We are mostly familiar with crowdfunding for consumer products, but raising money for a B2B company, and moreover regtech is rare and remarkable. This is the feat that the startup Governance.com is achieving with a crowdfunding campaign on the UK platform Crowdcube. Here’s our conversation around its success with founder Bert Boerman. Let’s take also the time to look back with him on the year 2020 and to predict this new year. By the way, you only have a few hours left to invest, if you are interested!
Photo: The public interest far exceeds Bert Boerman’s expectations with over €600,000 funds raised, still counting… / Credits © Governance.com
Where are you standing with Governance.com? Can you update us on your products and services?
Governance.com is transforming the asset management industry, one process at a time. We do that by giving clients a platform that offers everything you need to aggregate data, automate processes, visualize KPIs and record decisions. In short, everything you need to put digital governance in place.
The asset management is under enormous regulatory pressure, resulting in an avalanche of rules that need to be translated into processes and controls. Historically most of this work was done manually or with spreadsheet solutions, but that is simply not possible anymore.
We created Governance.com to make sure clients are in control, save costs and sleep well at night.
What were the headlines for you in 2020?
The biggest headline for everyone was of course Covid-19. The crisis had, and still has, an enormous impact on how companies are run. The silver lining though is that this crisis also made it crystal clear that the old, manual way of working was no longer an option for the asset management industry.
Our core USP is that we can digitalise any process in a matter of days to weeks. Given the impossibility to run physical meetings, we launched a solution to run digital Annual General Meetings (AGM) for companies. We were selected by 3 of the most important industry associations and a Big Four firm to run their respective AGMs, and were awarded the Cloud Innovation award for this solution. We were also selected as the Financial Software Provider of the year in Luxembourg for our digital transformation tools.
The most important headline for us is internal: “We help a growing number of clients to digitalize their operations and become even better at what they do.”
“To drive a successful crowdfunding campaign, it is important to get the message on your value proposition across fast.”
You have decided to go for a different type of investment and launch a crowdfunding campaign. Why?
We have indeed previously raised private capital from seed and angel investors. Our long-term objective is to become a global leader of digital governance and provide our data management and process automation solutions across multiple countries and sectors.
To make that jump, we aim to attract institutional investors in 2021 and possibly work towards becoming a public company in the longer future.
This round provides the means to get to the institutional stage quickly. We were contacted by quite a lot of private investors that expressed an interest to invest, but with smaller amounts.
We liked the idea of giving a wider audience the chance to participate, but the mechanics of doing that directly are complicated. This is where crowdfunding platforms like Crowdcube offer a great solution.
The results exceed all your expectations with over €600,000 funds raised. What are the ingredients of the success of this campaign?
We already had interest before we started, but the public interest indeed far exceeded our expectations. This is another exciting confirmation that the market for digital transformation is maturing fast, and that our approach of helping clients “one process at a time” is the right one.
I think Crowdcube has built a great network of investment enthusiasts and they help a lot in getting the message out there. You can have the best offer in the world, but if nobody knows about it, you are not going anywhere.
To drive a successful crowdfunding campaign, it is important to get the message on your value proposition across fast. We worked very hard on this in the last year and made sure to provide a lot of information and answer questions quickly so that investors can make an informed decision.
“With this funding, we can really hit the accelerator. In less than 10 days, we are also unveiling “Governance 10″; a cutting-edge new version that we have worked on for months.”
Can you share some light on the figures so far?
In 2020 we saw a 25% growth in revenues. Considering the year we have had, that was good, but 2021 is looking very different. In the first 6 months of 2020, everything was on hold, but toward the end of the year, we started seeing an explosion in demand. We managed to confirm 5 new deals with financial institutions just in the last 2 months. We also see many opportunities with our existing clients to help them with more process automation.
We aim to grow our revenues this year by more than 170%, and we are pretty bullish about the digital transformation trend going forward.
What’s next for Governance.com?
2021 will be the year where we will make a big leap forward. Everything is now aligned in a perfect convergence: The product is amazing and super fast to implement, we have great references, and the market is ready.
With this funding, we can really hit the accelerator. In less than 10 days, we are also unveiling “Governance 10”; a cutting-edge new version that we have worked on for months. This new version is another huge step forward in making process management in regulated companies simpler. We have been beta-testing the release with a few clients and the feedback is great. Stay tuned for the official launch on 21 January!