What is SquareBook?
SquareBook is a technology platform for equity capital fundraising. We’re a multi-sided platform, where companies, their advisers and issuers come together to make equity capital raises happen in a more efficient, fair and transparent way than they have done for decades.
If you know equity capital markets, then you might find it difficult to get your head around exactly what SquareBook is (or you might not).
That’s because we don’t just digitise part of the existing process. We offer a new way for companies and investors to engage, and to plan and complete equity fundraising transactions. That includes private raises, IPOs and secondaries.
If you’re a company, you join the platform to:
- display your content, tell your story to potential investors, and engage with them over time
- gauge demand for your shares by inviting investors to carry out due diligence and valuation exercises
- execute your transaction using our unique multi-round auction format, guaranteeing a fair, transparent, competitive process
If you’re an investor, you can browse companies, engage with them, build relationships, conduct due diligence and take part in transactions.
If you’re an adviser, you can use SquareBook to digitise your business. You can not only carry out deals more efficiently using a range of digital tools; you can also give your clients wider market access, and with clearing and settlement for much of the market via our agency broker connectivity.
What is SquareBook NOT?
We’re not a bank, a broker, an adviser, an exchange, an MTF, a retail platform, or anything else that already exists.
SquareBook is a new category of service provider. One that’s been sorely needed by companies, financial markets, and society for decades.
What do you actually do?
SquareBook gives companies a toolkit to carry out three main activities:
- Investor relations
- Share pricing and allocation
- Deal execution
We do that by operating a technology platform that lets them engage with investors and carry out auctions.
Our innovation and one of the biggest benefits to companies is our auction technology. As auction experts, we give you the tools to structure an auction that works for your business and your specific goals.
Advisers get their own tools to let them manage companies’ deals.
Investors use the platform on the other side – finding potential investment opportunities and investing in them.
The whole thing is an alternative to the legacy book-building process. That’s the method typically used for all IPOs in Europe and the US.
But you can't do that, can you?
We’re FCA authorised and we developed our product and methodology after literally hundreds of meetings and interviews with market participants: issuers, senior investment professionals, leaders at major banks, brokers and advisory firms.
They all agree on one thing: everything about SquareBook makes complete sense.
The legacy process for IPOs and secondaries is just convention. There’s no regulation or law that says you have to use book-building for your IPO. There are aspects of book-building that make sense. In theory. But in practice the way it’s done is illogical, inefficient, and unfair. It’s suboptimal at best.
And while book-building ties companies into buying bundled services, carrying out your deal with SquareBook means an unbundled process where you benefit from greater buyer power. You choose where you get your corporate finance advisory, your research, or your sponsorship.
The accelerated book-build method used for secondaries is no better. It’s stressful and excludes too many investors.
SquareBook is finally a route to carrying out transactions that’s built from scratch to offer a good deal to everyone involved.
What kind of deals do you handle?
SquareBook is built for every kind of equity capital raise: private raises, IPOs and secondaries.
How do you make money?
SquareBook’s primary users are issuers (companies). It can be either the company or its adviser that pays us.
We charge a small monthly subscription fee to be on the platform (usually £1,000), and a transaction fee.
The transaction fee is a small percentage of your total raise. That percentage depends on the size of the raise and the nature of the engagement, but an average is around 1%.
Who do you mean by “advisers”?
An adviser can be any business that provides corporate finance advisory services, or that, through its regulatory status, could do so. That’s often banks and brokers, but it can also be boutique advisory firms, accountants, or lawyers, for example.
Can anyone sign up to SquareBook as an investor?
No, not currently. SquareBook is for use by specific types of investor, as categorised by the FCA:
- Professional clients
- Eligible counterparties
- Retail certified high net worth investors
Generally you need to be an investment professional or a retail certified HNWI.
However, one of our fundamental beliefs is that retail investors should have access to IPOs.
So while retail investors can’t invest directly via SquareBook, if you’re an issuer then you can choose to work with any platform you like to provide retail access alongside SquareBook. Those kinds of platforms are complelementary to what we do.
How do I sign up?
If you’re thinking about signing up your company and want to know more, we’ll be happy to answer any questions, talk you through the process and show you Ts and Cs.
If you’re an investor, it’s a simple onboarding process that we’d be happy to talk you through.