IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The evolution and adoption of equity crowdfunding: entrepreneur and investor entry into a new market


  • Estrin, Saul
  • Gozman, Daniel
  • Khavul, Susanna


Equity crowdfunding (ECF) offers entrepreneurs an online social media marketplace where they can access numerous potential investors who, in exchange for an ownership stake, may supply them with finance. In this paper, we describe the evolution of this market in the UK. Using an inductive qualitative longitudinal research design, we analyse the emerging views of entrepreneurs and investors towards ECF. Our interviewees include large and small-scale investors, as well as market participants who have chosen not to invest or raise funds via ECF. We find that the large financial flows to entrepreneurs in the UK via the ECF platforms, nearly half a billion GBP since 2011, have probably been largely incremental to traditional sources of early stage entrepreneurial finance. Moreover, our research indicates that for the most part, investors appear to understand and appropriately evaluate the risks that they are bearing; ECF investments are perceived as a high risk, high return component within individuals’ portfolios. Investors also use their communication with peers and entrepreneurs via the ECF platform as a learning tool. On the entrepreneurs’ side, ECF allows them to test their products, to develop their brand, to build a loyal customer base and to turn customers into investors. We conclude that policymakers, with the support of a locally appropriate regulatory framework, could support equity crowdfunding as one of the market choices available for entrepreneurs looking to start or grow their ventures

Suggested Citation

  • Estrin, Saul & Gozman, Daniel & Khavul, Susanna, 2018. "The evolution and adoption of equity crowdfunding: entrepreneur and investor entry into a new market," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 87351, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:87351

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Open access version.
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Andy Cosh & Douglas Cumming & Alan Hughes, 2009. "Outside Enterpreneurial Capital," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(540), pages 1494-1533, October.
    2. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
    3. Lars Hornuf & Matthias Neuenkirch, 2017. "Pricing shares in equity crowdfunding," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 48(4), pages 795-811, April.
    4. Andrew M. Pettigrew, 1990. "Longitudinal Field Research on Change: Theory and Practice," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 1(3), pages 267-292, August.
    5. Mollick, Ethan, 2014. "The dynamics of crowdfunding: An exploratory study," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 1-16.
    6. Kshetri, Nir, 2015. "Success of Crowd-based Online Technology in Fundraising: An Institutional Perspective," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 100-116.
    7. Ajay Agrawal & Christian Catalini & Avi Goldfarb, 2014. "Some Simple Economics of Crowdfunding," Innovation Policy and the Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(1), pages 63-97.
    8. Ronald Klingebiel & John Joseph, 2016. "Entry timing and innovation strategy in feature phones," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(6), pages 1002-1020, June.
    9. Vulkan, Nir & Åstebro, Thomas & Sierra, Manuel Fernandez, 2016. "Equity crowdfunding: A new phenomena," Journal of Business Venturing Insights, Elsevier, vol. 5(C), pages 37-49.
    10. Khavul, Susanna & Chavez, Helmuth & Bruton, Garry D., 2013. "When institutional change outruns the change agent: The contested terrain of entrepreneurial microfinance for those in poverty," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 30-50.
    11. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1981. "Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 393-410, June.
    12. Christina Guenther & Sofia Johan & Denis Schweizer, 2018. "Is the crowd sensitive to distance?—how investment decisions differ by investor type," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 50(2), pages 289-305, February.
    13. Saul Estrin & Susanna Khavul, 2016. "Equity crowdfunding: a new model for financing entrepreneurship?," CentrePiece - The Magazine for Economic Performance 462, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    14. Silvio Vismara, 2016. "Equity retention and social network theory in equity crowdfunding," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 46(4), pages 579-590, April.
    15. Denis, David J., 2004. "Entrepreneurial finance: an overview of the issues and evidence," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 301-326, March.
    16. Garry D Bruton & Susanna Khavul & Helmuth Chavez, 2011. "Microlending in emerging economies: Building a new line of inquiry from the ground up," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 42(5), pages 718-739, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Cinta Borrero-Domínguez & Encarnación Cordón-Lagares & Rocío Hernández-Garrido, 2020. "Sustainability and Real Estate Crowdfunding: Success Factors," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(12), pages 1-13, June.
    2. Michael E. Cummings & Hans Rawhouser & Silvio Vismara & Erin L. Hamilton, 2020. "An equity crowdfunding research agenda: evidence from stakeholder participation in the rulemaking process," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 54(4), pages 907-932, April.
    3. Walthoff-Borm, Xavier & Schwienbacher, Armin & Vanacker, Tom, 2018. "Equity crowdfunding: First resort or last resort?," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 513-533.
    4. Anton Miglo, 2020. "Crowdfunding in a Competitive Environment," Journal of Risk and Financial Management, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 13(3), pages 1-38, February.
    5. Nguyen, Thang & Cox, Joe & Rich, Judy, 2019. "Invest or regret? An empirical investigation into funding dynamics during the final days of equity crowdfunding campaigns," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 784-803.
    6. Magnus Henrekson & Tino Sanandaji, 2018. "Stock option taxation: a missing piece in European innovation policy?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 51(2), pages 411-424, August.
    7. Anton Miglo, 2020. "Financing of Entrepreneurial Firms in Canada: Some Patterns," Administrative Sciences, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(3), pages 1-27, August.
    8. Simon Kleinert & Christine Volkmann & Marc Grünhagen, 2020. "Third-party signals in equity crowdfunding: the role of prior financing," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 54(1), pages 341-365, January.
    9. Claire Economidou & Luca Grilli & Magnus Henrekson & Mark Sanders, 2018. "Financial and Institutional Reforms for an Entrepreneurial Society," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 51(2), pages 279-291, August.
    10. Kazem Mochkabadi & Christine K. Volkmann, 2020. "Equity crowdfunding: a systematic review of the literature," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 54(1), pages 75-118, January.
    11. Yang Zhao & Xuemei Xie & Liuyong Yang, 0. "Female entrepreneurs and equity crowdfunding: the consequential roles of lead investors and venture stages," International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, Springer, vol. 0, pages 1-29.
    12. Aleksandrina Ralcheva & Peter Roosenboom, 2020. "Forecasting success in equity crowdfunding," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 55(1), pages 39-56, June.
    13. Lars Hornuf & Tobias Schilling & Armin Schwienbacher, 2019. "Are Equity Crowdfunding Investors Active Investors?," CESifo Working Paper Series 7884, CESifo.
    14. Borello, Giuliana & De Crescenzo, Veronica & Pichler, Flavio, 2019. "Factors for success in European crowdinvesting," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 106(C).

    More about this item


    Entrepreneurship Equity crowdfunding Early stage entrepreneurial finance Regulation Investor choices;

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G3 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance
    • M21 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Economics - - - Business Economics

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:87351. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (LSERO Manager). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.