Previous blog posts from Equitise
September 1st 2023
Who Can Invest
Equity Crowdfunding was created to make investing in private companies accessible for everyday people. While Equity Crowdfunding is a very inclusive investment method relatively speaking, there are still some restrictions about who can invest in different types of offers and how much each type of investor can commit.
August 22nd 2023
June 27th 2023
Mastering the Art of Seeking Investment from Close Networks for Your Equity Crowdfund Campaign
Securing investment is a critical milestone for start up founders, as it provides the necessary capital to fuel growth and scale your businesses. When it comes to seeking investment, tapping into your close networks can be a strategic approach. Friends, family, and acquaintances who know and trust you can become valuable sources of funding. However, it's essential to approach these connections in a professional and effective manner to maximise your chance of success. As part of your Equity Crowdfund campaign, we highly recommend you leverage these close networks for the ‘VIP’ investment phase to build some pre-funding before the campaign is opened more broadly. Pre-funding is an important aspect of the campaign and can even dictate the success of a raise. We leverage the pre-funding that companies secure to drive momentum in the raise right from the start, giving confidence to those who have expressed interest in the business ahead of investing. In this blog post, we'll explore 7 key strategies for asking for investment from your close networks. 1. Prepare and Refine Your Pitch: Crafting a compelling and concise pitch is crucial before approaching anyone for investment. Take the time to clearly articulate your business idea, its unique value proposition, market potential, and your plans for growth. Refine your pitch by practicing it repeatedly, incorporating feedback, and ensuring that it resonates with your target audience. A well-prepared and confident pitch will instil trust and increase the likelihood of attracting investment. 2. Clearly Define Your Funding Needs: Before reaching out to your close networks, determine the specific amount of funding required and the purpose it will serve. Outline how the investment will be used to accelerate business growth, develop products or services, expand market reach, or hire additional team members. By providing a clear breakdown of your funding needs, potential investors will have a better understanding of how their support can contribute to your success. 3. Identify the Right Timing: Choosing the right moment to approach your close networks for investment is vital. Making a financial investment, particularly a large one, will often require some lead time, so be sure to factor this in. It is useful to plant the seed at least a few weeks before you need them to invest, and be clear with timelines, so that when you do reach out they’re primed for the conversation. Opt for a time when they are more likely to be receptive to your request, noting that there might be several follow ups required after your initial meeting to get them over the line, and allow for this in your timeline. 4. Personalise Your Approach: When seeking investment from close networks, remember that you're dealing with individuals who know you personally. Tailor your approach to each person, highlighting how their support can make a meaningful impact. Emphasise shared values, common interests, or prior experiences that can create a personal connection and inspire confidence in your venture. Show that you genuinely value their involvement and are seeking a mutually beneficial partnership. 5. Present a Well-Structured Investment Proposal: Develop a comprehensive investment proposal that includes a clear executive summary, detailed business plan, financial projections, and potential return on investment (ROI). Your proposal should demonstrate your understanding of the market, competitive landscape, and potential risks, while also highlighting your unique advantages. Provide realistic timelines for achieving milestones and, where applicable, an indication of the exit strategy for investors. 6. Be Transparent and Manage Expectations: Honesty and transparency are essential when seeking investment. Clearly communicate the potential risks involved in investing in a startup, along with your plans to mitigate those risks. Manage expectations by discussing realistic growth projections, potential challenges, and the possibility of a longer return on investment timeline. Building trust through open and transparent communication will establish a strong foundation for a long-term investor relationship. 7. Follow up and Show Gratitude: After presenting your investment proposal, follow up with each potential investor to answer any questions or concerns they may have. Be proactive in providing additional information, scheduling meetings, or arranging discussions with your team. Regardless of the outcome, always express your gratitude for their time and consideration. Maintain the relationship even if they don't invest, as they may provide valuable feedback, referrals, or become investors in the future. By following the above steps you will get the campaign off to a solid start with great momentum, giving the rest of the campaign the best chance of success. With these steps in place, you’ll be confident and well-prepared to secure the investment you need to fuel your startup’s growth and achieve your business goals.To find out more about raising capital through an Equity Crowdfund, complete our enquiry form here (add hyperlink to:https://equitiseau.typeform.com/to/l0EUF4) or [email protected].
June 19th 2023
June 5th 2023
May 3rd 2023
Grocery Industry Spotlight
Sam Wood (Equitise Investment Associate) breaks down the recent shifts seen in online and in-store grocery, and what investors should look for in 2023 and beyond.
February 22nd 2023
February 22nd 2023
February 21st 2023
February 16th 2023
Apparel Industry Spotlight
Starting with the bold assumption that most readers wear clothes, Sam Wood (Equitise Investment Associate) breaks down the key drivers of growth in the apparel industry, and what investors should look for in 2023 and beyond.
January 20th 2023
Equitise 2022 Year in Review
2022 was a massive year for us here at Equitise. We hired some fantastic people, worked with some inspirational businesses…and hit a few new PB’s! Although many of us are already knee deep into 2023, we just wanted to take a final moment to reflect on 2022 and share with you a little of what we got up to.
November 15th 2022
Urban Plant Growers Raise $1m to empower indoor food production
UPG successfully raised over $1m with Equitise allowing them to expand into new markets and focus on product development.
September 12th 2022
August 23rd 2022
Akasha Brewing Co raise $1.75m from 545 investors!
To fund their 5 year growth strategy, Akasha Brewing Co partner with Equitise to successfully raise $1.75m!
June 21st 2022
May 16th 2022
Forcite Close $6m Series A Led by Uniseed
The Australian smart helmet technology company partnered with Equitise to successfully raise $1,304,695 from 531 investors. Overview In February 2022, the smart motorcycle helmet creator, Forcite, successfully closed a Series A round of $6m led by Uniseed. The round was supported by existing investors, and a $1.3m CSF raise through Equitise. This raise continues Equitise’s strong track record in the D2C, e-commerce space following successful raises with TBH Skincare and Tint. The funds from this equity crowdfund will help Forcite to focus on product development, establishing distribution channels across Europe and scale up manufacturing of their new MK1S helmet to meet a waitlist of over 13,000 customers. What is Forcite? Forcite has created a mass-produced smart motorcycle helmet with EU/Australian safety standard certification, patented visual alerting system, integrated camera and audio technology. Born out of the personal experience of founder Alfred Boyadgis, the team are leading the sector globally with game-changing technology delivering greater safety to riders. Forcite has achieved strong traction having shipped almost 1,380 smart helmets in Australia, and registering interest of over 13,000 individuals. Approximately 50% of these customers are Australian, and over 21% coming from the US, which provides a massive market opportunity as the company expands production capability. Within the global motorcycle market of USD 278 billion in 2020, consumers are rapidly opting for private mobility mode, with two-wheelers becoming a preferred choice owing to their affordability and convenience during COVID-19. Based on industry analysis, the global market is estimated to exhibit growth of 6.87% in 2022. Key Investment Highlights Rapid traction and market validation To date, Forcite has sold almost 1,380 helmets across three controlled releases, with their last release selling out in under 35 minutes. Having a unique and innovative design that addresses rider demand for quality, comfort and advanced technical ability, Forcite’s helmets have grown in popularity through word of mouth and private riding groups run by customers, establishing a strong community of loyal customers. Strategic partnerships driving scalability, distribution and sales Having partnered up with a leading helmet manufacturer, a Tier 1 motorcycle brand, industry experts and with Government support, Forcite has already built out the production line and quality control framework resulting in achieving a high quality product. Clear growth roadmap across verticals As part of the next phase of growth, Forcite is scheduled to release four new styles of helmets and their very own modular on-bike/in-bike computer vision/lidar/radar system that will communicate directly with the helmet. From developing commuter-styled motorbike helmets to racing helmets, Forcite will continue to be a competitive differentiator. Team, advisors and investors The Founders have 28 years of combined experience in technical design and commercializing products. They are supported by a dedicated team of software and hardware engineers along with advisors and production experts who have joined the shared vision. But more importantly, throughout the raise we saw the supportive community of motorbike enthusiasts, ready to invest and follow Forcite’s journey from the beginning. Building a community of fans, not just customers Forcite has built more than just a smart helmet motorcycle company, they have built a lifestyle brand that speaks to its audience. Through their community events, riding groups, social media groups they have built a core group of customers keen to transition to shareholders and co-owners. Key Takeaway from this Raise The raise demonstrates how institutional forms of capital work seamlessly alongside equity crowdfunds. Bringing on capital from VC/Private Equity and raising via an equity crowdfund are not mutually exclusive. In fact, more mature markets such as the UK demonstrate that these forms of capital work alongside each other regularly, serving very different purposes. As the Australian sector matures, we will continue to see more regular examples of this.
