If you have a spare £1mln or £20mln for that matter, and are looking for a home for it, traditionally a private client broker would be the place to go.
Times, though, are changing and with the advent of smart tech, the emphasis is shifting towards direct investing.
Capitama is one of a new breed of wealth managers tapping into the changing trend.
Co-founded 15 months ago by ex-Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch wealth manager Brett de Bank, Capitama is a ‘match-making’ platform that brings wealthy individuals, institutions and others together with companies looking for funds.
“Our role is to provide a conduit for companies looking to raise capital to engage with investors through a web-based online portal.”
Post the financial crash banks and private equity houses have retreated from the zero to £100mln funding space, he says, but private capital markets have the cash and the demand.
“There is a funding gap in the market and there are difficulties even for companies seeing high levels of growth, yet there is this wall of capital out there looking for opportunities and are not necessarily able to find and access them.
“That is the problem we are trying to reconcile.”
And the potential firepower of investors already using the site looks impressive.
When registering, people or institutions are asked how much they intend to allocate over the next 12 months.
At present, the amount is more than £9bn.
Undoubtedly, the presence of a couple of sovereign wealth funds has boosted that number, but half of the 350 registrations are from individuals who are either high net worths (£500,000+) or ultra-high net worths (£20mln+).
While this is only an indication of intention, it clearly indicates the site is attracting investors with serious firepower.
One funding of £10mln has already been arranged – “the largest ticket so far” - while companies that have used the platform include online mattress group Simba Sleep, logistics group Quiqup and City Harvest, a food distribution charity.
Capitama breaks down the opportunities on the site into nine categories: Buy-out; Debt & Income; Early stage; Growth; Infrastructure and renewables; Philanthropy and social impact; Private equity; Real estate and turnarounds.
That way, investors can select opportunities only applicable to them and with areas of no interest filtered out.
No money changes hands through the platform, companies send subscription documents directly to interested investors.
Capitama takes a 1.5% commission on any cash raised.
De Bank says that its technology enables it to operate 24/7 around the world, while it has significant cost advantages without the infrastructure and legacy systems of brokers and other institutions.
Fund a possibility
Plans for the next 12 months include getting the number of registered users up to 1,000 and the launch of a fund focused on the companies using the platform for capital.
While financially rich, users of the site can be time-poor so a fund would allow these investors to benefit from the opportunities without having to expend a lot of effort, says de Bank.
Eventually, he also sees Capitama offering a mass affluent product for the well-off but not super-rich.
“We want to become the effective the go-to guys for any business, be it early stage, growth or buy-out.
“If you want money come to us.”
Businesses should be focused on growth, not wasting time raising money, he adds.
"Why wouldn’t a company try it?
“We do 90% of the legwork as well as saving them money."