In Conversation With Phil Geraghty, Managing Director at Crowdfunder.
Crowdfunder.co.uk helps to make ideas happen – ideas that might just change the world. You can now join over 1,000 investors and become a shareholder in Crowdfunder.
We caught up with Phil Geraghty, Managing Director at Crowdfunder, to talk about the journey so far, the launch of the Crowdfunder.co.uk equity fundraise and what he hopes the company will achieve in the future.
What has the Crowdfunder journey looked like so far?
When Crowdfunder started in 2014, we only had two projects in the first month to work with. We’ve now worked with over 80,000 projects and raised over £40m – so you can really start to gain a sense of perspective of how rapidly we’ve grown. Since this first month however, we have always maintained that our mission, the very core of what we do, is to tackle society’s challenges by making ideas happen. We bring together projects that matter with supporters who care to raise the funds that they need – it’s as simple as that.
I would say that, since we started out, there has definitely been a rise in the demand of funding needed to tackle societal issues. In the recent Social Enterprise UK 2017 report, it was revealed that there are now roughly 70,000 social enterprises in the UK – 82% of which applied for grant funding in the last year. Our platform is in this incredible position to not only offer support to all of our project owners, but to also help bring about change that has an impact on communities across the UK.
We have increasingly worked with public and private sector organisations to help them put their money into areas that they care about. For example, through the Santander Changemaker Fund, we’ve been able to support forty-six social enterprises. Through this particular programme, we’ve seen Butterfly Conservation inspire children to be the wildlife guardians of the future, Madlug develop new pack-away travel bags to help children in care and Goldfinger Factory open two new factories to not only turn waste wood into beautiful interior products, but to also provide skills training in order to assist people in gaining or returning to employment.
What will Crowdfunder.co.uk’s equity fundraise mean for the company?
Our last fundraise enabled us to grow from a small team of nine people into a dynamic group of thirty, which has allowed us to work with over 40,000 more projects and reach an incredible 600,000 members. Since this last fundraise, we have continued to develop successful relationships with partners and have distributed over £1.5m of their funding through our platform. However, the grant market alone is worth over £5billion and we’ve only just scratched the surface of what we could go on to achieve.
We are now currently getting up to 200 projects a day coming to our platform, which ultimately means that the demand for our services is continuing to grow. In order to service this need, we must grow at the same pace. We want to fundraise this time around to further develop our tech and our team so that we can continue empowering people to turn their ideas into reality.
As a crowdfunding platform, we are very proud to be owned by the crowd – we know that when the crowd comes together, great things can happen. We are delighted to already have over 1,000 shareholders and we want more people to join us on our journey.
What do you hope Crowdfunder.co.uk will achieve in the future?
Our project owners are a collection of some of the finest changemakers in the UK. We know that they are working hard every day to make an impact and our responsibility will always be to help them in reaching people that support their idea and ultimately receive funding.
In terms of the future of Crowdfunder, I would say that we are perfectly positioned to have some real impact upon some of the huge challenges that today’s society faces. We can already see the Crowdfunder community working on re-imagining how we take control of the world we want to live in. They are redefining how we come together as a community, how we grow our food, how we dispose of our waste, how we look after our children, how we look after our elders and a whole other range of solutions to important societal issues.
The innovation of our project owners and their new solutions to solving problems is amazing. The bottom line is that we want to do more – more projects, more supporters, more partner funds and more ideas happening. We’re dedicated to continue building some ground breaking tools for our project owners so that they can raise more money, engage with more people and have the biggest impact possible.