April 27th 2022
Take a bite out of Chief! Bespoke, hybrid approach for Chief’s $1.3m Seed Round
Funding Round: Seed Total Round: $1,262,817 (CSF + Wholesale Investors + Existing Investors) CSF Portion: AUD $457,817 Total investors (CSF): 233 Average Investment (CSF): AUD $1,965 Overview In March 2022, “better for you” snack brand Chief successfully raised a Seed round of nearly $1.3m. This included support from existing investors, new wholesale investors, as well as a portion from CSF investors; a great example of Equitise helping to orchestrate a fundraise using different pools of capital (all at the same valuation of course!), for a bespoke result. This raise continues Equitise’s strong track record in the food and beverage space, and is another example of success working with a “mission-led” consumer brand. The funds from this equity crowdfund will help Chief increase brand awareness and build their strong community through marketing spending and sales & marketing hires. Chief will also use the raised funds for product expansion, and growth to new geographies, including the US. Who are Chief? Launched in 2015, Chief is a fast growing “better for you” snacking brand made up of the core Chief beef bar/ biltong and collagen bar range (80% revenue) and a complementary collagen brand, Beauty Food. The brand is sold across direct-to-consumer online (currently majority of sales) and wholesale channels in Australia and internationally. They are present in major retailers such as David Jones, IGA, BCF and Harris Farm, as well as gyms and fitness groups including Barry’s Bootcamp. During the campaign, Chief also successfully converted a trial with Woolworths and will be rolling out to 200 stores in May 2022 as a starting point. At the time of launch, Chief had an ARR of $1.6m, set to hit $10m by the end of 2023. Around 20% of online revenue is coming from customers on a monthly subscription. Importantly for emerging brands, the Company had a near term path to positive EBITDA (by mid 2022). This was due to growth marketing spend to date focused on building community around the brand, and new packaging suppliers going forward. Launched in 2015 by Brock Hatton and Justin Babet, alongside Libby Babet (health expert, author and former trainer on Channel 10’s “The Biggest Loser”) and Veronika Larisova (nutritionist and ultra marathon runner), the founders have used their passion and expertise to build Chief into the brand it is today. Within the c.$98bn global healthy snack market, consumers are moving away from big food companies with their perceived healthy snacks which are actually full of artificial ingredients and/or sugar. Consumers are instead looking towards alternative, “purpose led” brands which use genuinely healthy and sustainable ingredients. Investment Notes Why We Liked The Opportunity We first met Justin in late 2020 after reaching out when we saw a growing community online around the highly-marketable brand. We had also seen previous success in the “better for you” food space, with Food to Nourish. Challenger food brands have a great track record in crowdfunding both for investors (many of the best exits and returns have been in this space) and the brands themselves (the marketing and community building benefit is huge). HUGE target market, ripe for disruption We recognised the potential for growth in the c. $98bn global healthy snack market (growing at 6% pa), and saw Chief’s products as being a real disruptor in the Australian snacking space. Working from home in lockdown, we at Equitise team saw ourselves snacking more frequently or replacing proper meals with snacks, but often snack bags and bars aren’t as healthy as perceived. With sugar-filled snacks lining the shelves of most Aussie supermarkets, we expect to see a continuation of the big shift towards challenger, “purpose-led” brands which use genuinely healthy and sustainable ingredients. Unique, “Purpose-Led” Brand… We recognised Chief’s mission-led branding as one of its key highlights and key to building its loyal community of customers. As well as innovating and striving for genuinely healthy snack foods, the founders put great emphasis on sustainability of their Australian supply chain, which we viewed as especially important given they are beef-based. Justin and team are avid supporters of the “Regenerative Agriculture” movement, which is essentially about using a combination of farming practices (some ancient, some modern) that actively regenerates the land, rather than degrading or simply sustaining degraded land. Not only are these practices becoming widely recognised as one of the most important strategies to combat climate change, it’s also winning the hearts and minds of consumers. Through this, Chief also supported the not-for-profit Thankful For Farmers. Founders who have done it before… The first filter for any company we work with is the people: the founders’ vision, ability and leadership, and the skills and passion of the team who are all on the rider together. In the immediate term, we will be working on a time-intensive fundraise together and going forward we want the company to grow to new heights, do great things and ultimately achieve a liquidity event for investors. We loved working with the Chief team; they had a great mix of complementary skills and were all so passionate about the brand and the community around it. Their advisers were also world-class across the board. What impressed us the most, was that the team have had 5 successful scale-ups and exits between them so far; we can’t wait to see what happens with Chief! Multiple exit opportunities at attractive multiples The “better for you” snack space has seen a lot of attention from both private equity and large food groups, looking to snap up challenger brands. In particular, there are some great examples in meat-based jerky brands in the US in M&A and even IPOs (Stryve). Relevant M&A examples include: Chomps acquired by Stride Consumer Partners (US, Jan 2022, $300m, 3.0x revenue) Openway Food Co. acquired by Five V Capital (AUS, Sept 2021) Kind Bards acquired by MARS (US, Nov 2020, $5,000m, 3.3x revenue) Chefs Cut Beef Jerkey acquired by Sonoma Brands PE (US, Jun 2020) RxBar acquired by Kellogg (US, Oct 2017, $600m, 5.0x revenue) Epic Provisions acquired by General Mills (US, Jan 2016, $100m, 5.0x revenue) As Justin and team scale to a near term $20m target revenue, we see some very attractive exit opportunities for investors. What went well? Support of existing investors / hybrid approach Chief already had a very impressive roster of investors from earlier pre-Seed rounds. These included Ordinary Equity, a leading consumer growth equity fund founded by Alex Cornish and Chief’s Chairman, Gavin Ezekowitz, former Managing Director of Royal Bank of Canada (APAC). Existing investors committed almost $600k into this round, at the same valuation as all Equitise investors. There is no better show of confidence in the Company than the Chairman and existing investors committing in a follow on round. This also shows Equitise’s flexibility to tailor funding structures to suit the needs of the raising company, and draw on our large network of sophisticated and institutional investors. Broad community of customers and fans Chief has built a brand that has been seen by over 4M Australians in the past 12 months. Through the direct-to-consumer online channel, Chief has developed strong customer loyalty and a real sense of community. Investors in Chief ranged from health and fitness fans, to those interested in regenerative farming and involved in the beef industry. Positive newsflow throughout campaign The success of the Woolworths trail, announced during the fundraising campaigns was a great testament to the strength of the opportunity and the speed of the growth. Positive updates during the course of a campaign can really help to get people's attention and accelerate investment. “Equitise was great to work with. From day one we had a team of 4 experienced people supporting us on everything from valuation work to writing our offer document to promoting our campaign via social, advertising, EDMs and more. They provided a large amount of examples for everything which made an otherwise imposing job that much more achievable. It’s tough raising capital at the same time as your day job so the weekly WIP kept me on track and I'd often get texts out of hours as the team worked hard to help us secure some of our bigger investors. We did things a little differently than the norm with a hybrid investment round comprising two tranches, one for existing and significant new investors, and one for crowd investors. Equitise introduced us to some great contacts from their wholesale network. While this approach is probably not suitable for everyone, it ultimately delivered us a fantastic result beyond our stretch target.” - Justin Babet, CO-Founder & COO, Chief Nutrition Looking Ahead We are excited to follow Chief on their journey to expand operations and become one of one of Australia’s leading health food snack companies. Since completing their raise with us, they are focused on their rollout across Woolworths stores, and their wholesale channel which will be the key driver of growth. Once we’ve established ourselves in major retailers in Australia, we will shift focus to other international markets including the US, Asia and Europe with the goal of being a global business. New product launches will also feature in the growth plan. They will look to raise a Series A at the end of 2022 so we look forward to working with them again!
April 21st 2022
Bundlfresh Offers Investors Sustainable Growth in the Last Mile Delivery Segment!
The Australian online marketplace Bundlfresh partnered with Equitise to successfully raise $1,000,000 from 217 investors. Bundlfresh aims to use the funds to expand its services across Greater Sydney, and continue on its mission to ‘make shopping local a big advantage’. What is Bundlfresh? As large grocery chains invested heavily into online shopping and convenience, many smaller independent, local retailers have been unable to participate meaningfully in this digital channel. Founded in 2019, Bundlfresh is an Australian online marketplace allowing consumers to bundle produce from their favourite local stores, butchers, bakers, greengrocers, delis and more, into a single order and delivery. Currently, Bundlfresh serves 47 suburbs across the Northern Beaches of Sydney, and has plans to expand across Greater Sydney Area, and other major Australian cities over the coming years. Why we liked the company Unique Value Proposition Bundlfresh has a unique value proposition for both customers and vendors: enabling local vendors to compete with big grocery chains through online sales; and allowing customers to flexibly bundle any item in a single order and delivery, saving time and money. A Massive Underserved Market Fresh Produce is a $50Bn market and Independent (non-supermarket retailers) have ~30% share ($15Bn). In such a massively underserved market, Bundlfresh is capitalising on the rise of online shopping, and riding off the megatrend of buying local to focus on a $2Bn market opportunity. Strong traction and growth potential In the past two years, Bundlfresh has grown at an annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 300%, and is now serving 47 suburbs. Since May 2019, more than 120,000 vendor orders have been delivered to nearly 3,000 customers. Sustainable business model Unlike other last-mile delivery services such as Milkrun and Send, Bundlfresh has carved out its own niche with local vendors, and is able to have a clear road to profitability without suffering the intense price competition present in the industry. With strong customer satisfaction, high retention and ‘word of mouth’ referrals, Bundlfresh’s Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) currently sits at $2,825 and its online conversion rate is 18% compared to the industry average of only 3%. Looking Ahead In addition to launching into new regions across Sydney in the coming months, Bundlfresh is has been approached by a Tier 1 Independent Grocer seeking to be onboarded onto the platform. This will see the addition of 10,000 grocery lines allowing customers a ‘full service’ offer beyond fresh produce. With a commitment to supporting local communities and suppliers across Australia, the vendor has expressed an intention to price match Coles and Woolworths on more than 1,200 products. Key Takeaways from this Raise More sophisticated investors in CSF In recent raises, and particularly in this one, we are seeing higher participation from sophisticated investors who are driving up the investment average. With Bundlfresh, we observed a very high average investment of $4.6k vs our avg across most deals of $2.8k. In 2021, 11% of investors are wholesale investors, an increase from just 7% in 2018. This is a continuous trend that we expect to keep seeing as the crowdfunding space matures in Australia. Engagement over size A key contributor to Bundlfresh’s successful raise is its highly engaged audience - both customers and vendors. With hardly any marketing spend to date, the company's growth to over $3m in annualised revenue has come nearly entirely from word-of-mouth referrals. With 500 of its 3,000 customers having ordered more than 15 times, the company has built a platform with sticky and passionate customers with many jumping at the opportunity to invest. Whilst many other companies we have come across have had much larger databases to which they could market the offer, Bundlfresh's was unique in its 'stickyness'. This is a key thing for companies to consider when they are considering a CSF, and drives the likelihood of converting customers into investors.
March 30th 2022
March 18th 2022
Industry Spotlight - E-Commerce
How many of us have ordered something online during lockdowns last year? E-commerce, the buying and selling of goods and services over the internet, has accelerated through COVID, growing at 57% over the last year alone! Supported by adoption and improvements in e-commerce services and technologies such as Shopify and Afterpay, Australia has seen a further shift online by traditional retailers, growth in online marketplaces as well as emergence of digitally-native, direct to consumer (“D2C”) brands. Concepts such as same-day delivery, that were once unheard of in Australia, are now commonplace thanks to improvements in delivery and logistics infrastructure and systems. Whilst the growth is impressive, Australian e-commerce activity is currently only ~16% of overall retail, compared to 20% of total retail in the US market. Here at Equitise, we predict that we will continue to see a shift online, fuelling fundraising activity in online-only startups, as well as complementary businesses such as packaging, payments or supply chain technologies. This convenience of online shopping has had a tremendous impact on the way we shop. Focus on the customer experience, distinctive branding and a subscription revenue model all create customer loyalty. Whilst COVID accelerated this trend, the real winners in the long term are those with an evergreen customer base and strong unit economics. E-Commerce has also been fuelled by the proliferation of online content across all media platforms such as Youtube, Instagram and TikTok, or the growth of the “creator economy”. This has accentuated a new form of marketing and selling products or services online, in a way that engages a ‘fan-base’ of customers. As e-commerce continues to dominate global markets fuelled by the COVID pandemic, it is time to take a look at why online and in particular, D2C businesses have boomed, and the key trends we look out for. The Australian E-Commerce Landscape As we emerge into a future led by spending more time at home, more and more Australians have shopped online than ever before in 2021. E-commerce has taken off in Australia with total revenue from the online shopping industry valued at $44 billion, as of the end of 2021. As Australian consumers have had no choice but to change their online spending habits, this has driven a dramatic shift in online shopping behaviour. