The founder and CEO of Crowdcube has stepped down and is “taking some time to explore new projects”.

Darren Westlake, who founded the crowdfunding platform 13 years ago, has been succeeded by co-CEOs in current COO Bill Simmons and CCO Matt Cooper.

The news follows a record year by some metrics. In 2022, Crowdcube welcomed more than 100,000 new investors in private companies, up 25% from 2021; and 240,000 investor registrations, up 29% from 2021. It also achieved B Corp status.

Simmons and Cooper both joined Crowdcube in 2014. In that time and under their direction Crowdcube has grown exponentially with a 1,770% increase in registered investors and a 580% increase in the amount of capital invested on the platform. 

Together they have advised and executed some of the largest crowdfunding campaigns in history such as Monzo, Revolut, Brewdog and ZOE.

Westlake remains a major shareholder in the Exeter-based business.

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“I’m delighted for Bill and Matt, who have a deep understanding of our business, capital raising and the retail investor landscape,” he said. “I’m incredibly proud of what we have achieved but after 13 years, more than 1,800 successful raises, over 1 million investors and €1.5bn of capital raised, it feels like a good time for me to step back from the company.

“Together with the rest of the board, a succession plan has been formulated over the past 12 months ensuring that Bill and Matt will have the tools and support they need to build on everything Crowdcube has achieved to date and fully explore all the possibilities that lie ahead.”

Westlake and Luke Lang founded Crowdcube in 2012 to democratise fundraising. Over the last decade, Crowdcube has become the largest equity crowdfunding platform in the world and has raised over €1.5 billion for more than 1,300 businesses.

Simmons said: “It was Darren’s inspirational vision that attracted me to the business in the first place. I could not be prouder of our work to build the largest and most advanced equity crowdfunding platform in the world. 

“Capital raising and investing in private companies have never been so exciting – we’re incredibly proud to lead the business into the next chapter.”

Cooper added: “We have an outstanding opportunity to grow the business and expand internationally with the team in place to deliver it. I am honoured that I will be leading the business forward alongside Bill, someone who I know cares as passionately about Crowdcube as I do.”

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