The UK’s first regional ‘social’ stock exchange set up with Liverpool and Wirral councils is already showing signs of success as it welcomes its latest member Videregen, a clinical stage regenerative medicine company developing personalised organ replacements.
Liverpool and Wirral Social Stock Exchange (LWSSX), launched earlier this year as the local office of the London Social Stock Exchange. Through membership of the Social Stock Exchange, Videregen is seeking to attract significant investment through a network of impact investors and brokers, with the potential to float on the Social Stock Exchange. The aim of the exchange is to connect social impact businesses looking to raise capital to grow, with socially minded investors.
Liverpool has a strong history of trading, with its own stock exchange and dedicated trading floor in operation from 1836 until 1965.
Videregen is the third member to join the LWSSX in the last quarter along with Rezatec, a geo-spatial data technology company and Acrobat Carbon Services, a funding partner to energy companies.
Founded in 2011, Videregen is based at Liverpool Science Park. Its lead programme is a tissue engineered trachea replacement and its patented technology and know-how is also being applied to the development of other organ replacement products, including mucosal lining, small bowel and liver replacements.
Steve Bloor, CEO of Videregen, said:
“We are pleased to be joining the Social Stock Exchange, membership of which underlines the potential impact for both patients and healthcare systems of our portfolio of replacement organs for orphan diseases. It also aims to give Videregen access to an important new source of finance to enable us to make our products commercially available as soon as possible.”
Debbie Ryan, executive director at the Social Stock Exchange, said:
“We’re thrilled to welcome Videregen as one of our founding members, this is another milestone for LWSSX and demonstrates the growing demand for access to finance from impact businesses in the Liverpool City Region.
“Impact investing offers a significant opportunity for Liverpool and Wirral. Not only it seeks to unlock capital for existing businesses and connect them with advisors, but it aims to drive inward investment into the region. Our pipeline is looking strong which is a good sign that the Social Stock Exchange localisation strategy is working”
Cllr Phil Davies, leader of Wirral Council, comments:
“Welcoming Videregen into the Liverpool and Wirral Stock Exchange is yet more proof of the positive impact the stock exchange is having on investment in the Liverpool City Region.
“We have a proud history of supporting socially-responsible investment, and the Social Stock Exchange absolutely fits with our vision of making Wirral and the rest of the Liverpool City Region an attractive place for investment in responsible and sustainable businesses.”
Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, comments:
“The Liverpool City Region is home to a wealth of social impact businesses so it’s fantastic to see the Liverpool and Wirral Social Stock Exchange continuing to attract innovative companies such as Videregen to its network.
“We’re proud to be involved with the LWSSX and see businesses that are working on truly ground-breaking projects and technologies be given the opportunity to grow.”
LWSSX has plans to attract more than ten members in the coming months along with a network of advisors and impact investors.
It is thought that LWSSX could generate support for up to 108 businesses who aim to make a social, environmental or ethical impact, and potentially raise up to £75 million in capital.
Businesses wanting to apply need to initially complete a simple two-page application to the Exchange, and providing they meet the criteria they submit an impact report to the independent admissions panel. Around half of the companies that approach the exchange are granted membership, and an impact report has to be resubmitted on an annual basis.