The Danish startup Capdesk – a social shareholder platform that makes investments in SMEs more accessible – has set the goal to expand to London. Christian Gabriel (right, 25) and Casper Arboll (left, 28) are the founders of Capdesk, launched in November 2015. Within the last two months, Capdesk has already reached more than 1.200 users and customers all over Scandinavia, including some of the largest law firms.
The idea behind Capdesk comes from working with alternative financing. Christian and Casper have a background from the equity crowdfunding platform FundedByMe and from the crowd-consultancy Heartreacher. Now Capdesk has set its goal to conquer the UK and, from the beginning of February, will be based in London, as well as in Copenhagen.
More people to invest in unlisted shares
A very small percentage of people has experienced buying shares in companies which are not listed. This is a problem as the majority of net job creation and added value in Europe and US can be attributed to SMEs, which are rarely listed on a stock exchange. Many thought leaders blame taxation and risk for the lack of investment in unlisted shares, but Christian Gabriel has a different view:
“Even though marketplaces for unlisted shares such as Equity Crowdfunding Platforms are becoming more established, it is still difficult for private investors to evaluate and follow the development of their investments, which makes it complex and can discourage someone to invest.”
Capdesk wants to bring unlisted shares to life by creating a transparent, collaborative and accessible investment environment. Thereby improving the experience for shareholders in unlisted companies. The platform makes the companies’ shares digital and gathers all the investor relation activities in one place. In this way, it is easy even for small companies to have a lot of investors, creating new synergies.
“Most of our users are excited to take part in their portfolio company and are, actively contributing to the business with skills, network and services. The identity as a shareholder is changing – return on investment is no longer the sole motivator to invest, it is also about the experience. Capdesk accomodates this change and encourage founders and investors to explore synergies to help the business” says Casper Arboll about the company’s vision.
Next stop: London
Private investments in SMEs are currently increasing. This is especially seen in countries like US, UK and Sweden. Several things drive this development, including equity crowdfunding which has seen a 410% growth in the UK since 2012. Companies financed through equity crowdfunding have an average of 160 small investors. These are some of the companies Capdesk wants to help.
“At the moment a lot of things is happening in the UK. In 2015, hundreds of companies were financed through equity crowdfunding and this is just the beginning. We believe that the market will become more mature and that more marketplaces for unlisted shares will appear. We want to help all of these new investors feel comfortable and give them amazing experiences.” says Christian Gabriel.
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