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

GCV leads £695,000 investment round into Finexos

Growth Capital Ventures has led a £695,000 investment round into Finexos, a fintech platform set to improve access to credit for millions of people around the world.

Oversubscribed by almost 40% from the initial target, the funds will be used to drive forwards Finexos’s market entry strategy as the company rolls out its solution to several key pilot partners looking for a more accurate way of evaluating credit worthiness.

This is the latest EIS-eligible investment opportunity led by Growth Capital Ventures, an FCA authorised investment firm specialising in impact driven co-investment opportunities across alternative asset classes.

Finexos has developed its innovative technology, which combines open banking with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), to measure financial capability without the need for a credit score. Where a traditional credit score uses approximately 12 pieces of information, the Finexos solution currently uses more than 220 pieces of data to give an accurate assessment of how a consumer or SME manages its cashflow.

With around two billion people globally unable to access financial services and a further 138 million people in Europe estimated to be excluded from mainstream credit, there is a clear requirement to improve financial inclusion by redefining credit scoring.

Norm Peterson, co-founder and chief executive officer of Growth Capital Ventures, said:

Over 12 million people in the UK alone are in the high-interest, revolving credit trap as a result of legacy credit scoring. Millions of people are paying too high interest rates due to a low legacy credit score – even though we now have access to the information to readily prove that such a low credit score can be entirely unjustified.

With the Finexos solution developed and ready to take to the market, the platform is set to transform credit scoring, increasing loan origination while simultaneously reducing default rates for lenders.

Established in 2018, the expert team behind Finexos includes an international group of specialists. They include founder and head of product Mark Fisher and CEO Areiel Wolanow, an adviser on AI and Blockchain to the UK Parliament, speaker on financial inclusion at the G20, and designer of the credit scoring engine for M-Pesa, which doubled Kenya’s GDP and lifted 2% of the population out of poverty and forms the template for the Finexos solution. The team also includes chief technology officer Kefirah Kang, who led the design and launch of the platform for Hong Kong’s first licensed virtual bank WeLab (2019); and chairman and investor Steve Bone, who has led multiple corporate buyouts and successful exits.

Mark Fisher, founder of Finexos explained:

Finexos can deliver high-impact outcomes for underserved consumers and SMEs and will increase loans originated, at a lower default rate, for providers of credit.

Finexos combines advanced technologies, commercial acumen and a strong business and operating model to solve an important social and financial issue.

We are moving at pace and seeing significant traction with customers, utilising technology to provide better outcomes for consumers and lenders that can, overtime, replace the outdated and inefficient way credit scoring works currently.

He is confident the Finexos platform will develop new markets for any provider of credit while improving credit performance, reducing the poverty premium and helping consumers exit the revolving credit trap.

Fisher added:

We have a real opportunity to help consumers meet the cost-of-living crisis by improving financial inclusion and also protecting the more vulnerable.


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.