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.

Weekly Briefing

Weekly Briefing: Government launched campaign to encourage tech investment, British ISA delayed & UK economy grows

This week we take a look at the Government’s just-launched ‘Science and Tech is our Superpower’ campaign which looks to drive investment into British scale-ups, the reasons behind a delay to the Chancellor’s recently announced British ISA, and more.


UK Economy

UK Economy Grew In January

  • New figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) state that GDP is estimated to have grown by 0.2% in January.
  • This follows a 0.1% fall in December 2023.
  • The services sector was the largest contributor to the rise in GDP, with services output growing by 0.2% in January.
  • The monthly rise was also helped along by a strong performance on the High Street and spending in supermarkets.
  • In addition, construction output also grew by 1.1% in January.
  • Liz McKeown, Director of Economics Statistics at the ONS, said: “The economy picked up in January with strong growth in retail and wholesaling. Construction also performed well with housebuilders having a good month, [after] having been subdued for much of the last year."



Government Launches Campaign To Encourage Investment Into British Scale-Ups

  • The Technology Secretary launched the ‘Science and Tech is our Superpower’ campaign on Monday 11th March, aimed at driving up investment opportunities in scale-ups. 
  • Since 2000, Britain has produced 152 unicorns (companies valued at over $1 billion), more than France, Germany and Sweden combined.
  • The Government states that without venture capital funding however, “the next generation of UK unicorns may be forced to look abroad for funding and even move away from the UK – or risk placing a cap on their growth, which hinders innovation and puts a lid on new jobs in the UK.”
  • This new push from the Government to encourage private sector investment into high-growth companies follows the Chancellor’s Mansion House Reforms which are unlocking up to £75 billion for high-growth businesses like tech start-ups.
  • The Science and Technology is our Superpower website highlights key metrics such as the UK ranking third globally for VC investment and having the largest tech ecosystem in Europe.
  • Science and Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan said: “The UK has built a £1 trillion tech sector with a thriving start-up scene. With further capital, there is no limit to where British start-ups can take their ideas. 

    There has never been a better time to invest in British tech companies – with the UK leading on every key European metric and leading the world on emerging technologies like safe AI.

    Our Science and Tech Superpower campaign drives home the message to investors that we need to seize the extraordinary opportunities here on home turf – or risk promising companies travelling to international competitors for funding.”

British ISA Faces Major Delay

  • Revealed in last week’s Spring Budget, the British ISA – which will allow an additional tax-free £5,000 on top of the £20,000 annual ISA allowance for investors investing into UK equities – has already been delayed. 
  • According to Express, the new ISA product may not even come into effect until after the next general election. 
  • The Treasury has announced that the British ISA will be subject to a three-month consultation, with no specified timeline offered for its formal launch.
  • The consultation invites views on how to design and implement the new ISA and will run until 6th June 2024.
  • Reports from i suggest that Chancellor Jeremy Hunt had initially intended to introduce the British ISA immediately but reconsidered after being advised it would reduce his ‘headroom’, with ‘headroom’ referring to the amount by which the Government can increase spending or cut taxes whilst adhering to its own fiscal rules.
  • Some experts have predicted that the earliest the British ISA will become available is April 2025, meaning it may not come to fruition at all depending on the results of the next general election.



New-Build Homes Prove A Prominent Investment Focus For Investors

  • UK Investor Magazine has called new-build properties “a beacon for investment in 2024”, citing a resurgence in buyer and seller activity.
  • Recent data from Zoopla has projected a 10% rise in property sales this year, reaching a milestone of 1.1 million transactions.
  • The magazine states that “this uptick in transactions is coupled with an interesting variation in price trends across the UK, showcasing regional resilience and opportunities for astute investment.”
  • Figures from February showcase the renewed vigour in the housing market, as agreed sales rise by 15% and buyer demand is up 11% when compared with the same period last year.
  • Analysis of regional growth areas suggest that Northern England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales could be particularly astute targeted opportunities for investors, as “investors must navigate this environment with a blend of caution and opportunism, leveraging areas of growth and stability for optimal returns.”

Property sellers make £74k average profit in 2023, Zoopla Report Finds 

  • Zoopla have reported that in 2023, nine in ten people who sold their homes made 25% in profit, with the average seller of a £275,000 house earning £74,000.
  • The average seller in 2023 put their property on the market after nine years.
  • In the North East of England, the average seller made £30,000 in profit, working out at just over £4,000 for each year of ownership.
  • Homeowners selling detached houses and bungalows made over £100,000 on average.


A Final Note

Whilst the British ISA looks to be delayed by at least three months, it’s announcement being followed closely by the launch of the Technology Secretary’s Science and Tech is our Superpower campaign serves to reiterate the Government’s dedication to strengthening UK businesses, with confidence in the quality of our tech start-up ecosystem proving particularly strong.

At GCV, we remain committed to providing the latest insights into the investment and wider economic landscape in order to support investors in making well-informed decisions when choosing where to allocate their capital.

If you would like to find out more about a number of tax-efficient investment strategies available to UK investors, discover our range of downloadable resources here.

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.