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Press Release:

THE GROWTH STAGE LAUNCHES THE WORLD’S FIRST FUNDING PLATFORM BUILT TO MEET INSTITUTIONAL DEMAND TO INVEST IN PRIVATE GROWTH COMPANIES

The platform provides growth stage companies access to over $4tn of assets under management and 10 of the world’s leading professional advisory firms

UK based company challenges the established model with highly competitive fee: just 1 per cent of funds raised

Unique platform, exclusively for regulated institutional investors, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority

London, 15th October 2018. The Growth Stage launches today as the world’s first funding platform for private growth companies to raise investment capital from regulated institutional investors. The company has signed up investors with over $4tn of assets under management, from pension funds, retail funds, hedge funds through to sovereign wealth funds and family offices.

Headquartered in London, The Growth Stage has been designed exclusively to marry the increasing demand from institutional investors around the world, to invest in high growth, scale-up companies, and for those companies to seek alternative sources of capital.

Directly challenging the traditional model by removing the barriers to accessing alternative sources of financing, The Growth Stage has no joining fee for private companies or institutional investors, and charges only 1% of funds raised – a highly competitive rate compared to alternative approaches to fund raising.

Simon Stewart, Co-Founder and CEO, The Growth Stage, said: “Traditionally, it has been very costly and difficult for private growth companies to get access to institutional investors to help finance the next stage of their growth. Institutional investors don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to investin the leading private high-growth global companies of today and tomorrow. A global platform enabling institutional investors and private growth companies to meet, and funds to be raised at lowcost didn’t exist, and this is exactly why we have created The Growth Stage. After two years of developing the business with our institutional investors and professional advisors, we are delighted to launch The Growth Stage today.”

The Growth Stage has also partnered with 10 of the world’s leading professional advisers, offering its members essential global business services and deal transaction expertise. They are Acuris Risk Intelligence, EY, Gallagher, Merrill Corporation, Sage, The&Partnership, Travers Smith, WeWork, WorldFirst and WSGR.

Debbie O’Hanlon, Regional Markets Leader at EY, said: “The Growth Stage has built a meeting place for entrepreneurs, investors and advisers that is set to become the launch pad for some of the world’sbiggest brands. EY is committed to working with entrepreneurial and fast-growth companies and helpsensure that we are working with more of tomorrow’s global leaders.”

The Growth Stage is a unique platform, exclusively for institutional investors, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and has been designed for primary and secondary equity and debt investments.

“We’re looking to invest a greater proportion of our assets in private companies and The Growth Stage provides us with a great platform to invest in global businesses,” said a world-leading Institutional Investor.

The Growth Stage is focusing on scale-up rather than start-up situations, where private companies are looking to raise more than $10 million. The company is on track to see a number of funding rounds completed in its first quarter.

Margot James MP, the Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries, said: “The Growth Stage has developed a brilliant solution to match some of the world’s most exciting and high growth businessesto the long-term institutional capital and advisory network they need to fulfil their growth potential. The firm is exemplary of the innovation in finance and technology that the UK excels in and highlightsits central role in the global investment community.”

The Growth Stage was founded by experienced City investors, advisers and entrepreneurs Simon Stewart and Simon Acton. They have since been joined by Jennie Holloway, who recently left her position at Goldman Sachs, where she was head of the alternative equity capital markets division in London and led on private funding.

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About The Growth Stage:

Headquartered in London, The Growth Stage was founded in 2017 as the world’s first digital platform designed to meet the increasing demand for institutional investors globally to invest in private, high-growth, scale-up companies, and for those companies to seek alternative sources of capital. The Growth Stage enables primary and secondary equity and debt funding. The private companies that The Growth Stage is bringing to investors typically require at least $10 million in funding, for Series A-Z stages of development. Investee companies pay The Growth Stage one per cent of the value of the funds raised, which is highly competitive compared to the fees associated with alternative fund-raising channels. There is no charge for companies seeking investment to join the platform nor for institutional investors. The company is backed by a team of leading advisers, providing companies seeking funds with the professional services support they need to generate the required capital and take their companies to the next stage. The partner advisers are: Acuris Risk Intelligence, EY, Gallagher, Merrill DataSiteOne, Sage, The&Partnership, Travers Smith, WeWork, World First and WSGR.www.thegrowthstage.com

The management team:

Simon Stewart, Co-Founder, Director and CEO
Set up his first business as a Dublin schoolboy, earned a business degree, worked at a London advertising agency and then got institutionalised for 25 years – in stockbroking, mostly at BZW and UBS doing European Equity sales. But the dizzy heights of Managing Director and Head of Equity Sales couldn’t stop his desire to return to his earlyentrepreneurial yearnings. Founding Lexikin (the platform to record your assets, wishes, memories and legacies, in case of fire, theft or death) led to a new network of CEOs asking him for growth stage funding from hisinstitutional clients. When those clients running trillions of dollars said ‘yes’, an efficient platform (i.e. TheGrowth Stage) connecting the two was born. He has a house full of start-ups, with Lexikin.com, his wife’s HonorBeach.com, a 12-year-old son in growth stage, and 9-year-old daughter still in early stage – some require funding.

Simon Acton, Co-Founder and Director
Simon qualified as an accountant in Dublin when the Celtic Tiger was a cub, did his Master’s degree in Scotland, then joined Ulster Bank in Dublin to manage long-only pension funds. He moved to Cazenove in London to manage retail and institutional long-only portfolios, followed by a long stint at a hedge fund running long-short European equities, and time prop-trading at a Japanese bank. Simon saw the light and decided to become an entrepreneur by helping companies grow and raise money. He realised, along with his co-founders, that private companies seeking growth capital needed a low cost and better funding alternative, and so The Growth Stage was created.

Jennie Holloway, Co-Founder
Through 15 years in investment banking, Jennie has advised companies and their shareholders on raising $20bn+ of private and public capital from the full spectrum of investors – VCs, institutional investors, sovereign wealth funds, pensions and family offices. Jennie has always been at the more entrepreneurial end of investment banking; she started Goldman Sachs’ European equity privateplacement business (raising private funding for private companies) and was a founding member of the alternative capital raising team. She felt the need to get out there and do something entrepreneurial for real and what better place than a disruptive platform helping entrepreneurs through their financing journey.

10 of the World’s leading Professional Advisers offer our members essential global business services and deal transaction expertise:

  • Acuris Risk Intelligence – Anti-Money Laundering, Third-Party Risk and Cyber Security Services
  • EY – Assurance, Advisory, Tax and Transaction Advisory Services
  • Gallagher – Insurance, Risk Management and Consulting
  • Merrill Corp – DataSiteOne data rooms for secure content sharing, regulated communications and disclosure services
  • Sage – integrated accounting, payroll, and payment systems
  • The&Partnership – marketing agencies combining creativity, technology and data, backed by WPP
  • Travers Smith – one of the UK’s leading corporate, financial and commercial law firms
  • WeWork – workspaces that transform buildings into dynamic environments
  • WorldFirst – award-winning experts in international payment solutions
  • WSGR – the premier US legal advisor to technology, life sciences and growth enterprises
    For further information, contact

    Simon Barker
    +44 (0)7866 314331simon@touchpapermarketing.com

    James Harrison +44 (0)7904160840

The Growth Stage™ Limited is a company registered in England and Wales, registration number 10833705, with its registered office at 4th Floor, 18 St. Cross Street, London, EC1N 8UN, UK

The Growth Stage™ Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority