These FAQs are intended to help you get to know us and to understand how crowdfunding via aescuvest works.

In addition, we have put together a glossary for you to learn the meaning of financial terms used on our platform. Please do not hesitate to contact us directly in case you have additional questions or feel we should add content to the FAQs and/or glossary.

FAQs are listed according to the following topics:

Questions & answers about aescuvest

  • What is aescuvest?

    aescuvest international GmbH (Ltd.) is a fintech and a marketing service provider for start-up and growth companies of the health sector. Founded in Frankfurt in 2014, it operates the first vertical crowdfunding platform for companies from the health sector in Germany and Europe, aescuvest.de.

    aescuvest is not a bank. aescuvest has a public license as a facilitator of loan contracts and financial investment products. It is also able to broker securities under a liability umbrella (BN & Partners Capital AG).

  • Who is the team behind the platform?

    aescuvest was founded by Dr. Patrick Pfeffer, a bioinformatics scientist with a working background in digital marketing for pharma companies and digital health media, together with a team of friends and former business associates that combine over 100 years of experience in the health and financial sector.

  • What is aescuvest’s track record?

    Since 2015, 15 crowdfunding campaigns have been run on the German platform, out of which 13 have been financed successfully, collecting a total of € 7m (incl. VC, business angels and public funding).

  • Where are you based?

    aescuvest is based in Frankfurt / Germany.

  • What sectors does aescuvest target?

    We support three core sectors

    • Biotechnology – Process engineering, pharmaceutical development, science to clients
    • Digital Health – Such as computational technologies, smart devices, digital tracking
    • Medical Technology – Inventors of hardware, such as medical tools, instruments and machines
  • How do investors make money on aescuvest.eu?

    On aescuvest.eu, investors become owners of profit-participation certificates that are issued by a special purpose vehicle (SPV) which in itself will become a shareholder of the company raising funds. Like a typical venture capitalist or business angel, investors on aescuvest.eu expect an increase in the value of the company they invest in. The capital gain will be realized at the time of the exit, which could be simply by selling the shares, or at an exit event, e.g. when the whole company is sold. The investment horizon usually is 5 – 7 years. As the company becomes more valuable, so do the shares. Dividend payments are possible but will rather be the exception than the rule.

    Investors have to consider the risk that the business fails. Failure is not uncommon, especially among start-up and early-stage businesses. In that case, the return could be less than the amount invested or even nothing at all.

Questions & answers about EIT Health

  • What is EIT Health?

    The goal of EIT Health is to contribute to increasing the competitiveness of European industry, improve the quality of life of Europe’s citizens and the sustainability of healthcare systems.
    EIT Health e.V. (registered association) is a Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC) established by the European Institute for Innovation & Technology (EIT), an independent EU body set up in 2008 to promote innovation and entrepreneurship across Europe. EIT Health is a consortium of more than 50 core partners and 90 associate partners from leading businesses, research centers and universities from across 14 EU countries. EIT Health was designated as an EIT Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC) by the EIT Governing Board on 09 December 2014.
    The regional structure of EIT Health extends across Europe. With the headquarters in Munich (Germany), EIT Health has established six co-location centers in London (UK / Ireland), Stockholm (Scandinavia), Barcelona (Spain), Paris (France), Mannheim and Heidelberg (Germany / Switzerland) and Rotterdam (Belgium / Netherlands). All six co-location centers are defined by the EU Innovation Scorecard as high innovation performers.
    With the twin goals of leveraging diversity and driving the potential of emerging innovation clusters, EIT Health has added the “EIT Health InnoStars” to its network. These regional clusters consist of industry partners, academia, and health providers linked to seven regions in six countries – Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Italy, and Wales. Each region represents research specialties and socio-economic structures that ideally complement the EIT Health co-location centers while ensuring wider participation and outreach across Europe’s multifaceted innovation landscape.
    EIT Health aims to, among others:

    • support and grow new products / services
    • create new start-ups
    • have students taking part in its educational online programs
    • incubate approximately new business ideas
  • Does EIT Health directly invest into companies?

