London-based fintech startup PrimaryBid raises $50M Series B funding to meet growing demands for its retail investing platform due to COVID-19
With millions of businesses facing coronavirus-related challenges and shutdowns, some online businesses have also seen growing demands for their products and services due to more people working from home. One of the beneficiaries of the risen demands is PrimaryBid, a London, England-based fintech startup that connects individual investors with public companies raising capital.
Today, PrimaryBid announced it has closed a $50 million Series B investment round from a leading group of investors. The fundraising follows a period of rapid growth in 2020 during which PrimaryBid helped U.K. retail investors access billions of pounds of corporate fundraisings during the COVID-19 pandemic, including FTSE 100 Compass Group, Ocado, Taylor Wimpey, and Segro. PrimaryBid will use the new funding proceeds to build out its team and technology platform as the company deepens its links with key intermediaries and expands into international markets.
Founded in 2015 by Anand Sambasivan and Kieran D’Silva, PrimaryBid is an online funding platform that enables investors to gain access to placings and fundraisings of listed companies. PrimaryBid provides private investors access to new share issues from listed companies, at the same discount as institutions. PrimaryBid is a regulated platform, across desktop and mobile, which automates the aggregation of retail demand, allowing the large and active pool of private investors to be connected with companies seeking to raise capital.
Commenting on the funding, Anand Sambasivan, CEO of PrimaryBid, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the effectiveness of the public markets, with companies recapitalizing quickly and efficiently. Our technology has allowed thousands of retail investors to participate on equal terms with institutional investors, unlocking a large and important source of liquidity and long-term share ownership for corporate issuers. The response from Boards and their advisers to our solution has been excellent: they recognize our digital solution for retail inclusion brings together both good governance and best execution.
Until now, fundraises for listed companies have typically only been accessible by institutional investors. Listed companies want to engage their private investor shareholders, however, they are often frustrated by the lack of an efficient method to do so. This has long been a frustration for private investors, compounded by missing out on the typical discounted prices offered for such transactions.
Since April 2020, PrimaryBid has completed over 41 capital raisings for U.K. listed companies and investment trusts. The startup works alongside global investment banks to broaden investor access as companies recapitalized their balance sheets and raised growth capital. Retail investors directly own 13.5% of the U.K. market, while additionally holding approximately £269 billion in cash ISAs, making them an important constituency in any capital raising activity.