General

The Invesdor Group

Q: What does Invesdor Group do, exactly?

A: We are a digital investment service company. We offer an online platform where retail and institutional investors can invest in unlisted European growth companies seeking funding. We want to modernise investing and make it easily approachable, transparent and fair.

We offer services both for investors as well as companies seeking funding. For investors, we offer opportunities to invest in exciting companies ranging from fast growing startups to established corporations alike. Our minimum investments differ between investment rounds and start with sums of a few hundred euro. For companies, we provide various fundraising opportunities in currently 8 European countries and from a combined 60,000 investors registered on our platforms.

Invesdor also offers unique Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) products for financial institutions: we provide our technological solutions for our PaaS partners to use in hosting their funding rounds. Invesdor meets the European Union’s MiFID II requirements, meaning our PaaS partner companies do not need a separate license of their own when using our platform.

Q: You call yourselves Invesdor Group. Why is it “Group”, are there several companies involved?

A: Yes. Invesdor Group is comprised of the Helsinki-based parent company Invesdor Oy and its fully-owned subsidiaries Finnest GmbH, whom we joined forces with in spring 2019, and Invesdor Services. The Group is headquartered in Helsinki, with offices also in Vienna and Stockholm.

Q: Is Invesdor licensed by any official authority?

A: Yes, we are licensed and supervised by the Finnish Financial Supervisory Authority (licence number FIVA 39/02.02.00/2014).

For Investors

Investing in unlisted companies

Q: Why invest in unlisted companies?

A: Listed companies are often considered established and stable investment opportunities. In many cases, however, they tend to yield relatively small profits. Also, often when companies first list on a stock exchange, it can be hard for retail investors to subscribe to large amounts of equity as institutional investors tend to get the best pick of the shares.

Unlisted companies offer something else. Retail investors have a better chance of making large investments in unlisted companies before their IPO (initial public offering). And if the company makes a breakthrough, it might achieve major growth and provide a great return on the investment. The flipside is that unlisted companies, especially those in an early stage, are considered high-risk investments: some might create huge profits, but many will fail.

There’s also variation among unlisted companies. Some of them are ambitious growth seekers, searching for funding for new and unique business ideas; others are established businesses with long traditions and stable operations, who have for some reason simply chosen not to go public. Unlisted companies can offer a way to diversify your investment portfolio, to make aggressive investments and look for the next big thing, and support young companies that aren’t afraid to challenge established players.

Q: What different kinds of investment opportunities are there? How do they differ?

A: There is a great variety of ways to invest, but on Invesdor.com we focus on two: equity and bonds. Equity rounds are fundraising rounds where the target company offers its shares for sale in return for a fixed price per share. In an equity round, you basically buy a part of the company, hoping the company gains success and the value of your shares goes up.

Bond rounds are fundraising rounds where the target company offers bonds with a fixed rate of interest and timeframe. The company pays the interest of the bond (for example every six months) to bondholders. At the end of the bond’s term, the bondholders receive the final interest payment and the original price of their bond. In a bond round, you invest money in a company and get paid back according to mutually agreed terms.

These are simplified descriptions only. Terms and details of different equity and bond rounds can differ from what is presented here. Always familiarise yourself with the exact terms of the round before investing.

Q: How do I make a return on different kinds of investments?

A: With equity investments, potential returns are usually made when liquidity events (e.g. acquisitions or IPOs) take place. Another potential way to get returns is through dividends. Let’s take an example of returns on an equity investment.

You subscribe for 100 shares of a company for €10 per share, to a total of €1,000. A year later, the company has a profitable year and decides to pay its shareholders dividends, with €1.50 dividend paid per share. With 100 shares, you receive €150 in dividends. Some years later, the company decides to list itself on the stock exchange, which creates strong interest towards the company: before the IPO you receive an offer from another investor for your shares for the price of €12 per share. You sell your 100 shares for the total sum of €1200, making a profit of €200. Together with the dividends, you have made a profit of €350.

