World’s youngest equity crowdfunder

The very young Look Through Our Eyes team.

Here at PledgeMe we encourage everyone to try to try and fund the things they care about. And age is no barrier to successful running a crowdfunding campaign. We’ve had a whole bunch of great projects on PledgeMe reach their goals and do really cool things. Examples here, here, and here.

So when 19-year-old Indy Griffiths approached us looking to run an equity crowdfunding campaign for his kickass company Parent Interviews, we were stoked! As far as we know he is the youngest person to ever equity crowdfund anywhere in the world and he’s making the most of the opportunity.

Indy pitching at BNZ Startup Alley 2014.

Parent Interviews started as Indy’s school project in 2013 when he was at Bayfield High. A couple of years later he has transformed it into a company which has already helped over 23,000 students manage over 400,000 interviews so far.

It’s a simple concept: help schools and parents arrange parent-teacher interviews with less stress and hassle than the ol’ fashioned way. And people are loving it. Parent Interviews has been getting a bit of media coverage, from the ODT to WIRED online.

Now with just over a week to go and with more than half their goal pledged, Indy is gearing up to scale his product internationally. There’s no reason why teachers all over the world can’t use his platform to arrange their interviews too. This is one lad with a bright future.

If you want to invest in Parent Interviews then check out their offer.

Equity crowdfunding takes us over the $5 million edge….

On Thursday 9 April 2015 PledgeMe hit the $5 million total pledged mark after closing two successful equity crowdfunding campaigns.

5million

Children’s shampoo and body care maker Pineapple Heads and social marketplace app SellShed’s campaigns both wrapped up their offers successfully raising a combined $917,000. This brings the total number of successful campaigns on PledgeMe Equity to four – raising more than $1,500,000 in the process.

The way crowdfunding works is that a minimum target is set and must be achieved in order for the campaign to be a success. PledgeMe Equity success comes through many ingredients, including:

  • Reading through our Education Guide to Equity Crowdfunding (online & PDF available),
  • Doing the hard yards on your business plan, its growth, and valuing your business (hint: we talk about this in our Education Guide)
  • Developing rockstar communications to prime and educate your crowd about what equity crowdfunding is and that you’re doing it (including newsletters, press releases and other channels of communication key to your business)
  • Putting together a your launch plan to kick off your campaign
  • Managing a campaign communications plan for current pledgers, followers other potential investors (equity crowdfunding is not a ‘set it and forget it’ process)
  • Focusing on what’s working (maybe investor events or focusing on key groups has worked best – be conscious of this and stick to what’s working)

With less than a week to go both of these campaigns were sitting at approximately 50% of their funding target. Megan @ Pineapple Heads and the team at SellShed deserve a massive shout out in activating their crowds right through to the finish. Their success came from having a plan, knowing who/what/where was working and backing themselves right through to campaign close off.

It was a very exciting week last week for us at Team PledgeMe, for these two companies who we’ve been working with, and for equity crowdfunding as well which is barely more than one year old in NZ.

We currently have three other equity crowdfunding campaigns running for Chariot, Parent Interviews, and Be Intent Youth as well as have a tonne of awesome Projects on the go.

Our Equity world is pretty crowded… and we love it

Equity Crowdfunding turned one year old on the first of April (no fooling). It’s been a crazy year in the PledgeMe office, which has included:

At the same time we’ve also:

  • Grown our team (including two Auckland based staff!);
  • Moved into one of the coolest offices in Wellington (/NZ/the world), and;
  • Launched 5 equity campaigns at one time (ahem ↓↓).

Equity

We’re really excited about the recent addition of equity crowdfunding to our platform and are very fortunate that the NZ Government has decided to make our country world leaders in this space by being the one of the first countries to introduce new legislation allowing equity crowdfunding. This has opened up a whole new channel for companies to raise funding, and we hope it’s bridging a capital chasm that a lot of companies face when they’re starting up or growing.

