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FAQs

General Questions

What products can I invest in?

You can invest in:

  1. real estate 
  2. start ups (also called venture capital)
  3. Fixed income (also called sukuk or Islamic bonds)

There are 2 ways to do this: 

1) Deal by Deal - this is where you choose the individual deal that meet your needs 

2) Fund - this is a portfolio of investments so you don't have to do the choosing and get instant diversification.

What fees does Cur8 charge to investors?

Please refer to our Fees page.

Are your deals UK based only?

While most of our deals come from the UK, we invest globally and frequently review projects in North America, South America, East Asia, the Middle East and Africa. 

I am not a UK based investor. Can I still invest in a Cur8 deal?

Yes! We have investors from all over the world that are part of the platform. There is no difference in our offering between UK and international investors.

You may however face some additional onboarding checks as part of our regulatory duties.

What is the Cur8 Membership?

The Cur8 Membership is an annual subscription that:

  1. Gives you fee discounts on investments.
  2. Gives you access to a range of educational and personal finance material for free.

It makes a lot of financial sense to become a Member if you are planning to invest over £30,000 with us.

You can find out more about how to become a member here.

Are my investments Sharia-compliant?

Yes, all investments we bring to our investors are sharia-compliant.

Startup investing by its nature is Sharia-compliant as it is a pure equity based investment. We screen startups to make sure they are not operating in any non-Sharia compliant industries such as alcohol or gambling. Additionally 80% of our current investments are in impact industries.

On the real estate side we partner with sharia-compliant providers who use only Islamic financing if necessary.

On the fixed income side we partner with sharia-compliant providers who invest only in Islamic bonds.

One of our founding partners, Ibrahim Khan, has a masters degree in Islamic Finance as well as an Alimiyyah degree, and so he does majority of the screening. In addition to Ibrahim, we currently have two other Muftis that we engage with when needed. You can find out more about them on our forum.

Since Cur8 itself invests and/or gets a profit share from deals, we’re as concerned about sharia compliance as you are. We regularly turn down interesting investments before because of sharia-compliance issues.

Why is Cur8 Capital separate to IFG?

Why Cur8 Capital?

Islamic Finance Guru is our parent company and it is the leading English-language Islamic investment education platform. It primarily focuses on creating resources, courses and educational materials for investors.

Cur8 Capital is our investment arm where you can invest into various opportunities.

What is your complaints policy?

Here is our complaints policy.

Can I invest via my company or trust?

Investing via a limited company, trust, partnership, charity etc. is all possible. To do so, all you need to do is sign up to the platform using your personal details and then speak to a member of the team at the time of investment. 

We will request further information from you in relation to the company and assuming all is in order, you're ready to invest.

How do I invest in a Cur8 deal?

See our How it Works page.

What do you offer to ultra high net worth investors?

For those looking to invest over £1m, please contact us. There are some broader options we can discuss.

What are your terms & conditions?

Here are our terms and conditions.

How much should I invest?

We don't give financial advice but we can guide you on how to think about portfolio construction.

  1. Investing in startups is a higher risk investment and also illiquid (so you can't freely exit the investment). As such, it would be sensible for only a minority of your portfolio to be allocated to startup investing, with the majority allocated to more liquid, mainstream investments.
  2. Investing in real estate is less risky as it is asset backed and yields a return from much earlier.  However it too does come with some risks and you should make sure you diversify your overall portfolio across a range of asset classes.
  3. Investing in fixed income through govt. sukuk is also relatively low risk.

Once you have signed up to the platform you will be offered a complimentary financial coaching call where you can think through these points.

 

What is the difference between Cur8 and Wahed?

Wahed Invest is another prominent Islamic investment platform. We are different to them in a few key ways:

  1. There are public markets (stocks and shares) and private markets.
    We only deal with private markets as the data shows that this is where the higher return is.
  2. Wahed is more mass market and caters for tickets as low as £100, we deal with only sophisticated and HNW investors.
  3. What we invest in are hard to access funds with minimums of £1m+. So you pay Cur8 for access, structuring, and deal-picking.
    What Wahed invests in you can get hold of directly on any stockbroker app. So you pay Wahed for ease, convenience and portfolio construction. 
What is the difference between you and Wahedx?

