The year of twenty hundred and fifteen has been a year of steady growth for PledgeMe, crowdfunding, and general awesomeness in New Zealand. We started the year a team of three squished in between the Ākina Foundation and the Morgan Foundation and we’re ending it with nine across two offices!
This is in part thanks to the huge support PledgeMe has had from our crowd coming to the party and pledging on our second equity crowdfunding campaign. A bit more on that later, because so many amazing things have happened over the past 12 months and it would be a shame to skip over any of them. So, let’s start from the start.
First AGM with our new shareholders: This was a pretty big moment for us! After our first equity crowdfunding campaign late 2014, we got in all in investors and have a bit of a catch up about our plans for 2015. It was also the same day as Yeastie Boys launching…
Yeastie Boys: Our first big big big successful campaign. Half a million raised in half an hour. Hot damn! It was great to kick off the year with a bang and Stu coining the term “love money” made our year!
Superheroes STEAM ahead: This was one of our favourite campaigns. It involved a series of career events to educate girls in school (and their mums) about careers in STEAM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Arts & Maths). Nanogirl (Michelle Dickenson, who has crowdfunded through us many many times) was one of the speakers.
The Crowd: PledgeMe’s very own magazine started being made. We made a crowdsourced, crowdfunded magazine about crowdfunding! Check it out here and keep an eye out for the second edition in 2016.
Mobile optimisation: With the capital from our first equity round we improved the website to make it work better and look prettier on phones. So many of you are now using your handsets to pledge that this was a no-brainer. Looks pretty!
Scoop (part 1): The crew at Scoop Independent News launched a campaign to help them reshape the way that they provided their services and help get in new customers. That lead on to Scoop (part 2) later on in the year.
Little Bird: This campaign was as amazing as it was delicious. The Little Bird Organics team crowdfunded their expansion into Britomart and with their amazing treats and help from the crowd, the unbakery made its goal.
$5 million pledged: A major milestone for us!
SellShed: The SellShed guys wowed everyone with our biggest equity crowdfunding raise to-date. The boys pulled in over $700,000 from their crowd to fund their next steps.
Moustache: If there was a prize for the most delicious campaign, Di would win it. #SaveMoustache did what it set out to do and Moustache Milk and Cookie Bar was saved to purvey their cookies and milk another day. Here’s the blog she wrote when she hit her goal, note: it may contain traces of cats and tears.
Parent Interviews: The world’s youngest every equity crowdfunder sold shares in his company. Parent Interviews, which started off as a school project for Indy raised $50k to expand its marketing plan and ensure eventual world domination.
Jessie started: In what would turn out to be the most pivotal hire of the year, Anna went out on a limb and hired the fresh-faced Jessie as PledgeMe’s very own Wunderkid. While the odds were in favour of her rage-quitting within a matter of hours, she stuck the course and is still with us. She actually is a Wunderkid too! Jessie recently won the Wellington Regional Slam poetry competition and went to the national finals.
Nothing: nothing interesting happened in may. Nothing at all. I don’t think. Maybe it did. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Birthdays: It was PledgeMe’s Three and a Third birthday in June… well that was actually in May… but we only got around to celebrating it in June because we were so gosh darn busy. We celebrated in style by having three (and a third) parties in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch.
Jen left: Our Project Wrangler and serial PledgeMe campaigner, Jen left the fold to pursue her career in improv. She seems to be doing really well, but I get the feeling she’s just making it up as she goes along.
Tash started: The super amazing Tash started wrangling them projects and has been doing a pretty fantastic job processing all the zany requests and crazy campaigns y’all keep sending us.
Barry started: When Barry first started talked to us, I fell in love. His Irish lilt made his hire a no-brainer… well actually it was his skills in finance and debt crowdfunding that made it a no-brainer. The fact that he could sing beautifully is an added bonus.
Scoop (part 2): Scoop celebrated their 16th birthday with us! Super fun.
Second Equity Round: We went out to our crowd again for an even bigger equity round! The crowd provided and we raised over $360,000 to help us grow crowdfunding in New Zealand. Because of this we’ve been able to grow grow grow and become the busiest crowdfunding platform in New Zealand. Woo!
The Good Spend Counter: Our pals at Conscious Consumers put in a lot of hard work to raise $94,000 to build an app that supports their work and rewards people for spending their money with businesses that are changing the planet for the better. That app is live now too!
Retreat: In August we retreated… no wait… In August we went on a retreat! It was great fun.
Eat My Lunch: Our biggest ever campaign in terms of the number of people who pledged successfully raised just under $130,000 to help feed kids in low decile schools. This amazing social enterprise blew us away with their commitment and drive to hit their goal and keep them kids fed.
Mikey started: the multi-talented Mikey started as our tech wrangler. His coding skillz have taken PledgeMe to the next level and we’ve been knocking back bugs and notching up site improvements like it ain’t no thang because of Mr Mikey. Keep an eye out for more amazing changes coming soon.
Ooooby: New Zealand’s first crowdfunded impact investment nailed their campaign raising over $286,000 of impact investment to grow their unique business. Pete and the rest of the Ooooby team were great and we’re super stoked to have worked with them.
Debt: after our second equity round we started investigating crowdlending/debt-based crowdfunding models and what it would take to move into this space. Barry has been working on a little something in this area… keep on reading to find out more.
Australia: Anna headed over the ditch for a fact-and-friend-finding mission to see what was happening with equity crowdfunding in Australia. Our fearless leader wrote this report about what she found out.
Scoop (part 3): In what must be a record, Scoop went out to their crowd a third successful time in one calendar year.
Sew Love Tour: It was a nailbiting finish for Sarah Sew Love’s campaign to take the Sew Love tour on the road. But she got there, perhaps with a little luck of the Irish.
Our pals at @sewloveteado have their final day of their campaign today! Check it out at pldg.me/sew or head into their shop in St Kevin’s Arcade where you can pay by pledge (or just put some fabric on your head like our man Barry did) #pledgeme #crowdfunding #sewloveontour #sustainability #newzealand #auckland #sewing #barry #fabric #upcycle
One year of equity crowdfunding: In November we hit another milestone after having our license for equity crowdfunding for one year. 12 successful campaigns later, we’re pretty happy about how it is going and are really looking forward to helping more companies expand and grow in 2016.
Anika Moa: New Zealand’s most amazing creator of albums for babies and all-round lovely human being, Anika Moa crowdfunded her album Songs For Bubbas 2. Huge campaign that was a lot of fun to see get over the line.
Debt license: Wonder what Barry has been working on? Well he’s been getting our application for a license to do debt crowdfunding/crowdlending ready. And guess what? We’re about to hit the send button on the mountain of paper work. So get ready for a new way to fund the things you care about!
And that, my friends, is about it for us here at PledgeMe for the year.