Since getting our license we have had more than 500 people contact us because they’re interested in using equity crowdfunding as a way to help fund growth in the businesses they care about. It never ceases to amaze our team what some Kiwis are getting up to in their back sheds and offices, and how passionately they are creating value with their businesses.

This week opened strongly as SellShed surpassed its $250,000 target meaning their campaign is now sitting in the success column and interested investors who have not yet pledged have until 7PM 9 April to do so. Congrats to the team at WebSoft Ltd on their campaign and we look forward to a strong finish as they push towards a $1M maximum.

Although this is a cause for celebration we’re a wee bit too busy with a further four more live campaigns including Pineapple Heads who also close Thursday, BE Intent Youth which just went live, and Parent Interviews & Chariot both currently in the middle of their campaigns.

In the past few weeks we’ve had more than $500,000 of pledged investment towards our five current equity campaigns and look forward to seeing more funded campaigns and excited new shareholders by month’s end:

The Closers:

ssholdingphone-1
SellShed by Websoft Ltd. – FUNDED
Raised: $275,100
Target: $250,000
Maximum: $1,000,000
Closing Date: 9 April – 7PM

SellShed is an easy to use social marketplace. It provides a locally relevant and socially integrated platform for it’s buyers and sellers, allowing them the opportunity to easily trade right from their pocket.

SellShed is free for individuals to use and is designed for mobiles and offers an attractive alternative to existing desktop focused pay-to-list or pay-upon-success online platforms.  The future is social, and SellShed have a marketplace available in iTunes and Google Play which is already enjoyed by more than 13,000 people.

SellShed has reached its target of $250,00 but investors have until 7PM 9 April or an investment cap of $1M.

Here’s what two pledged investors said about this offer:

“For me Websoft Ltd is a cutting edge technology platform providing huge growth opportunities with genuine global potential for investors” – Ian Gleghorn

“I invested in SellShed through PledgeMe as I see huge potential. The app is so easy to use and free and I’m excited to own a part of a New Zealand based Tech Startup that has huge scope. Can’t wait to see where it goes” – Kellie Deuchar

For more information on this offer check out the campaign page http://pldg.me/SS

new

Pineapple Heads Ltd.
Raised: $102,150
Target: $189,000
Maximum: $389,000
Closing Date: 9 April – 7PM

Pineapple Heads is a range of eight children’s hair and bath products made in New Zealand. They are sold throughout New World supermarkets, 70 other retailers throughout New Zealand and Australia, as well as through their own online shop.

Pineapple Heads are raising funds to onboard two Sales Reps and an in-house Digital Account Manager to roll out Pineapple Heads across New Zealand, aggressively opening up Nationwide distribution along with growing partnerships in Australia.

Megan is a solo-business owner/mother who has had some pretty awesome press all around the country about her capital raising mission.

Here is feedback on the offer from two invested pledgers:

“Fully supportive of a great lady, great product and all New Zealand made.” – Erika Burt

“I love your products and believe in the company.” – Sarah Chainey

Upon reaching their target, Pineapple Heads is offering one lucky family the chance to visit the Big Pineapple on the Sunshine Coast along with a year’s supply of Pineapple Heads Products! Contest open to all pledgers (past, present & future!)

IMG_5524

For more information on Pineapple Heads offer check out their campaign page http://pldg.me/PH

 

New Kid on the Block:

DevicesBe Intent Youth Ltd.
Raised: $87,000
Target: $150,000
Maximum: $580,256
Closing Date: 28 April – 5PM

BE Intent Youth is a cloud based technology platform and toolbox that delivers positive education and solutions that inspire and support students to meet their potential, increase their well-being and helps them to get more out of their day, their lives, and their study.

BE Intent Youth are raising funds to finalise the research that is specific to youth and implement their marketing and sales strategy.

Based on positive psychology, neuroscience and neuroplasticity research their technology aims to change the way that schools around the world support their students with issues like bullying as well as help youth become mindful, motivated and resilient.

For more information on Be Intent Youth’s offer check out their campaign page http://pldg.me/BIY

 



For a full list of our current equity offers http://pldg.me/offers