The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published its provisional findings on our proposed merger with Crowdcube today, and they demonstrate that the CMA remains determined to block this transaction.
We are deeply disappointed with these findings, and we firmly disagree with the CMA’s view that this would be an anti-competitive transaction. We believe strongly and unreservedly that this merger would have a highly positive outcome for British small businesses, helping to provide vital funding for thousands of ambitious companies in the future.
We are evaluating the CMA’s findings and considering our next steps. However, as we consider a possible future as a standalone business, we are pleased to be able to say that we are in the strongest position we have ever found ourselves. In Q1 2021 we have delivered over 100% year-on-year revenue growth against Q1 2020 (which was itself a very strong quarter), and our pipeline for Q2 is already forecast to beat our ambitious targets.
And while much of this revenue continues to come from our primary fundraising campaigns, our Secondary Market and Secondary Campaigns are growing rapidly, and as the first vintages of our portfolio continue to mature, we are seeing more exits at higher multiples than ever before—meaning that we have generated more carry revenue in the first quarter of 2021 alone than we have in any previous full year.
So while we think the CMA has gotten it wrong, and we will comment on them in due course, we are confident in our success whichever path we go down.
We will be back in touch shortly to announce our next steps.