With bond investments, returns are made through interest payments that the investor receives according to the bond’s terms. For example, you invest €1,000 into a 3-year bond that has a 6% interest rate. The annual interest is 6% of €1,000, i.e. €60. At the end of the 3-year term, you are paid the final interest payment and the original invested sum of €1,000 (also known as the principal). With three years and an annual interest of €60, you would make a profit of 3 x €60 = €180.

Q: I made an investment but wish to sell my shares earlier than originally planned. How do I do that? Is there an aftermarket?

A: Shares of unlisted companies are admittedly harder to turn into cash than some other forms of investment. Many investors acquire shares in unlisted growth companies with the understanding that it can take several years before the company matures and an opportunity (such as an acquisition by another company or an IPO) comes up to sell the shares at a potential profit or possibly make a positive return on them.

On the Finnish market, shares of unlisted companies can be traded on Privanet’s marketplace. We cannot, however, provide any guarantees or estimates of how likely you are to find a buyer and what price or profit/loss margin you might expect when trading.

Q: I’m not sure what a certain word or phrase means - is there a good source that explains investment terminology?

A: You can start with our glossary that explain some words here. If the word or phrase you are looking for is not found there, you should usually be able to find an online source. If you’re still not sure and the word seems to be in a strange context in, for example, investment materials, we recommend you ask the company that drafted the material directly.

Investing on Invesdor.com

Q: There are many investment platforms out there. Why choose Invesdor?

A: We’re glad you asked! Invesdor Group offers a variety of investment opportunities from different business sectors, across several European countries and with both equity and bond opportunities. We are MiFID II -licensed investment service, licensed to help companies in 30 countries across the European Economic Area. Currently Invesdor Group actively operates in six countries: Finland, Austria, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Germany.

In addition, we are a fully digital investment service. We want to make investing fair, transparent and simple for everyone, without unnecessary hassle. Once you’ve registered and confirmed your identity, all you need is an internet connection and a laptop or smartphone to connect and invest in ambitious European growth companies, with minimum investment amounts starting from a couple of hundreds of euros.

Q: What do I need to make investments on Invesdor.com?

A: You need to be over 18 years old, authenticate your identity on our platform (e.g. with a copy of your passport or online banking credentials), provide your bank account number (in case we need to refund you) and take about 5 minutes to answer a mandatory investment knowledge questionnaire. And you need to have the money to invest, naturally!

Generally speaking, anyone from all over the world can invest on our platform. Local jurisdictions can, however, have limitations: we encourage investors from outside Europe to consult their local authorities to ensure their investments comply with local regulations.

Q: Does it cost anything to invest through Invesdor?

A: We charge a subscription fee to cover payment handling expenses in investments made on invesdor.com. Our general subscription fee is 1% of the invested amount, in both equity and bond investments. However, to support early investments in equity rounds, we charge no fee before the round reaches 100% of its minimum target, after which we charge a subscription fee of 1% of the invested amount.

Whenever a subscription fee is applicable, we charge a minimum of €5 (or 50 SEK, 50 NOK or 40 DKK, if you make your investment in one of those currencies) or a maximum of €500 (or 5000 SEK, 5000 NOK or 4000 DKK). Example: you invest €300 in a round, but are charged the minimum of €5 since the 1% of your investment would be just €3 and fall under the minimum charge. If you instead invest €70,000 in a round, you will only be charged €500 because 1% of your investment would be €700, which exceeds the maximum charge.

Subscription fees are non-refundable, even in cases where the invested sum itself might be refunded. We do not charge other fees such as management charges or carried interest from the potential investment profits: if the investment makes a profit, that goes to you.

Q: What currencies and payment methods can I use to invest?

A: The list of payment options can vary according to funding round; the target company can request to limit what payment options we will accept for their round.

The currency that your investment is made in is the one listed on the target company’s round materials - usually this is EUR, SEK, NOK or DKK. You can use the major Nordic banks’ online banking services, all major credit cards or pay by invoice. If your local currency is different than the one listed on the funding round, your payment service provider should be able to calculate the figure in your local currency.

You cannot currently pay via PayPal - sorry!

Q: Are my investments visible to others on Invesdor’s platform?

