Picture the scene. You’re a fast-growing business looking to raise some cash to expand.

Alternatively you’re the owner and you want to take some money off the table or to exit completely.

Where would you go?  For most people the answer would probably be the bank, angel investment or the venture capital sector. Crowdfunding is a good way of connecting entrepreneurs with investors but has plenty of critics.

The one certainty is you probably wouldn’t think of a listing – unless you’re of a certain scale.

That was my view until I met Carolyn Gelling of  The International Stock Exchange Group (TISE).

I’ll be honest I didn’t know much about TISE until our meeting but Gelling is on a mission to burst a few myths about listings.

“The entry level to list is a lot less than you probably think,” explained Gelling.

“Valuation can be from £1m. It’s a lot more accessible than many people imagine.”

The International Stock Exchange was established in 1998 to provide a listing and trading facility for companies to raise capital from investors. Headquartered in Guernsey, it has secondary offices in Jersey and the Isle of Man.

The Exchange now has more than 2,500 listed securities with a total market value of more than £300 billion. There were 865 new listings on TISE during 2018, an increase of 23 per cent on the previous year.

TISE works with a network of advisors, including Zeus Capital in Manchester, and more listings are in the pipeline.

Although significant it’s a drop in the ocean when compared to the monolithic London Stock Exchange, which has a market cap of around £4 trillion.

Over the years household names like Netflix; Aston Martin; Paramount Pictures; and Sainsbury’s have all listed bonds on TISE.

“Businesses can incubate on our Exchange and move onto another Exchange in the future if they wish to do so,” explained Gelling, who was born and bred in the Isle of Man.

Although TISE is sector agnostic Gelling admitted to having a special interest in the tech industry.

“The FinTech sector is growing rapidly and we’re a perfect platform for companies looking to raise money,” she said. “The money could be used to fuel organic growth, future M&A activity or for capital exit purposes. It’s a very cost effective way of raising money and there’s an enhanced prestige and profile for the owners and their business.”

  • Chris Maguire is the Executive Editor of BusinessCloud and can be contacted on Twitter @editor_maguire and LinkedIn.