Dubai-based crowdfunding platform Eureeca has just received regulatory approval from the UK’s powerful Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which should give a major boost to Jordanian startups and early-stage businesses seeking investment.
The FCA approval means Jordanian companies will be in a better position to attract funding from UK investors and to direct funding to UK-based companies. Similarly, the approval will help attract other global investors outside of the UK due to the safeguards and assurances provided by the regulatory body.
Chris Thomas, cofounder and CEO of Eureeca, is confident the approval will result in greater cross-border investment opportunities for early-stage businesses in the region. “With the new regulation and the credibility it provides, Eureeca will become more appealing to institutional investors and family offices,” he said, adding that this will open doors to funding larger SMEs with bigger requirements.
Eureeca is the largest angel investor network in the Middle East and is the first online equity crowdfunding platform established outside the UK to receive the FCA approval.
The crowdfunding platform has so far successfully funded 12 businesses of different sizes across a variety of sectors since it was established in 2012. This included seven Jordanian companies, such as JoBedu, which last year raised 119 percent of its required funds through Eureeca.
In total, approximately $2.5 million has been raised via the Eureeca platform. On a global scale, according to Thomas, crowdfunding is estimated to have raised over $5 billion in 2014 and the size of this market is projected to reach $90 billion in 10 years.
Some of Eureeca’s Jordanian success stories:
100 percent funded
Last month, Weziwezi closed the highest ever fundraising round on Eureeca. In exchange for the investment, it gave up 6.25 percent of its equity, yielding a company valuation of approximately $4 million. The Arabic-language social entertainment platform was founded in 2010 and receives 4.3 million unique monthly visitors to its website, but it aims to hit 6 million by the end of the year.
119 percent funded
JoBedu is the poster child of crowdfunding success in Jordan. The popular clothing and design company, best known for their pop culture t-shirts, last year exceeded their fundraising target of $100,000 in just four days, offering 5.35 percent of equity.
120 percent funded
One of Oasis500’s companies, Ekeif is a video content website and mobile application that develops the largest high quality “how to” video database, which caters to Arabs around the world.
134 percent funded
Abjjad.com is the first Arabic “books” social network for readers, writers, and bloggers. It was the first Arab cultural website to exceed its target on Eureeca, receiving funding from 43 regional donors.
203 percent funded
Harir is an online shopping club in the Middle East for top design and lifestyle brands at discounted prices. The company was successful in more than doubling their funding target through Eureeca.