Peter Dodds, an Irish advertising and media industry veteran behind City-of-London.com, is planning to raise stg£100,000 from individual investors at the FT Digital Media Conference in London today.
Dodds’ start-up City-of-London.com is a new digital marketing platform aimed at the UK’s financial services industry.
The platform, owned by Dodds’ Showcasing City of London Financial Services Ltd, is looking to raise an initial stg£100,000 for 10pc of equity from individual investors with anything from stg£10 to stg£100,000 to invest.
Dodds is hoping to raise the funding through crowdfunding website Crowdcube.com, which has raised more than stg£5.7m to date for UK start-ups.
The City-of-London.com investment has qualified for SEIS (Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme) tax breaks of up to 78pc.
The SEIS scheme is available to UK tax payers only but Dodds, who has been based in Ireland since 1977, anticipates some interest from Irish investors or angels who can invest directly. “This is an opportunity for investors to take a stake in the revolution that is sweeping the advertising and marketing industry.”
Exploiting the digital revolution
Dodds, an advertising media veteran and new media enthusiast, worked with Ogilvy & Mather in London and Melbourne before setting up a media buying agency in Australia, later sold to management.
He said City-of-London.com is looking to exploit the digital revolution that is taking place across the media, advertising and marketing sectors.
“Digital advertising is recording double-digit growth and was worth stg£5.4bn of UK advertising spend in 2012. We believe that digital sponsorship will be even more powerful due to creative opportunities with video and customised content. The industry to date is only scratching the surface of the potential.”
The City-of-London.com platform will carry individual sponsored pages by financial services companies. Dodds will leverage his SEO and content management experience to drive traffic to individual pages. Some 350 pages will be available initially for sponsorship covering financial services, from pensions and wealth management to corporate finance and financial advisers.
The executive team includes Melanie Sheehy, CEO and solicitor who worked with law practice Matheson Ormsby & Prentice, and Douglas Moffitt, former financial editor with London’s Business Radio Station LBC.