It's a new sector that has recently seen fundraising for everything from the Veronica Mars movie to whisky.
No wonder there was an enthusiastic crowd at City A.M.’s first crowdfunding conference, held in association with Another Crowd at the RAC yesterday.
The calibre of the speakers – who included veteran fund manager Nicola Horlick, financial pundit Justin Urquhart Stewart and venture capitalist and Kas Bank managing director Chris Sier – was matched by lively and, at times, heated debate.
Ever wondered what gets crowdfunders worked up? Well, expect some to-and-fro if you enter into the topics of inflated valuations and the issue of platforms that raise finance on themselves. The potential conflict of interest of platforms with fee structures that incentivise them to hide information, to ensure as many funded businesses as possible, also saw a few voices raised.
Goncalo de Vasconcelos, co-founder and chief executive of SyndicateRoom commented: “The event had an incredibly well-informed audience, from well-known researchers in the area to highly-experienced investors. This made talk very engaging indeed, with excellent questions digging deep into the industry, and showing the potential for crowdfunding – and how important and mainstream it is becoming.”
A relaxed lunch and open-ended networking session at the club put the audience at ease – which is just as it should be. After all, lunchtime is the most popular time for crowdfunding investment.