Don't invest unless you’re prepared to lose all the money you invest. This is a high risk investment and you are unlikely to be protected if something goes wrong.
Estimated reading time: 2 min
Due to the potential for losses, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) considers this investment to be high risk.
What are the key risks?
You could lose all the money you invest
Most investments are shares in start-up businesses or bonds issued by them. Investors in these shares or bonds often lose 100% of the money they invested, as most start-up businesses fail.
Certain of these investments can be held in an Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA). An IFISA does not reduce the risk of the investment or protect you from losses, so you can still lose all your money. It only means that any potential returns will be tax free.
Checks on the businesses you are investing in, such as how well they are expected to perform, may not have been carried out by the platform you are investing through. You should do your own research before investing.
You won't get your money back quickly
Even if the business you invest in is successful, it will likely take several years to get your money back.
The most likely way to get your money back is if the business is bought by another business or lists its shares on an exchange such as the London Stock Exchange. These events are not common.
Start-up businesses very rarely pay you back through dividends. You should not expect to get your money back this way.
Some platforms may give you the opportunity to sell your investment early through a ‘secondary market’ or 'bulletin board', but there is no guarantee you will find a buyer at the price you are willing to sell.
Don't put all your eggs in one basket
Putting all your money into a single business or type of investment for example, is risky. Spreading your money across different investments makes you less dependent on any one to do well. A good rule of thumb is not to invest more than 10% of your money in high-risk investments.
The value of your investment can be reduced
If your investment is shares, the percentage of the business that you own will decrease if the business issues more shares. This could mean that the value of your investment reduces, depending on how much the business grows. Most start-up businesses issue multiple rounds of shares.
These new shares could have additional rights that your shares don’t have, such as the right to receive a fixed dividend, which could further reduce your chances of getting a return on your investment.
You are unlikely to be protected if something goes wrong
Protection from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), in relation to claims against failed regulated firms, does not cover poor investment performance. Try the FSCS investment protection checker here.
Protection from the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) does not cover poor investment performance. If you have a complaint against an FCA-regulated platform, FOS may be able to consider it. Learn more about FOS protection here.
If you are interested in learning more about how to protect yourself, visit the FCA's website here. For further information about investment-based crowdfunding, visit the FCA's website here.
Opportunities on CoInvestor put your capital at risk
As with all investments, the offers shown on the CoInvestor platform will place your capital at risk: Investors may not get back the full amount invested.
Before making any investment it is important to understand the risks associated with it. In addition to the points below, each offer listed on this site is likely to have specific risks associated with them, you should therefore refer to the information provided on each offer for further details.
Decision to invest
Any decision whether or not to invest is yours. If you are in any doubt about a particular investment, we highly recommend that you speak to a regulated financial adviser or wealth manager.
We do not provide advice to investors and the information on this website should not be construed as such. The information which appears on our website is for information purposes only and does not constitute specific advice. Neither does it constitute a solicitation, offer or recommendation to invest in or dispose of, any investment. If you are in any doubt as to the suitability of an investment, you should seek independent financial advice.
The value of investments can go down as well as up. Unlisted investments are more volatile than quoted shares.
CoInvestor does not provide financial or taxation advice and you should always consult a financial expert or taxation specialist in order to fully understand the possible consequences of investment in a CoInvestor product. The current levels of taxation and tax reliefs may change in the future. Tax relief depends on an investor's individual circumstances, and we recommend that you seek specialist tax or financial advice before investing.
Please note that any reference made to past performance or forecasted performance is not a reliable indicator of future results.
Investment through CoInvestor involves buying shares (equity) in small and medium sized businesses which, by nature of their size, may involve significant risk. Many small and medium sized businesses fail or do not grow as planned. It is likely that you may lose all, or some of your investment and you should therefore only invest an amount that you can afford to lose.
Shares in small and medium size businesses cannot easily be sold and it is very unlikely that there will be a secondary market for the shares that you acquire. This means that you are unlikely to be able to sell your shares until and unless the investee company floats on a stock market or securities exchange, or is bought by another company. Even for a successful business, a flotation or purchase is unlikely to occur for a number a years from the time you make your investment.
Rarity of Dividends
Small and medium sized businesses are rarely able to pay dividends. This means that if you invest in a business through the platform, even if it is successful and grows substantially, you are unlikely to see any return of capital or profit until you are able to sell your shares in the investee company. This is unlikely to occur for a number of years from the time you make your investment.
Any investment you make is likely to be subject to dilution. This means that if the business raises additional capital at a later date, it will issue new shares in the investee company to the new investors, and the percentage of the investee company that you own will decline. These new shares may also have certain preferential rights to dividends, sale proceeds and other matters, and the exercise of these rights may work to your disadvantage. Your investment may also be subject to dilution as a result of the grant of options (or similar rights to acquire shares) to employees of, service providers to, or certain other parties connected with, the investee company.
Transfer of funds
CoInvestor will never request your bank details or ask you to transfer funds to a CoInvestor account. When making an investment through CoInvestor, all digital application forms are completed through the platform after logging in and will never be arranged outside of the platform.
We will never ask you for money. If you have been contacted by an individual on social media claiming to be from CoInvestor and are being asked to invest, these claims are not legitimate and have no affiliation with CoInvestor. Please report these accounts directly to Action Fraud at https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/.
If you have any questions, please speak to us using the live chat icon at the bottom right of the screen.