    No, the EITH programs bring together the three sides of the knowledge triangle – education, research and innovative business creation. To reach our goals, we connect the expertise of our partners in each of these domains through three programs:

    • Campus
    • Accelerator
    • Innovation Projects
  • How many applications does EIT Health get for its diverse / accelerator programs?

    About 500 applications from companies per year are submitted to EIT Heath.

Questions & answers for collaboration / European platform

  • How do aescuvest.eu and EIT Health both benefit from the collaboration?

    The collaboration with EIT Health provides aescuvest.eu with an incomparable access to the most interesting start-ups of the European health sector. EIT Health receives hundreds of applications from entrepreneurs that want to join the diverse accelerator activities. In addition, the collaboration opens access to the partner network of EIT Health – more than 140 leading European organisations spanning key areas of healthcare, such as pharma, medtech, payers, research institutions and universities.

  • Has EIT Health invested in aescuvest?

    No, EIT Health does neither invest nor provide a grant. aescuvest GmbH is a contracted provider of services to EIT Health.

  • Does aescuvest invest/co-invest in start-ups/SMEs?

    No, aescuvest.eu is not an investor. aescuvest.eu is a facilitator, a platform that matches capital seeking companies with private investors, business angels and VCs.

  • How much money can a start-up/SME potentially raise via aescuvest.eu?

    There will be two different models:

    • Issues of securities without prospectus: possible up to € 1m,
    • Issues of securities with prospectus: from € 1m upwards, without legal limitation.

    aescuvest.eu focusses on funding volumes up to € 10m.

  • How do you perform the company valuation?

    For the company valuation we use Equidam, an online valuation platform that calculates a company’s value based on five different valuation methods. This valuation has to be approved by an independent auditor.

Questions & answers for companies

  • How do you target companies?

    First, EIT Health is promoting the platform to the participants of its diverse accelerator programs (several hundreds). However, the platform is open to all innovative companies that match the criteria for a successful funding campaign. Accordingly, aescuvest.eu promotes the platform via media and through partnerships with additional accelerator programs, start-up initiatives, etc. We are also cooperating with start-up-scouts.

  • What phase of development are these targets usually in?

    The development stages accepted by aescuvest.eu generally range from seed to growth companies. The focus, however, is on scale – start-ups that have developed their idea and begun to market it. Companies can scale up the size of their business and scale out to new markets. A crowdfunding campaign can get entrepreneurs beyond the start-up phase and help small enterprises become big ones.

  • How do you filter / whet companies?

    There are two hurdles an applicant has to face:

    1. Expert Evaluation of business plan by the Investment Committee of aescuvest.eu
    2. Personal pitch presentation to aescuvest management

    Once the applicant has taken these hurdles, it has to provide a comprehensive documentation of the company’s history, that will be thoroughly reviewed and incorporated in a securities prospectus. The prospectus will be filed with the German Securities Authority (BaFin) for approval.

  • Who can apply? Are companies limited by their origin country?

    In general, the platform is accessible for companies and investors from all EU countries. However, a strong base of “local” supporters is of advantage for a successful crowdfunding campaign and investors tend to be biased to invest in domestic companies. Accordingly, there will be a special focus on companies from the Austria, UK, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and the U.K. in the early phase of the platform.

  • How much money can a company raise via aescuvest.eu?

    In general, a company can raise up to € 1 million without issuing prospectus, or by providing an issuing prospectus from € 1 million to an infinite amount (theoretically). Officially we say € 0.5m to 10m.

  • Which follow-up obligations arise from an issuance on aescuvest.eu?

    Companies that raised funds via aescuvest.eu have to provide an annual financial statement, quarterly updates on the business development and have to inform investors in due time about significant events.

  • What kind of legal structure is offered via aescuvest.eu?

  • How does it work with a standardised prospectus for different companies?

    The profit participation certificate is issued by an SPV, which in itself will become a shareholder in the start-up. For every issue, we have the same structure of SPV and security. All these parts will remain in the prospectus, only the part of the start-up description will be changed with every single issuance.

  • What financial authority is approving the Prospectus?

    The prospectus the aescuvest.eu offering is based on, are approved by BaFin, the German securities and financial services authority. This is due to the fact, that the SPV as issuer of the notes is registered in Germany and according to German law. For standardisation reasons, we stick to one location independent from the start-up’s country of origin.

