Crowdcube has launched a marketplace for high-growth European companies. 

Cubex allows retail investors to buy and sell shares in private firms. 

The crowdfunding site said it launched the secondary marketplace in response to growing demand from its portfolio of companies and the trend of businesses staying private for longer. 

It said Cubex satisfies demand among existing shareholders to realise a return without the need to wait for an exit, while offering new investors the opportunity to invest in proven, high-growth, pre-IPO businesses that they’ve long admired but previously could not access. 

It wrote: Gone are the days when a successful exit for businesses and investors meant only a blockbuster IPO or acquisition.  

As companies stay private for longer, and grow faster and become more valuable than ever before, this is a real boon for retail investors: a European marketplace to buy and sell equity in early-stage category-definers. 

Crowdcube has previously arranged one-off secondary transactions for multiple companies in its portfolio. 

Most notably, Revolut shareholders achieved 20x returns in 2018, and BrewDog investors made 1.8 times their investments in 2017.  

A recent secondary share sale for Freetrade saw shareholders celebrate returns up to 47x (4,670%). Six of the company’s shareholders became millionaires as the company’s valuation skyrocketed from £2m when it first raised on Crowdcube to £265m at their latest funding round earlier this year. 

As the age, size and profile of companies that raise capital via Crowdcube become older, larger and higher, Cubex will play a truly essential role in the way our investors and companies interact and benefit from one another’s presence on our platform,” the statement continued.  

Cubex allows companies to rejuvenate their shareholder registers with new blood; it rewards early supporters for their loyal backing, and it gives investors the chance to get behind Europe’s most ambitious businesses whose doors would otherwise be closed to them. 

The full roll-out of Cubex will take place over the next few months.