Crowdfunding platform ShareIn is hoping that other sports fans could look to buy stakes in their favourite teams after launching a share issue for Hibernian.
The Edinburgh-based firm, led by co-founder and chief executive Jude Cook, yesterday helped Hibs kick off an effort for supporters to own up to 51 per cent of the Championship club.
ShareIn said the move marked the first time that a football club has enabled fans to buy shares directly on its own website.
Cook said: “I firmly believe the best place for a football club to have a share offer is from their own website.
“ShareIn offers the technology and handles the financial regulations so clubs like Hibernian can focus on promoting their campaign.”
Hibernian chief executive Leeann Dempster added: “We are committed to widening supporter ownership, up to a controlling interest of 51 per cent. We have also said that every penny we raise through the sale of new shares will be invested in funding the club’s football ambition. None of it will go to any existing shareholders.
“That means supporters can gain ownership, allowing them to protect and invest in their club, secure in the knowledge that the money they spend goes directly to the club they love and support. This is all about building momentum and securing the club’s future.”
ShareIn, based at the CodeBase technology incubator in Edinburgh, last year secured a $1 million (£717,000) investment amid plans to shift its focus towards helping companies raise cash directly from investors.
The firm, which is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, has already enabled a range of companies to meet their fundraising goals, including 3D display specialist Holoxica and Parkure, which is seeking a cure of Parkinson’s disease.
The crowdfunder is also behind plans for the world’s first fundraising drive to allow Chinese investors to buy shares directly in unlisted UK firms.