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, this trend highlighted total online sales to have grown by 12%, as of June 2021, where businesses are rapidly ramping up digital sales capabilities. Despite the common trend towards rising e-commerce penetration globally, online spending in Australia has remained consistently below most international markets. But, as international players have entered the Australian market this past year, penetration has doubled in the last 5 years due to the impacts of COVID, reaching 13%, as of the beginning of 2021. We explore the key players: Hybrid Model: Existing retail brands transitioning to online. Driven by enforced lockdowns and a shift in consumer buying habits, many well-known Australian retailers have accelerated their online expansion. Technology has allowed established retailers to leverage their physical stores and distribution networks to meet customer expectations by offering “click-and-collect” services and home deliveries. For example, Woolworths is one of Australia’s earliest online innovators, particularly with the online offerings of Big W, Dan Murphy's, Cellarmasters and Woolworths. Holding a c.10% market share in online shopping in Australia, Woolworths have successfully expanded and streamlined its delivery options and click-and-collect services during the pandemic. To further cater for online demand, Woolworths launched an online marketplace, ‘Everyday Market’, in September 2021, a one-stop-shop for all everyday essentials, ranging from Health & Beauty to Pet Needs. Other retailers such as Bunnings, Myer, BWS, Coles, David Jones, Freedom and Harvey Norman are also transitioning to provide more efficient services online. Online Marketplaces: Aussie Home Grown Successes Australia has also had its own share of home grown e-commerce success stories, ranging from B2B and B2C marketplaces across fashion, homewares and trade supplies. These include Catch.com (founded 2011), The Iconic (founded 2011), Adore Beauty (founded 1999), Grays.com (current format founded 2000) and Kogan (founded 2006). These have evolved the Australian buying experience, disrupting traditional business models and taking increasing market share from bricks and mortar retailers. COVID accelerated this disruption, as retail stores had to close and shoppers had to look online. "We're definitely seeing a transformation in terms of how people shop.. E-commerce in Australia has advanced several years in the space of a few months…We will continue to take more market share. People are shifting because they see how easy it is. They don't have to find a parking spot and deal with a pushy sales assistant. People have changed the way they shop. We are seeing it across the board.'' Ruslan Kogan, quoted in the AFR Online retailers are continuingly tapping into a range of features such as managing delivery options (click-and-collect or home delivery), customer email services, and personalised apps and website experiences, to consistently engage with their growing online customer base. International Marketplaces Alongside the home grown ecommerce platforms, Australia has also seen the entry of global ecommerce powerhouses, including eBay and Amazon. eBay entered the Australian market in 1999, and alone is used by 12 million Australians on a monthly basis to shop and sell goods online. Amazon, entered later in 2017, but has already hit $1.2 billion sales (as of Dec 2021), and is forecasted to account for approximately 25% of the Australian online retail sales. They remain a strong competitive force in the Australian market, providing the consumer with more options to shop online. Digitally Native & Subscription Brands Another category is online-only platforms that focus on a specific category or product and drastically disrupt the buying experience for the customer. Given the relative nascency of e-commerce in Australia, this often includes categories disrupted in more mature markets and then approached here in Australia. Koala was one of the early movers in the Australian direct-to-consumer movement, targeting the outdated and user-unfriendly experience of buying mattresses and furniture. Taking this a step further, for more perishable goods such as groceries, toiletries and toilet paper, D2C brands can operate on a subscription basis. This creates recurring revenue and customer loyalty for business and increased convenience, personalisation and improved experience for the customer. Some examples include: Lyka, subscription premium dog food (raised $6.5m in July 2021) Who Gives a Crap, toilet paper with purpose (raised $41.5m in September 2021) Eucalyptus, subscription telehealth/ healthcare products (Series B raise of $30.0m in July 2021) D2C and subscription businesses are becoming increasingly competitive with increasing costs of marketing and customer acquisition as consumers have more choice. Focus is therefore on increasing customer LTV and growing and keeping a strong user base. This comes down to building a strong community of fans around a brand and superior customer experience. The Supporting Acts: Complementary service & technologies. Supporting the boom in online retail is a breadth of players covering the full infrastructure chain from funding of ecommerce business models, cloud services, payments technology (such as Shopify), logistics/supply chain management and packaging & last mile delivery. On top of this there are also technologies driving the customer experience including digital and behavioral marketing and customer insight companies. These are seeing huge growth, a range of examples from the past 18 months: Sendle, delivery and logistics for SMEs (raised $20m in Jan 2019) Carted, application programming interface (API) tool for online businesses (raised $13m in May 2021) Clearco, revenue-based financing for E-Commerce brands, raised $215m through a growth equity round, in July 2021 Particular Audience, an Aussie E-Commerce startup, that focuses on machine learning technology, raised $7.5 million in Series A funding in November 2021 Here, at Equitise, we are seeing some great investment opportunities in this space, for example, Hero Packaging, which is launching a fundraise in March 2022. Finally there are also complementary services for consumers. For example, one of Australia’s latest tech unicorns (and current target of a huge acquisition from Square), Afterpay, is an installment payment service provider that enables its customers to buy products on a ‘buy now, pay later’ basis. Most Interesting Trends in Australian E-Commerce As more and more Aussies resort to online shopping measures, the growth of e-commerce has propagated across both metropolitan and regional areas in Australia. Spending more time at home than ever before, we continue to see phenomenal growth in the e-commerce industry. Here, we will discuss key trends that have been witnessed this past year. Lockdown habits are here to stay. COVID-19 has changed the way Aussies approach the online marketplace. Due to the convenience of browsing products online and efficiency of home-deliveries, the e-commerce market will see sustained growth, even after the pandemic. In the ABS Household Impacts of COVID-19 Survey, one-third of respondents indicated they prefer to shop online now more than they did before the pandemic. So, how is Australia’s e-commerce increasingly catering to new online shoppers? In 2021, 1.36 million Aussie households made an online purchase for the first time. With COVID-19 restrictions closing non-essential services, Aussies took to shopping online, surging sales for online retailers. More importantly, these restrictions had a significant impact on how often Australians shop online. According to Australian Post’s eCommerce Industry Report 2022, those who made a purchase less than four times between March and December in 2020, 52% shopped online more frequently in 2021. Bricks and mortar retail is not done yet! During the pandemic, an increasingly familiar experience for many Australians included visiting different online and physical stores, browsing and comparing competitive prices online, and choosing the most convenient way to get the products they need and want. This resulted in Australian omni-channel online expenditure to grow by 71.6% from 2019 to 2020. Omni-channel retail involves consumers combining physical and online channels, often within the same purchase journey. For example, a customer may search for a product in-store (physically or online), pay for it online but pick it up at a store (including through ‘click and collect’ or ‘curbside pickup’), buy online or buy through a peer-to-peer or social media platform and have it delivered to their home. As a result, businesses must consider their omni-channel strategy to deliver a convenient shopping experience across channels. Buying online still means buying local. According to a study conducted by Shopify, 47% of consumers value the local presence of brands from which they shop from. The ‘buy local’ trend gathered momentum during the height of the lockdown, further perpetuated by Australia’s natural disasters and economic upheaval, to show support for local Aussie businesses in remote areas. With the help of social media campaigns urging Australians to shop in local communities, attention turned to these communities to reinvigorate the local economy. #ClickforVic was a powerful campaign launched by the State Government, designed to support local businesses. During the height of the Victorian lockdown, this hashtag received traction through 31,000 posts! Other such hashtags included: #BuyFromTheBush #SpendWithThem #WhereYouShopMatters #BuyRegional This noticeable uptake in social media campaigning allowed regional businesses to promote their businesses for free via these campaigns, allowing Aussies to support the local businesses they wanted to see encouraged. Crowdfunding and E-Commerce Equity crowdfunding allows startups to raise significant funds from a wide range of investors instead of relying on an angel investor or other restrictive investment channels whilst building a community of brand advocates. This in turn helps these startups build brand awareness and loyalty which is key to the success of any business. We have recently been working with some exciting ecommerce brands, such as Tint (D2C Paints and Interiors) and tbh Skincare (D2C Skincare) as they look to scale in Australia and internationally. In 2022, we predict more fundraising in activity in sectors supporting the e-commerce infrastructure, such as Hero Packaging, which creates sustainability. Conclusion The Australian e-commerce landscape is constantly evolving, adapting to new consumer preferences and behaviours that have been forever changed, even as we look beyond COVID. As e-commerce continues to grow, we predict Australian penetration to increase to levels seen in the US or UK. The role of supporting infrastructure, what we call ‘picks-and-shovels’ businesses, such as packaging companies to online website development platforms, will become more vital than ever in supporting e-commerce businesses. To reach this growing base of online consumers, equity crowdfunding becomes a great way to connect retail investors with the consumer brands they buy from or use. Feel free to reach out and get involved! If you are a D2C brand and are considering fundraising in 2022, reach out to the Equitise team and we can walk you through how a process might look like. Equally, if you are an investor looking to own a share in our next D2C, e-commerce raise, reach out to us and keep an eye on your emails!
February 23rd 2022
Industry Spotlight - Craft Beer
First, in the series of blog articles on the Australian drinks industry, we explore the craft beer phenomenon and why our investors love owning shares in the hottest craft beer brands… Key Takeaways The craft beer industry in Australia growing at 10% CAGR, represents an almost a billion dollar industry, and still has room to grow when compared to markets such as the US and UK Growth drivers include the continued experimentation of styles, the push into taprooms, growth of low/ no alcohol and potential international expansion Crowdfunding and craft beer work well together; all its about engaging a community around a product and passion Australia has recently seen some record-breaking craft beer fundraises (Batch Brewing, Spinifex) including in non-alcoholic beers (Sobah, Heaps Normal) We see continued activity in the space, as well as broader infrastructure Introduction In spite of years of strong growth and some impressive exits, the craft beer revolution in Australia is still on an upwards trajectory and there’s never been a better time to get behind your favourite craft beers. The story of how the craft revolution began is well known; beer-lovers turned home-brew enthusiasts experimenting with their own flavour combinations and brewing methods and evolving into small-scale and low volume breweries. The result? Unique and innovative flavour combinations and styles, using local ingredients and traditional brewing methods. Craft beer in Australia is now almost a billion-dollar industry, with up to 1,000 breweries nationwide (although some value the wider industry at over $2bn, given the high labour intensity and employment). Craft beer is now part of mainstream culture, with events such as GABS100, seeing huge press attention and following. Whilst some of the larger craft breweries have since been acquired over the past decade (including Stone and Wood last year), there is a tail end of independent breweries building communities around beers — the essence of the craft movement. In a market where drinking in moderation is favoured, a combination of heavy marketing spend by the corporate-backed craft beer brands (we won’t get into a debate whether that still makes them craft…) and a loyal following from fans of the independents is driving the strong market growth in the craft beer segment. That said, the market is still in a relatively early stage (c.14% craft beer revenue penetration out of the total beer market, 10% of volume) versus more mature markets such as the US (c. 24%). This article covers some of the main themes in the Australian craft beer landscape and what Equitise looks for in its record-breaking fundraises for craft beer brands. The Craft Beer Landscape in Australia Traditionally, the Australian beer market has been highly concentrated and largely produced for local taste and consumption. The major players in the industry include Asahi (owners of CUB), Lion Nathan (owned by Kirin) and Coopers. Whilst overall beer consumption in Australia has declined in recent years, the demand for independent beer brands is increasing, and craft beer continues to take market share. There are a number of craft breweries owned by larger groups, including multinational drinks companies and craft beer groups operating multiple labels such as Mighty Craft. Whilst they are able to capture most of the retail shelf space and on-premise tap space, they are also bringing in new enthusiasts to craft beer through big marketing budgets and awareness. As uniquely different brands, they serve to bring new enthusiasts to craft beer…as the saying goes, a “rising tide raises all ships”. The continued growth of craft beer is characterised by passionate craft beer makers and home brewers, together with more discerning beer drinkers and consumers who are demanding a more distinct, flavourful and higher quality product. This has increased focus on drinking for flavour and authenticity as well as “drinking local” and building personal relationships with preferred brands. The trend is evident in a long term shift in consumer tastes, which is driving an expected increase at a CAGR of up to 10% going forward. Craft brewing is all about experimentation and smaller, independent breweries are nimble enough to quickly work with new and different styles, raw materials, recipes and flavours. Indeed, there is a huge range of styles and flavours for consumers. Fruited sours, session IPAs and XPAs are popular go-to's in the craft space, with an ever-increasing demand for ‘sessionable’ beers, including the growing ‘no and low’ alcohol trend. Equally, high quality, independent versions of classic styles such as lager are seeing strong offerings from craft brands like Hawke’s, Yulli’s and White Bay. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the industry has faced unprecedented challenges as the forced closure of retail outlets, pubs and restaurants limited sales channels for many breweries. As home consumption rose sharply, there was a shift to long-standing value beer brands, as well as a major swing to beer cans (vs bottles). The pandemic emphasized the importance of having strong distribution channels, including an online presence. Nevertheless, the IBA grew in membership over the course of the last year, and with a supportive regulatory environment (such as the increase in excise rebate last year), the number of breweries looks set to increase further. Looking ahead we see 3 key themes shaping the industry… Trends Driving the Growth of Craft Beer 1. Continued expansion into venues Expanding into branded and proprietary venues, including brewpubs or taprooms, allows craft beer brands to build awareness, strengthen their customer loyalty as well as being a higher profit margin route to market. With crowded off-premise shelves and competitive tap space in on-premise locations, proprietary venues allow craft brands to showcase new releases as well as get closer to the customer, creating an easier, less intimidating experience. Peter Phillips, the former Chair of Independent Brewers Association (IBA) recognises this and says: “The growth of indie brewers is testament to the fact that consumer demand is driving growth … Australians want greater connections to community, to the people that make beer and to their local meeting places.” This will also drive beer tourism in areas with several breweries or those of particular standing that can attract visitors from afar, such as in Marrickville in Sydney or around Hahndorf in South Australia. 2. No and low-alcohols A broader moderation trend and the ‘better for you’ movement is driving demand for low carb, low calorie, gluten free and also low and no alcohol options. It is telling that in January 2022, Heaps Normal broke records by coming in at #20 on the GABS 100 countdown, as the first no/ low alcohol beer to do so. The category is certainly booming, according to the 2021 IWSR Drinks Market Report, ‘no and low’ alcohol volume is expected to grow by 16% between 2020 and 2024, with a study revealing 71% of Aussies intend to increase or maintain their no- or low-alcohol consumption this year. Other brands such as Nort (Modus Operandi) and low alcohol beers such as Brick Lane Brewing’s Sidewinder, a low ABV hazy pale ale, are also doing exceptionally well. 3. Taking Australian craft beer global Mirroring the arguable success of other Australian beer exports such as Fosters, Australian craft beer is ready for the global stage. Currently, the industry has a low export rate (around 5% of sales) primarily because relatively few of the brewers have achieved the scale to make export cost-effective and more mature markets such as Uk and US already have homegrown beer brands with local presence. However, there is a huge potential opportunity to export, in particular to Asia Pacific. For example, Mountain Goat (backed by AB InBev) has been exporting to Asian markets for over 5 years, and Moondog, the Melbourne based craft brewer, has also opened up a venue in Singapore. Spinifex Brewing, who raised with Equitise in 2021, saw export as a big growth channel, and was already shipping to markets in Europe, Japan and South America. Craft Beer M&A Activity Craft beer M&A has been driven by the traditional beer and alcohol players trying to capitalise on market growth and adding brands to their portfolios, in a trend that has been seen in other markets such as the US and UK. In Australia, multinational alcohol giants such as Carlton & United Breweries (owned by Asahi) and AB InBev have made a number of acquisitions of successful craft breweries including Balter, 4 Pines, Pirate Life, Green Beacon and Mountain Goat. These transactions typically see attractive multiples paid to buy up the culture and ethos of smaller brands that the big players can’t create themselves, such as the beachside community identity of Balter, founded by 4 professional surfers including Mick Fanning. Whilst there are many critics of such transactions, the marketing and distribution benefits bring an overall net benefit to the craft beer movement. In Sept 2021, Lion (owned by Japanese multinational, Kirin) paid more than $500m for Australia’s largest independent craft brewer — the Byron Bay-based Fermentum, parent to brands including Stone & Wood, Two Birds and Fixation. This shows even the biggest craft brewer has a suitor and can be convinced to give up its independent roots for a price!
