Skyscanner and Moonpig founders have clubbed together to provide early-stage investment

LAUNCHPAD: Investors including Moshi Monsters' Michael Acton Smith and the founders of Skyscanner, Innocent Drinks and Moonpig are joining forces to tackle the 'equity gap'.

by Rachel Savage
Last Updated: 18 Jul 2014

Venture capitalists have been shutting up shop to early-stage startups since the start of the financial crisis, much like bad ole banks have been denying loans to small businesses. Hence the explosion of online crowd-sourced lending and equity platforms, alongside informal networks of angel investors.

However, a group of investors including Moshi Monsters’ boss Michael Acton Smith and Innocent Drinks’ co-founder Richard Reed have decided a host of angels is stronger than a mere guardian, backing a new online members-only investment platform to fill what they call the ‘equity gap’ - ‘the lack of high quality equity finance between £250,000 and £5m available to growing companies’.

Membership of QVentures, described by punchily-named founder Lex Deak as ‘a modern twist on the private investment club’ (no cigars and whisky) is free and being capped at 1,000 ‘individuals or corporate entities’. Investors will be expected to invest around £25,000 a year and the platform will take a 5% flat fee of successful funding rounds.

The scheme is also being supported by venture capital firms Octopus, DFJ Esprit and Balderton Capital as well as equity crowdfunding platform Seedrs, all of whom are presumably betting the syndicate won’t cannibalise their own models...

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