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.

Investment Campaigns

Employee engagement startup nears £300k in funding round's final days

Please note: this investment opportunity is now closed. To be informed of future funding rounds, please make sure you are a GrowthFunders member. You can do that here.

A new digital micro-survey platform promises to revolutionise the way employers measure and analyse the engagement, motivation, and productivity of their workforce.

The brainchild of John Ryder, Hive HR offers an alternative to the much-maligned annual employee survey through a weekly, micro-survey approach; thus creating more manageable results for HR managers and business owners.

John originally joined North East-based, e-commerce giant, Visualsoft to lead the company’s Innovation Lab, a place which focuses on the creation and development of new software platforms.

However, the potential of a piece of employee engagement software was quickly recognised and it soon turned from a tool into a stand-alone company, named Hive HR, with John appointed Managing Director.

Hive HR has received a fantastic start, being incubated by award-winning Visualsoft, who have already received a large amount of recognition for their work, winning a range of impressive accolades and celebrating their achievements in employee engagement and welfare, high growth, and marketing know-how, amongst other things.

Since opening their doors in 1998, Visualsoft have experienced high growth in the flourishing e-commerce sector, scaling up exponentially; the company now employs almost 200 staff across their three UK offices in Stockton-on-Tees, Newcastle, and London and has their sights set on future growth challenges.

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Now, with just under a week to go before their funding round closes, Hive HR, the innovative employee engagement startup has successfully raised almost £300,000.

Hive HR first approached FCA-authorised online growth and impact investment platform, GrowthFunders in order to raise £150,000. However, just before the end of 2015, the startup smashed through their original target and currently have £282,700 pledged from a mixture of online and professional investors.

The decision has been made to cap the round at £300,000 and it will now successfully close out on January 17th. This means that there’s still time for interested parties to take a look at Hive’s online pitch page and become part of their journey.

Employee engagement is rapidly gaining awareness as a key part of the working culture in companies of all sizes as business owners look to improve staff retention and satisfaction levels. Studies show that having a happier and more engaged workforce can lower sickness and absenteeism levels thereby increasing productivity. It’s a win-win for both employers and employees.

As well as delivering impact in terms of the health and well-being of employees, Hive HR is also focussed on professional development and the furthering of workers’ skills. For example, through weekly feedback, employees can highlight areas in which they believe they, the team, or the entire company would benefit from training.

Hive HR is also keen to replicate the success of their incubator business Visualsoft in terms of job creation in an underserved area of the UK. Visualsoft has successfully grown from a startup to one of the largest private employers in Stockton-on-Tees, creating 200+ jobs along the way. The company places great importance on creating a vibrant working culture in order to attract and retain talent.

Alongside their funding round, the Hive HR team have been hard at work, recruiting staff and speaking with businesses who are interested in implementing the software, all of which means that Hive HR are in a strong position to scale.

John said, “We are already revenue-generating, which is fantastic news. We’re on-boarding a number of early adopters this month, including Psyche, Paragon UK, Spark Response, and Fusion21 which will put us well ahead of our revenue targets - albeit by a small amount.”

The funds raised in this round will enable Hive HR to accelerate sales by growing their team and investing in marketing.

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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.