It’s been a busy year for NR Private Market, the online private investment platform that has hitherto focused on raising funds for the mining sector.
“We’ve now done ten mining deals with a total value of £15mln,” says chief executive Rich Lloyd.
“We’re starting to make money off the platform.”
Not only that, but NR Private Market has also recently demonstrated its value to investors outside of the mining sector too.
The platform recently facilitated its first Fintech deal, helping Hi55, a payroll funding company, to raise new money for expansion, ahead of a listing next year.
“We always said we’d branch out and do other verticals,” says Lloyd.
“Now, these sorts of opportunities, bigger, better and different deals are coming our way.”
Now, though, it’s the turn of NR Private Market itself, or to be precise the holding company that owns it, MINEXIA, to raise money for expansion.
“We’ve gone from proof of concept to minimum viable product,” says Lloyd.
“Now, the question is: how can we get bigger?”
There are two ways to answer that question. One is for the platform to host more deals. The second is for the size of the deals it does to be bigger.
Both are on the cards, given that the word is beginning to spread that NR Private Market is a viable option for funding.
To enable the growth, though, the company needs to make sure that the technological infrastructure is robust enough to cope. And, now that proof of concept is well established, it also needs to ensure that it controls as much of that technology as possible.
Accordingly, MINEXIA is raising £350,000 for the platform’s development, and raising it moreover on the NR Private Market platform itself. This allows investors to undertake an easy bit of unofficial due diligence on the way in: if the platform functions well and delivers a good service as they are contemplating their investment, then so much the better.
The money raised, says Lloyd, will secure the intellectual property that drives the platform. Or, as he puts it: “we’ll have control of the engine as well as the rest of the car.”
That ownership is important not just from the proprietary point of view, or even in terms of retaining as much value as possible inside of the company. A crucial aspect is that it will allow the platform to be nimble.
“Every deal we do we learn something new,” explains Lloyd. “If we own our infrastructure we can sort out issues immediately.”
Although the Hi55 financing has gone well, the likelihood that the company will do much more in the Fintech space requires it to be able to adapt and change in response to the needs of a new type of clientele.
Lloyd is investigating the development of a secondary market platform too, at some stage, although the timing on this remains up for discussion.
So, what can new investors expect if they buy into MINEXIA at this stage?
For one thing, although this is an early stage company, there’s already a track record of success. Lloyd is careful to point out that the last raise was done at 12.5p, while this one is being done at 15p.
“At the time of the last raise we weren’t turning a profit each month, we are now” he says. “But you’re still getting in at an early stage. This fundraise is going to see us into a very stable place.”
The implication is, that with cash already coming in, future dilution is likely to be minimal, and that the business will be self-sustaining from here on in.
Accordingly, Lloyd has a clear set of limits for current raise.
“The fundraising will be open till the middle or end of January,” he says. “But it may close quite quickly. If we fill £350,000 we’ll probably close it off. I don’t want to dilute my current shareholder base. £350,000 is what we budgeted and £350,000 is what we need.”