January 27th 2022
Successful Crowdfund Exit: Car Next Door
Campaign Year: 2017 Campaign Type: AU - Wholesale Campaign Duration: 69 days Amount Invested: A$770,000 Number of investors: 24 Average Investment: A$32,678.67 Percentage Funded: 156.9% What is Car Next Door? Car Next Door is an online peer-to-peer car-sharing platform operating in four cities, with 50,000 members sharing 1,200+ vehicles. The company lets Australians access cars on demand, without the costs and upkeep associated with ownership. Access to cars is secure and unattended through a patent-pending method utilising an electronic lockbox with a plug-in GPS tracker and an online booking and payment platform. Rapid growth since an early pilot scheme in 2013 has seen Car Next Door become the second-largest provider of car share services in Australia. The Founders of Car Next Door became highly aware that a lot of people own a car but often don’t use it. They wanted to find an environmentally and financially friendly solution by creating a car-sharing platform allowing owners to rent their vehicle(s) to borrowers who need it. The Car Next Door idea is driven by "green motivations" as they work to reduce the amount of carbon emissions released into the atmosphere. One car produces 44.3 tonnes of carbon dioxide over 10 years. An even higher amount of emissions are created during the manufacturing process. The sharing of underutilised cars reduces the number of vehicles on the road. Research also shows that with car-sharing both borrowers and lenders become more aware of the cost of driving so tend to drive less Moreover, the emissions created by Car Next Door borrowers are offset by long-term emission reduction projects run by the environmental not-for-profit organisation Greenfleet. The organisation works to restore native forests and biodiversity in Australia. Having a working and highly scalable platform that was quickly gaining traction, Car Next Door partnered with Equitise to raise A$770,000 from 24 investors, overshooting the initial target by 56.9%. Funds raised were largely allocated to fuel customer acquisition through marketing efforts and enhancing the existing platform, as well as optimising customer conversion, obtaining parking spaces in high demand areas and creating a corporate offering. Quote from Will Davies, CEO at Car Next Door "We have worked with Equitise a couple of times now to support the Car Next Door business in its capital raising strategy. Over both engagements we found the Equitise team to be professional and genuinely passionate in assisting our team yield the results we were looking for. We hope that one day we may be able to utilise their platform to conduct a full retail offer to the public through equity crowdfunding." Investor Exit - Car Next Door gets acquired by Uber It was announced on January 19 2022 that ride-sharing giants Uber had acquired Car Next Door. This means that Equitise investors who participated in Car Next Door's 2018 and 2019 rounds with us were able to get a return on their investment. This acquisition builds on Uber's ongoing investments in electric vehicles, micromobility, and public transportation in order to reduce dependency on private automobiles and contribute to the creation of greener, more liveable communities. Car Next Door will report to Uber's Australian team after the acquisition, but will otherwise operate independently, with its current leadership team focusing on growing and scaling its technology in other cities across Australia.
January 6th 2022
Meet the founder of Forcite
Forcite is a technology company that has created a mass-produced smart motorcycle helmet with ECE 22.05 (EU/Australian safety standard) certification, patented visual alerting system, integrated camera and audio technology. The company was born out of firsthand experience, when in 2013, motorbike enthusiast Alfred Boyadgis took a fall going through an oil slick, injuring his knee. It transpired that the camera mount had smashed the side of his helmet compromising the protection to his head. Aside from bolt-on devices not being designed for helmets, the thought did strike him that given modern sophisticated camera, sensor and tracking technology like we see in luxury cars, we should be able to anticipate such hazards. This would allow riders to take evasive action before those hazards become a danger. We had a chat with co-founder Alfred Boyadgis to get to know more about Forcite and its revolutionary technology.
December 24th 2021
2021 Year in Review
We’ve wrapped up another record-breaking year at Equitise, and what a year it has been for both us and for equity crowdfunding in general! We thought you might like to hear a little bit about our biggest moments — so here goes… This year we broke the Australian record for the largest craft beer raise not once, but TWICE. Across the border, we saw two Equitise alumni, Greenfern Industries (GFI) and Tradewindow (TWL) complete successful listing on the New Zealand Stock Exchange (NZX), representing strong returns for our investors. In 2021 we have also seen our Equitise family grow. We welcomed a bunch of new members including Ben on the fundraising team, Al on the marketing team, and Lisa, our new graphic designer. We’re also excited to welcome three new interns who will be joining us early next year! Read on for a full breakdown of 2021 at Equitise.
November 29th 2021
D2C fresh food disruptor Your Food Collective raises $644k
Female-founded fresh-food disruptor Your Food Collective successfully raised over $644k from 232 new investors last month. With aims to reach $28m in FY24 revenue, YFC plans to use these funds to grow the commercial operations by expanding their product range and developing a white label product range that will help to support even more local and regenerative growers.
October 22nd 2021
Top 5 Reasons To Invest In Startups
Why Invest in Startups? We’ve all heard the statistic that 90% of startups fail with only 50% of businesses making it past their 5th year. So why invest in startups? In reality, despite carrying greater risk, startups have always presented an alluring investment opportunity for both new and seasoned investors alike. Similar to many financial instruments, in exchange for higher risk, they offer the potential of huge returns.
October 8th 2021
Spinifex Brewing Co. Leads Another Record-Breaking Raise
Last month, WA based brewer Spinifex Brewing Co made equity crowdfunding history with Australia’s largest ever craft beer raise, hitting its maximum funding target of $2.0 million in just over two days of being public. This comes off the back of our previous record-breaking craft beer raise with Batch Brewing who raised $1.5 million earlier this year. The raise made regional and national press and television, creating a huge buzz around simultaneous venue and product launches. Spinifex plans to use the funds to support the development of its 24HL Nambeelup Brewery and flagship North Beach Ale House along the pristine WA coast to drive domestic and international growth.
August 5th 2021
Why More Female Founders Are Equity Crowdfunding
There’s been a lot of talk in the Australian media lately about the lack of funding for female founders, with many female-led startups looking at alternative sources of capital and steering away from venture capital firms. In particular, equity crowdfunding has risen in popularity amongst startups run by women, allowing them to raise capital with lower barriers to entry whilst also building a loyal and passionate customer base in the process. The numbers are there to show this, with a significant decline in venture capital investment globally for women-led firms. In fact, women-led businesses in Australia and New Zealand only received 5.3% of the $2.7b in venture capital funding in the first half of this year. Furthermore, just approximately 12% of decision makers at VC companies are women, and most businesses still don't have a single female partner. 12% of decision makers at VC companies are women
July 2nd 2021
Openly - Improving the privacy standards of Australians everywhere
If you store sensitive personal information on your cell phone or internet provider's servers, as many of us do, there is a very good chance that some organisation, government agency or company will have access to that data. Your privacy is no longer a theoretical risk; it's a reality whose impacts you can see and feel. It's time to take action to improve the privacy standards of Australians everywhere. Australian consumers want greater choice and control, stronger privacy protections, and zero friction. The 2020 Australian Community Attitudes to Privacy Survey showed:
June 24th 2021
The Complete Guide To Equity Crowdfunding
This is a complete guide to equity crowdfunding. Learn about what it is, the benefits, how to invest and more. Equitise is the leading equity crowdfunding platform giving you the opportunity to invest in Australian and NZ startups and early-stage businesses.
June 18th 2021
Top 5 Trends Shaping Fashion Tech Startups
Technology trends are defining the future of how consumer brands interact with their consumers. They provide established fashion brands and emerging startups and entrepreneurs an opportunity to take advantage of new technologies to create unique customer experiences, drive digital engagement, as well as generate additional revenue streams. As one of the biggest industries in the world, it’s surprising to learn that the way fashion operates today hadn’t changed that much in the past few decades until recently. Generating an estimated $1.5 trillion a year, technological innovation in this industry was stalled due to the abundance of low-cost manual labour as a means of reducing pricey production costs. However, nowadays fashion trends are being pushed to the masses faster than ever because of social media, training customers to want instant access to the latest trends. At the same time, younger generations are showing an increased preference for products that are tailored to their specific needs and tastes. This coupled with a more socially conscious consumer base has paved the way for exciting new technologies to disrupt one of the biggest e-commerce sectors. In fact, fashion is the largest e-commerce sector in the world, with a global market value of $759.5 billion in 2021 and expected to hit $1+ trillion by 2025.
June 15th 2021
Lumiant - The Future of Financial Advice
The Australian Financial Advice industry is going through significant change. Technology is disrupting the status quo and transforming how financial advice is delivered, and who delivers it. Since 2019, the sector has been shaken by the Royal Commission. Regulatory changes have placed requirements on the industry for true customer-centricity and Best Interest Duty. Where Advisers are required to put the client, not the product, at the centre of advice.
June 9th 2021
Here Comes The (Luxury Travel) Boom
Travel fans and adventurers are adjusting to the “new normal”. Folks are beginning to find their way back out onto the open road… even if only for a weekend. They’re making old and new friends, getting out of town for face-to-face socializing and rediscovering their appetite for indulgence. That said,this is still a heavily guarded recovery, and in some parts still socially-distanced. However, as appetite for, and ability to, travel returns, the luxury travel sector is emerging as the most resilient and fastest growing post-pandemic.
