We are closing the round (and re-opening in June)

On Thursday, we launched our fourth crowdfunding round and smashed it out of the park again - breaking the Crowdcube website in the process.

Our target was £1 million, which was gone in an incredibly short amount of time.

I wasn’t even able to login to the Crowdcube portal to approve access to the pitch documents for investors.

Because of their technical issues, Crowdcube needed to then pause and hide the campaign. Later they could restore their website, so their users could view the other live campaigns again. That’s where the campaign is now, with about £2 million of investment pledged.

We are now closing the round

We had two options available to us. We could either keep the campaign paused and open it again in a week or so, once Crowdcube engineering is satisfied the site will be able to handle the heavy load.

Or we could close the round officially now and then open a new campaign later. We have chosen this option, which will be effective later today. There are a few reasons that make this a better option right now:

  1. It allows Crowdcube the time needed to build and test a solution to the load issues experienced. The pressure of going back live as soon as possible runs a higher risk that we’ll run into more issues. We can’t risk you having a suboptimal experience again.
  2. If we wait until after 3rd June, we will unlock an additional £3 million of EIS availability. We only had £2 million available for this round, pending HMRC approval. Many of our investors are keen for this tax relief so waiting a few more weeks makes sense to us.
  3. If we wait until after 3rd June, we will also unlock an extra £2 million in crowdfunding cap, so more of our community will be able to participate in the raise.

So, we’ll be back to raise more in June!

If you still want to invest now

If you are still interested in investing now, at the same price per share, there is an opportunity to do this. Some of our early shareholders are willing to sell shares in a private sale on the same terms as the crowdfunding round.

If you have invested in Freetrade in a previous round then you just need to contact me via email with your interest.

If you invested in Freetrade in this latest round or you have not invested so far at all, you can express interest in investing on our Crowdcube pitch page, and someone will be in contact.

I am confident that investors who want to purchase shares now will be able to invest. As a result, no one should feel like they missed an opportunity to invest. You’ll have at least a week to express interest, no rush (we don’t want to crash the site again). We are humbled by your continued interest, and look forward to June!

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So, my investments made yesterday still stand?

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Yes they do.

If you received a confirmation email from Crowdcube then you have successfully invested in the round.

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does this mean the people that missed out are now having to pay a higher price per share in June?

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Oh man that was a tough decision. But getting an extra £3M EIS eligible shares since the demand is huge is probably worth the 2 months wait. Appreciate your effort FreeTrade team!

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There will be an extra £3 million worth of EIS eligible shares :smile:

The £2 million that was invested already should also be EIS eligible, although we’re waiting for confirmation from HMRC of this. We don’t expect any issues there, we just want to be clear about this.

Thank you! :pray:

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‘June? That’s months away!’
( checks calendar … )

Absolutely flying in this year … :slightly_frowning_face:

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Is there any change to when payment will be taken as a result of the early close?

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You’ll still have a 7 day cooling off period before you need to make the payment. Crowdcube will email when you that cooling off period begins.

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Is there any chance investors who did manage to invest in this round won’t be charged the crowdcube fee, as crowdcube did not live up to their end of the deal and provide a functioning website for investors?

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Roger. I have cooled! I was just thinking that some people may not have budgeted for paying straight away (7 days).

Pay day soon though :partying_face:

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It was functioning if you managed to invest though. Not functioning well but enough to get the investment done

If we invested in this round that has closed are we able to obtain the deck now? I was able to invest but not able to request the deck.

Will the HMRC confirmation w.r.t. EIS be available before the end of the cooling off period?

I want to cancel my investment if it’s not under EIS.

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We are looking at a 5-6 weeks difference. Realistically, there is no reason to expect a meaningfully different share price.

As Adam mentioned, you can ‘express interest’ on the Crowdcube page to invest at this share price.

Just to make sure we give you all information in case you express interest and plan to buy shares from early investors:

  • You won’t pay the 1.5% Crowdcube fee as it will be a transaction between you and the early investors
  • 0.5% Stamp Duty will apply, same as you’ll buy existing shares in a company incorporated in the UK (more information).
  • There will be no EIS for these investments though unfortunately.

I’m afraid to link the page to ‘express interest’ as Crowdcube warned us our traffic may still crash their site. :sweat: But I’ll update this post with the link later. :+1:

EDIT: You can express interest to buy shares from early investors here: https://www.crowdcube.com/freetrade2019

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So I guess the two main questions here are:

  • Will the round in June initially be restricted to community members/those who tried to invest previously?
  • Will the share price be the same?

If that’s the case then I think this has been handled sensibly and makes total sense given that frustration has been largely around the ability to invest and the opportunity to take advantage of EIS

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Would it be possible to share the numbers that caused the crash? Curious more than anything else.

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Yes, this will be available on the Crowdcube page shortly. You’ll just need to request access there.

Would it be possible to confirm the EIS status before officially closing to take the payment?

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We’ll share these details nearer the time.