Tara Reeves, partner at investor OMERS Ventures
Notable capital raises on its books include British multinational contract food service Compass Group. As well as online supermarket Ocado, major British housebuilding firm Taylor Wimpey and Segro – a property investment and development firm.
The start-up works with global investment banks, opening up access to funding rounds designed to recapitalise firms’ balance sheets. PrimaryBid offers individual retail investors the same terms as institutional investors.
“The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the effectiveness of the public markets, with companies recapitalising quickly and efficiently,” says Anand Sambasivan, PrimaryBid’s CEO.
“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.”
Retail investors directly own 13.5% of the UK market, according to 2018 Office of National Statistics (ONS) data.