What is Equity Crowdfunding?
Equity crowdfunding is the process whereby everyday people (i.e. the ‘crowd’) invest in early stage unlisted companies (a company not yet on the stock exchange) in exchange for shares in that company. As a shareholder, investors stand to profit should the company do well.
What was once only accessible to very wealthy investors and venture capitalists, is now available to everyday Australians wanting to help fund start-ups with exciting growth potential.
Through Equitise, you can own a share of the businesses you believe in.
The early years
Equitise was founded in Australia in 2014 by Chris Gilbert and Jonny Wilkinson, who have combined experience across equity capital markets, investment banking, management consulting and law. It was a shared passion for innovation and a determination to make it easier for startups to access capital that lead the two to combine their skills and experience to start Equitise.
Because the legislation for equity crowdfunding had not yet changed in Australia, Chris and Jonny headed to New Zealand and began operations in 2015. By leveraging their strong networks in the early stage finance and venture capital sectors, the move prepared the team to be first-movers in Australia for when the law did change. Shortly after arriving back in Sydney, the two hit the ground running and began to build the team that we are today.
The change to Australian legislation
In January 2018, we were one of the first platforms to receive an Australian retail equity crowdfunding license and launched the first ever retail offer that same day which went on to raise almost $2.8 million from ‘the crowd’. We also became the only platform to be trans-tasman connecting startup’s and growth businesses with a broad range of investors.
As of September 2018, Equitise has successfully run 13 retail deals, 11 wholesale deals, and 8 IPOs. We’ve helped raise equity for early stage businesses across a diverse range of industries, raising over $9 million in 2018 alone.
The team and platform
Behind Equitise is a growing team of experts in marketing, technology, and fundraising. This diversity allows us the capability to continuously adapt to changes and add further value for investors in this new and growing industry. As innovators ourselves, we have a forward thinking strategy and have plans to incorporate tokenization, blockchain, and secondary trading in the future. We’ve also recently partnered with the largest equity crowdfunding platform in the US, Republic, to share deal flow and strategy. This partnership will further open up investment opportunities for early stage companies and investors.
Using our experience and expertise, we’ve developed a simple, intuitive, and inclusive platform offering highly vetted companies which is democratising investing by removing traditional funding barriers and allowing everyday Australians to own stake in innovative and exciting companies.
To date, Equitise has attracted some of the most sophisticated and best financial investors Investec, AWI Ventures, H2 Ventures, Tank Stream Ventures and Bridgelane Capital. Equitise has also received investment from members of New Zealand’s most active Angel Group (Flying Kiwi Angels) and other well-known angel investors with prior exits in the online disruption space such as Spreets (exited to Yahoo!7 for $40m) and Brands Exclusive (exited to APN for $80m).