Republic acquires Seedrs in UK in $ 100 million deal to expand into Europe

British equity crowdfunding firm Seedrs – whose merger with rival Crowdcube was previously blocked by competition regulators – has been acquired by start-up investment platform Republic in a deal of $ 100 million. The move comes after Seedrs criticized the UK Competition and Markets Authority earlier this year. as stifling the UK’s potential to stimulate startups.

Seedrs was the world’s first regulated equity crowdfunding firm and has invested £ 1.5 billion through the platform over its history, even acting as a retail investment platform for the Revolut digital bank, now a unicorn. The platform was also the first to introduce a secondary market.

Republic is a leading U.S. financial technology company that empowers people to invest in private market private equity, debt, or crypto offerings and manages nearly $ 1 billion ($ 1) through its practice of private asset management.

Prior to this deal, Republic and Seedrs had a long-standing partnership where Seedrs advised the Republic management team.

The Seedrs acquisition follows the recent $ 150 million Series B funding announcement from Republic, led by Valor Equity Partners.

Seedrs co-founder and now president, Jeff Lynn, will continue to play his role at Seedrs and lead the European expansion of Republic, which will now be able to take advantage of new EU legislation that has harmonized funding rules. participatory in the block.

Speaking to the FT, Lynn said the new rules “have created a truly harmonized European regulatory regime, where none previously existed,” adding that “regulatory fragmentation has made building platforms almost impossible. on a large scale – this [reform] gives platforms access to 27 different countries, all under a single regulatory regime.

The American investment firm Davidson Kempner will now buy out and take the stakes of the former shareholders of Seedrs, mainly in cash. Seedrs also has nearly 5,000 small investors, including tennis player Andy Murray.

Republic said she would commit additional capital to develop Seedrs in Europe “to help deliver new innovations and new products to European investors and private companies”.

Kendrick Nguyen, Founder of Republic, said: “We knew that international expansion was needed to achieve cross-border participation. Working with Seedrs we have admired their technological capabilities, the strength of their team and their strong presence in the UK and soon in Europe. We plan to further develop the strengths of the two companies in retail, secondary establishments, crypto and communities to create an undisputed industry leader. “

As part of the new structure, Seedrs CEO Jeff Kelisky will join the Republic leadership team and continue as Seedrs CEO.

He commented: “Seedrs ambition has always been to build a global private equity market. This operation is a natural development of our partnership with Republic to achieve and exceed this ambition. We share a similar culture, a common goal and a commitment to the strategic opportunities that lie ahead. “

The transaction is subject to the approval of the Financial Conduct Authority and Seedrs shareholders.

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