Here at PledgeMe, we’re launching a whole month of Lending related goodness. Why? Because we think lending has gotten a bit of a bad rep.
Over the month of May, we want to connect with Kiwis who are curious about crowdlending, and help demystify it for them.
How will we do that?
- We’ll explain what it means in a super straight forward way; borrowing money doesn’t need to be as complicated as it’s been made out to be. We’ll compare traditional forms of debt to crowdfunded loans and we’ll also talk about the wider peer-to-peer space.
- We’ll create case studies on how it has worked in the past.
- We’ll host a webinar so we can answer your questions real time, and then blog about it.
- We’ll be speaking at other people’s events (if you’ve got one, let us know!) and host our own.
- We’ll be writing a weekly blog series showcasing how crowdlending can work for various companies and organisations (more on this below.)
- We’re creating a podcast series
- We’re putting together a mini-documentary on our people behind the bubble
First up: what is crowdlending??
Crowdlending is pretty simple. It’s going out to your crowd for funding and paying them back over time, on your terms. You’re in control. You choose the amount of your loan, the interest rate that you’ll offer to your crowd, the timeframe of your loan, whether or not you want to secure your loan and the additional rewards you’d like to offer to your crowd.
It’s a transparent process, and on our platform, PledgeMe.Lend, we focus on loans for organisations and companies (rather than for individual people).
We’ve so far helped two companies borrow from their crowds – Eat My Lunch and Denheath Desserts, who’ve collectively raised $1.2 million from their supporters – but we want to help more companies, not-for-profits, sports clubs and schools.
We think crowdlending is exciting because the interest is being earned by your crow and going back out into the community.
Who’s crowdlending for?
Crowdlending can be for any company or organisation that has a crowd and could repay a loan to their crowd. It’s for those that would prefer to reach out to those people (and reward them) rather than going through a more traditional borrowing process.
It’s for organisations that have been operating for a couple of years, are revenue generating and preferably profitable, and have some equity on their balance sheet. It’s for organisations who’ve built a community of followers around them and want to activate that crowd.
Who are we?
Barry is the main person behind PledgeMe.Lend. In a past life, he was a banker. He’s taken his insight into how things have traditionally been done, and created a more inclusive way for organisations to borrow to fund the things they care about . He wants to help us reimagine debt: to see a loan – when used simply and honestly – as an enabler, that allows an organisation to take opportunities for themselves and make opportunities for those around them.
What we’ve seen happen around the world?
To help demystify crowdlending, throughout the month of May, we’ll be sharing stories of what’s happened overseas, and showing how those examples could work in Aotearoa as well. Like:
- Intrigue Chocolate in Seattle raised over $40,000USD to improve their retail space as 85% of their shoppers were from foot traffic. Now, imagine a chocolate factory in New Zealand looking to expand their exports or improve their shop.
- The Art of Coffee in Dublin borrowed €7,200 to buy a top-of-the-range sandwich machine and discovered a crowd of new customers along the way. Could a local kiwi cafe activate their crowd of customers to help them buy a brand-spanking new roaster to enhance the coffee experience they’re creating.
- BrewDog are leading the way in the crowdfunding world, and their BrewDog Bonds last year are no different. What would it look like for a craft brewer in New Zealand to borrow money to make more beer with new fermentation tanks and bottling machines?.
- Hertha Berlin Football Club in Germany raised €1million in ten minutes to refresh their online identity. Imagine if a sports club here went to go out to their members and fans to help refurbish their facilities.
- Stellenbosch Waldorf School in Capetown raised 363,400 South African Rand to fit their school building with solar panels. Imagine if a New Zealand based school kitted out their roof with solar panels to help energise themselves and power some extra eco-education for their students.
- Evergreen Escapes borrowed $25,000USD to create a hub for travellers to come together to learn, chat, share and plan. How about a not-for-profit food catering social enterprise closer to home buying a food-truck, so that they can serve a wider audience, without being held back by their inability to issue shares to raise equity funding.
If you haven’t already, you can go to our lending landing page and sign up to our newsletter list to get the content first. You can check out all our previous content there as well.
We’re always more than happy to chat about how this could work for you, so if you’ve any burning questions feel free reach out to Barry at [email protected].