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

Intelligence Fusion taps into Venture Building support

Established in 2015, Intelligence Fusion is on a mission to become a leading global Software as a Service (‘SaaS’) provider of geopolitical risk management solutions for global businesses. 

Intelligence Fusion (‘IF’) now supports some of the world’s leading brands with real time data and insights to help protect people, assets and reputation. 

North East based Intelligence Fusion initially started working with Growth Capital Ventures (GCV) with an aim to scale their business through funding accessed through GCVs private investor network (G-Ventures) and technological venture building resources through G-Labs (the venture building business division of GCV). 


How did GCV support Intelligence Fusion?

The approach towards assessing threat intelligence and geopolitical risk has historically been low-tech and reliant on highly manual processes, but several technology catalysts were driving change and disruption. 

The most significant is the global rise of social media and online content. Within this context, GCV worked closely with CEO and Founder Michael McCabe to shape the idea using lean startup methodology to build and test a beta version of a global mapping system. 

The beta platform was designed to collect, validate, categorise and visualise indents across the globe to provide real time enhanced threat intelligence and test the value proposition with target customers.  

G-Labs, GCV’s in house venture builder team provided intensive support to develop and launch IF2, the core product, a highly scalable software-as-a-service and big data solution. 

Using the best-in-class SaaS automation has ensured the G-Labs team have a quicker time to market for product and greater data-driven customer and end-market insight. 

Having carried out an initial proof of concept fundraising round to secure £22,500 through GCV’s online investor platform, a further £487,000 was subsequently raised with the investment from over 30 GCV Investors and the Finance Durham Fund. 

Founded by CEO Michael McCabe, a former British Army intelligence operator who began working with GCV on the venture build initially in 2016, the start-up was provided with strategic and corporate finance support to raise three rounds of funding, totalling circa £1.5 million to date.


How does Intelligence Fusion make a positive difference? 


IF helps responsible global businesses protect their people, assets and reputation. Their approach makes a positive difference across the following pillars of impact;


  1. Health and well-being – by helping global business understand the real time risks of doing business in particular parts of the world, IF is instrumental in helping security teams to make informed strategic and tactical decisions to protect their people.


  1. Employment skills and training – IF’s leadership team have created an Intelligence Analyst training programme for the in-house intelligence team and a high quality internship programme that has helped over 20 undergraduates carve out a career in the intelligence sector. Alumni from the IF Intelligence Analyst internship have landed jobs at Google and Facebook whilst other have joined IF on a permanent basis. 


  1. Economic development – Based in County Durham, IF is creating high quality jobs in the area, retaining and attracting talent and making a positive contribution to an area of the UK that is classed as deprived and transitional. 


IF is developing its position at the heart of geopolitical risk and threat intelligence by investing in R&D and the roll-out of a feature-packed single instance SaaS product and big data Solution. 

Recently appointing Robert Hayes as their new Chairman amidst a period of significant expansion across the company, 2020 is set to be as fast paced as ever. 

With an expanding client base that includes supplying G4S, Spotify and Kimberly-Clark with their threat intelligence, the organisation now aims to extend its capacity across every department to keep up with demand.


Craig Peterson, Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer at GCV said:

“GCV are delighted to have worked with the co-founders, Michael and Dan, to help them shape the idea and make it a reality. IF has shown enormous growth and are well on their way to becoming a major player in the geopolitical risk arena. IF fits perfectly within GCV’s investment ethos and strategy of backing businesses that have significant growth potential combined with the ability to deliver a positive impact across society. We are excited about what the future holds for the business as it continues to scale up and creates value.”


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.