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Crowdcube icons - 20 shades of startup

When Luke Lang and Darren Westlake launched Crowdcube’s website in February 2011, they were the first equity crowdfunding site in the UK.

The idea, initially plotted out from Darren’s kitchen table, was to democratise investments to make them more accessible. Crowdcube’s low barriers, such as a £10 minimum investment, have opened up opportunities for a new generation of angel investors, as well as for traditional business angels looking to diversify.

Demand from both entrepreneurs and investors has been strong and to date over £20 million has been raised by ventures using the site, including funding for Crowdcube itself.

Having recently launched their own venture fund, Crowdcube is now actively building an international presence, and they assured us that the rest of 2014 has more surprises in store.

Q&A with Luke Lang, co-founder of Crowdcube

We asked him about his experience and reflections on starting up.

What has gone well for you in developing Crowdcube?

In terms of acquiring customers, we’ve never really had a big problem with that. There’s always been a demand from entrepreneurs that are starved of finance, so there’s always lots of people that are out there looking for different and new ways of raising finance. And where you’ve got businesses, it’s a honeypot to investors and will attract people with money looking to invest.

Crowdcube logo

What was your experience of starting and scaling in Exeter?

Talent has been a challenge at times. The talent pool down in the south west is not quite as broad or as deep as London. But through a bit of trial and error, refining and some careful judgement, we’ve managed to recruit a really strong team now.

So have you thought about moving to London to take your business to the next level?

No, we’ve never thought about moving to London at all. It’s a common question that gets asked, which as always we find quite perplexing. We live in Exeter, we like Exeter, our families are in Exeter. Darren and I are regularly in London. We’ve got two team members that work out of London, so we recognise the importance of having a presence there.