What should you expect from your crowdfunding platform?

Alternative finance, the industry that includes crowdfunding and peer-to-peer (P2P) lending, is growing at pace. Characterised by automated platforms that allow investors to loan money directly to small businesses and worthy endeavours, the alternative finance (AltFi) market is now worth a staggering £6.2bn[1] in the UK alone. The launch of the Innovative Finance ISA in 2015 has helped push this sector into mainstream awareness, but it had been quietly gaining moment for nearly a decade before that.

Crowdfunding platforms are at the heart of the sector. Early innovators like Kickstarter and Indiegogo helped to capture investors’ interest and led the way for the hundreds of diverse crowdfunding platforms that followed suit.

In the UK, there are estimated to be nearly 100 crowdfunding platforms, catering to investors looking for everything from the latest card game to a big-ticket investment opportunity. Despite its size, the sector itself still sits in a grey space from a regulatory point of view[2], meaning investors’ experience can vary widely.

Many of these platforms provide a means for third parties to list opportunities, meaning the platforms themselves have very little obligations to users. They make their money from those raising through them and the responsibility for managing investor communications and customer service lies with the business or individual raising, rather than the platform itself.

At Cogress, we try to go one step further. Our aim is not to simply list our property development projects and allow investors to decide whether the opportunity is right for them, but to ensure that each investment we launch is rigorously assessed and has passed three investment committees before it is launched to our investor community.

Other crowdfunders take a more active approach and perform a measure of due diligence on projects, ensuring they meet certain criteria established by the platform before they can be listed on it. But once a project is raised, their commitment ends and its up to the company you’re investing with to keep you appraised of the progress of your investment.

At Cogress, we try to go one step further. Our aim is not to simply list our property development projects and allow investors to decide whether the opportunity is right for them, but to ensure that each investment we launch is rigorously assessed and has passed three investment committees before it is launched to our investor community.

And our work doesn’t stop once a project is raised. We act as a General Partner on every development project that we bring to our investor community. Our Portfolio Management team is the second largest in the company after our Investor Relations team, and oversees every project from day one until exit, making sure our investors’ best interests are represented at every stage of the development cycle.

And because we believe in Total Investment Clarity, their quarterly reports are sent via email to each and every investor. They are also available to download on our Investor Portal, meaning you’ll always have access to an up-to-date assessment of your development’s progress.

We’re a platform that partners with our investors. And we believe that this is how crowdfunding should be. 

 

Capital at risk. Illiquid investments. No FSCS cover. Exclusively for HNW and sophisticated investors.

 

References

[1] Zeigler et al., 2018. The 5th UK Alternative Finance Industry Report. Cambridge Alternative Finance Sector.

[2] Treasury, 2019. FCA needs formal powers to propose regulatory perimeter changes. HM Government.

 Link to £1bn ISA article

Other blogs you might like

  • Subject:
    • Insight

The Evolution of Property Investing

The UK Alternative Finance industry is currently valued at £2.6bn. Property crowdfunding is one of its rising stars, and grew by an impressive 200% in 2017. This sector is maturing into the mainstream, but would you be surprised to learn it’s almost as old as the hills? That it was all the rage in the 1380s?

Read more
  • Subject:
    • Insight

Is Brexit to blame for the UK’s beleaguered property market?

Cogress Investor Relations Director, Rachel Stark, takes a frank look at the current challenges facing the UK property market. Featuring commentary from industry leaders including Yopa’s founder David Jacobs, REalyse CEO Gavriel Merkado and Chesterton’s Head of Research Nicholas Barnes, this article challenges prevalent opinion that Brexit is to blame for the market slowdown, discussing the role played by affordability and government intervention, as well as the long-term outlook for UK property.

Read more

Want to find out more?

Join our investor community for access to the latest information on our investment opportunities.