Crypterium, one of the world’s leading cryptoapps, recently raised over €3M from more than 2,600 investors, marking one of 2021’s top fintech raises on Seedrs. The goal? To make cryptocurrency available on more than 1 billion smartphones worldwide.
We sat down with Austin Kimm, founder of Crypterium, to discuss the startup’s crowdfunding experience.
What is Crypterium’s vision and where has it taken you so far?
Crypterium is different from most companies that launch crowdfunding campaigns. In the cryptocurrency world there is something called a token – we raised money through the sale of our tokens 3 years ago. We then used that money to get to where we were when we launched our campaign with Seedrs.
Over time, our vision has changed from being a payments wallet to becoming somewhat of a banking app for cryptocurrency. We’re not a bank as we don’t have a license and cryptocurrency isn’t considered money in the strict sense (at least in the UK), but we have a full-service savings loans, payments, visas and currency exchange offering.
What has Crypterium’s fundraising journey looked like to date?
We considered going straight out to venture capital firms right off the bat and did a lot of exploratory work. We also have a VC advisory firm helping us do a follow up to Seedrs. We considered another token sale initially, but decided instead that it would be good to organise our funding in stages, and simultaneously. We wanted to do a relatively small, €3M crowdfunding round in the hopes that this would help us to raise much more from VCs in the future. We used the money from Seedrs to create a baseline that would give us a solid foundation, at a valuation of over €80M, and provide us with enough capital to meet our basic needs in the short term. VC rounds can take up to 12 months to complete, but the Seedrs process was much, much quicker.
Why did you choose Seedrs as a fundraising partner?
Crypterium is split into three markets. We have a company in the UK, a holding company in Estonia and an operations company in Russia. Raising capital in Russia is not easy, as platforms like Seedrs don’t exist there. Estonia on the other hand has a few, but it’s a very small market. The most credible market for us therefore, was the UK. Once we decided that we wanted to execute this crowdfunding round in the UK, we went with the platform that we felt most comfortable with, and was able to move the quickest.
What were the biggest highlights of the campaign?
We had secured €600k from a lead investor prior to the round, and so by the time we went live, we were already sitting at €1.2M raised. During the campaign, we were driving a huge amount of traffic from our own website onto the Seedrs pitch, and we raised a considerable sum of money at the end of it all. Half of that money came from our own user base, so a major highlight was the ability to work with a platform that allowed us to generate and monetize interest from our users. The other half came from Seedrs investor network. It was great to see that traction extend to new investors who may not have been familiar with us prior to the campaign.
How would you describe the overall experience working with Seedrs?
I would say we had a very good working relationship throughout the campaign. It of course took us some time to get used to the way the process worked, for example getting assigned an investment associate and collaborating with the marketing team. Once we figured out how things worked, everything went fine. The support and tools that Seedrs provided were great. The templates were excellent, all the processes were simple to understand and overall the marketing guidance was very strong. Seedrs was also very flexible. We didn’t quite have our legals sorted upon going live given a few complications with being based in Estonia, but the team was able to plow ahead anyway and give us more time to sort out the fine print.
How do you plan to use the proceeds from this round?
We will be dedicating the proceeds to building out a sizable team. As a financial services firm, licenses are always a key driver for growth, so naturally we’ll be applying for licenses in key markets. We are also expanding into the US, which we didn’t have much access to overall prior to our crowdfunding round. Lastly, we’ll be aiming to improve our platform overall, with the rollout of new features and products.
How have you found the engagement of your investors so far, and how do you plan to leverage this new community for business growth in the future?
Crypterium has always had a strong committed customer base. Although token owners are not shareholders in the traditional sense, they bought tokens on an expectation of future performance and in this way they are very similar to the shareholder that we acquired through Seedrs in that our visions need to be aligned.
That being said, we have big plans to be able to use this community going forward. We want to set up various feedback communities and promotional layers including strategic workshops. Our investors will have a number of benefits and will be able to have a say in the running of the company. As Seedrs is our shareholder, and these individual investors are effectively practical shareholders, we have a unique opportunity to get them more involved in product development and innovation.
Would you consider raising with Seedrs again?
We would definitely raise again with Seedrs, and if we do, we would put a lot of emphasis on their marketing offering earlier on. We saw an 8x return on investment when it came to email marketing and the homepage feature, and that’s something we wish we had known would perform so well going in. I would advise other companies considering, or in the process of crowdfunding, to take up those opportunities because they book up very far in advance, and they’re worth the money.