Sunday, 3 February 2019

We take a look at Crowdcube's early 2018 accounts.



Crowdcube have filed their accounts for YE September 2018 six months early. We assume that means yet another new round of funding is in the air. With cumulative losses now of over £20m, they raised over £4m at the end of 2018, which is not in these accounts. That gives them some time to play with. 

In a move that many of their funded companies use, Crowdcube love to flit between calendar year projections and financial year accounts. As they are so enthusiastic about transparency this cant be because it makes it difficult to compare year on year between their PR and the accounts.

YE Sept18 saw a reduced loss of just over £3m - down from £4.7m. This included extra income in 2018 of £410k which is unexplained. Revenues grew from £3.7m to £5.2m with the administration costs being tied down to £6.8m, against £6.6m in 2017. Tightening of belts seems to be evident. 

As we said, it is hard to know what figure (total raised on the platform for which commission is charged) 2018 produced to create the £5.2m revenues. Crowdcube's PR cupboard claim £147m was raised through the platform in 2018 (not stated but we assume CY). So if we take £120m for the YE Sept18, then the commission rate looks around 4.33%. As they charge around 8% to ordinary companies, they must still be granting some lovely discounts to the more PRable ones. Very democratic. 

So what does all this mean?

In our opinion they have achieved considerably more than we expected. However, to reach BE they need to add another ~£80m to their raised figure. Is that likely in 2019. No. Can they keep going  - for now yes. Depends on two things - getting a headline success and having fewer high profile disasters like Emoov. And of course Brexit. Crowdcube's Brexit paragraph in the new accounts has more than doubled in size since the last accounts. Maybe there is a message there? There is an interesting piece in the FT today https://www.ft.com/content/44c3564c-231f-11e9-8ce6-5db4543da632 on this.

Crowdcube off loaded 14 employees  - the average figure for 2018 was 65 as opposed to 79 in 2017. Their PR never mentions that. Likewise it never mentions the rise in Directors' remuneration from £482k to £539k.  

Unfortunately the chances of more high profile disasters is far higher than a headline exit - but you can only hope. It is difficult to ignore the facts - Crowdcube has and is still funding many businesses with valuations that are off the scale and growth plans from a fantasy world. 

Just as a timely reminder, looking back over the now famous Crowdcube PR and the 2016 raise, they listed Emoov as a business they were proud to working with. With judgement like, that what hope is there?

They treat investors as canon fodder. How long both of these facts can be restrained from breaking the company in half is a mute point. 8 years is a long time. The obvious conclusion is not forever. 

No comments:

Post a Comment