Seedrs, an equity crowdfunding platform in the U.K. which has provided £210 million ($273 million) to over 500 start-ups since its launch in 2012 including financial technology (fintech) firms such as WeSwap, is set to launch a secondary market pilot scheme for investors "in June", according to its chief investment officer, Thomas Davies.
The long-term nature of equity crowdfunding means that the emerging asset class, which has been extensively used by fintech (financial technology) firms and smaller scale businesses that have struggled to attract scarce bank finance, has historically been illiquid.
Funds are only released when a business is sold or goes to the stock market for the first time with an initial public offering (IPO). Investors have not had an exit strategy – until now – which has discouraged some primary investors that don't want their money locked away.
Speaking to CNBC prior to the announcement of its plans, Davies at Seedrs confirmed the beta launch will be in June, as the company is "still putting the finishing touches to the build-out."
"The full 'go live' will not happen until we've done at least four trading cycles," he said in a phone interview with CNBC. The pilot stage announced Monday will be used to fix any technical or procedural issues.
"We plan to hold a secondary market on the first Tuesday of every month, so realistically we are looking at October 2017 for the full launch," he added.