June 3rd 2021
How to Time the Market
When to buy and when to sell, the two fundamental questions any investor will come across in their investing journey. Timing the market is a problem as old as investing itself, a problem even the most prolific investors, statisticians and researchers have put their minds to. At the end of the day, however, nobody actually knows which way the market will go. There are billion dollar algorithms crunching every data point imaginable, and there are big market makers controlling and influencing prices, yet none actually know with 100% certainty if things are going to go up or down. When it comes to everyday investors, we’re even more disadvantaged than the institutions. There is research you can partake in to improve your odds, but there is no way to accurately predict the future every time! We’ve detailed a few options below to give yourself the best shot. Macroeconomic Factors Macroeconomic factors are broad, economy-wide influences such as GDP, inflation and employment levels. These factors are generally well predicted by government institutions, such as the ABS, and can provide a good indication of where the economy, and thus the markets, are headed. If it’s looking like strong economic growth and smooth sailing, it’s quite likely markets will head in the same direction. However, everything is interrelated and nuanced too. For example, strong economic growth might also cause inflation to rise, requiring central banks to increase interest rates that tend to drive funds out of markets and into bonds. Many smart investors will look for opportunities in crisis, such as at the onset of the pandemic. Those who backed Zoom early were rewarded for this foresight, although so much so that unrelated company Zoom Technologies also saw their share price skyrocket 1800%... The Crowd Another great way to predict the market’s next move is by considering what everyone else thinks. Since markets are just a reflection of the demand and supply of participants, if everyone thinks the market will go up, it probably will! The problem with this approach is how to accurately assess what everyone is thinking. Key press sources such as the Australian Financial Review can provide a good indicator of general mood, but there will always be big money from institutions playing a heavy role in the direction prices go. The weight of opinion is most clearly seen when public figures get involved. With the rise of social media and everyday investors participating in markets, a simple tweet from a figure such as Elon Musk can send a stock to the moon, or crashing down. Other Markets Other markets can provide a fairly empirical source of market prediction. Foreign markets such as the USA’s’ Nasdaq have such a major impact on the global economy that they tend to influence other markets. Most days, the Australian ASX200 will generally go in the same direction as the Nasdaq from the night before. However, this isn’t always the case, especially if there are factors at play that are highly specific to Australia. Playing the Long vs. Short Game Overall, we’re all playing the same game. While short-term movements can be hard to predict, the one thing we can say with near certainty is that the market will go up in the long-run. Through all sorts of peaks and troughs, wars, crises and more, almost every market in a developed economy has gone up over time. Most markets fall between 5% and 10% annually on average, which over a long time horizon equates to quite a bit of compound interest! With this in mind, the best strategy is often not timing the market, but time in the market. The best way to go about this is through dollar cost averaging, which involves investing small amounts at regular intervals over time. So rather than investing $10,000 at once and trying to time the market, you invest $1,000 every month regardless of whether the market is up or down. This allows you to minimise short-term movements and focus on the long-term value of your investment. It’s also a great way to save money! Equity crowdfunding is a longer term investment strategy and less sensitive to the market. Also, by investing in a range of exciting Australian startups, it’s a good way to diversify your portfolio with investment being fee free.
June 3rd 2021
The Stages of a Private Company from Founding to Floating
When speaking about private companies, we often find ourselves using all sorts of industry jargon. To the uninitiated, the financial terminology used when discussing investment opportunities can be confusing and often prohibitive. On top of that, even the most seasoned investors may only have experience limited to one area of finance. Many Australians have at least dabbled in the ASX in some capacity, but very few have been actively involved with early-stage companies. In this article, we go through the full life cycle of a startup, from founding, to hopefully one day floating! Founding A stage most are familiar with but fewer have touched. The founding of a company is the first official stage of an entrepreneur’s journey. Of course, for most, the work would have already started long before the official founding of the company. This might include market validation, research and development, and capital raising. Depending on the company, some founders will need to raise capital before they even get off the ground, such as a technology product a long way from revenue or profit generation. While many are able to bootstrap a business from their own pocket, most founders will need an initial injection of funds to keep the lights on. At this stage, investors will generally have nothing more to invest in beyond the team and the vision. As a result, friends and family are a common source of funds, in addition to angel investors with a keen eye for opportunity. Seed Stage After a young company has gotten off the ground and has started to kick goals, it enters the seed stage of its life cycle. At this point, the company will have made some achievements, and had its fair share of setbacks. It might have an MVP (minimum viable product), a few trial customers, or maybe some pre-orders. Seed rounds are usually when things start to get serious, and the company raises capital in order to execute on all of its preparation and plans. Seed rounds are still considered highly risky, so investors will still be backing a big idea, a strong team, and some early achievements, and will be rewarded by substantial gains should the business make it to the next stage. Capital raised here generally goes towards market entry, final tech development or key hires to help the company grow. Equitise often facilitates wholesale capital raises for companies at the seed stage, and even some equity crowdfunding campaigns where the opportunity is suitable. Growth Stage The growth stage is one of the most exciting times for an early stage company. At this stage, the company has validated its idea, generated some revenue or successfully executed on its initial launch plans. Now it's ready to go full steam ahead with its plans to grow and scale, and can generally attract a wider range of investors now that the opportunity has been derisked sufficiently. Companies in their growth stage will look to spend hard on marketing or in making key hires that can bring some experience to the table in bridging the gap between a startup and a growth company. The company will also have started to make enough noise to attract most institutional investors, like venture capitalists and angels, in addition to presenting an acquisition opportunity for larger incumbents in the market who might be concerned with its progress! Equity crowdfunding through platforms such as Equitise plays its best role at this stage. Series A, B… Many investors would have read about Series A, B, C and onwards rounds in the news for the various private company unicorns in Australia. These letters are simply used to categorise capital raises between seed/growth stages and IPOs. Some companies may only have a Series A round. Others may choose to stay private longer, such as Elon Musk’s SpaceX which is well beyond Series M! These rounds are when private companies begin to raise serious capital from large, institutional investors from within Australia and further abroad. Hiring and development really start to ramp up and valuations continue to climb. Generally, rounds are large enough that multiple investors will be involved often with a lead investor from a venture capital fund or institution. Pre-IPO For the companies that choose to go public, the first step is a pre-IPO raise. Many investors simply assume that when a company is large enough it will list on an exchange, but this is often not the case. Some companies prefer to stay private, and raise their capital off market. There are a number of reasons to do so, and importantly investors can still see a return through dividends, buybacks, acquisitions and off-market transactions. Listing on a stock exchange is a costly process. This means many companies will need to raise simply to afford the fees involved with going public. Often this is called a bridging round, and might involve a smaller raise from existing investors to allow the company to complete the listing transaction. IPO An IPO, or initial public offering, is where a company floats on a stock exchange such as the ASX. This is a costly and time consuming process that rewards the company with a publicly traded status allowing investors to buy and sell their shares with relative ease. Generally, a company will use a broker or investment bank to facilitate the bookbuild, which is the process of securing investors for the IPO round. There are some more complex ways to list on an exchange without raising capital, but most go for the simple route. Once a company is interested in listing publicly, a wide range of new investors generally become interested due to the increased liquidity. This also often represents an exit opportunity for the very early stage investors. One important consideration is that companies listing on the ASX need at least 300 shareholders. Even more is often recommended, which will allow for healthy trading upon listing rather than having just a few large shareholders. Equitise plays a valuable role in this space, facilitating what is known as ‘retail spread’. Since we have a large database of investors, brokers will often enlist our help to close out an IPO round with a few hundred investors, allowing the company to meet its listing requirements. These companies often have plenty of capital available to them, but simply need a range of investors on the register. Equitise is able to use technology to do so in a far more efficient way than traditional retail brokers. Equitise offers a range of early stage investment opportunities, including equity crowdfunding, wholesale and IPO! The companies we work with for equity crowdfunding are generally doing their Seed, Series A, B and C rounds and can go all the way through to IPO’ing with us. Learn more here.
June 3rd 2021
Should I Use Debt or Equity for Growth Capital?
The choice between debt or equity is an age-old question for companies looking to grow. Both represent forms of capital, which can in turn provide the funding required for a company to execute on its growth plans. The choice between debt and equity funding can however make a significant difference to eventual business outcomes. As such, it’s imperative that the company chooses the best path forward. What’s the Difference? The most basic form of debt is a loan, where one person, or entity, lends money to another. Attached to this loan are terms, including a principal, interest and maturity date. The principal is the original amount that was borrowed, the interest rate is the percentage of that amount that needs to be paid each period, and the maturity date is when the principal needs to be repaid. There are an infinite number of variations on how a debt instrument is structured, but almost all of us will touch debt in one form or another, such as a credit card, mortgage, or bank loan. Equity in its simplest form represents ownership in a company. When you buy shares in Telstra on the ASX, you are buying part of the company’s equity. Companies can raise funds by issuing new shares, or selling existing shares, in exchange for cash or other consideration. When an investor buys equity, they are entitled to a number of rights alongside other shareholders, such as a share of profit distributions, voting rights and more. They can also sell their shares at a later date for a capital gain if the value of the company increases. The key difference between debt and equity is that a company must repay its debt at the maturity date. On the other hand, funds raised through selling shares is the company’s to keep. For larger, more mature companies, debt generally far outweighs equity in terms of benefits. This is partly known as the debt tax shield benefit where leveraging through debt can allow a company to enjoy additional tax benefits alongside company growth. Furthermore, larger more stable companies are able to take on more debt and better rates, since banks can be more assured of their ability to pay back any loans. Large companies will still raise capital through equity, especially during difficult periods or when a large amount of funding is required. In this article, we’ll focus on the choice for earlier stage companies. Why Debt? Debt often has a taboo surrounding it given all the horror stories. There is definitely a level of risk attached to debt, but equally the benefits of leverage to accelerate growth are large. The main consideration with debt is if the company is in a suitable position. Some businesses are lucky to have shareholders or directors who can make interest-free loans, meaning the company can take its time to pay them back until it's in a position to do so. For others though, the range of debt available to early stage businesses is limited. Most banks will steer away unless the debt can be secured by an asset such as a piece of machinery or land. Some will also let the debt be secured against the wealth of a director, but this presents potential downside should the company fail to meet its objectives. At an early stage, many debt providers will also require strict terms with high interest rates that can derail a business when things don’t go exactly as planned. For businesses that are pre-revenue or pre-profit, debt is generally extremely risky and can upend not only the company, but people’s livelihoods. As a general principle, only borrow what you are certain you can repay, even if things don’t go to plan. If there’s one certainty in the start-up world, it’s that things never turn out exactly how you think they will! Why Equity? Many founders stray away from equity financing because it means giving part of your business away. Be that as it may, a smaller slice of a large pie is worth a lot more than a large slice of no pie! For most early stage ventures, equity financing is the only viable option until the business has reached a level of stability and profitability. The other key benefit of equity is that you don’t need to pay it back, or pay interest, meaning you are free to use the cash to grow aggressively without worrying about an impending due date. Bringing on shareholders can also have its benefits, such as strategic investors who can help steer the business in the right direction, or an army of brand advocates that can be achieved through equity crowdfunding with Equitise. An important consideration is not raising more than you need at any given point, as this would mean giving away more equity than necessary, which can reduce your control and stake in the business down the line. There are also other types of funding instruments out there. Hybrid securities, such as convertible notes, are a combination of debt and equity that can be particularly useful for certain companies in certain situations. Equitise facilitates raises for alternative instruments through our wholesale offers, but we can only raise via ordinary shares for equity crowdfunding opportunities.
June 3rd 2021
Why Don’t Companies Use Venture Capital Instead?
We are often asked why a company would choose to use equity crowdfunding or wholesale capital raising instead of venture capital. There are a variety of reasons for this, which we discuss below. Notably, the answer, at Equitise at least, will never be because they weren’t good enough for venture capital. We prefer to raise for companies that have chosen not to go down the traditional path of VC investment for specific reasons. Awareness & Advocacy The most common reason a company will choose equity crowdfunding over VC investment is the benefits of awareness and advocacy. For certain companies, the benefits of raising $1 million from 500 investors far outweigh raising $1 million from one investor, even if that one investor is a venture capitalist with strong experience and connections. Of course, some companies benefit more from the latter, but those that derive value from a large community of supporters can use equity crowdfunding to their benefit. The investors gained through equity crowdfunding can provide strong ongoing value beyond their initial investment. They act as marketing advocates for the company, themselves often becoming customers and promoting the business to their own network. These investors also provide a great sounding board for feedback on where the company is, and how it should grow. On top of that, many of these investors are still well-connected investors or business individuals who can provide the traditional benefits a VC investor might. Business Control A common issue with VC is the desire to take some form of control in the business. This will often mean voting control or veto rights to ensure the business is partially controlled by the VC investor. While some founders prefer to have this controlling influence from an experienced and talented investor, there are plenty of horror stories of losing control over a company’s direction because of ulterior motives. By raising capital through equity crowdfunding or wholesale raising on Equitise, founders can rest assured that they will remain in charge of the company’s overall direction. When making decisions they don’t need to worry about arbitrary red tape or competing perspectives. When you have multiple smaller investors rather than one large investor, company control is not threatened by an individual with significant voting power. Industry Alignment Some VC funds have highly specific target industries and company stages for their investments, meaning many early stage companies simply don’t align with VC preferences. Particularly in Australia where there is limited VC funding around, many companies will simply never be a fit for VC investment, no matter how impressive they may be. Allow Customers to Benefit Companies often work with us because they want their customers and followers to join them on the journey. If anyone should benefit from the company’s success it’s those who supported them in the first place by buying the product or engaging with the business in the very early days. Many founders want to give back to their community of loyal supporters, and equity crowdfunding allows them to share in any success. The beauty of equity crowdfunding is that any industry can raise capital if there’s enough interest from the crowd and the offer hits our quality standards. We’ve raised funds for fintechs, medtechs, retail, food products, breweries and more. Of course, there are certain industries and types of businesses which have performed strongly in equity crowdfunding to date (such as B2C products, breweries and fintechs) but we analyse every opportunity on its own merits in terms of quality and suitability to our platform. All of this isn’t to say that equity crowdfunding and VC can’t coexist. We’ll often raise capital in conjunction with a VC fund that may be leading or cornerstoning a round. Furthermore, VC funds can also invest in an equity crowdfunding deal or wholesale offer alongside retail and sophisticated investors. Equitise does not exist to disrupt venture capital, but rather gives founders a much needed alternative for raising capital and investors the opportunity to get involved in early stage businesses. 9/10 startups will fail and a major reason is a lack of funding. This flows on to mean less jobs and less innovation for Australia as a whole.