A: Your user name is displayed the public investor list, but the amount you invested is not. You can change your user name in the profile settings of your Invesdor account. Also, when you invest in a successful funding round, the target company receives a list of investors that includes your information and identity on it.

Q: How do you select the companies for your platform? Do you check their backgrounds and reliability?

A: We take great care selecting our target companies and regularly refuse applicants because of issues with their background, business practices, or because they would not represent a suitable opportunity for our investor crowd. All target companies are carefully considered by our deal flow team and presented to our investment committee, who make the final decision on which companies to include on our platform.

Our legal and compliance team conducts legal due diligence (DD) checks, reviewing the backgrounds of companies as well as their biggest owners. You can find more information on what is included in the Invesdor DD here. Invesdor reserves the right to terminate preparations and cancel the funding round if it perceives that issues that come up in the DD check would constitute a problem or hindrance for a successful funding round and/or reliable business relationship.

Please note: we do not conduct due diligence regarding business-specific risks, business opportunities, or the market. We encourage investors to always conduct their own due diligence in order to help them make educated investment decisions.

Q: I saw company X has a funding round on your platform - would it be a good investment?

A: We cannot comment one way or the other. We do not provide investment advice on funding rounds on our platform or the situations of individual investors or investor groups. We encourage you to study the investment material provided by the target company in question as well as seeking information on the sector they operate in.

Invesdor sometimes publishes industry insight articles that look into a business sector related to one or more of our target companies. They can serve as a starting point for further exploration but please note that these articles are offered for informational purposes only: we cannot independently verify the claims made in their source material and do not claim the articles provide a complete overview of any company or sector. Investment decisions should be made only based on informed review of the relevant investment material.

Q: I would like to start investing but I didn’t find any rounds suitable for me in Invesdor’s selection. Is there anything coming up that might interest me?

A: Sorry to hear that! New rounds open up on our platform regularly - we recommend you subscribe to our newsletter to keep up to date on upcoming rounds and ones that are in progress.

Q: What kind of companies hold fundraising rounds on your platform?

A: A lot of the businesses seeking funding via Invesdor.com are startups or in an early growth stage, but you will also regularly find more established names on our platform. We welcome a wide variety of industries as well. The only type of companies we regularly avoid are ones with problematic business practices or ethical issues - we want to offer investment opportunities that solve problems, not create them. Also, if a company is still in a very early phase and has not yet begun operations, it is highly unlikely to feature on our platform. For a more detailed look, have a look at our past rounds to see what kind of companies we have worked with so far.

Q: I saw an interesting company on your platform but want to consider investing a little while. How long is the round open?

A: Usually the funding rounds on our platform are available for 30-45 days. You should find a closing date for that particular round on its investment page. However, if the round reaches its maximum target before the closing date and the company doesn’t decide to extend the target, you won’t be able to invest in the round anymore. There are also certain benefits to investing early in our equity rounds: investments made before the round reaches its minimum target (100%) can be made without any investment costs, meaning our usual 1% subscription fee does not apply. We also encourage you to pay attention to the round’s progress: the only way to make sure your investment gets through is to be on time.

Problems, questions and practical issues about investments on Invesdor.com

Q: Can I cancel or change my investments?

A: Once you have submitted your subscription for a share or bond, it is considered binding and you cannot change or cancel it. If you wish to increase your investment, you can make another investment within the same round (provided it is still open and taking subscriptions).

Cancellation of a subscription is only possible if the target company approves it. Sometimes the terms of the funding round might change substantially - in such a situation you might receive the chance to cancel your subscription. Your subscription fee is not, however, refunded.

Q: I’m supposed to receive a refund for my investment - where is it? Should I contact the target company for my money?

A: When you invest through Invesdor, the money goes to an escrow account to wait for the closing of the round. In case of a successful round, it is paid to the target company after the round has closed. In case of a refund, it stays in the escrow account and is refunded within 14 days to the bank account you have listed. If you haven’t received the money after 14 days, please contact us and we’ll figure it out.