  • How many investors does the company have to deal with, once decisions have to be taken?

    A neutral trustee holds the shares in the SPV who also assumes the role of the SPV’s management. Under a standardised trusteeship agreement concluded between the Platform and the Trustee, also for the benefit of the crowd investors, the trustee undertakes, in particular, to exercise – in the best interests of crowd investors – the voting rights the SPV acquires in the start-up. To minimize the trustee’s discretionary powers (and, thus, his potential liability arising from this contractual relationship), the trusteeship agreement includes rules and instructions for typical situations, e.g. regarding subsequent investments and exit. In addition, a voting mechanism is implemented for the crowd investors (“Crowd Vote” / “Crowd Veto”) to allow them to make fundamental decisions regarding the shareholding. This voting mechanism is binding on all crowd investors in accordance with the terms and conditions of the participation certificate.
    This investor pooling at the level of the individual project, combined with VC market standard rules for follow-up financing and exit ensures that follow-up financing rounds for the start-up are not restricted by receiving crowd capital.

Questions & answers for investors

  • Who can invest on aescuvest.eu and how can one invest?

    Any natural person of full legal capacity and corporations may invest via aescuvest.eu. To invest, you firstly have to register on the platform, and you have to exercise an online identification process.

  • What financial instruments are offered via aescuvest.eu?

    In order to allow for EU-wide digital financing for start-ups via a uniform financial instrument, project-specific, special purpose vehicles (“Issuing SPV”) is formed for every funding campaign. The SPV will issue standardised financial instruments – profit-participation certificates (‘notes’) – to refinance the acquisition of an equity shareholding in the given start-up. The notes will thus track the respective start-up’s performance (ongoing dividend payments) and all increases in its company value in case of an exit.

  • What returns will be offered to investors?

    The investors participate in the SPV’s profits and losses from start of the issuer’s business year. The notes will thus track the respective start-up’s performance (e.g. ongoing dividend payments) and all increases in its company value in case of an exit.

  • What’s the duration of the investment?

    In general, the equity-like instrument carries an infinite duration. The earliest possible ordinary termination date is typically after 15 years.
    The notes may be terminated for cause, e.g. if the start-up is taken over by an investor or another company.

  • What is the minimum amount I have to invest and is there an investment limit for retail investors?

    The minimum investment is € 1,000. In the initial phase until December 31, 2019, the threshold is lowered to € 500. There is no limit for investments, as all on aescuvest.eu intermediated instruments are MiFID qualified financial instruments.

  • Why do you need to know the details of my bank account?

    Firstly, we need to know your bank account in order to be able to pay back your investment in the case a funding campaign did not succeed, or to forward dividend payments to you.

    Secondly, for money laundering provisions, we are obliged to accept investments only in the case that they have been transferred from a known bank account.

  • What costs occur for registration or investments?

    Investing via aescuvest.eu is free of charges for the investor. However, if an exit occurs, the platform operator is entitled to a carried interest. The payment of an carried interest is subject and net to minimum return of 10 % p.a., calculated on an IRR basis.

  • What are the costs of investing via the aescuvest platform?

    There are no costs charged to the investor. From the invested amount a part is used to cover funding and administrative costs as described in the Prospectus. This will decrease the amount the funding amount that eventually is being disbursed to the start-up. These costs include e.g. running costs of the SPV management and the trustee bank.

  • How fast do I have to transfer the amount invested?

    After proceeding an investment on aescuvest.eu, you will have to transfer the amount within 3 banking days into an escrow account. Your investment will only be transferred to the start-up if the funding threshold is reached.

  • Can I withdraw from my investment?

    A withdrawal from your investment is possible within 14 days according to statutory regulations.

  • Are gains, losses, dividends from my investment subject to taxation?

    Gains, losses, dividends from investments are subject to taxation according to the laws of the investor’s country of residence. Investors should consult with their tax advisor. aescuvest will provide a tax certificate with every payment.

  • Can I sell / transmit / leave my investment before the end of an investment period?

    In general, it is possible to sell, transmit or leave your notes. However, a secondary market for trading notes does neither exist nor is it intended to establish a listing. Accordingly, it is not certain if notes could actually be sold.