SI2 Fund is pleased to announce its investment in Spacehive, a civic crowdfunding platform based in London. Spacehive aims to democratise the way we shape our towns and cities by allowing anyone to create and fund civic projects online. Previous Spacehive funding successes range from playgrounds and parks to free public wi-fi networks.
The way we live in and relate to our communities changes constantly. Social ties need to be nurtured, to enable people to contribute to and enjoy their local communities more. Meanwhile, funding by government in civic and cultural projects is under pressure. Without smart citizen involvement our wellbeing within communities risks erosion. This is where Spacehive intervenes: Spacehive is the first funding platform for civic projects. Spacehive’s mission is to make it as easy as possible for as many people as possible to fund things that make public spaces better – like new playgrounds or spruced up parks.
Pledges of funding for Spacehive projects come from a mix of ordinary people, businesses, and municipalities, which are only charged if the campaign is successful and the project goes ahead. The company works with businesses, foundations and municipalities in order to create programs promoting projects and in order to develop partnerships providing match funding on the site.
Spacehive not only tackles the decline in community action, it is also thoroughly inclusive. The more it can successfully reach all of society’s socio-demographic groups and areas, including the most deprived, the more its model is strengthened and its goal of democratising civic improvements is reached. Since being set up in 2012, Spacehive has helped to fund 60 projects across the UK worth £1.8m.
Chris Gourlay, CEO Spacehive: “The first part of our journey – to prove civic crowdfunding works – is complete. But we’ve only taken the first step towards a more democratic way of shaping our towns and cities that harnesses their latent creativity and wealth. I’m hugely excited about this investment, which will enable us to bring our model to scale and deliver a real impact in communities.”
Fried Roggen, Fund Manager at SI2 Fund: “We’re thrilled with our first investment in the UK. Spacehive has the potential to open up badly needed sources of investment and innovation in communities at a time of acute need. Its model can improve millions of lives and nourish local economies, while empowering a new generation of citizen change-makers. In the long term, we see significant international potential for Spacehive.”
SI2 Fund teamed with a syndicate of Belgian-based investors to provide £600k GBP (ca. 750k EUR) in equity financing. Their investment was matched by Big Society Capital, UK’s leading institutional fund with a mission to grow the social investment market. A group of angel investors completed the round of ca. £1.3mill.
The Spacehive investment was completed in partnership with Hogan Lovells whom acted as lead legal advisors to investors.