May 25th 2021
How to Survive Any Crypto Crash
The Rise and Fall of Crypto Cryptocurrency isn’t for the faint of heart, and if you are invested in it, be prepared for the rollercoaster ride of a lifetime. The true volatility of cryptocurrency has come to light in these recent weeks with more than 50% of Bitcoin’s value being wiped after fears that China would be cracking down hard on bitcoin operations. On the other end of the spectrum, a recent tweet from Elon Musk saw Bitcoin shoot up 17.12 per cent over 24 hours after he spoke to some “North American Bitcoin miners” about where their energy came from.
April 9th 2021
Craft Brewery Batch Breaks Several Equity Crowdfunding Records
Batch's equity crowdfunding campaign hit its maximum funding target of $1.5 million in just over a day after its public launch. Along with this came several equity crowdfunding records, including being the largest and fastest alcohol raise in Australia. This surpasses our own raise for The West Winds Gin back in 2018 which successfully closed after raising $932,000. Batch plans to use the funds raised to initiate its two-phase growth strategy, involving expansion through a unique hub and spoke model across NSW before looking further across the country.
March 19th 2021
Investor Testimonial - Lumiant
Anthony M invested in Lumiant - a disruptor in the Financial Advice industry who developed a platform that transformed the traditional financial advice process, driving better outcomes for advisers and their clients. As a regular investor in equity crowdfunding and Equitise, Anthony talks about his experience with equity crowdfunding. Lumiant raised $1,167,474 in just over a month, which was over 4x their minimum funding target.
March 17th 2021
Equitise Founder Jonny Wilkinson Chats to Equity Mates Podcast
Back in 2019, our founder Jonny Wilkinson sat down with the Equity Mates Investing Podcast to discuss investing, venture capital and how Equitise fits in. Since then, Equity Mates have enjoyed roaring success, particularly fuelled by growing retail investment amongst younger investors throughout the pandemic (not to mention high-quality content!). We thought we'd revisit the chat they had with Jonny where they discussed: What is Equitise and what is equity crowdfunding Why a business would choose to crowdfund over debt or venture capital How to buy into a company through Equitise The Pro's and con's of crowdfunding The major success stories that have come through Equitise The current state of the Australian VC market Plus much more! Taken from the podcast summary: "We love investing in companies at Equity Mates, and normally this is done through the public markets and stock exchanges. However, there is a whole other world of private markets that retail investors, like us, rarely get access to. It's in these markets, for example, that you get to invest in innovative, early-stage companies before they potentially exit with IPO. The good news is that there are businesses set up to make the private markets accessible to the retail investor. One of the businesses is Equitise. In this episode, we chat with the Co-founder and Director of Equitise, Jonny Wilkinson. Equitise is an equity crowdfunding platform, allowing Australian and New Zealanders to invest in early-stage companies in return for equity. It has the potential to be an exciting addition to your investment portfolio!" You can listen below:
March 16th 2021
Founder Testimonial - noobill
George Wang, founder of noobill, talks about his platform and his experience with equity crowdfunding and Equitise. Noobill is an Australian fintech that is empowering people by allowing them to take control of their household finances through their AI powered smart account platform. This platform allows for price-comparison, management and payment of all essential services within the one mobile app. Noobill raised $391,000 over a 20-day campaign, which was nearly 4x their minimum funding target.
March 12th 2021
AI-Powered Utilities Fintech noobill Raises Over 3x Its Target
It’s no surprise that noobill has just closed out a successful raise well above their minimum. After impressive beta phase validation, the AI-powered smart account platform is ready to use the $391,000 raised towards launch and rapid scale. noobill raced past its minimum in a relatively short equity crowdfunding campaign to kick off 2021 as the first successful Australian offer.
March 8th 2021
4 Things To Do Right Now Before Expanding Your Business
Are you ready to take your self-owned business to the next level? Expanding your organisation could mean more customers, more money, more responsibility. It’s an exciting time, and there are plenty of things to think about. Let’s take a look at some of the things you’ll need to consider as you expand your operation: 1. Set up a web presence Having a website is the number-one way to get information about your business in front of potential customers. Ninety-three percent of online experiences begin with someone inputting terms into a search engine, and if you have your content game on point and have the right keywords on your site, your business is more likely to appear on the first page of a Google search. Set up a website with these things in mind, so you can help potential customers see the value in the goods and services you offer. For an engaging and functional website, consider hiring a freelance web designer for the job. You can find qualified web professionals though online job boards, and you can easily filter by budget and job delivery time. 2. Form a business entity When expanding your business, you should consider forming a business entity, which basically sets up your company legally. First, you’ll need to ensure that the name you choose for your entity is not already in use. Second, you should familiarise yourself with the different kinds of business structures and their benefits: companies, partnerships, sole traders, and trusts are the major players in this space. Before filing to form your business structure, no matter which you choose, become knowledgeable with the requirements and filing fees. 3. Don’t forget marketing and networking! If you’re expanding your business financially, you’re going to need more customers. Having (or not) a savvy marketing strategy can make or break an organisation. Creating a website is the first step, but a competent marketing plan has many layers, including a website, social media, local ads, and even events. Create a plan that identifies your target market, a plan for social media sites like Twitter and Instagram, and concrete business goals beyond “make more money.” When writing your marketing plan, don’t forget to include how you will collect the data for this and what metrics you will be using. Being able to look at data and parse potential success is a critical part of creating a marketing strategy. 4. Ask for help One of the key things you should remember when creating your business expansion strategy is: Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Consulting a strategic business coach or advisor is a great way to improve your business’s chances of success. A business coach will learn your business inside and out and will be able to tailor their recommendations based specifically on your company. What’s more, they will help you make your business goals (the ones you made in the previous step) a reality because they know how to get it done. They can help you better define those goals, as well. Get moving! Once you consider all of the above, you just might be ready to take the next step and begin expanding your business. You’ve dotted your I’s and you’ve crossed your T’s — now it’s time to get moving on up. Need to raise capital for your business? Partner with Equitise to build a campaign and raise funds fast so you can achieve your business goals!
February 26th 2021
Financial Advice Disruptor Lumiant Raises Over $1m on Equitise
In our last equity crowdfund of 2020, Lumiant finished the year in a strong fashion, raising A$1,167,474 in just over one month. 264 investors joined Lumiant in its mission to transform the financial advice industry, investing an average of $4,422.25 - more than 3x the overall average investment. With over 4x the minimum target raised, Lumiant is well-positioned to execute its go-to-market strategy and scale.
January 15th 2021
January 15th 2021
Get Ready to Invest: How to Sign Up & Verify Your Identity
Signing up to Equitise means you'll be all ready to invest when the right opportunity comes along. You also have the option to sign up to our newsletters which means you'll be kept up to date on new and exciting investment opportunities every few weeks.
January 15th 2021
Investor Testimonial - Humaniti
Paul A invested in Humaniti - a disruptive fintech offering consumer insights from data and marketing research like never before. As a first time investor on Equitise, Paul talks about his experience. Humaniti raised $429,800 in the middle of 2020 despite COVID-19 which was well above its minimum fundraising target of $200,000.
December 21st 2020
Equitise 2020 Year in Review
2020 is finally coming to a close and we’re thankful that we, and all the companies we've partnered with, have more than weathered the storm. We came into this year with a very optimistic outlook, looking to really ramp up our growth and help more companies than ever before raise the capital they need. As a nation, we were first met with what’s being called the Black Summer. And then the largest global pandemic in recent history, which thrust our country, and economy, into lockdown, bringing pretty much all investment to a halt. Offers were put on hold indefinitely as businesses went into survival mode. We even went our longest period on record without an equity crowdfund. As a relatively young company, we consider ourselves lucky to have emerged from the lockdown with our full team intact. And yet despite everything that happened, there were still a lot of highlights to take from this year. We managed to increase our offer volume from 2019 (including a record NZ equity crowdfund) raising the most we ever have, launched our new branding and platform, saw some crazy returns for investors (looking at you Douugh) and have fortunately returned to our office. Our portfolio companies continued to kick goals, with some emerging even stronger than before. We welcomed a bunch of new team members too, including Hayden and Jack on the offers team, and Esther and Ryan on the tech team. Intern turned part-time deals team member, Nick, is also making the jump to full-time in the new year. We’re more excited than ever for what’s to come in 2021, and can’t wait to bring you even more highly vetted investment opportunities so you can support the companies you love. Read on for a full breakdown of our 2020.
November 30th 2020
Greenfern Breaks Equitise NZ Crowdfunding Record
After a blockbuster campaign, New Zealand based Greenfern Industries has raised a whopping NZ$2,883,000 through Equitise, smashing the record for our highest ever New Zealand equity crowdfunding campaign. The offer actually hit the retail investment limit of NZ$2,000,00 for New Zealand, with the remaining NZ$883,000 coming from wholesale investors. Over 1,000 investors got behind the innovative company, backing its mission to produce sustainable products that genuinely improve the lives of its customers.
November 27th 2020
Goodments Becomes a Certified B Corp
One of our past equity crowdfunding companies, Goodments, has some exciting updates from its journey to make the world a better place! Goodments is a share investing platform with a focus on investing for the social good. The application allows investors to easily screen opportunities based on their positive impact on the world across a range of indicators such as the environment and human rights. It also allows investors to easily access global shares and ETFs focused on sustainability, with super low brokerage fees starting at just $3 per trade. Over the last few years, Goodments has been on a journey to deliver an experience that changes how people think about investing. Empowering individuals from every skill level to invest to make money and do good. Goodments successfully raised capital twice with Equitise, first in a wholesale round of $80,000, and then through an equity crowdfunding campaign of $239,000. The company was able to use this funding to help continue to develop its product and reach a wider investor audience. B Corp Certification This month, Goodments was proud to announce that it became a certified B Corporation! B Corp certification is awarded to select companies with a business model that balances success and doing good. B Corps are rigorously screened on a number of key criteria that reflect their commitment to making the world a better place. Goodments’ inclusion on this list is a testament to the team’s positive impact on the world, through their own actions and through their investors’ choices. The B Corp movement is huge internationally, only gaining momentum in Australia within the last few years. Well known international companies like Patagonia, Ben & Jerry’s and Allbirds are B Corps and part of a new breed of companies who share the desire to reduce inequality, lower the levels of poverty, create a healthier environment, and build stronger communities. Some notable Australian B Corps include KeepCup, Koala and Stone & Wood. Goodments was built with positive impact in mind, from the outset. The company is making it easy for everyday people to access impactful investment opportunities, and avoid those that are involved in undesirable areas through its filtering capabilities. The company will use its B Corp certification to remain on track with its impact commitments, and to hold itself to an even higher standard. Certified B Corps have a legal requirement to continue to meet the rigorous standards imposed by the organisation that span across all aspects of the business, from its workers and suppliers, to its customers and environmental outcomes. And Goodments isn’t done there - the company has more plans to continue to improve the world around it, so stay tuned for any exciting developments to come.
