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British crowdfunding site to allow cross-border investment


By Kylie MacLellan LONDON (Reuters) – A British website which allows members of the public to buy stakes in small unlisted businesses is expanding across Europe, saying it was responding to demand to open the site beyond Britain. As banks rein in lending due to tougher capital rules and greater regulatory scrutiny, crowdfunding, which originated as a way to raise money for creative projects, has expanded rapidly as an alternative source of finance. Last year crowdfunding websites helped companies and individuals worldwide raise $2.7 billion from members of the public, an 81 percent increase on 2011. “We kept getting emails from people saying ‘why won’t you let me invest or raise (money)?’ … we have seen a tremendous amount of demand,” said Chief Executive Jeff Lynn.

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