E-Car Club’s successful exit from Crowdcube
The Sustainable Bridges based venture, is the world’s first successful crowdfunding exit, with the Europcar Group, a major car rental and mobility company, announcing the acquisition of a majority stake in E-Car Club.
E-Car Club is the UK’s first entirely electric pay-per-use car club. Intended to provide community members with the convenience of car usage, without the high costs associated with private ownership, the car club is available 24/7, 365 days a year. E-car club works together with councils, social landlords and community groups, promoting economic, environmental and social improvements through increased mobility, whilst reducing transport costs and emissions.
Founded in 2011 by Chris Morris and Andrew Wordsworth and with its London headquarters based at Sustainable Bridges, E-car club was one of the first businesses to raise equity capital via Crowdcube. The start up raised £100,000 in 2013, from 63 investors, all of who are set to receive multiple returns on their investment as a result of Europcar’s successful acquisition; illustrating that crowdfunding can be an advantageous investment opportunity, which delivers substantial returns. Additional to its fundraising on Crowdcube, E-car club secured further growth capital in a £500,000 investment from Ignite Social Enterprises LLC; the UK’s first social investment fund with a primary focus on energy, with the investment serving to aid expansion into additional communities across London and the Midlands.
The venture currently operates across a number of sites within the UK, with Europcar highlighting that its acquisition will encourage plans for further expansion. The acquisition of E-car is in harmony with Europcar’s aims to develop mobility market usages, and make corresponding investments, in pursuit to strengthen its prominence as a leader in the mobility market.
Ultimately, the acquisition of E-car has highlighted how investments in early-stage start-ups can be immensely lucrative, despite their risks: with the 63 E-Car Club investors accumulating an aggregate of 762 investments on Crowdcube as a whole.