November 24th 2020
2.5x Growth During COVID-19 for Revl - an Equitise Wholesale Raise
It’s been a rough year for most companies, with everyone affected by this pandemic in one way or another. Some companies have ridden the storm better than others, however, with the best being able to pivot their focus and position themselves even better for the future. One of our past wholesale raises, Revl, has done just that. Revl raised $150,250 from a few wholesale investors back in 2017, and has since used those funds to further develop its technology and offering. Revl makes video camera technology for experience companies such as rollercoasters, ziplines and skydiving. The cameras and their AI software allow operators to easily capture and provide video experiences to their customers, creating additional revenue streams and value. Based on the revenue Revl can generate for ride operators, it presents a very attractive proposition to strengthen existing offerings. The company generates revenue through the set-up and ongoing operation of video solutions, meaning that during the COVID-19 shutdowns across the globe, its revenue dropped to zero. However, having finalised its series A and after securing a $264,000 grant, Revl was able to ride the storm and focus its efforts on RnD. The most notable development was the completion of its Flow 2.0 system that combines Bluetooth beacon technology, radio-frequency identifications (RFIDs) and a self-checkout kiosk – lowering the cost of the entire Revl X system by 50%. These technologies have combined to create a magical experience for end customers whilst easing the strain placed on ride operators by efficiently managing a high-throughput system that can timely process and sell thousands of videos per ride per day. These developments alongside strong underlying management have accelerated Revl’s 2020 growth predictions. With sales and deployments rising quickly and its current pipeline worth $3.5m in annual recurring revenue (ARR), Revl could see 2-2.5x growth for the year, despite the pandemic. Revl also expects to be profitable in Q4 2020 – Q1 2021 having recorded over 85% profitability margins on its recent video sales in coasters and ziplines, and even higher in its driving experiences. In fact, in September, three of Revl’s coaster/zipline rides each generated over $245,000 in video sales for their customers in Zip world. Revl is able to generate $150,000-200,000 ARR per coaster – placing the company 8 coaster installations away from profitability. With experiences around the world reopening and the pandemic coming to an end soon (fingers crossed!), Revl is looking to continue going from win to win. Having focused on long-term initiatives and strengthened the underlying business throughout the pandemic period, Revl is now primed to scale and rapidly expand its innovative offering around the world. You can visit Revl's website here.
November 23rd 2020
How Lumiant Uses Technology to Deliver More Comprehensive Financial Advice
The following article was written by CEO of Lumiant, Santiago Burridge. Lumiant is currently live on the Equitise platform - click here to view the offer. The need to personalise while you digitise has increased ten-fold in 2020 as COVID-19 continues to change the way we interact with each other on a professional and personal level. The financial advice sector is no exception. The fallout from the Hayne Royal Commission has put significant pressure on advisers to improve the advice experience for consumers. The financial advice industry seems to be the last frontier when it comes to integrating technology. The process to date has been anchored in product with no evidence to back up the proposition that an adviser can pick the next winning investment. There has never been a better time to re-think the way that financial advice is offered and delivered. Despite the challenges wrought by a once-in-100-year pandemic, the latest EY Fintech Australia Census shows that the Australian fintech industry is sustaining its revenue base, with more paying customers and plans for future global expansion. In fact, this moment of crisis is driving a step-change in digital adoption and has adapted quickly to grasp new opportunities, with the consumer digital payments and transactions sector in particular seeing a huge uptick. Here at Lumiant, we are seeing structural change taking place in our industry that is ensuring clients of financial advisers not only comprehend the advice they are receiving, but engage with it. We believe that financial advisers have a great passion for the client, but until now have had their technology solutions anchor the conversation to product. We believe there is a sizeable gap in the current suite of financial planning solutions on the market, preventing advisers from being able to offer a deeply personalised and individualised experience at scale. And so, we are responding to that gap with a new technology solution. In the past, tech innovation in the wealth management industry has largely focused on meeting compliance and regulatory requirements, on middle to back-office efficiency and Statement of Advice generation. And while these facets are certainly crucial, there is still ample scope to evolve the financial advice process to include the client's personal life circumstances and goals, so they can truly plan for their own future and track their plans over time. What we’ve built does not centre around the Statement of Advice (incidentally, the most meaningless piece of advice for the consumer), but around uncovering the client’s relationship with and to money, their values, their goals -- what living their “best life” means to them. A dynamic planning process that brings to life what really matters, enabling a continuous advice process not a static six-monthly or annual meeting antiquated structure. Advisers can connect their financial strategies to the things that matter most to their clients. And the solution we’ve built makes it seamless and easy to do so. With the right tech, advisers can provide clients with a more engaging investment experience - one that goes far beyond the common offering of managed funds or core/satellite approach and still delivers a huge reduction in administration and time. Because what is often missing (or rather perceived to be missing) from the financial sector is the heart, the raison de rigueur underpinning the need for financial security. As the husband in a couple who recently went through the Lumiant process with their Adviser, said: “I think it was a magnificent process… I wanted my wife to get more out of life for herself, to be more rewarded with some of the things that she deserves. I don't think our [Financial Adviser] can be their best without doing that. Because unless they know everything there is to know about our lives, it would be an arduous task to mould our financial situation and help our decisions moving forward without understanding exactly what we're about as a couple”. Our platform offers just that: a way to uncover through a series of modules and via a human-centred design process, the ‘things’ that truly matter to people and how most money ‘things’ are actually life ‘things’. Globally, every industry and business is on the cusp of a generational change. The pandemic has only forced what was already happening: the unravelling of the one-size-fits-all service and the ushering in of a more personalised approach not just to advice, but to everything. But we can’t ask financial advisers to find a way to connect the numbers and decimal points to the desires and lives of their clients, without equipping them with the right solutions to do so. That’s where we’re aiming to help. (Lumiant’s interactive client engagement platform for advisers and their clients goes live in early 2021).
October 19th 2020
Douugh IPO Investors See 1633% Return on ASX Listing
Douugh's Successful IPO After an oversubscribed IPO round that closed in just a matter of hours, fintech startup Douugh listed on the ASX (asx: "dou") on Tuesday 6 October 2020 and has rewarded early investors with a return of up to 1633% if they managed to sell at its high. Hitting an intra-day high of $0.49 per share on Friday 16 October, Douugh’s share price increased by 16x after just 10 days. Over 2,500 people had registered their interest on Equitise to participate in the IPO, purchasing shares at just $0.03. Before its September IPO, Douugh had also run a wholesale raise on Equitise in 2019 rewarding those earlier backers as well. The stock is currently trading at 30 cents a share, reflecting a 10x return for those still holding. There's no denying that, especially in the wake of the Royal Commission, the neobank sector has been hot in the investment community. We've completed three raises for the first-cab-off-the rank Xinja - breaking equity crowdfunding records as investors line up to own a piece of the pie. This excitement around the disruption of the traditional banking industry is most likely a major reason for Douugh's listing success. However, Douugh Founder, Andy Taylor, explains in a recent article with Business Insider that it might be more than that. Another reason for the skyrocketing share price could be that Douugh's taken a different route to other neobanks, partnering with local banks and skipping the lengthy process of obtaining banking licenses and the need to dive into lending on the mortgage side. Taylor sees the opportunity, instead, in taking advantage of Australia’s new open banking regime and artificial intelligence (AI) to help customers. “It has always been about asking how can we help people better manage their money and live financially healthier,” he said. “We’ll input all this data, train up the AI system to make your money work for you.” “We have built that underlying platform and the next stage of that is for us to introduce wealth management into that and invest that money for you. And that’s what’s coming in the next six months.” What is Douugh? Douugh is an Australian purpose-led fintech startup, taking a proprietary artificial intelligence (AI) first approach to disrupting the business model of banking, helping customers live financially healthier. It operates a subscription-based financial wellness platform, which helps customers spend wisely, save more and build wealth via a smart bank account and Mastercard debit card. Douugh is not a licenced bank, therefore it is not forced into operating a traditional balance sheet model which is typically reliant on competing on price through the offering of traditional deposit and lending products such as credit cards, personal loans and mortgages. Instead, the company operates as a software and services business, charging end consumers fixed and variable fees. Just a handful of wholesale investors were able to get in early for Douugh’s private round in 2019, where the company raised $130,000. This year, our limited IPO allocation of $750K filled in just a few hours with 75 lucky investors getting in early, reflecting the high demand to back this Aussie fintech trying to change the way we bank. At Equitise, we’ve been fans of Douugh’s innovation for a number of years now. Led by Andy Taylor (Co-Founder of SocietyOne), Douugh is an exciting fintech prospect with a bright future ahead. With the funds raised from its IPO, Douugh is continuing to develop its market-leading technology with an intended US launch in the near future. If the first few days of trading are anything to go by, the company is certainly one to watch. Don't miss out on opportunities like Douugh. You can view live equity crowdfunding campaigns here.
October 19th 2020
Humaniti Raises 215% of its Minimum Target
Humaniti recently closed a successful equity crowdfunding campaign during a difficult time of the year, raising $429,800, well above its minimum fundraising target of $200,000, reflecting 215% in overfunding. These funds will go towards scaling the business to a wider audience to rapidly grow the platform. With its technology already heavily invested in, the company is perfectly positioned to grow and expand. Ben Dixon, CEO of Humaniti, said, ‘’Humaniti is disrupting the consumer data and marketing research industries by offering what we refer to as the ‘holy grail’ of consumer insight - the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ all seamlessly connected on one platform. Alongside this, we give everyday Australians the tools to budget better and the opportunity to earn extra cash.’’ He continued, ‘’We’re called Humaniti because we provide benefit to individuals, companies and the wider community (via our charitable donations). Undertaking an equity crowdfund is just an extension of this as we wanted to give our members the opportunity to share in our success.’’
