Crowdfunding platform Crowdcube has acquired Semper, a secondary liquidity platform for founders and employees of Europe’s high-growth companies.
Semper founders Mathias Pastor and Balthazar de Lavergne will continue to lead the business and work closely with Crowdcube co-CEOs Bill Simmons and Matt Cooper.
Amid a slowdown in public listings, businesses are increasingly exploring alternative solutions for providing liquidity to employees and early shareholders. Crowdcube says the deal will allow founders to reward staff and early angel investors while building a community of shareholders within their customer base.
It also provides retail investors with the opportunity to invest in startups outside of traditional primary fundraising windows.
“We started Semper to help iconic companies attract and retain top talent by making equity more tangible,” said de Lavergne. “We’ve built the infrastructure and networks across Europe for companies to offer liquidity to their team members and early investors; we’re now excited to expand on those foundations by partnering with Crowdcube.
“Together, we can provide a wider range of liquidity solutions for European startups throughout their growth journeys, with participation from both institutional and retail investors.”
Since launching in 2021, Semper has supported more than €10 million of secondary sales for European startups.
Crowdcube says the volume of secondary share sales has increased to £20 million on its platform in the past 18 months, including companies such as Freetrade.
Simmons added: “The potential to create the largest private market investment platform in Europe is vast, and we are just getting started. Our acquisition of Semper positions us favourably to capitalise on all of the interest and momentum in and around the private markets at the moment.
“Semper excels in delivering secondary liquidity transactions. As the deal closes with Semper, we are proud to offer Europe’s top secondary liquidity solution for companies, employees, and investors, complementing our existing primary liquidity solution for companies and investors.”