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UK fintech platform PrimaryBid snags $50m in Series B

UK-based PrimaryBid, a fintech platform that connects retail investors with public companies raising capital, has closed US$50 million in Series B funding.

UK-based PrimaryBid, a fintech platform that connects retail investors with public companies raising capital, has closed US$50 million in Series B funding. The investors included London Stock Exchange Group, Draper Esprit, OMERS Ventures, Fidelity International Strategic Ventures and ABN AMRO Ventures.

PRESS RELEASE

London, 26 October 2020 – PrimaryBid, the British fintech platform that connects retail investors with public companies raising capital, has closed a $50m 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. Proceeds will be used to build-out the PrimaryBid team and technology platform as the company deepens its links with key intermediaries and expands into international markets.

PrimaryBid attracted global investors in its Series B fundraise including London Stock Exchange Group, Draper Esprit, OMERS Ventures, Fidelity International Strategic Ventures and ABN AMRO Ventures to facilitate expansion into international markets.

PrimaryBid has completed over 41 capital raisings for U.K. listed companies and investment trusts since April 2020, working alongside global investment banks to broaden investor access as companies recapitalised their balance sheets and raised growth capital. Retail investors directly own 13.5% of the U.K. market (approximately £420 billion), while additionally holding approximately £269 billion in cash ISAs, making them an important constituency in any capital raising activity. (sources: ONS, 2018; HMRC, 2020)

Anand Sambasivan, CEO of PrimaryBid, said:

“The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the effectiveness of the public markets, with companies recapitalising 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 recognise our digital solution for retail inclusion brings together both good governance and best execution.

“We are privileged to welcome a number of leading global investors in our Series B. Our mission is to enhance fairness, inclusivity and transparency in capital markets, and these investors all share that commitment and global ambition. I look forward to working with them as we expand PrimaryBid’s offering to retail investors in new markets, build our team and technology platform, and deepen our integration into the capital raising ecosystem.”

Charlie Walker, Head of Equity and Fixed Income, Primary Markets at London Stock Exchange plc said:

“This investment builds on our collaboration with PrimaryBid and is part of London Stock Exchange Group’s commitment to broadening retail investor access to public equity markets. Through PrimaryBid’s innovative offering, retail investors have been able to access capital raisings on the same terms as institutional investors, supporting the U.K.’s public companies by providing additional capital and liquidity. PrimaryBid has become an important part of the U.K.’s capital raising ecosystem and we look forward to working with them to further enhance retail investor access to capital markets within the UK and globally.”

Vinoth Jayakumar, Partner at Draper Esprit said:

“Our investment in PrimaryBid aligns with part of our wider investment thesis to democratise retail investors access to public markets as well as modernise market infrastructure software. For us, both our companies are anticipating the direction of travel of the future of finance.”

Tara Reeves, Partner at OMERS Ventures said:

“As fintech specialists it’s been impossible to ignore the rise of PrimaryBid in 2020 and its success championing retail investors in the capital markets. PrimaryBid’s technology sits at the intersection of powerful trends in financial services – regulation, digitalisation and democratisation – and OMERS Ventures is delighted to support the team’s mission to put individual investors on equal terms with institutions. PrimaryBid is now well integrated at the highest levels of the U.K.’s capital raising ecosystem, and we look forward to helping the team realise their ambitions internationally.”

Michael Sim, Vice President, Fidelity International Strategic Ventures said:

“We are excited to be partnering with PrimaryBid to enhance fairness, inclusivity, and transparency in capital markets. Anand and the team have built unique technology infrastructure that is redefining the way issuers access capital markets; seamlessly connecting everyday retail investors with public companies. As the economy roils from the impact of coronavirus, it is imperative retail investors get a seat at the table as companies recapitalise and the process of economic recovery begins.”

PrimaryBid is a regulated technology platform connecting retail investors with listed companies raising money. It provides individual investors with digital access to listed company offerings at the same terms as institutional investors, aggregating orders alongside a traditional bookbuild and on the same timetable. PrimaryBid does not charge investors any commission for its service, which is available through www.PrimaryBid.com and via the PrimaryBid mobile applications.

PrimaryBid completed an $8.6m Series A fundraising in September 2019, and signed a commercial agreement with London Stock Exchange in November 2019 to broaden access to U.K. equity offerings. PrimaryBid also has a commercial agreement with Euronext N.V., the operator of major European bourses including the Paris and Amsterdam Stock Exchanges.

In April 2020, PrimaryBid co-ordinated an Open Letter signed by prominent retail investor champions, fund managers and senior City stakeholders which called on the boards and management teams of the U.K.’s listed companies to respect the pre-emption rights of retail shareholders by including them in any future equity fundraisings. The full letter can be found at www.allinvestors.co.uk