A controversial property crowdfunding platform, criticised in the past on TV's Dragon’s Den, has gone into administration.
The House Crowd was launched in 2012 and according to its website had seen 400 investments adding up to a total of £123.9m.
Its objective was to enable individuals to buy into projects which acquired, renovated and re-sold properties.
The crowdfunding site’s founder was Frazer Fearnhead, a former music industry lawyer who started investing in property in 1994 but in the early 2000s hit financial problems and sold his consultancy for £2m.
In 2015 Fearnhead appeared on BBC Two’s Dragons Den seeking a £1m investment from one or more Dragons in return for just five per cent of equity in The House Crowd - a business which at the time he valued at £20m.
He told the Dragons that the £1m would allow The House Crowd to raise up to £125m.
However, this was questioned by the Dragons who all held back from investing; one said that the proposition and pitch from Fearnhead was “the most disrespectful pitch from an individual...I never expected to hear and be offended in this way.” She went on to say it had been a complete waste of time.
Now The House Crowd is in administration with Quantuma Advisory Limited acting as administrator; the crowdfund website sets out ways for concerned investors to make contact.
The site says: “This website will be used to provide investors and creditors with information and is being updated when information becomes available on the administrations … With a large volume of enquiries anticipated, the Joint Administrators thank you in advance for your patience and cooperation at this time.”
You can see the administrators' notice here, and the ill-fated Dragon’s Den pitch here.