At ShareIn, we work with some amazing clients who challenge us to build tools that work for them within an ever-evolving regulatory framework. In our client spotlight section, we aim to shine a light on the great clients we partner with. This week we’re featuring CrowdLords, an equity and debt based crowdfunding platform for the UK residential property market who directly connect landlords and developers looking for finance with investors looking for good expected returns.
How did CrowdLords find ShareIn?
After the initial start-up period and the first couple of years of trading, the CrowdLords team was quite small (4 people) and trading volumes were such that there was not enough resource to build their own effective internal compliance function. Even though they were quite a long way down the process of seeking direct authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority (the regulatory body which oversees investment-based crowdfunding activity), they felt that having access to a full team, when needed, was better than expecting a single employee to be as knowledgeable or effective.
Whilst they handled their own website development in-house, they decided to seek out an Appointed Representative arrangement to handle their regulatory compliance. ShareIn were recommended to them as a Principal firm, and our focus on crowdfunding and the fact that we were working with other Appointed Representatives in the same space appealed to CrowdLords.
Making the move to white-label
CrowdLords accepted that their original platform was an expanded MVP, which their co-founder and CEO Richard Bush knew they would have to replace at some time, but he wanted the business to stabilise on a particular business model before making the commitment and the investment. As ShareIn were already CrowdLords’ regulatory Principal, the opportunity to get both the platform and compliance service from same partner was compelling for CrowdLords.
In the summer of 2018, the time was right to make the move: CrowdLords’ original platform’s limitations were becoming more troublesome and, perhaps more importantly, they wanted to launch debt investments and an IFISA, and so they made the leap to relaunch with a ShareIn white-label platform!
Richard Bush, Co-founder & CEO of property crowdfunding platform CrowdLords
As Richard puts it, “The real advantage to us of having both the platform and the compliance team provided by a single partner is that the compliance team and the tech team work together seamlessly. Any changes we need on the tech side are discussed and agreed with the compliance team and together they make sure that it delivers a great experience to our investors, whilst always being compliant with FCA requirements.”
He adds: “But the main difference we find with ShareIn compared to our previous partners is that they truly understand crowdfunding, as it’s at the heart of what they do. As a result we tend to get things done quicker and to a better quality than previously.”