Wahedx is a Wahed subsidiary. There are a few key differences between them and Cur8:

  1. Wahedx just does individual startup deals. We offer individual startup deals and venture capital funds. So you can pool your investments and get exposure to multiple fund managers globally.
  2. Wahedx just does venture. We are a comprehensive private funds platform and cover real estate, fixed income, private equity and more.
  3. Wahedx charges startups a commission to raise money for them. We only charge investors. We actively switched away from charging startups 2 years ago because we realised that the best startups won't pay and so our investors end up missing out. With our new model we are optimised to get into the best deals.
  4. Wahedx has just started its journey. We have done 70+ deals, exited 2 deals, and built up a reputation and track record in the private investment ecosystem.

Venture Capital Questions

How can I invest in venture capital through Cur8?

There are two ways you can invest in venture capital through Cur8:

  1. Deal by deal. We will offer individual startup deals as opportunities to invest in regularly on our platform.
  2. Funds. We offer our own EIS-eligible fund on the platform every quarter. We also offer up other VC funds from all over the world on our platform as well. 
Where does Cur8 find startups to invest in?

Access to great deals may be one of the hardest thing about investing in startups. The hottest startups never struggle for money. They can raise quickly and only a few people will know about them in the early days.

Over the years, we’ve built up deep connections within the venture world including VC funds and startup founders. These trusted contacts share opportunities with us as we’ve built up great relationships over the years and we are known for being genuinely founder-friendly. We’re startup founders ourselves, so we completely get it.

We review dozens of startups every month in our search for the next big thing and present the ones we are investing in.

As the platform grows and we start making a name for ourselves through the investments we make, we are also seeing an increase in the number of startups that approach us directly for investment.

The quality of our deals is indicated, in part, by the investors we are co-investing with. They are almost always tier-one venture capital funds and leading angel investors. You can see a full list on our homepage.

How does Cur8 review startups?

how startup works

  1. Startups submit their applications to us either through the website or through an introduction by a mutual connection. Every startup starts off with a pitch deck. Once we review the pitch deck and are interested in finding out more, we organise a call with the founder of the startup. Most startups that approach us are rejected at the pitch deck stage.
  2. On the first call we have with the founder, we try to understand as much as possible about the business and try to get to know the founder(s). If we are comfortable with both the business and the founder, and believe this startup has the potential to reach suitable scale, we would ask the startup to send us further documents to review.
    These documents include financial forecasts, past financial accounts, customer agreements, any patents the startup has and other relevant documents. This is the stage where we will do in depth due diligence into the startup, the technology the startup is building, the industry the startup is operating in, and any competitors the startup has. We would also bring in an industry expert at this stage for their point of view if we think that is needed. We go away and do this deep work to bring objectivity to the process.
  1. After this deep dive, if we are still happy with the startup and we are interested in investing, we will then organise another call with the founder to ask any follow up questions that arose from our deep dive.
  1. We’ll do some more deep work based on the second call and knock our heads together to make our final decision. If it’s a yes, we’ll then start negotiating the terms of our investment with the startup.
  2. Once everything is agreed upon, we then send the deal out to our investor list to give our Angels the chance to invest alongside us. We also give give investors the opportunity to request the original deal documentation to help them make the decision to invest or not.
Can I sell my shares before a startup exits?

Startups are both long term and illiquid investments. This means you are unable to liquidate your investment before a startup exits. You may be able to find a private buyer who is willing to buy over your shares but there is no guarantee of this. We have previously facilitated exits for some of our investors.

How do I make a return on my investment?

Startup investors don't normally receive dividends from the startup. Instead, investors make their returns through the value of the shares they own in the startup. The return is made once a startup exits. In a successful deal, a startup exit is usually when the startup is either acquired by another company, or lists on a public stock exchange.