Q: I made an investment but the funding round did not reach its minimum target / went over its maximum target / the terms of the round changed substantially. What happens now?

A: Sometimes a round does not reach its minimum target. In this case, the sum you invested is refunded to your bank account. The subscription fee is, however, not refunded (see question “Does it cost anything to invest through Invesdor?”).

A round can also go over its maximum target. This is called an oversubscription: there’s more demand than there are shares to offer. In this case, subscriptions are accepted on a “first come, first served” -basis: we cannot guarantee you’ll receive all or any of the shares you subscribed to if you did it after the round reaching its maximum target. For the number of shares you do not receive, you are naturally refunded your invested capital (but not the subscription fee, if it applies).

Occasionally it happens that the terms of the round change substantially between you making the investment and the round closing. In such a case, a change notification will be published and you have a right to cancel your investment within seven days of its publication. If the investment is not cancelled within the seven-day period, the investment will remain valid. The subscription fee is not refunded.

Please note: change notifications are sent to investors as automated emails, which are affected by each investor's notification settings, set in their user profile. Make sure your settings are right if you want to receive the change notifications!

Q: I want to give an investment as a gift to someone - is this possible?

A: Yes, this is possible. You have the option on our platform to mark your investment as a gift and direct it to someone else. Please make sure this person receives information of your gift investment.

Q: How are returns on my investment taxed?

A: Taxation depends on where you are from, whether you are a natural person or a legal entity (such as a company, foundation, etc.). Check with your local tax authority and ask them how they treat subscriptions of new equities, dividends paid by private companies and profits made from selling shares of private companies. We do not report your subscriptions or returns to your tax authorities. Investors are solely responsible for their own tax reporting.

Q: I made a successful investment - how are the shares/bonds now stored?

A: There are three alternatives to how your bonds or shares are stored: the Invesdor Ownersportal, the book-entry system, or the shareholder list.

Invesdor Ownersportal. Some target companies outsource the upkeep of their shareholder or bondholder list to Invesdor, and use our electronic share register service called Ownersportal. The service is used to keep track of companies shareholder base, update ownership information and send invitations to general meetings. If you own shares in a company that uses Ownersportal, you can view the ownership information in your user profile at Invesdor.com.

Book-entry system. Book-entry accounts are electronic security accounts, available in banks or some investment firms. Invesdor does not manage book-entry accounts. If the target company’s shares are registered in the book-entry system, you will be asked for the number of your securities account when making the share subscription. When the offering is successfully closed, your subscribed shares will be registered to your book-entry account.

Shareholder list. Companies are required by law to maintain an up-to-date list of their shareholders. If a target company is not using Ownersportal or a book-entry system, the ownership information will be stored in this manner. At the end of a successful offering, Invesdor provides the target company with the updated shareholder list, after which the company assumes responsibility for maintaining the list.

When a round is closed successfully, you will always receive a certificate from Invesdor, stating the numbers of shares you subscribed for, the date of subscription, the name of the target company and the name of the subscriber. Please note that this certificate is not proof of ownership of the shares.

Businesses

What is needed to get started?

General criteria:

  • Registered company (Ltd, Oy, AS or equivalent), business legal and ethical
  • Committed team
  • Marketing-mindedness
  • Growth potential
  • No unresolved credit issues
  • Up-to-date online presence

Additional criteria for Crowdbonds:

  • 0.5+ M€ revenue
  • Positive net income

How do I get started?

Check out home.invesdor.com and use the contact form to apply for screening.

What's your fee?

Our fees depend on the funding readiness of the client company, but our pricing is always built on three parts: a fixed up-front listing fee, plus a percentage-based success fee and a fixed closing fee if the funding round is successful.

Why should I raise crowdfunding over other types of funding?

Compared to traditional funding models, equity and debt crowdfunding is a fast, hands-on way of raising funding and gaining visibility. In short, the value of crowdfunding lies in the combination of funding and marketing. Here's what businesses usually look to get out of crowdfunding:

  • Quick access to capital
  • International visibility and brand building
  • Customer and stakeholder engagement
  • Building a larger shareholder base in preparation for public markets
  • Product/service validation

What are the key benefits of crowdfunding with Invesdor

Here's what businesses usually look to get out of raising funding with Invesdor:

Credibility. You increase your credibility in the eyes of investors by going through standardised process.

