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.

Atom Bank CEO, mark Mullen, smiling
Portfolio News

Atom Bank targets 2023 market listing following £435m valuation

UK digital lender and GCV portfolio company, Atom Bank, has been valued at £435m after raising £75m in its latest funding round. Now the bank seeks to expand its operations in pursuit of further growth and a potential market listing next year.

8 years on from GCV’s first round with Atom in 2014, the Bank’s most recent fundraise has been led by Spanish financial services giant BBVA (who now own a 39 per cent stake in the business), also being supported by the likes of London-based investment firms Toscafund and Infinity Investment Partners.

The Atom team announced the funding following the company’s first quarterly profit last year, also reporting the bank was on target to post its first full year’s profitability in 2023.

“We have an appetite to grow and now we have the capital and funding to enable us to do it,” said chief executive Mark Mullen. “With improving interest rates for banks, the asset business becomes a more and more competitive model, so we’re very optimistic.”

From April 1 2021 to the end of the year, Atom increased total customer deposits by 16 per cent to £2.5bn compared with its full financial year to March 31st 2021.

Atom said that mortgage and business loans had grown 30 per cent over the past nine months, with applications for digital loans peaking at £315m in the three months to December 31st 2021.

Mullen said he aimed to increase this by an additional £2bn by 2023 through offering better savings accounts than rivals, which he criticised for failing to pass on interest rate rises to savers.

While the bank was targeting a stock market listing next year, Mullen said the company was trying to pick the ideal moment based on both its own performance and the wider economy.

Consequently, Atom’s financing comes after soaring valuations for other UK neobanks residing in the sector, including Monzo which was valued at £3.3bn in December following a funding round with investors including Chinese tech group Tencent.

Digital bank Revolut became the UK’s most valuable private tech company last July with a valuation of £24bn, before being eclipsed by London-based payments group, which in January was valued at £30bn after a £750bn funding round.

To date Atom, which last year moved the majority of its 430 employees to a four-day working week without affecting salaries, has raised roughly £500mn.

This was followed in November, by Atom announcing a £500mn deal with mortgage lender Landbay as it sought to return to the market having left it temporarily because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Now, with further corporate backing, a recent valuation of £435 million and a strong desire to continue to improve the face of digital lending in the UK, Atom Bank and its investors look to be in a positive position progressing throughout 2022.

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.