Monday, 5 September 2016

Here's one that Crowdcube will not be Pringing about. Bitreserve 'value' halves

According to information that we have received, Bitreserve, which raised over £6m on Crowdcube last year at a Crowdcube valuation of £60m, is now valued at around £22m.

Bitreserve, Cayman's registered company, is one of those Crowdcube raises that makes you wonder what the FCA does all day. According to the Crowdcube platform, the company raised over £6m but £5,873,280 was a single investment. That means the crowd put in only £600k. 

The Crowdcube pitch majored on the founder and CEO - 

''Halsey Minor is an Internet and tech pioneer who has founded and/ or financed many technology ventures: CNET,, Rhapsody, OpenDNS, and Grand Central (Google Voice)''

Halsey is no longer with the company. There has been a change of key. 

The new CEO, Chairman, owner(?) and we assume largest shareholder is one Adrian Steckel - was he the £5,873,280 investor?. It turns out that Bitreserve got itself into some serious financial problems shortly after raising the money on Crowdcube and needed an emergency fund to bail it out. This resulted in the company being welcomed by its new benefactor Uphold, who proceeded to exercise their preference deal and essentially take over the company. Uphold is registered in the US and West Indies. Oddly their company website here still has Halsey as the CEO. 

This deal, made just after the Crowdcube raise, valued the same company worth £60m on Crowdcube, at just £22m. Investors via Crowdcube were not involved or consulted. As you may imagine the pitch and its financials have proved to be someway off the mark.

Of course you will not have heard any of this from Crowdcube  - they never megaphone any bad news. 

Uphold will be looking for more funding very shortly so it will be fascinating to see if they tap their old friends at Crowdcube and what story the two of them can concoct to fleece investors of more cash.

Oh and finally the whole model that Bitreserve was based on, the one promoted by Crowdcube, turned out in less than 12 months to be total nonsense. So its all now been changed according to Uphold. 

You really couldn't make this up. 

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