News: British television presenter Kevin McCloud's design-led housing development firm has broken the world record for equity crowdfunding by securing investments in excess of £1.9 million from members of the public via online platform Crowdcube.
Established by the presenter of television series Grand Designs to build well-designed, affordable and sustainable housing, Hab Housing Limited (HAB) closed its crowdfunding investment campaign last night having beaten the previous record of £1.5 million with pledges of £1,904,540.
It is the largest amount of money raised using an online equity crowdfunding platform, where people fund a business in return for a share in the company. This differs from more well-known forms of crowdfunding like Kickstarter, where a community of people donate money online to back individual projects in return for prizes or products.
Almost 650 individuals invested amounts ranging from £100 to £150,000 each and now own a combined share of 25.39 per cent of the equity in the business. The money will be used to fund the expansion of the business in the custom-build housing market. HAB hopes to offer investors a five per cent dividend by the end of 2016, but investors have also been offered preferential terms on a HAB custom-build home, invitations to project visits and events with McCloud.
HAB's investment was raised over 13 weeks via crowdfunding equity website Crowdcube, who themselves raised £1.5 million in May to fund their own business.
Hab, which stands for Happiness Architecture Beauty, was founded in 2007 with the aim of building well-designed, affordable and environmentally-friendly housing.
In 2011, architecture critic Rowan Moore said that a housing development built by HAB would be a positive attempt at reversing the trend for "unimaginative, overpriced, undersized" properties in the UK.
Haboakus, Hab's partnership with housing provider GreenSquare, is currently selling properties on its second development of 78 new homes in Stroud, Gloucestershire, and planning permission has been obtained for three projects in Oxford which will offer 109 homes, a retail space and a sports and community centre.