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.


North East startup offer new way to ensure employees are happy

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.

The annual employee satisfaction survey is becoming increasingly-outdated as working cultures evolve. Business owners and HR managers want to know how their employees feel on a more regular basis and use this information to highlight and fix problems or implement new procedures and training. If only there was a way to gather and measure feedback more often, quickly, and efficiently.

Now a North East-based startup is doing just that.

By revolutionising the way in which employee feedback is collected and analysed, Hive.HR want to help businesses of all sizes run more efficiently through happier, more engaged workforces.

The business has just closed out a funding round on online growth and impact investment platform, GrowthFunders. They attracted investment from 37 investors to smash their original funding target of £150,000, going into overfunding, and eventually closing out at £297,650 on January 17th.

The capital raised in this round will be used to accelerate sales by growing their team and investing in marketing as they begin to execute their growth plans.

Hive are well-placed to take on the employee engagement analysis marketplace, as they are borne out of a company who are dedicated to ensuring that their people want to come to work every day.

Award-winning, North East-based, ecommerce giant Visualsoft, are making headlines for the multitude of ways in which they are helping employees to be happier, more engaged, and ultimately more productive.

Join GrowthFunders and become a member

Visualsoft recently relocated their HQ to a building which enabled them to emulate the workplace environments of Silicon Valley businesses such as Google and in 2014, the company introduced a benefits package for staff which includes unlimited, free holidays and flexitime.

Hive is a spinout of this thinking and was incubated in Visualsoft’s Innovation Lab before launching earlier this year. Former Head of Innovation at Visualsoft, John Ryder, was soon appointed Managing Director of Hive when the concept of an employee engagement tool’s potential was recognised by the team, resulting in the creation of a standalone startup.

Mr Ryder said, “We’re delighted with the success of our funding round on GrowthFunders and this is a really exciting time for us.

As well as receiving some fantastic support from the growth and impact platform, our sister company Visualsoft have also been there with us every step of the way. They were recently named in a list of ten North East digital companies with the potential to become a $1billion business by GP Bullhound - one of Europe’s largest tech investment banks.

“We are already revenue-generating and we kick off 2016 with a number of early adopters including Psyche, Paragon UK, Spark Response, and Fusion21. We believe that Hive has the potential to scale rapidly as the focus on HR grows in businesses of all sizes.”

There is potential in this marketplace as a Seattle-based startup, which operates in a similar space to Hive, has shown in the successful closeout of a $6million funding round.

The US's leading pulse survey and peer-to-peer recognition platform, TINYpulse is demonstrating how this kind of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) proposition is scaling in the US.

In fact, the story of TINYpulse's recent funding round offers positive validation for Hive, showing the potential for growth in the UK and the value that can be created in businesses like this.

If you are a business owner or HR professional and would like to find out more about using Hive in your business, visit their site here.

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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.