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.


Investing for growth and impact

Investing for growth – bringing new and exciting investment opportunities to a wider range of investors.

Fintech firm Growth Capital Ventures, GCV, has been leading its own quiet revolution in the North East of England identifying and structuring investment opportunities that have the potential to deliver market-beating returns to investors alongside wider positive social and environmental benefits.

Backed by funds managed by Maven Capital Partners,  GCV received over £1 million of investment from Maven to strengthen its team, develop new technology to make investing in alternative asset classes more accessible and rewarding for private investors.

Craig Peterson said, “We’re delighted with the backing we’ve received from funds managed by Maven.  They’re one of the UK’s leading private equity firms and alternative asset managers.  There’s a strong strategic fit and we’re looking at transactions where our investors can co-invest alongside Maven and other institutional investors into high growth businesses and property related projects.”

Maven’s investment has allowed the GCV team to focus on identifying and structuring investment opportunities for its growing investor base and develop the co-investor model further.

“The GCV investor network is expanding and we’ve introduced some interesting investment opportunities to our members over the past year.  We identify opportunities that have the potential to deliver significant investment growth precisely because they’re helping to solve pressing long term challenges. We then look to co-invest into these well researched opportunities alongside institutional investors and other professional investors including venture capital funds, private equity firms, family offices and high net worth individuals.”


Atom Bank – A growth-focused investment opportunity

GCV worked closely with Atom Bank, one of the UK’s leading digital challenger banks, to close a £16 million investment round to support continued growth and expansion.

“Over 40 members of the GCV Investor Network invested £1 million into Atom alongside one of Europe’s leading Hedge Funds. There was a lot of interest, the offer was over oversubscribed within a few days with members investing between £10,000 and £250,000 into this round.”

Peterson points to Atom’s experienced team and business model as one of the reasons for the positive interest from its investor network.

“Our investors are drawn to disruptive businesses led by experienced management teams, those that can really make a positive difference. Atom is a perfect example of a business using drawing on the deep knowledge of the team and harnessing technology to create and maintain a competitive advantage, challenging and changing the way things are done in the banking sector.”

“They are based in the North East of England, not London. There’s a good reason for that.  Atom don’t need to be.  The North East has some amazingly talented people and Atom have managed to tap into that talent pool.  Atom have created over 300 high quality jobs and they’re not competing for talent in a London market that will be even more challenging as technology giants Apple, Google and Facebook plough billions of pounds into London.”

“Atom have focused on creating a business with a lower cost base than their traditional banking competitors. A technology and digital focus means Atom are not burdened by the cost of high street branches or legacy IT systems.  This translates to huge cost savings when compared with a traditional bank. More importantly this lower cost base means Atom can provide better mortgage rates for borrowers and better interest rates for savers.”


GrowthFunders – opening up the investment marketplace

Technology plays an important part in GCV’s business too. GCV launched its online investment platform to open up growth-focused investing to a wider online investor base.  GrowthFunders allows suitably qualified retail or everyday investors to invest for growth alongside institutional and professional investors such as venture capital funds and angel investor networks.

“Co-investment is a core part of our approach. We are building diverse investor network which includes leading private equity firms, venture capital funds and other angel networks. Our online investor network continues to expand.  It’s free to join and investing online means members review investment opportunities at a time that’s convenient for them and invest into carefully selected investment opportunities many of which offer generous tax reliefs designed to minimise downside risk and maximise potential returns.”


A tax-efficient way to invest for growth

GCV is working on a number of alternative investment opportunities. The team expect to offer their investor network access to a number of growth-focused investment opportunities during the course of the coming year.

Tax-efficient investment structures such as the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) and Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) are expected to feature in many of the opportunities that are brought forward for investment.

“Our investors are investing for growth and are keen to maximise returns and minimise risk by utilising tax efficient investment structures where possible.”

SEIS and EIS are two of HMRC’s best-kept tax-efficient investment wrappers. Investors receive between 30% and 50% tax relief when investing in qualifying businesses. In addition, any profits realised from the investments made are free from capital gains tax and the investments sit outside of the investor’s estate and therefore can be a very effective inheritance tax planning strategy.


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.