UK and international investors are to be given the opportunity to join star fund manager Neil Woodford via a new investment opportunity opening up into UK equity crowdfunding platform Seedrs.
Seedrs, the only crowdfunding platform that has FCA, announced, earlier today that a £4m investment by Woodford Investment Management (Woodford) will be made through two Woodford-managed funds, Woodford Patient Capital Trust plc (WPCT) and Omnis Income and Growth Fund (Omnis).
The investment takes his holding to £10m following a £6m investment in Seedrs made by Woodford in 2015.
In addition to the investment from Woodford, Seedrs will conduct a crowdfunding campaign to give existing shareholders and new investors both in the UK and internationally, the opportunity to also participate in future profits.
The fundraising round values Seedrs at £40m on a fully-diluted, pre-money basis – a 27.2% increase in share price from Seedrs’s last fundraising in mid-2015 and a 135.9% increase in share price from its late 2013 funding round.
Details of the crowdfunding campaign will be announced shortly, the company said.
Woodford’s bumpy ride
Neil Woodford, pictured above, has had a bumpy ride recently with shares in pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, of which Woodford has an 8% holding and Provident Financial (where he has a 4% weighting) dropping recently.
AstraZeneca fell 15% on the day of its failed Mystic drug trial and shares in doorstep lender Provident Financial dropped by as much as 75% in August on the day that it revealed it expected to make a loss of between £80m-£120m following a significant fall in sales and loan collections this year.
Despite the losses Woodford has not seen many investors jumping ship, due to his long term track record and ability to find value the toughest market conditions.
Seedrs said will use the capital raised in this fundraising round to launch new product capabilities that will materially increase liquidity and return potential for investors and businesses, the company said.
Jeff Kelisky, chief executiveof Seedrs, said: “We are thrilled to have Woodford leading the round with £4m, taking their total investment into Seedrs to £10m. The capital we are raising will allow us to deliver our next stage of growth.
“Equally important to everyone at Seedrs was gaining agreement that we could open up an amount for the crowd. We already have nearly 1000 crowd investors following raises in 2013 and 2015 and many investors were disappointed to miss out on our last round.”