Is investing in a company of which you are a client a good plan?

Qonto, Goodvest, Wecasa… In just a few hours, these three companies have raised millions from their customers. However, they are not interested in money. Or at least not only.

If you are a Qonto, Goodvest, or Wecasa customer, you may have received a message inviting you to participate in fundraising. Because in order to finance themselves, these three companies have decided to turn to… their customers. And they are not the only ones. In recent months, this practice has been gaining momentum, 101 million euros harvested in 2021 compared to 57 million in 2020, i.e. record annual growth +77% (one).

Nonetheless crowd equity, or equity crowdfunding, has been around for many years. And this way of financing is very common in the Anglo-Saxon countries. Also, Qonto and Goodvest passed through the British platform Crowdcube. It’s more than 1300 operations he is active. And already great success, like Finary. In March last year, fintech raised €2.17 million in 21 minutes from 983 investors.

Konto is no exception. European leader in corporate financial management hopes to raise 1 million euro. At 6:30 am he collected five times moreas well as 1800 clients entered the capital. Success was also on the agenda of Goodvest, which achieved its goal 250000 euro in just two hours, according to its co-founder and CEO, Joseph Chuifati.

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We are not interested in money

A real show of strength. However, the two companies are not interested in money. Or at least not only. We don’t need itsmiles Alexander Prot, co-founder and CEO of Qonto, which just completed a record fundraiser of 486 million euros. Goodvest, for its part, just completed the first round 2 million euros.

But then why resort to crowd equity? We have always built our offer together with our customers, so it seemed obvious to us to let them benefit from Goodvest’s success,” explains Joseph Chuifati. There is also high stakes fame: our main acquisition channel is customers who recommend us. A shareholder client is an even more committed and engaged client.

Crowdcube Above All engagement solutionno funding, confirms Pauline Pham, director of Crowdcube in France in columns Echo. The companies we work with in France are supported venture fund. They are convinced of the key role played by their communities in their development.

Moreover, both companies do not exclude that the cover will be returned back. In view of the success of this joint fundraiser and the interest it may represent for both our users and the development of Goodvest, it is likely that this type of operation will be reproducedJoseph Shuifati says

However, investment funds still have a bright future ahead of them. This approach does not conflict with more traditional fundraising, it complements, explains Fanny Knusmann, brand leader for Wecasa, a home services platform. It is also important for us to be accompanied institutional investors and the experience that can bring us strategic expertiseadds Joseph Shuifati.

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Individuals can take advantage of these transactions to invest in a company they already know well. Our clients access our fundraising under the same terms and conditions as our well-known investors and can count on capital gain long term if Goodvest continues to do well,” says Joseph Chuifati.

It can be profitable to enter the capital of young growth companies: a study by France Invest and Grant Thornton (2)investments in unregistered companies will bring 11.7% average annual return over the horizon 15 years. This is twice as much as 5.4% returns per year served by CAC 40 for the same period.

Of course, the practice is not safe. Because, like any investment, equity crowdfunding has capital loss risk. As well as 90% of startups failincluding 10% in the first year, recalls Claude Calmon, founder of Calmon Partners, a fundraising consulting firm.

But apart from the financial aspect, crowd equity changes the relationship between companies and their customers. For our clients, this is an opportunity take part in a project they believe in, according to Joseph Shuifati. This is also the way go beyond mere consumer statuscomplete Fanny Knusmann.

The success of the formula also lies in its simplicity. It only takes a few clicks to become a shareholder in these non-listed companies. And entrance ticket, often available, allows anyone to take part in the adventure as an investor. Thus, the share price was fixed. 1 euro for Wecasa, 10 euro for Goodwest and 138 euros for Konto.

Why invest in an unregistered company

(1) French Crowdfunding Barometer 2021 by Mazars for Financement Participation in France.

(2) France Invest and Grant Thornton’s 35th edition of the barometer on the activity of French players in private equity and infrastructure funds.