Don't invest unless you're prepared to lose all the money you invest. This is a high-risk investment and you are unlikely to be protected if something goes wrong.
Risk Summary

Estimated reading time: 2 min

Due to the potential for losses, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) considers this investment to be high risk.

What are the key risks?

  • You could lose all the money you invest
  • Most investments are shares in start-up businesses or bonds issued by them. Investors in these shares or bonds often lose 100% of the money they invested, as most start-up businesses fail.
  • Checks on the businesses you are investing in, such as how well they are expected to perform, may not have been carried out by the platform you are investing through. You should do your own research before investing.

You won't get your money back quickly

  • Even if the business you invest in is successful, it will likely take several years to get your money back.
  • The most likely way to get your money back is if the business is bought by another business or lists its shares on an exchange such as the London Stock Exchange. These events are not common.
  • Start-up businesses very rarely pay you back through dividends. You should not expect to get your money back this way.
  • Some platforms may give you the opportunity to sell your investment early through a 'secondary market' or 'bulletin board', but there is no guarantee you will find a buyer at the price you are willing to sell.

Don't put all your eggs in one basket

  • Putting all your money into a single business or type of investment for example, is risky. Spreading your money across different investments makes you less dependent on any one to do well. A good rule of thumb is not to invest more than 10% of your money in high-risk investments. Learn more here.

The value of your investment can be reduced

  • If your investment is shares, the percentage of the business that you own will decrease if the business issues more shares. This could mean that the value of your investment reduces, depending on how much the business grows. Most start-up businesses issue multiple rounds of shares.
  • These new shares could have additional rights that your shares don't have, such as the right to receive a fixed dividend, which could further reduce your chances of getting a return on your investment.

You are unlikely to be protected if something goes wrong

  • Protection from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), in relation to claims against failed regulated firms, does not cover poor investment performance. Try the FSCS investment protection checker.
  • Protection from the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) does not cover poor investment performance. If you have a complaint against an FCA-regulated platform, FOS may be able to consider it. Learn more about FOS protection here.

If you are interested in learning more about how to protect yourself, visit the FCA's website here.

For further information about investment-based crowdfunding, visit the crowdfunding section of the FCA's website here.

LDZ pr (1)
Portfolio Company

California's Living Desert Zoo & Gardens select UK tech firm

A Software and technology firm from the North East has secured their first major deal in the US. has now partnered with the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in California to launch a new mobile application. The leading US tourist spot, which receives more than 600,000 visitors each year, claims that this will enhance communication, navigation, conservation awareness, and accessibility across its 1200-acre property.

The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, committed to the conservation of global deserts and wildlife, is famous not only for housing over 150 species of animals but also for its 52 gardens that are home to more than 1,200 species of plants.

Entrepreneur Bryan Hoare spearheads, a venture nurtured in County Durham by GCV Labs. The goal of is to revolutionize user experiences via a highly adaptable SaaS platform that is driven by data insights and includes an integrated mobile-web application. has been co-founded by Bryan Hoare and GCV Labs, the venture builder division of Growth Capital Ventures. GGV Labs has a track record of successfully creating, and launching technology-driven start-ups that have the potential to transform industries and break into international markets.

“We're delighted to secure our first US contract with The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens who chose our attraction management software and mobile app following a rigorous selection process,” said Bryan.

“The Zoo and Gardens are renowned for their work around the world, contributing to wildlife conservation for over half a century. We're proud to build on this legacy and provide their visitors with a digital mobile pocket guide that enhances their visit and experiences, and we’re actively looking to help more zoos, wildlife parks and other attractions across the US to transform their approach to digital engagement.”

The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in California has launched the app (Image: Living Desert Zoo)

The solution from combines the highly adaptable mobile app with powerful attraction management software. This provides The Living Desert with the necessary tools and data insights to improve visitor experience and interact with them in real-time.

The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens now uses the app as a focal point for visitors, to provide more rich content and media on their habitats and surroundings. Visitors are also feeling the impact of improved navigation, finding their way around habitats, gardens, and other points of interest using's innovative wayfinding solution, which is optimised for both on and offline use.

The team has also launched its industry-leading in-app trails feature, crafting experiences around both the Zoo and Gardens, making the 1200-acre site even more open for exploration.

“We're excited to launch this new app and offer our visitors an enhanced experience," said Allison Krupp, Vice President of Marketing & Communications at The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens.

“We’re always looking for new ways to innovate and enhance our visitor experience. In we found a UK team of dedicated and innovative professionals who have developed a software platform and highly customisable mobile visitor app packed with features that we believe is a game changer for our industry.

“The app is now playing a major role in helping us to achieve our goal of continuing to inspire current and future generations around the importance of conservation. Additionally, we appreciate the multi-lingual features for our global tourism visitors.”

Driving Growth.
Creating Value.
Delivering Impact.

Backed by

Growth Capital Ventures (GCV) is backed by funds managed by Maven Capital Partners, one of the UK’s leading private equity and alternative asset managers.