Thursday 28 February 2013

[Gazette Profile] FundTheGap Latest Platform to Offer Equity Based Crowdfunding for Small Business

Crowdfunding has always proven to be accessible and effective for one off creative entrepreneurial and altruistic projects. The rise of equity based crowdfunding, especially in the US thanks to the passing of the JOBS act, small businesses and startups can also benefit from crowdfunding. The latest platform to join the ranks of those providing equity based crowdfunding services is FundTheGap, a platform that offers crowdfunding resources and enabling better communication and management between project owners and investors.

FundTheGap was founded by Derek Uittenbroke, Christian Elmes, Martin Sherwood and Ken Ford who have garnered extensive experience in all aspects of finance, technology and fundraising. Between them the founders have amassed over 50 years of experience helping small business and startups secure a total of £500 million in much needed funding. FundTheGap looks to connect businesses with qualified investors and goes beyond conventional crowdfunding by enabling the investors to forge a strong relationship with the project owners and create a community built on collaboration. Amongst the ventures seeking funding are a Babraham-based Cell Guidance System in need of £200,000 for a 12.37% share. Other projects include a local authority initiative to increase the range of broadband internet in rural areas and a pub regeneration project.

Business and individuals to looking secure funding through FundTheGap must be incorporated in the UK and then submit to the the funding committee a detailed business plan for consideration. The business plan should include financial projections and supporting documentation. A meeting ,is then arranged between at least one director and the funding committee, in addition to some company checks being carried out.

Once the screening process is concluded and the committee is satisfied with the outcome, the entrepreneur will then receive help in creating the pitch, which must reach its funding target. Project owners can engage with potential investors directly, who in turn will be vetted by the platform founders to ensure they too are qualified and have the necessary funds to invest. Qualified investors can browse for suitable projects to support based on whatever criteria they choose such as sector interests and local geography.  They can also communicate with the entrepreneur throughout all stages of the funding, receiving updates and even offering feedback. FundTheGap also acts as a nominee service providing administrative support to investors and for the entrepreneurs a single shareholder. 
We have been watching the alternative funding space develop with interest. With other 50 years experience and having secured over £500m for small businesses throughout our careers, we are confident that FundTheGap will provide a complementary source of funds at a critical time for cash-starved UK smaller businesses. - Christian Elmes, Co-founder
Cash starved businesses and ventures could potentially raise £2 million through FundTheGap, which the founding members would co-fund from as little as £500 up to £50,000. Investors benefit as they would qualify for tax relief of up to 78% of their original investment under the UK's Enterprise Investment Scheme, and the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme.  All in all the founders of FundTheGap have created a collaborative crowdfunding community protecting as well as benefiting entrepreneurs and investors alike, thus alleviating concerns of crowdfunding security. The platform stands apart as its founders clearly do not accept projects they would not be willing to support themselves, a position supported by their co-funding initiative. 

Image Credit; Ganderssen1


  1. This is pretty cool. I'm not sure if crowdcube allows you to search via tax relief the investments provide, but I really like that idea. It seems like they have a good screening process as well. I look forward to seeing their development.

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