SyndicateRoom launches the WatchList

Online investment platform, SyndicateRoom today launches the WatchList, which gives its members the opportunity to pledge capital in a curated list of AIM-listed companies at a discount to their share price. Each company on the WatchList is endorsed by a Watcher – an experienced professional who has close knowledge of the business they are backing. As a result, those companies listed on the WatchList can gain access to previously untapped investor demand and certainty of funding.

Examples of current companies on the WatchList include:

  • Image Scan, the holding company for 3DX-Ray, is a global market and technology leader in line-scan x-ray imaging systems for the security and industrial inspection markets
  • AB Dynamics , the global automotive supplier of advanced testing and measurement products for vehicle suspension, brakes and steering both in the laboratory and on the test track
  • Zytronic, a manufacturer of sensory touch products, adopted by banks, retailers and travel operators
  • Fulcrum Utility Services, the UK’s market leading independent energy and multi-utility services provider and the only independent utilities infrastructure provider covering the whole of Britain

Image Scan and AB Dynamics are endorsed by Charles Breese, Managing Director of early-stage tech investors Larpent Newton & Co and Director of medical technology investors Hygea VCT.

Zytronic and Fulcrum Utility Services are endorsed by Chris Boxall, joint Chief Executive and Chief Investment Officer at Fundamental Asset Management, which has provided AIM Portfolio Management with Inheritance Tax planning since 2004.

Following today’s launch, new companies will be added to the WatchList, with the support of a corresponding Watcher. SyndicateRoom members can pledge capital at their required discount, following which the platform will automatically aggregate the subsequent demand.

The company can then choose whether to accept the gathered demand, in which case the best possible transaction will be structured on the best terms for SyndicateRoom members. The pledge, which takes place before a company decides to conduct a raise, will be binding.

SyndicateRoom has created the WatchList to help address the equity gap that exists for UK small-cap companies. As investment banks and UK brokers reduce their focus on small-cap company research, investors may have less knowledge of small AIM-listed companies. The WatchList looks to provide reputable insight on small-cap companies. Professional investors, who can benefit from the transparency, disclosure and governance provided by AIM listing rules will inform retail investors on their view of individual companies. Importantly, when investing in any company through SyndicateRoom, members will be investing on the same economic terms as any other institutional investor.

The WatchList gives companies the flexibility and ability to undertake capital raises with the assurance of tapping into broader pools of demand. It provides accompanying materials, including financials, summaries, investment theses and track records. As all information used is existing and publicly available, businesses are able to attract previously untapped demand, at minimal cost and with no extra work or documentation needed.

“This innovative approach both responds to a growing appetite for early-stage investing – and provides companies with flexibility around their capital raising requirements. WatchList puts our members in the driving seat and gives our members access to differentiated opportunities. It also provides companies with efficient access to an incremental source of patient risk capital to support their development.” says Tom Hinton, head of capital markets, SyndicateRoom. “More diverse channels of investment mean that more entrepreneurs can have the chance to secure the funding they need to grow their companies.”

“I am thrilled to support SyndicateRoom’s WatchList which will offer valuable support and opportunity to private investors interested in investing in smaller AIM quoted companies,” said Chris Boxall, joint Chief Executive and Chief Investment Officer at Fundamental Asset Management. “With many micro-caps too small to justify comprehensive research coverage and struggling to attract the interest of institutional investors, the Watchlist is a much needed innovation that will hopefully go down well with SyndicateRoom members.”

SyndicateRoom will hold an event on Thursday 24 November, where Jim Mellon will present the findings of research into investor demand for early-stage investment, along with a view of portfolio value for UK growth companies over the past five years.