Investment platform Growthdeck merges with private investor syndicator and appoints retail heavyweight as CEO

  • Steve Robinson (former CEO of Tesco Direct and Argos FD) to run newly-merged Growthdeck business
  • Growthdeck becomes unique VC-crowdfunding hybrid, combining equity crowdfunding’s accessibility to capital with greater due diligence, investor reporting and higher levels of customer service
  • Further consolidation for Growthdeck, following acquisition of Scottish crowdfunding platform earlier this year

The online investment platform Growthdeck, which launched in late January 2016 with plans to disrupt the sector, has merged with the established HNW investor club/syndicator Radius Equity to create a unique/premium VC-crowdfunding hybrid.

The enlarged Growthdeck brings two highly experienced teams together and will be headed by newly-appointed retail and finance expert Steve Robinson, whose past roles include CEO of Tesco Direct, FD at Argos, and Customer Director at B&Q.

Growthdeck now aims to become a leading player in this new hybrid sector by marrying the best elements of VC/PE and equity crowdfunding:

  • Professional levels of due diligence
  • Flexible fundraises from £500k to £5m
  • Consistent terms for all investors
  • Multi-channel access for a broader network, including HNW investors, international investors, regional and affinity investment clubs, and the crowd
  • Online reporting and investor engagement
  • Ongoing investee support from a panel of highly regarded sector experts
  • Focus on quality businesses and clear exit strategies

Growthdeck was launched to combine the wider accessibility of equity crowdfunding with the expertise and diligence of a professional private equity team. Over £1.8m has been raised via the Growthdeck platform to date, with two deals being completed – Pinkster, a raspberry infused gin, and Fissara, a SaaS resource management solution.

Radius Equity, a specialist provider of tax-efficient investment opportunities, offers private investors direct access to high quality opportunities in UK private companies, which feature the attractive tax-savings available under the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS). Its portfolio companies include 1Rebel, the London gym chain, and Kelda Showers, pioneers of groundbreaking electric shower technology. The Radius team has extensive experience of completing and actively managing hundreds of private equity investments for private investors and major private equity houses over many years at different businesses.

The Radius name will live on as an exclusive invite-only investor club for higher net-worth investors. The Radius Investor Club will operate under the Growthdeck parent brand and its members will receive additional benefits including early access to deals, closer involvement with investee businesses and attendance at exclusive networking events.

The merger builds on Growthdeck’s existing track record as consolidators and innovators in this sector, following the acquisition of Scottish crowdfunding platform Squareknot earlier this year.

Newly-appointed Steve Robinson brings a wealth of retail / business and finance experience to the newly-merged Growthdeck. As well as his roles at Tesco, Argos and B&Q, Steve was most recently CEO at luxury-discount e-tailer ACHICA and he has held a number of other CEO and Chairmanship roles.

Steve will head up the merged Growthdeck business, while Gary Robins, former Director at Radius Equity and co-founder of Growthdeck, becomes Strategy Director.

Steve Robinson, CEO at Growthdeck, comments:

“Growthdeck is pioneering best practice in the increasingly important and rapidly growing equity crowdfunding marketplace – I am excited to be a part of that.

“I am passionate about helping high potential, smaller and early stage companies. I relish the prospect of facilitating the development of Growthdeck and, in my role as a retail sector expert on the Growthdeck Panel, the businesses for which we help raise funds.

“Growthdeck’s due-diligence focused approach to investment will help private investors finance young and exciting but sustainable businesses. Additionally, Growthdeck ensures sufficient checks and balances are in place to give investors the best chance of seeing a good return.

“I’m very much looking forward to helping drive Growthdeck forward and demonstrably differentiating ourselves in the equity crowdfunding industry.”

Gary Robins, Strategy Director at Growthdeck, comments:

“Steve brings a very impressive breadth of business and finance experience. Having worked both for major corporates and smaller but highly ambitious companies puts him in an ideal position to lead Growthdeck.

“Crowdfunding is a hugely exciting idea but standards should be as high as in any other area of investment. We aim to become a leading player in this sector through the creation of a hybrid or ‘new breed’, and by putting the right team in place we can make a real difference to this industry – Steve’s appointment is central to this.”