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.

Portfolio News

Atom Bank hits £3bn mortgage lending milestone as first operating profit is delivered

After what has been a remarkable past few years of progress for GCV portfolio company Atom Bank, it was fantastic to hear their announcement of two major milestones being achieved earlier last month - delivering £3 billion in mortgage lending and the notable point of achieving their first month of operating profitability.

Launched in 2013 as the UK’s first digital-only bank, Atom’s mission from day one has been to be truly transformative for the industry, and in the wake of the bank’s recent announcements, it's hard to disagree that the team has made positive strides towards fulfilling it.

With a digital-first focus, Atom set out to put the customer at the heart of everything they do, and their industry leading reviews are testament to that. Averaging 4.6 out of 5 from over 5,000 reviews on TrustPilot, the figures put Atom significantly ahead of incumbents in the sector in terms of customer trust, and now more than ever their announcements reflect that.

Confirming Atom’s first operating profit last month was a truly significant achievement for all involved with the bank, symbolising their first step towards long term profitability and cementing a foothold for future growth. It served as another encouraging sign for investors after a Q2 that saw retail deposits for the bank increase by 16% from the previous quarter, to a total of £2.5 billion. 

Whilst entering profitability is a pivotal moment for any company, we can’t ignore the fantastic achievement of £3 billion in mortgage lending. Announcing their first key milestone of £1 billion in mortgage lending back in 2018, after just three years Atom have more than tripled that figure, and in doing so have now supported the financing of 16,400 homes with over £3 billion in formal lending out of £4 billion actual offers made.

Beyond these figures on a sheet though - which unmistakably serve as positive indicators to those with a vested interest in the company - the work that Atom Bank is carrying out really is having an incredible impact on people’s lives across the country.

From the thousands of first time buyers able to purchase their first home with Atom’s flexible mortgage scheme, to the host of businesses throughout the UK that could continue operating throughout the pandemic with the help of the bank’s rapid deployment of CBILS loans, the positive footprint Atom’s customer-first business model has had on individuals, families and businesses across the nation has been brilliant see. 

Seven years on from GCV’s first funding round with Atom Bank back in 2014, with a renewed sense of optimism off the back of the pressures that much of the banking industry felt as a result of the pandemic, Atom’s recent successes have put the company in an enviable shape to tackle the next few years of growth, and - rightly so - have provided stakeholders with further reassurances.

Having led a number of investment rounds into the award-winning neo-bank (including their first seed round) throughout this period  GCV’s private investor network has invested alongside a number of high profile institutional investors, ranging from BBVA to Toscafund.

With the network of GCV investors that pledged into Atom Bank now sitting on strong unrealised returns on their investment following a significant period of growth, the prospect of Atom targeting an IPO in the 2022/23 financial year is a particularly exciting one.

Atom’s focus on developing an experienced team, innovative technology and business model far ahead of its time were just a few of the aspects that the GCV board identified when looking to invest Atom Bank back in 2014, and seven years on, we’re proud of the levels of success the bank has achieved to date.

Norm Peterson, Growth Capital Ventures’ CEO, summarised Atom’s progress to date perfectly:


When we first spoke to Atom, their vision and focus of what was needed in the banking industry was clear. The industry was dominated by incumbents who had been active for - in many instances - centuries and who relied on technology, processes and solutions that hadn’t fundamentally changed in decades.

Atom became the UK’s first digital-only bank in 2015 and whilst we have seen more neobanks enter the market since, Atom is undoubtedly delivering on their focus of being a customer-first, tech-driven bank. A fantastic team it has been a pleasure to support.


With the future looking bright for Atom and all involved, I speak on behalf of the entire GCV team when I say we not only wish them the very best for the months and years ahead, but we’re extremely excited at what the future holds.

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.