Investing in early-stage and other growth-focussed businesses can be very rewarding, but it involves a number of risks and challenges. If you choose to invest in businesses displayed on Vested, you need to be aware of and accept five important considerations:
1. Loss of Capital
Most early-stage businesses and many other growth-focussed businesses fail, and if you invest in a business displayed on the platform, it is significantly more likely that you will lose all of your invested capital than you will see any return of capital or a profit. You should not invest more money in the types of businesses displayed on the platform than you can afford to lose without altering your standard of living.
Almost all investments you make in businesses displayed on the platform will be highly illiquid. It is very unlikely that there will be a liquid secondary market for the shares of the business. This means you should assume that you will be unlikely to be able to sell your shares until and unless the business floats on a stock exchange or is bought by another company; and, even if the business is bought by another company or floats, your investment may continue to be illiquid. Even for a successful business, a flotation or purchase is unlikely to occur for a number of years from the time you make your investment. For businesses for which secondary market opportunities are available (including any available on the platform), it can be difficult to find a buyer or seller, and investors should not assume that an early exit will be available just because a secondary market exists.
3. Rarity of Dividends
Businesses of the type displayed on the platform rarely pay dividends. This means that if you invest in a business through the platform, even if it is successful you are unlikely to see any return of capital or profit until you are able to sell your shares. Even for a successful business, this is unlikely to occur for a number of years from the time you make your investment.
Any investment you make in a business displayed on the platform is likely to be subject to dilution. This means that if the business raises additional capital at a later date, it will issue new shares to the new investors, and the percentage of the business that you own will decline. These new shares may also have certain preferential rights to dividends, sale proceeds and other matters, and the exercise of these rights may work to your disadvantage. Your investment may also be subject to dilution as a result of the grant of options (or similar rights to acquire shares) to employees of, service providers to or certain other contacts of, the business.
If you choose to invest in businesses of the type displayed on the platform, such investments should only be made as part of a well-diversified portfolio. This means that you should invest only a relatively small portion of your investable capital in such businesses, and the majority of your investable capital should be invested in safer, more liquid assets. It also means that you should spread your investment between multiple businesses rather than investing a larger amount in just a few.
Important information about fund and portfolio campaigns
The platform provides opportunities to invest in startup and growth-focussed businesses by way of three types of campaigns: equity, fund and thematic portfolio. Information about these campaigns is available here. All the risk warnings above apply to each of the three types of campaigns but you should also be aware of the following in respect of funds. As each fund is different, please ensure you read the campaign text and accompanying documentation carefully.
Fund campaigns allow you to invest in multiple companies that are selected by predetermined criteria, and are often set up by a fund organiser (who may run an accelerator or venture capital fund, for example). Whilst each investment in a company will be structurally the same as a regular equity campaign, your money will be invested company-by-company over a longer period, meaning that your shares in each company will be issued at different times.
IS MY INVESTMENT COVERED BY THE FINANCIAL SERVICES COMPENSATION SCHEME (FSCS) OR FINANCIAL OMBUDSMAN SERVICE (FOS)?
No, you are investing in the unsecured debt of the Issuer, which is not covered by the FSCS. Investors should be aware that their capital is at risk which means that you may lose some or all of the money that you invest. If an Issuer is unable to fulfil the terms of the bond instrument there is no right to complain to the FOS or to get compensation from FSCS.
IS THE RETURN ON MY INVESTMENT GUARANTEED?
No, the ability of the Share or Bond Issuer to pay interest on your investment and make a full return of capital is dependent on the continued success of their business model. You should familiarise yourself with all risks outlined in this section of the website and in the relevant offer document for any project you wish to invest in. You should never invest more than you can afford to lose and you should never invest money you have borrowed.
IS VESTED REGULATED BY THE FCA?
Vested is an appointed representative of <>, which is authorised and regulated by the FCA (FRN <>).
WHY IS MY MONEY GOING TO A PAYMENT SERVICE PROVIDER?
Mangopay SA are approved as an electronic money institution by the financial regulator in Luxembourg (CSSF), which has granted them an E-Money issuer (EMI) licence. This licence covers their activity in all 31 countries of the EEA. Mangopay offer a seamless end-to-end payment solution, KYC (Know Your Client) and anti-money laundering management and the ability to hold monies from each investor in a segregated ‘wallet’. This means your money is safe and secure in your own personal ‘wallet’.