E-Car Club - World's first equity crowdfunding exit

E-Car Club was founded by social entrepreneurs Chris Morris and Andrew Wordsworth as a start-up in 2011. E-Car was one of first companies to seek equity capital via Crowdcube where its business model combined with its social purpose appealed strongly to investors. The company combines the increasing popularity of pay-per-use car clubs as an attractive, affordable alternative to traditional car ownership, with the improved performance and reduced price of electric vehicles. E-Car Club works closely with councils, social landlords and community group partners to deliver improved economic, social and environmental outcomes for local residents.

By joining forces with Europcar we now have access to the considerable investment and resources that we need to accelerate our growth and reach more communities, said Christopher Morris, Co-Founder of E-Car Club. We will continue to have a social mission at the heart of our business: to improve mobility on a local level whilst simultaneously reducing the cost and environmental impact of each journey taken.

Following its fundraising on Crowdcube, E-Car Club went on to raise further growth capital via a group of socially minded investors, some of which included the original crowd investors, before securing institutional investment through Ignite Social Enterprise LLC, the UK’s first social impact fund specifically targeting energy related ventures, backed by Centrica Plc.

Many investors in E-Car Club have gone on to invest in other businesses seeking growth capital via Crowdcube such as Powervault, an electricity storage device to capture solar power, which raised £150,000 and £700,000 in 2014 and 2015 respectively. Powervault, like E-Car Club was launched by Andrew Wordsworth via his Sustainable Venture Development Partners (Sustainable Ventures) vehicle works with investors, entrepreneurial managers and corporate partners to originate, build and grow businesses in the low carbon and sustainability sectors.

Coverage

City Am - What should investors make of the first equity crowdfunding

Forbes - How An Electric Car Company Won Britain's Equity Crowdfunding

Innovate UK - Crowdfunding investors celebrate successful exit from E-Car Club

Realbusiness - The investor story behind crowdfunding’s first proper exit