Britain’s biggest crowdfunding platform Crowdcube has selected former Citigroup and HSBC executive Simon Williams as its new chairman.
Crowdcube also announced Wednesday that Williams alongside venture capital firm, Balderton Capital have also made a significant undisclosed investment in the company, as part of its recent funding round which raised nearly £8 million ($9.81 million) from 3500 crowd investors.
Before joining Crowdcube, which also operates in Spain, Simon Williams served as head of HSBC’s Wealth Management group for nearly three years. Williams’s career also encompasses a nine-year tenure with Citigroup where he held senior executive roles including head of Citibank International Retail Bank, head of the Asia Pacific Consumer Group, head of the Latin America Consumer Group and chief risk officer for Citigroup Global Consumer Group.
Push into new markets
Since moving away from the banking sector, Williams has become a prominent investor in the fintech realm through his company, Camelot Financial Management, taking positions in Lending Club, Nerdwallet and OnDeck Capittal, among others.
Founded in 2011, Crowdcube is the UK’s largest equity crowdfunding platform which allows ordinary people to buy chunks of private startups from as little as £10. Furthermore, the platform has plans to break into the public markets, allowing its users to buy stakes in some listed firms.
Crowdcube has raised since launch more than £188 million for over 400 companies including a record-breaking 96-second £1 million raise for challenger bank Monzo. Notable brands that have raised money on the platform include the Eden Project and River Cottage.
Speaking on his appointment, Mr. Williams said: “Crowdfunding has revolutionised the financial services sector, allowing entrepreneurial businesses to flourish at a time when securing finance is at an all-time low. Crowdcube has been the leading pioneer in this new wave of financial innovation in the UK and has a great deal more to offer business and investors alike.”
“Having worked in the banking world for many years, I am hugely excited by what disruptive fintech businesses can do to gain market share; bringing in a fresh technology-led approach to improve customer service and make financial products and choices accessible to everyone,” he added.