IRISH investors will be watching closely the success of an innovative new app dreamed up by a Mayo man – YouCapital – with a hook that has seen it described as “like a dating app for investment”.
Mayo man and serial entrepreneur Tom Gaughan believes that his latest venture is on the brink of big things.
“I live in quite an affluent area of West London, and I kept meeting investors who were looking around for the next big thing, or even something viable to invest in, and I thought: ‘Technology has to provide the answer to this’.”
Turning to marrying tech with meeting investors’ needs, Gaughan says: “Although the focus of the UK investor market is starting to shift from creation to development, there are still loads of people with fantastic, viable business ideas who cannot obtain the capital to start up. Any one of these, with capital, could be the next ‘unicorn’.”
He points out that YouCapital has a focus on providing a deep, valuable relationship, as unlike with crowd funding ventures, “YouCapital aims to match innovators with experienced investors – people who have real experience in growing companies”.
YouCapital’s execution and concept is simple: with the app downloaded to their smartphone, users simply register as an investor or an entrepreneur.
When a budding businessperson adds their project to the YouCapital marketplace, they are invited to define the opportunity by certain criteria – including the amount of investment sought, equity offered, area served, and so on.
They can also upload supporting documents, such as an outline business plan, messaging portfolio, or core marketing projections.
On the other side, backers registered on the app set their preferred investment profile – using similar criteria – and get a notification when a suitable opportunity is added to the marketplace.
“YouCapital started as an idea nearly eight years ago. Now technology and our understanding of the market have converged.
“We have put a lot of consideration into this, and we are really pleased to be able to launch the YouCapital app to the world.”
Although YouCapital is being rolled out in the UK, Mayo man Gaughan hasn’t forgotten his roots – indeed, he views the potential to capitalise on the Irish market as being a key move for YouCapital, with Irish investors and projects firmly in his sights.
He says: “YouCapital want to launch in Ireland as it’s a great test market, having a good mix of entrepreneurs and private individual investors/HNW, and if their product stands up the word will spread fast.
“We also see Ireland as a stepping stone to the American market now that Ireland is the European hub for American tech companies.
“YouCapital are also considering having their headquarters based in Ireland early next year.”
So watch this space – and the available business apps for your phone – as YouCapital turns its attention to the Irish market …