PrimaryBid scoops $50m to expand retail investor platform

By Robert Scammell

PrimaryBid, a London-based startup that provides a platform for retail investors to buy equity in public companies, has secured $50m in a Series B funding round.

Venture capital firms Draper Esprit and Omers Ventures co-led the funding round along with the London Stock Exchange Group. Financial services firm Fidelity invested for the first time while existing investors Pentech, Outward VC and others provided funds.

The fintech is expected to use the capital to fund expansion plans in Europe and North America, as well as grow its UK team. Sky News first reported the funding round on Sunday.

PrimaryBid has a long-term agreement with the London Stock Exchange that gives everyday investors access to public companies at the same price and time as institutional investors.

Retail investors are given a push notification via the PrimaryBid app when a company is raising capital. PrimaryBid charges the company a fee but keeps the process free for investors, which the startup says democratises the investing ecosystem.

Founded in 2015, PrimaryBid has so far been involved in 90 equity issuances on London markets. This includes investment rounds in Ocado, Taylor Wimpey and William Hill.

In May catering giant Compass Group selected to offer $2bn of share placing via PrimaryBid, becoming one of the largest retail equity fundraising events this year.

According to 2018 ONS data, retail investors directly own 13.5% of the UK equity market.

Anand Sambasivan, co-founder and CEO at PrimaryBid, said:

“Our simple, inclusive technology has global applicability. It allows corporate issuers to access the widest possible set of investors, improving capital formation and putting the public back into public markets.”

Vinoth Jayakumar, partner at Draper Esprit, said:

“Our investment in PrimaryBid aligns with part of our wider investment thesis to democratise retail investors’ access to public markets as well as modernise market infrastructure software. For us, both our companies are anticipating the direction of travel of the future of finance.”

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