Hello Sam, great to have you here!
What reasonable exit do you see when investing in Freetrade (waiting for IPO, BO or…)?
It’s impossible to say at this point. The journey is long and uncertain, but the exciting thing is we’re all here at a very early stage. The pitch deck on Crowdcube will contain information about financial forecasts and expectations of growth. Executing on these is the focus, so that the exit options are flexible and attractive. As alluded to above, this is not guaranteed for any Crowdcube investment.
How much real control do we, as retail investors in a private company, have
The legalese answer is that only A Ordinary shareholders have voting rights, which for this round are awarded to investors of £20k [edited] or greater. B Investment shareholders do not have voting rights and therefore cannot exercise any control in this way. If any shareholder votes were to take place, a majority of 50% or 75% of A shareholders would need consensus for the motion to pass, depending on its content. This is all standard corporate governance stuff and, in my view, not something ‘smaller’ investors (including myself) should be too concerned with.
In terms of how can you influence the company and the product, regardless of your shareholding, step one is to join the community - which you’ve done. Use the product, give the team honest and constructive feedback. Educate friends on why they should be investing and how Freetrade facilitates it. This is what it means to be a retail crowdfunding investor!
private companies’ shares are not allowed into an ISA but how can we store securely our shares in an account
Unfortunately no ISA tax benefits, but make sure to utilise the EIS facility if you’re a UK tax payer. As for security, no need to worry. The company’s register of shares is the ‘source of truth’ and as long as you’re on it with contact details up to date there’s no custody issues and you don’t need a separate account. We’ll update you via Crowdcube and other methods from time to time.
where we are able to follow pricing, data and history
Companies House will always show the latest information on what we are legally required to disclose. In addition to this, future crowdfunding raises (if any) will have a pitch deck as I mentioned above, which will look forward but also backwards to update existing shareholders. Outside of corporate channels, transparency is a core part of our mission. There will be plenty of good data points to get your teeth into.
Hope that’s all clear - as we write more of these answers the community leadership (stellar job, guys) will be linking to previous answers when the same questions or similar are asked, so please don’t be disheartened if a Freetrade team member doesn’t always reply to you directly. We’re a small team (growing fast).