 

In a loss making scenario, a startup exit is when the startup folds and investors are entitled to whatever assets (usually little) are remaining of the startup. A startup could also be bought out at a discount by another company - this would also result in a loss for investors who paid more than the buyout price when they bought the shares.

 

An exit event normally happens between 5-10 years after investment, although startups typically fund-raise every 12 - 18 months and so investors may see the value of their shares change as the startup’s valuation changes. This will also mean you own less of the company over time as more shares are issued, however, which is a process known as dilution. There are occasionally exit opportunities at these fundraising rounds. Startups are however usually accommodating where you find your own buyer to your shares - though buyers are not typically easy to find.

How many startups should I invest in?

As startups are risky investments, your startup investments should only comprise a relatively small element of your portfolio.

It is important to build a portfolio of startups you invest in to mitigate your risks. It is recommended startup investors build a portfolio of 10-30 startup investments over the course of 3-5 years.

Most startups fail (and that’s expected) so you need to have enough skin in the game to ensure you get the big winner.

Are there any tax benefits to my investment?

We try to invest in the best startups around the world, regardless of the tax benefits that come with them.

 

That being said, many of our investments are SEIS or EIS eligible. SEIS and EIS is a UK government scheme to encourage more investment into early-stage companies. This tax scheme is only available for UK taxpayers and gives investors 30% to 50% of their investment back in the first year of investment in the form of a tax rebate. You can read our full guide to SEIS and EIS here: https://www.islamicfinanceguru.com/investment/how-to-claim-back-seis-eis-tax-relief-the-complete-2020-guide/

 

Cur8 are not tax advisors or accountants and this is not tax advice. For tailored advice suited to your individual circumstances please do consult with an expert if unsure.

 

What is an 'Advanced Subscription Agreement (ASA)'?

An Advanced Subscription Agreement is a standard equity agreement used by startups, and is normally used when a startup does not want to set a valuation for the company at present. It may, for example, be waiting for a “lead” investor to set the terms of the round.

The intention behind an ASA is to pay for shares that will be issued in a subsequent funding round. Typically that round will close within the next 6 months.

The idea is that the valuation of the company is not set at the current moment, but rather when the round closes. Investors in the ASA are normally given a discount to whatever valuation is set in the subsequent round.

It’s helpful for startups because they can get investors to sign on a dotted line while momentum is there. It’s also helpful for investors because they get the certainty of their investment and can also make introductions to help the startup close the rest of their round.

An ASA is sharia-compliant and where there are any novel cases we always run by a Sharia expert and get certification.

How do I pay Zakat on my investments?

We have written a great guide on how you can calculate Zakat on your startup investments which you can read here.

We will send round calculations for our own portfolio around Ramadan every year so that your zakat calculations are easy.

 

Is a return on my investment guaranteed?

No. Startups are high risk investments that frequently fail.

When we invest in startups, we look for the companies that could really become quite big. The way startup investing works is that doubling or trebling your investment is not really that attractive given the high failure rate.

We only invest in companies where the best case scenario is extremely profitable.

How do I claim SEIS and EIS relief?

We've written an article that breaks down every step of making your claim. Check it out here: https://www.islamicfinanceguru.com/articles/investment/how-to-claim-back-seis-eis-tax-relief-the-complete-2021-guide

What legal documents do I get to evidence my investment?

We use a nominee structure for your shareholdings which is typical of large syndicates. This basically means that the shares in the startup are held by a company, known as a nominee. The actual share certificates will be held securely by a trusted and regulated third-party firm whom we work with. The nominee will then in turn provide you with a document which certifies your individual shareholding in the startup. This is known as beneficial ownership.

This is very standard and ensures that the startup has less administration to deal with as there is technically only one shareholder. HMRC also recognises this structure as being consistent with claiming SEIS and EIS so you don’t need to worry about that.

 

 How many startups do you invest into each month?

