Ethical, sustainable and responsible – say hello to the new investor

By Jim Poulter on Wednesday, 9 September 2020

I’ve been struck recently by the number of what I might call green consumer brands electing to use crowdsourcing to fund growth, rather than going cap in hand to the VCs and PE houses.

Consider Finisterre, who raised nearly double their target from nearly 2,000 individual investors via Crowdcube, or Alpkit using the same platform and said they hit their £750,000 target within just eight minutes, taking another 44 minutes to reach its cap of £1.5 million – with five people investing every second at its peak.

Looking at the prospectuses for both, it’s clear that they consider their ethos a core selling point – and judging by the speed with which they hit their targets, so do many investors. And with an average investment of over £1,000 these are clearly affluent people. I’d dearly like to know a bit more about those who’ve signed up. Are they simply picking a few ‘cherished investments’, as the wealth management industry describes them, to go alongside bigger investments in ETFs and index funds? Or are they people actively building a portfolio of new style businesses, investing their way to a better future.

Whichever they are, it’s clear that more and more of those with money to invest will be looking at more than just potential returns – and seeking reassurance than the things they choose to invest in are doing more than maximising profits. In today’s interconnected and infinitely searchable world, platforms like crowdcube and seedrs, are providing brands that are truly liked and trusted by their users, to do just that.

Wealth managers and financial advisers, take heed.