From crowdfunding to IPO in 16 months: Edinburgh tech company claims UK first with Aim flotation

 
William Turvill
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Freeagent staff opened the London Stock Exchange this morning (Source: London Stock Exchange)

The London Stock Exchange’s junior market today welcomed its first company with roots in equity crowdfunding.

Edinburgh-based tech company Freeagent Holdings began trading on the Alternative Investment Market (Aim) this morning, with the float raising £10.7m and valuing the company at £34.1m.

Freeagent, a cloud-based software-as-a-service accounting software company, is believed to be the first UK firm to launch an initial public offering (IPO) having previously raised growth capital through equity crowdfunding. The firm raised £1.2m from 700 investors on Seedrs in July 2015.

Read more: Oversubscribed investment trust and Scottish tech firm announce flotations

“To our knowledge this is the first time an equity crowdfunded company has gone on to IPO, and it’s great that the shares owned by our investors will now have liquidity on the stock exchange,” said Seedrs chief executive and co-founder Jeff Lynn.

“As the early stage investment space matures in the coming years, we look forward to seeing many more Seedrs companies floating or exiting.

“We have always believed this asset class will be very fruitful for investors with diverse investment portfolios, and FreeAgent's IPO is an early example of that.”

The float marks Aim’s 32nd IPO of the year, beating 2015’s full-year total of 31.

Read more: Meet the companies preparing to brave London's stormy IPO market this week

“This IPO showcases that London’s markets are open, willing and able to fund high growth fintech businesses,” said James Clark, who works in business development in tech and life sciences at the LSE.

“It also highlights that Aim is a market for the whole of the UK, supporting ambitious companies from every region of the country, including Scotland.

“The significant capital raised on Aim this year is a clear sign of the market’s enduring capacity to connect to dynamic companies to permanent institutional and retail capital.”

Freeagent chief executive Ed Molyneux said: “We are very pleased to have today been admitted to trading on Aim – this is a transformational event for Freeagent.”

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