Speed. Investor negotiations can drag on forever. With us, you set the end date for your campaign, resulting in investors having a clear deadline and your funding round closing faster.

Visibility. A public funding campaign is a great way to build visibility in your target markets. Fudnraising with us combines money with marketing.

Hassle-free. Time spent fundraising is time spent away from your core business. Our digital processes, document templates and personal service let you focus on what's important.

Power of the crowd. A large group of engaged shareholders is a powerful marketing resource. They can recommend your products or services, contribute with their expertise and even become more active customers.

Investor screening. As an FSA-licensed company, we identify all investors and business owners investing or fundraising on our platform. You will always know who is investing in your company and that they are clean.

What does it take to succeed in crowdfunding?

  • Lead investors
  • Good story
  • Simple company and investment structure
  • Good network
  • Well-planned marketing campaign

How long does the funding process take from start to finish?

It depends on how much investor material you have ready. Provided that you already have a good amount of marketing copy, images and a video that can be used for the crowdfunding campaign, you should prepare for a total duration of 3 months. The 3 months are divided in the following way:

  • 1–2 weeks for preparation. Includes Invesdor due diligence, campaign planning and uploading of materials onto the platform.
  • 1–2 weeks for silent marketing of the funding round to the company's networks and Invesdor's lead investors.
  • 4–6 weeks for public marketing.
  • 2–3 weeks for round closure including money transfers and documentation.

How does the process go in more detail?

Check out home.invesdor.com and use the contact form to apply for screening. Screening involves discussions with Invesdor's team and usually takes one week.

Once your case has been confirmed as a good fit for crowdfunding, contracts are signed and material (“pitch” in Invesdor lingo) preparation can begin. Materials include documents, business plans in text form and visuals. By default you do this yourself. Invesdor can also offer help as an additional service.

While the pitch is being prepared, Invesdor conducts its due diligence. If significant issues are found during due diligence, Invesdor can halt the preparation and cancel the funding round. Once the pitch is ready, due diligence has been finished and a marketing plan is in place, the equity or bond offering can open in Hidden mode. In Hidden mode, share or bond subscriptions can be made, but the pitch is not publicly visible on Invesdor.com.

In hidden mode, the target company sends the hidden pitch to its network and Invesdor to its lead investors. The purpose of the Hidden mode is to gather initial investments, generally 30% of the minimum goal. Once 30% has been reached, the pitch can be made public.

In the public phase, it’s all about marketing activities from both the target company and Invesdor; it’s a joint effort. Social media, PR, email, phone calls, use whatever is needed to reach your investor target group. Invesdor supports you with its own marketing efforts.

Once a campaign reaches its goal and its subscription period expires or the offering is oversubscribed, Invesdor will start the closing process for the funding round. Round closure generally takes one to two weeks.

Can I combine other funding channels with crowdfunding?

Yes. In fact, we strongly suggest you do so. You can use the Invesdor platform to collect investments from different channels and pool them together in the same funding round.

Does Invesdor do due diligence (DD)?

Yes, Invesdor conducts its own Invesdor-DD for all its customers. The Invesdor-DD is a legal due diligence focused on verifying the company’s background as well as its biggest owners and their backgrounds. Invesdor does not conduct due diligence relating to the business opportunity, the market, or business-specific risks. If significant issues are found during due diligence, Invesdor can halt the preparation and cancel the funding round.

What is the Investor Forum?

The Investor Forum is an area for discussion between target companies and their potential and actual investors. An Investor Forum is automatically created for each new target company. It can be accessed through the tab ribbon on the pitch page. During the round, the Forum is open for all logged in users. Once the round has been closed as successful, the Investor Forum will become accessible only to the you and your investors. You receive a notification whenever a message is posted on the Forum. Try and reply without delay; the people on the forum are your shareholders and want you to succeed!