European venture capital firm Draper Esprit has led an £8.5 million funding round into FinTech pioneer Crowdcube.

The investor has taken a £6 million stake in the equity crowdfunding platform to accelerate growth and drive towards profitability in 2019.

The Exter-based company has also secured investment from VC firm Balderton Capital and Channel 4, which is investing through its Commercial Growth Fund.

The funding comes after a record quarter for revenue, which reached £1.6 million for Q3 2018, an increase of 60 per cent on the same quarter last year. Annual turnover is expected to rise to £6 million from £3.9 million last year.

"We've transformed equity finance and funded more businesses than anyone else in the UK to become a preferred choice for British entrepreneurs," said co-founder and CEO Darren Westlake.

"This latest investment, from two highly-regarded venture capital investors who are significantly increasing their stakes in Crowdcube and a famously forward-thinking media company, is fantastic proof of our progress and potential.

"It will enable us to accelerate our journey to profitability and expand faster in the UK and overseas, so we can help more innovative and ambitious businesses from across the globe grow, expand and make a difference to the world."

The public will have the opportunity to invest alongside Draper Esprit, Channel 4 and Balderton Capital through a crowdfunding campaign, which will publicly launch on 14 November.

Crowdcube recently announced it had facilitated over 100 raises of £1 million or more, including for well-known, high-growth companies such as Monzo, Mr & Mrs Smith, gohenry, Revolut, BrewDog, Camden Town Brewery, and Adzuna.

Over £355 million has been successfully invested into more than 600 start-up, early and growth-stage businesses on Crowdcube since 2011.

Simon Cook, CEO of Draper Esprit, added: "Crowdcube has demonstrated significant progress and impressive growth in the last 12 months. They have a proven and scalable platform, seven years of unrivalled experience, strong brand awareness and a clear market opportunity in the UK and abroad.

"They are the world's leaders in equity crowdfunding, and I expect them to continue blazing a trail of innovation and success."

Crowdcube will launch its first national TV advertising campaign in 2019 to increase brand awareness and accelerate growth across the UK.