Early stage private equity is a compelling asset class. And what Seedrs has managed to do over the last decade to broaden access to it is remarkable, and something we take great pride in. Where historically, investing in startups and high growth companies was a highly restricted and exclusive investment arena, in 2024 it could not be easier to invest in some of Europe’s most innovative companies right from the start. Seedrs, alongside our peers in the market, have been instrumental in this process, democratising private investing by working tirelessly to give individuals the opportunity to share in the success of businesses they believe in. 

We’re proud of the fact that, as a whole, our funded deals – what we call the Seedrs portfolio – now have an annualised IRR of 12.91% from our launch in 2012 through the end of 2022. On a tax-adjusted basis, the annualised IRR is 18.36%. 

This performance is extremely competitive when benchmarked against comparable investments over roughly the same period. These include in public markets where the annualised total return of the FTSE 100 measured from 2012 to 2022 sits at 6.3% and in private markets where the British Venture Capital Association (BVCA) reported a ten year horizon aggregated return of 17% to 31 December 2022 for funds managed by its members.

While I think that speaks to the undeniable quality of the businesses we’ve invested in as a whole, including some of the world’s most recognisable brands like Revolut, the IRR of the full portfolio is ultimately a passive indicator of overall performance. Seedrs is a two-sided marketplace where we empower our investors to make active choices in the market and have full agency over their portfolio (indeed, some of our top investors have created portfolios on Seedrs that far outperform the platform-wide IRR). We are not advisors but facilitators, connecting exciting founders with ambitious investors.

But it’s not all been upside. We know all too well that successfully taking a company from inception to exit is a herculean task. While many of the Seedrs portfolio have delivered success, the reality of startups is that often they fail. 

To tell the story of our portfolio, we published our first comprehensive report in 2016. Since then, we have been a pioneer in our industry in terms of delivering portfolio performance information to investors, including through building features on our platform that give investors the ability to see their portfolio performance in real time.

The Portfolio Report Winter 2023 edition  – which covers the 1,038 businesses that we have funded since our launch in 2012 through to 31 December 2022 – offers, by its very nature, unparalleled insight into how businesses on Seedrs have fared.

In doing so, it paints a comprehensive picture of the opportunities and challenges associated with starting a business, the sectors that have performed the best (and how this has changed over time) and the trends of the moment that might inform the next decade of entrepreneurialism in Europe. 

And with the recent acquisition of Seedrs by Republic, our hope is that in future years, reports of this nature will be even wider in scope, using our unique position as the world’s largest private investing platform to give insight into these trends at a global level.

I hope you find it interesting and informative, but most of all I hope it makes you optimistic for what the future holds for Seedrs and for private investing. 

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