BRISTOW AND PATEL TO GO THE FULL NINE YARDS WITH CROWDSTACKER PLATFORM

Innovative financial services product development boutique, Nineyards Capital, announced today its intention to launch a new electronic investment platform in the fourth quarter of this year.  Crowdstacker will help businesses to take control of their funding requirements and to move away from traditional finance channels by delivering a range of investment products, each offering the transparency and access that the modern investor demands.  The news comes hot on the heels of Chancellor Osborne’s launch of ‘Innovate Finance’ at Canary Wharf’s ‘Level39’ and his announcement of new measures to support the FinTech sector, including plans to allow peer to peer lending in ISAs and incentives to encourage investment start-ups.

Commenting on its plans, Nineyards Capital Co-Founder and Director, Mark Bristow said: “We are seeing a middle ground emerge in the nascent crowdfunding space, Crowdcube’s mini-bond platform amongst the more recent initiatives to launch.  Crowdstacker will come from the peer to peer (‘p2p’) loan end of the spectrum, and will aim to deliver a collection of the best peer to peer and peer to business (‘p2b’) loans; each will be underpinned by a compelling story and an equity style investment proposition, and will satisfy the investors’ need to be involved in something which is both engaging and exciting.”

Co-Founder Karteek Patel added: “Our very first iteration was Energy Bonds, a very modern product, which we designed to offer investors maximum protection, with none of the ‘fish hooks’ usually associated with such bonds.  One of the UK’s first ‘secured’ mini-bonds, it achieved its target raise within just two months.

“Energy Bonds apart, we have always viewed the finance industry as rather antiquated - from the perspective of both businesses as well as the private investor – and we have always wanted to create a platform which would allow businesses to raise capital cost-effectively, with the transparency and direct access that we believe the modern investor requires throughout the life cycle of a product.

“For this reason we are working to create an innovative and relevant product, which will give investors the power to go direct, and are launching Crowdstacker on the back of more than two decades of combined financial sector experience and our shared belief in the potential for all sorts of businesses to use crowdfunding techniques to meet their financing needs.  Our new platform will be the culmination of everything we have learnt and set out to achieve, and will offer businesses a new and relevant alternative, embracing both peer to peer and equity finance.”

‘Grumpy entrepreneur’ David Murray-Hundley, a mentor at the Level 39 FinTech accelerator and Board Observer with Nineyards Capital added: "Many businesses have today turned their backs on traditional finance channels, have looked to pay down corporate debt, and in parallel, have looked to take control of the way in which they raise finance.  Today they are looking to tap new and alternative forms of finance.  It’s refreshing to be working with a company which is actually trying to fix real challenges out there in the crowdfunding space, for both consumers and businesses alike.  I am genuinely excited to see how this technology will change the way projects and internal expansion are financed by brands with a loyal customer base and following.”

Journalists seeking further information and/or who wish to speak with Mark Bristow or Karteek Patel should contact:

Gordon Puckey

Managing Director

Phoenix Financial PR

Tel: 00 44 (0) 7799 767 468

gordon@phoenixfinancialpr.co.uk

NOTES TO EDITORS

1.      About Nineyards Capital

Nineyards Capital specialises in structuring financial instruments for businesses and using crowdfunding techniques to meet their financing needs.  Crowdstacker is the firm’s new peer to business crowdfunding platform; it will empower companies seeking to raise debt finance, and allow them to lower the cost of raising capital.  The platform will connect companies with intelligent savers and investors via a collection of compelling crowdfunding loans and investments.

Nineyards Capital was co-founded by Mark Bristow and Karteek Patel, who have worked together over the course of 12 years on various products and sectors including trading, financial product development and asset management.

Mark Bristow, Director

Mark Bristow began his professional life as a proprietary trader, before setting up a boutique trading operation focused on high volume day traders with Karteek Patel.  They exited this business to focus on the growing asset management sector in 2008, with renewable energy considered to be an attractive asset class.

Mark has worked on the launch of a number of investment products, including a UK retail solar fund, listed on the Channel Islands Stock Exchange in 2010.  Since then he has helped his clients build portfolios of renewable assets using alternative forms of finance and has consulted on more than €50 million of transactions.

Karteek (‘Teek’) Patel, Director

Karteek Patel is an experienced finance professional, having worked within trading, asset management, project analysis and operational support.

He has more than 12 years’ experience including launching new funds, new product structuring, project management, due diligence, strategy and implementation.

Teek and Mark Bristow built and sold a futures and option business, which at its’ peak backed more than 20 traders.  Teek has worked on the launch of new funds on a UCITS platform, where he helped to grow assets from $2-$100m, and also boasts experience in fund management, having run a Global Resources Fund.

2.      Explaining the crowdfunding space

Crowdfunding is an exciting and relatively new concept, having evolved over the last three or four years.  It offers businesses an alternative to traditional funding channels, and enables them to raise capital directly through the crowd.  It dispenses with the need for middlemen and looks set to become a mainstream source of company finance.  The crowdfunding market is expected to reach £2.9bn by 2015 if growth continues at 75%*.  (*Average three year growth rate.  Source: The rise of Future Finance.  Nesta, Berkeley and University of Cambridge Alternative Finance Market – Crowdfunding, P2P and Invoice Trading).

peer to peer (p2p) and peer to business (p2b) loans

These are loans made by the crowd to either other people or businesses.  The platforms which facilitate these loans replace the role of a traditional bank.  The p2p/p2b loans are internally credit rated and investors are allowed to pick the loans they wish to support or choose a risk category which they prefer to invest in.  These loans represent the safer end of the crowdfunding spectrum.

Equity

Investors buy a share in a new or emerging company and are enticed by a compelling and exciting proposition.  As with most new companies there is a high risk of failure; however, in the UK, enticing tax advantages cushion the risk of failure.  This represents the exciting end of the crowdfunding spectrum.

The emerging middle ground

A middle ground is emerging in the nascent crowdfunding space.  However, some products being offered by the equity platforms involved are akin to equity and fail to deliver many of the tax advantages available to investors.

Crowdstacker comes from the loan end of the spectrum, and aims to deliver a collection of the best p2p and p2b loans, underpinned by a compelling story, which satisfies the investors’ need to be involved in something which is both engaging and exciting.

The loans will:

range from £1m to £20m in sizeusually have a term of between 3 and 5 yearsusually be secured on assets or be backed by a strong company balance sheetfocus initially on technology, property, renewable energy and socially responsible investments

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