The news that the first exit by a UK equity "crowdfunded" business was achieved by the float of Mill Residential on AIM in late December (see "What Investment" link below) is interesting, but perhaps as much for what it tells us about the UK's continued obsession with real property as an investment sector as about the crowdfunding concept. We now have a settled regulatory regime in the UK for crowdfunding. But it creates an environment that is still weighted towards regulation and protecting the investor, rather than enabling start-ups to access an open market for funding their idea using retail investors. It will be interesting to see whether there are more such exits for investors in crowdfunded businesses over coming months, and whether they are in technology or other non-property sectors.
The first crowdfunded company in the UK ever to provide an exit for its shareholders has floated on the London Stock Exchange. Mill Residential, a real estate investment trust (REIT), raised more than £2 million on the SyndicateRoom crowdfunding platform last year, before floating on London’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM) on 23 December. Its ticker is LON:MRR.