We typically invest into 0 - 2 startups a month depending on the quality of startups we see. This is around 1-2% of the startups we review every month.

Cur8 VC Fund Questions

What is the Cur8 VC Fund?

The Cur8 VC Fund is managed by us entirely. We choose the startups to invest into. The fund is EIS eligible and primarily focuses on UK investments - with a smattering of overseas deals as well.

How do I invest in Cur8 VC fund?
  1. You register on the Cur8 platform here.
  2. Once you are registered you will be able to see our funds that are open for investment at that particular time.
  3. Review the details about the fund in the fund page and access the webinar recording about the fund.
  4. Fill in the application form to the Fund and follow the instructions to wire your money over to our custodian account.
  5. Sit back and relax. We'll take it from here (and keep you in the loop as we deploy!)
How many startups are in the EIS fund?

There are at least 20 startups within the fund and can be more. We believe that this is a good amount of diversification.

When can I get my money back from the EIS fund?

Current liquidity is around 5-10 years. There may be exits prior to this but you should mentally expect to be in for the long term.

Can I top up my investment in the fund?

Yes - we will be opening up the fund every quarter so you can top up into the fund again.

What are the fees?

Fees include an initial fee of 2.5% and 2% per annum management fee, with 3 years taken initially.

Total fees are capped at 12.5%.

Profit share on exits is 20%.

Members benefit from a 1% discount on the initial fee. For a fully worked example see the Investment Memo.

Are there any tax benefits with the fund?

Yes there are! UK investors benefit from up to a 30% - 50% tax rebate through the S/EIS scheme.

Do I have to pay the full investment all at once?

You can choose to split up your investment into four quarterly payments.

This does not cost you more to do.

Can I also invest in individual deals?

Yes! And if you are a fund investor you will be eligible to a 50% discount on your admin fee for any additional investments into  individual deals.

Real Estate Questions

Why should I invest in real estate?

Investing in commercial real estate is less risky as it is asset backed and yields a return from much earlier. 

However it too does come with some risks and you should make sure you diversify your overall portfolio across a range of asset classes.

 

How can I invest in real estate on Cur8?

There are two ways you can invest in venture capital through Cur8:

  1. Deal by deal. We will offer individual real estate deals as opportunities to invest in regularly on our platform.

  2. Funds. We have partnered up with top real estate fund managers to offer Cur8 investors a ticket into these hard-to-access funds. 
Can I invest as a standing order?

Yes - with our flagship UK real estate fund you can set up a standing order and we will deploy the investment every quarter.

You can also choose to invest on a one-off basis.

Who operates your funds?

With our flagship UK real estate fund the manager is Rasmala Investment Bank. They manage $1.6bn of real estate and have extensive experience in this space.

Can I invest via my company?

Yes, it’s sometimes better to invest via a UK Limited Company if you have one that has cash in it. This is because the additional dividend income is corporation tax-free.

How can I exit my investment?

You can either exit early through our liquidity facility, of £150k (offered on most real estate deals and funds), or by selling back to the Rasmala fund (at a discount).

Alternatively, you can wait the full investment period of the deal or fund you have invested in. Typically at this point the asset is sold and monies are returned to investors.

Fixed Income Questions

How can I invest in fixed income through Cur8?

There are two ways you can invest in venture capital through Cur8:

  1. Deal by deal. We will offer individual startup deals as opportunities to invest in regularly on our platform.
  2. Funds. We offer our own EIS-eligible fund on the platform every quarter. We also offer up other VC funds from all over the world on our platform as well. 
What is fixed income?

Fixed income investing is any investment product that gives you a fixed return. It can include:

  • Sukuk (Islamic bond) products
  • Islamic savings accounts
  • Higher yield property finance products
  • Higher yield SME finance products
  • Higher yield trade finance products

 

Who are the fund managers for your fixed income offering?

We are partnering with a number of leading institutional fund managers. Our inaugural sukuk fund is managed by Gulf Finance House, a $16bn asset manager based in Bahrain.

Still have a question?  

Contact us and we can help