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

Intelligence Fusion close out pre-seed round from online angels and VC

Intelligence Fusion have successfully closed out their pre-seed round after overfunding to 150% of their original funding target.


Originally, the online security, intelligence, and risk platform created by former military intelligence officer, Michael McCabe, had set out to raise £15,000.

However, the startup attracted interest from an institutional investor, which prompted their decision to allow the investment opportunity to overfund.

Intelligence Fusion decided to end the round after receiving £10,000 from Venture Capital fund, Rivers Capital, which took their total funding amount to £22,500. This was the maximum level of equity available for this particular round of funding.

Michael Dickens, fund manager at Rivers Capital Partners said, “Intelligence Fusion is an innovative, disruptive business lead by a go-getting entrepreneur. It is exactly what we look for in an investment opportunity.

One of the main aims of the fund is to stimulate angel investment activity into the North East. So we are pleased to complete a funding round with GrowthFunders, a ground breaking North East based online angel investing platform.”

This funding will enable Intelligence Fusion to roll the online platform out for testing with 150 industry professionals. Founder, Michael, has already spoken to a number of people from a broad selection of organisations and industries who have provided feedback and validation.

He told GrowthFunders that one of the most common pieces of feedback he received was that everyone liked the singular-platform concept, as it means that they no longer have to search through multiple sites and chat groups for the information they require. In addition, the cost-effectiveness and use of technology-as-an-enabler were seen as significant advantages, in a sector where intelligence support cost businesses thousands of pounds a month.

Intelligence Fusion connects professionals from across multiple sectors and countries, on one interface, allowing them to securely share business intelligence, as well as tactical, operational and strategic information.

Join GrowthFunders and become a member

Michael founded the business because of his strong background in military intelligence. He served five years with the British Army’s Intelligence Corps, during which time he gained significant experience conducting Counter Intelligence and Operational Intelligence, both in the UK and across the Middle East.

After leaving the military in 2009, Michael joined the private sector, where his role involved providing intelligence support and risk management to the United States Army Corps of Engineers’ reconstruction efforts in western Iraq. He helped manage projects worth in excess of $100 million on behalf of the U.S. Department of Defense and planned and risk-mitigated for over 800 successful close protection missions in a hostile environment.

Michael says, “I faced some tough challenges when providing intelligence for close protection missions in Fallujah and there was nothing like Intelligence Fusion around. Instead of relying on Skype and trawling multiple open sources - such as websites, chat groups and social media posts - for hours, Intelligence Fusion would have made sharing information and finding new sources far easier, thus helping to make our projects and missions more secure."

Craig Peterson, co-founder and COO of Growth Capital Ventures, says, “It’s fantastic to see Intelligence Fusion harnessing online angel investors to fund their business, which will in turn, crowdsource intelligence information from and for a number of specific markets. Enabling businesses, who operate in hostile environments and who understand and manage risks, to be monitored by military intelligence personal is an interesting prospect.”

The Intelligence Fusion platform can help support any business which has intelligence requirements relating to threats and risks, including banks looking for travel security information, shipping companies facing threats from piracy, and the extraction sector with operations in non-permissive environments or high risk locations.

The system will be monitored around-the-clock by highly-experienced intelligence professionals, ensuring that only the most accurate and up-to-date intelligence picture is disseminated to the Intelligence Fusion community.

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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.