As many of you know, PledgeMe has launched in Australia! With our experience in New Zealand crowdfunding (across project, equity and lending campaigns) and the recent changes to equity legislation here in Australia, we decided to cross the ditch.
I’ve been in Brisbane for a week now thanks to HotDesQ, and I think the best term for it is “busy in Brissie”.
I’ve met with angels, lawyers, accountants, hipsters, craft beer kids, and still seem to manage to wake up for 6am team meetings and phone calls.
I’ve pointed out typos to ASIC (they probably didn’t like that), met a bunch of awesome new friends, been to the launch of a marriage equality beer, settled into a new co-working space (Little Tokyo Two) and am slowly figuring out where I am in the city (I’ve only gotten properly lost once….).
But, most importantly, I’ve met with companies. I’ve heard where they’re at, and where they want to go next.
The Australian equity crowdfunding legislation, as it currently stands, isn’t much use for them. It currently only caters for less than 1% of Australian companies (those that are “public unlisted”). And, while companies can swap to being public unlisted, it adds a lot of compliance requirements that doesn’t make sense for a small company.
Thankfully, the Australian government listened, and are planning on extending the legislation to cover proprietary companies (which is 99% of SME’s). But, that will still take at least 6 months.
So, my plan between now and then is:
- to get our application for an intermediary licence in and
- to support as many companies as we can to figure out if crowdfunding makes sense for them – and what they need to do between now and then if they do decide to raise money from their crowd.
What can we offer? A wealth of experience helping companies across the ditch get ready to go out to their own crowds (not just traditional investors). We’ve seen everything from a craft brewery raise $2mil in 2 days, through to a solid haircare business top up their shareholder round with $500,000 in 90 minutes.
To launch that, I’m going for a bit of a road trip at the end of this week to meet more companies. I’ll be in:
- Wed, 11 October – Sunshine Coast
- Thurs, 12 October – Bundaberg
- Fri, 13 October – Rockhampton
If you’d like to hear more about equity crowdfunding, grab a coffee, or just meet and discuss your plans send me an email on [email protected] I’d love to meet you.