Freetrade raising £50m Series B for European expansion
Freetrade, a UK-based fintech serving retail investors, has announced it’s in the process of closing a £50 million ($69 million) Series B round.
Led by New York-based growth equity firm, Left Lane Capital – a previous investor in N26 and current backer of M1 Finance – the round marks Freetrade’s biggest yet.
A growth fund owned by L Catterton, an American-French private equity firm focused on consumer brands, is also joining the round.
Draper Esprit, which led Freetrade’s £10.8 million Series A round back in 2019, is also involved.
Part of the round is yet to close, with Freetrade relying on “a secondary opportunity” it’s making available to all existing shareholders.
This includes 13,000 individual investors who have taken part in Freetrade’s seven crowdfunding campaigns.
According to Sky News, around £35 million will be made up of new shares. Whilst the rest will be from sales by existing investors.
Phantom European expansion
Co-founder and CEO, Adam Dodds, said in a blog post that the fintech has seen “registered users pass 600,000”.
It also claims, as of this first quarter, to be trading volumes exceeding £1 billion.
In line with this growth, the start-up says it’s opening international offices in Stockholm and Brisbane.
But the fintech still hasn’t delivered on its other promises of European expansion, having announced plans to move into the Netherlands and Ireland over a year ago.
The Ireland launch never happened. The Irish Independent reported in February 2021 that Freetrade would launch in the region following the GameStop saga. But the start-up’s waitlist for Ireland is still live.
The Netherlands launch also still hasn’t happened. According to its blog, Freetrade is only live in the UK.
“We already have our passporting rights, so can bring on EU customers as soon as we’re confident we’ll deliver superb service for them,” it said a week ago.
Freetrade investors have spoken to FinTech Futures in the past. They shared their frustration at the company’s habit of promising roll outs which never happen.
Despite no sign of a second market launch, Dodds says it has doubled its team size in the last year.
“The funds will accelerate Freetrade’s growth in international markets and allow the team to scale our product and technology,” Dodds adds.