Industry News

Founders Series: WiseAlpha CEO, Rezaah Ahmad, Talks to OFF3R

Aisling Browne
Written by Aisling Browne

The OFF3R Team caught up with WiseAlpha’s founding partner and CEO, Rezaah Ahmad, to discuss their recent crowdfunding round on Crowdcube.

Tell us a little bit about WiseAlpha and the team.

I started my career in M&A and Leveraged Finance at Deutsche Bank, executing numerous multi-billion debt financings, going on to work at a fund investing in senior secured loans, high-yield bonds, credit derivatives, equity and distressed debt. I was a Board Director and Strategic Advisor to TeleColumbus, a German cable television business.

Our CTO Aidan Hamade, spent 6 years working as a Development Manager and Solutions Architect, building custom applications for multinationals including HSBC and Deutsche Bank. He also, founded a Digital Agency, Guerilla Software, working alongside Google Ideas and Shine Group to design and create web-based platforms. Aidan studied Mathematics with Artificial Intelligence and graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 2002 at the top of his class.

We believe WiseAlpha is the first online lending market in the world for investors of all size to access the institutional bond and loan market. In our opinion, the institutional debt market has been one of the slowest to move online and create wide investor access. We believe in a fairer investment world, where everyday investors aren’t shut out by the financial elite from accessing the biggest and best investments, hence wiseAlpha was born.

 Tell us about this round of funding? What are your future plans?

We are raising a minimum of £500k but hope to significantly exceed this so we can fast-track growth e.g. adding development resource and marketing spend, to further our product development and begin our expansion into Europe. Ultimately, we plan to expand into new asset classes, markets, not easily available to the everyday investor, and globally.

Why did you choose Equity Crowdfunding?

We actually have a combination of both, a group of large HNW angel investors alongside the crowd. We believe that everyday investors (the crowd) will be natural users of our platform, as they will see the value of the product. As we are currently an individual investor focused platform our natural referral network will be our stakeholders who will want to see us develop further ultimately benefiting them from a product standpoint as well as equity value growth

We had a positive experience with Crowdcube before and the raise enabled us to meet some interesting investors we didn’t know and who have been helpful in connecting to others.

What are you expecting from this round of funding?

We are expecting this round of funding to give the company greater visibility and to fast track our expansion.

How do you in engage with your current investor base? And how do you plan to engage with new investors from this round?

We send regular investor communications and details of new investments. We plan to continue engaging in the same manner with new investors from this round, further improving and refining that communication flow. The fact that the first 95% of our target investment has come from our existing investors tells us they believe in what we are trying to do! We hope new investors have the same experience.

What are some lessons you’ve learned from previous funding rounds?

Increase your marketing and visibility during a campaign. Make sure you get your pitch right and your messages clear. Regular communication to keep your investors informed.

Whats the typical WiseAlpha user?

WiseAlpha users come from all types of background from the everyday investor (millennials to retirees) to the more sophisticated financial investor. WiseAlpha welcome all types of investors.

Please visit the Bonds channel on OFF3R to compare the available opportunities from WiseAlpha.

About the author

Aisling Browne

Aisling Browne

Aisling is the partnerships manager at OFF3R. Prior to OFF3R, she spent time working in New York at a property development business and subsequently for the British Red Cross in London. Aisling has a BA in Politics and International Relations.