October 19th 2020
Botanic Wellness Raises Over $400K Prior to Planned IPO
Botanic Wellness launched a very quick campaign through Equitise, with an intended IPO planned for November 2020. Despite only 18 days to complete the raise, the company smashed through its minimum target of $250,000 to raise $406,000. It plans to immediately put the funding towards a new crop plantation, in addition to preparing for an IPO on the ASX. What differentiates Botanic Wellness from other cannabis companies is that rather than operating its own farms, Botanic Wellness established joint-ventures with existing farmers of other crops, and provides them with the expertise and seeds required to transition to cannabis farming. The two entities then share the profits, thus reducing Botanic Wellness’ exposure to risk factors and diversifying their operations. This also means the company can scale much faster than a traditional farming operation. Our top reasons for investing in Botanic Wellness were: The company’s unique streaming business model allows it to keep risks low and expand fast The planned IPO for November provides a potential exit opportunity for investors in the raise Botanic Wellness was already generating strong revenues with big growth potential, including a highly scalable approach to farming
September 11th 2020
Top Reasons to Invest in Humaniti
Humaniti is a next-generation technology platform connecting consumers and businesses like never before. For members, Humaniti is the first personal finance app where members can not only link key accounts to handy dashboards for help with budgeting but also earn extra cash through surveys. For businesses, Humaniti is a revolutionary data platform providing deeply insightful decision-making tools by providing a 360 degree view of a consumer based on completely de-identified, aggregated data. Humaniti is free to use for consumers, and generates revenue through its ability to provide unparalleled insights to businesses. Having already passed its minimum funding target of $200,000, Humaniti will close successfully at the end of its campaign. Here are some of the reasons why you should consider an investment in Humaniti. Innovative Tech Venture Humaniti has built a next-generation consumer data platform that utilises enterprise-grade technology solutions with best-in-class privacy measures. The proprietary platform has been significantly invested in to-date, and continues to iterate and improve on an ongoing basis. It seamlessly integrates with businesses’ data analytics, while providing consumers with an easy to understand means of managing their finances. This means that it combines the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ of consumer data, marrying a range of industries that together represent a market opportunity of over $80 billion worldwide. This market continues to expand as businesses, both small and large, realise the importance of insightful data to help inform key decision making. Four Examples of Humaniti Can Change the Data Game Humaniti provides a large range of potential applications for its business clients that have previously been highly inaccessible. By leveraging its proprietary technology, the company is able to make a genuine difference for its clients in improving their decision making by combining the ‘what’ with the ‘why’. In a recent webinar (which you can view here), CEO Ben Dixon explained some of the unique ways Humaniti can be used: More accurate reporting: In a recent survey it was found that people under-report what they spend on groceries by 29% and over-report their spend on fast food by 37%. If you were to therefore rely on qualitative data alone, marketers would be acting on inaccurate information which is why it's so beneficial that Humaniti actually taps into transactional data. Measuring above-the-line marketing: Humaniti can help marketers understand the effects of initiatives such as sponsorships which in the past have been hard to measure. For instance, KFC sponsored the Big Bash and Humaniti identified through surveys and transactional data that the group who watched the Big Bash had a 35% uplift in spend on KFC during that time period. This demonstrated to KFC that their marketing was effective, particularly when they could also compare it to the spend on their competitors. Targeting trigger behaviours. If someone switches from UberEats to Deliveroo, Humaniti can trigger a survey within 48 hours to understand why the consumer might have shifted, resulting in more accurate insights. Understanding category shifts: Humaniti gives insight into how much market share a company has compared to competitors and can trace what happens to that category over time, such as what happened during COVID. Linked To Over 240 Institutions The Humaniti platform links to over 240 financial institutions including banks, superannuation funds, share trading platforms and more. This means that members can easily link their key accounts, securely, to the Humaniti platform, allowing them to sort and track transactions to provide insights into spending patterns. Rapid Membership Growth Humaniti already has over 10,000 happy customers, with this number growing every day, supported by Australia’s largest media partners. With the proceeds of this equity crowdfunding campaign, the company plans to ramp up its marketing efforts to quickly scale its user levels. Transactions Categorised At Scale At the start of its campaign, the platform had already captured and organised over 16 million transactions ($5.6 billion) across more than 2,000 merchants. That number continues to grow every day, supported by Humaniti’s media partners and high level of service and functionality. Raised $4.981m Over 3 Years The company has successfully raised a substantial level of capital in recent years, with investors including Founders, VC Firms, Media Agencies, HNWs, CEOs and Business Owners. This investment opportunity is on the same terms as existing shareholders. Humaniti is now going down the path of equity crowdfunding to ramp up its marketing efforts and build wider exposure and awareness for the platform. In addition to the above, the company has successfully raised over $300,000 so far in its campaign with Equitise. Major Media Partners Significant equity investment by ScaleUp Media Fund (News Corp, Network Ten, Nova, Foxtel, REA Group) will drive Humaniti's brand awareness and member acquisition over the next 2 years. The company will be able to access unique media opportunities through its investment partners to boost its awareness and rapid customer acquisition intentions. Community Impact Humaniti gets its name because it benefits its members, clients and the wider community. It provides its users with access to optional surveys for real monetary rewards, rather than credit or tokens. The company also purifies 4 litres of water through UNICEF every time a Humanitirian responds to a poll. It also adds a further 10% to everything its members earn from surveys and donates that to charity. Humaniti is a member of Pledge 1%, and also gives members the option to donate some or all of the money they earn from surveys to a charity of their choice. If you want to know more, download the offer document or watch our webinar with CEO Ben Dixon. These are just a few of the reasons why our fundraising team selected Humaniti for the Equitise platform. When investing, be sure to consider the information provided in the deal room and offer document, as well as the risk warning. If you have questions, you can ask the company directly through the Q&A functionality. Remember to invest early so you don’t miss out! You can view the offer here.
September 7th 2020
Parpera Case Study
Parpera is an Australian fintech company seeking to build an ecosystem of fair and transparent products and services that helps people to effectively set up, manage and grow their business in the new economy. Parpera is developing a digital solution that will initially seek to provide digital wallet, card, payment, and money management capabilities. These features are co-designed with a community of Australian businesses to help them improve the way they do business. Parpera is not a bank, and is therefore not incentivised to make money off its members' money, but rather aims to make it easier for its members to setup, manage their money. Guided by international precedents of similar success stories in foreign markets, Parpera is hoping to change the way we do business.
July 20th 2020
July 20th 2020
July 3rd 2020
Our Founder Jonny on the FinTech Australia Podcast
Our Founder & CEO Jonny Wilkinson appeared on the FinTech Australia podcast recently. You can listen for free through the link below, or read on for the full transcript. Transcript Dexter Cousins 0:03 Welcome to the FinTech Australia Podcast, brought to you in partnership with Tier One People, Australia's leading FinTech executive search consultants. I'm your host, Dexter Cousins. This is Episode 22 and I'm joined by Jonny Wilkinson, co-founder of Equitise. Equitise is a crowdfunding platform that simplifies the investment marketplace. It removes traditional barriers to investing in sourcing capital by making the process quick, easy and safe. And it enables your average Aussie to invest in early stage startups like Xinja. Johnny shares his personal journey of launching the business and gives his views on the investment market. Before the show, I want to say thanks to our partners FinTech Australia. They're a member driven organisation, building an ecosystem of Australian FinTechs to advance the global economy. They share the same mission as Tier One People, in that we look to build a strong community, foster connections and support innovation. If you'd like to find out about membership, go to fintechaustralia.org.au/join-now/ Johnny, Welcome to the show. Jonny Wilkinson 1:21 Thanks Dexter. Thanks for having me Dexter Cousins 1:23 Could you tell our listeners a little bit about what you do and who you are? Jonny Wilkinson 1:27 Sure. Equitise is an investment platform for unlisted companies. We primarily use equity crowdfunding. Which is a concept of every day investors being able to put a relatively small amount of money into supporting, venture capital and other startup businesses. We've been going since 2014. My co founder and I, Chris Gilbert, were sitting in a pub at mates birthday. We're both chatting about wanting to get out of our corporate gigs, we knew what was happening in the space, regionally and globally. There was potential changes that was opening up equity crowdfunding and figured we'd go for it. We both woke up with sore heads the next day and weren't sure what was going to happen. But literally, there was something that came up on my newsfeed, I used to work in stock broking at Citibank, and we talked about basically, that what is now the precursor to the H 2 accelerate. Dexter Cousins 2:30 I guess you've been waking up with sore heads ever since. Have you? Jonny Wilkinson 2:34 Yes, the store has changed its from problems and stress rather than the alcohol Dexter Cousins 2:42 You've had some really great successes. I go back two years ago, I think a lot of listeners would be aware of Xinja. You actually helped Xinja with, at the time was a record, equity fund raise. What was that experience like? Jonny Wilkinson 3:02 Xinja was the very first retail, equity crowdfunding deal done after the laws changed., the day we actually got our licence. On the 11th January 2018 we launched with Xinja. It went gangbusters. It went beyond our wildest expectations, planning and preparation that our team and Xinja had put in to get it ready. It really paid off. I didn't leave my desk other than go to the bathroom a couple times for the ensuing 12 hours after we launched. It was a huge success. We ended up raising about $2.5 - $3 million for them as the first equity crowdfunding deal, which we were pretty impressed by. Dexter Cousins 3:46 I guess you've continued that relationship, there was a second and a third fundraise. Could you tell us a little bit more some of the other businesses that you work with? Jonny Wilkinson 3:56 Definitely. As you pointed out it's an ongoing relationship. That's a big part of our DNA and how we operate. We want to be the trusted partner and advisor that works with these businesses. And makes it easy for them to continue to grow. So we definitely want to be there and help them raise money a second and third time. Some other companies we raised money for, that the viewers might know about, Car Next Door. We've helped them raise money a couple times. There have been wholesale raises that we've helped with. Things like GoCatch, you may have heard of, we've helped them raise money. We did a retail raise last year that went out to their drivers. Endeavour Brewing, the boutique beer label that has the pub down in The Rocks. We've helped them raise money. Westman's Gin, a Perth gin distillery, we've helped them raise money. We've now helped, I think we've done 74 raises for 65 companies over the past few years and raised about $45 million. Dexter Cousins 5:08 You touched on this before. You're not just helping startups raise money, but you're helping your average Aussie tap into an investment opportunity that they've never had access to up until a couple of years back. What have you found from the customer side? As in the investor side? What's been the feedback? Jonny Wilkinson 5:32 It's been amazing. We set out with this mission to make early stage capital markets more efficient. In doing that, it's a two sided marketplace, we need companies and we need investors. Part of equity crowdfunding, and what we do is trying to make it more open and transparent for everyone to be involved. Traditionally, venture capital is an asset class that everyday investors can't readily access because you either need to be a wholesale sophisticated investor or the minimum cheque size is something in the order of $250,000 to buy into a VC fund. Most of our deals there is a minimum $250. We think it's an amazing way of allowing everyday investors the opportunity to build up a portfolio of some of these companies and that they can back some amazing, exciting businesses that have the potential to grow tremendously and potentially get great returns. It's something that we're very passionate about. Oviously, allowing everyone to be able to support and invest in these types of businesses is not only beneficial for the companies and the investors, but overall for the economy. It does tremendous things because these are the companies that are innovating, they're driving growth and employment. If we're gonna have a positive outcome, and we're gonna have innovation and things that mean the Aussie economy. Then having something like equity crowdfunding help underpin early stage capital markets is a great way of doing that. Dexter Cousins 7:07 Talking about the economy, I think everybody's been surprised by the performance of the stock market. It seems to be doing things that are contradictory to what might suggests we're in a economic slowdown. What do you put that down to Johnny? Have you got any kind ideas or theories as to why we're seeing this huge rise in stock markets? Jonny Wilkinson 7:33 I think there's a number of factors. Obviously, stock markets are trying to predict the future. People aren't sure of what's going to happen with Corona. Unlike previous downturns or going back to the GFC, which was a top down structural issue that unwound and devalued a whole lot of assets. This is a supply/ demand, bottom up driven outcome and the opportunity for the economy and the world to turn things back on and get back to normal is much greater. There's people trying to assess that and factor that pricing you. More to the point, particularly with a lot of the quantitative easing and other government plans, things that have been happening in western economies and other places around the world. There's literally never been more money in the world today than ever before. Right? People are probably reassessing, people are probably getting more comfortable with lower yields and returns on assets. People that can't put money in a bank and generate any real returns or wanting to invest it. Then, specifically in Australia, we're very lucky to have superannuation, which is now extremely mature. I can't remember what the current figure, is there's $2.6 trillion in superannuation. And that is a tremendous amount of money to underpin the economy with. More to the point, nine and a half percent of the gross national income is coming into superannuation each month. There's money that needs to be invested. If there aren't any new issuances on the ASX, most of the focus and allocation of a lot of these assets is towards Australian stocks. The asset prices will just get pushed up. Which means the ASX keeps on growing even if there isn't commensurate, actual growth in the underlying companies on the ASX. Dexter Cousins 9:59 With technology certainly advanced since the GFC. I remember sitting at my desk with a Comm Sec account, putting on trades and it taking four days to settle. We're in a bit of a different world now where I could be anywhere with a smartphone and can invest. Having invested through the Equitise platform, a very, very simple process. Do you think the actual ease now with which the average investor has access to all of these opportunities, makes it a bit of a different paradigm that we're dealing with now. Jonny Wilkinson 10:40 Without a doubt, obviously it's much quicker and easier for people to take these opportunities at the moment. If you can get up an account and get AML/KYC'd and link it to your account within a few minutes get access. The stock market, whether it be a fund or an alternative asset, getting access to gold or investing in unlisted venture capital assets like ours. The ability to do that means that people can move quick. People can take benefit of the opportunities that present themselves with volatility. If you're sitting on cash or you have money that you can invest or you can rotate your asset allocation from other things into these opportunities, then yeah, it's a tremendous time to be alive and investing and using FinTech and all these other things. To have access is pretty tremendous. I do remember being similarly back in the day on a PC on CommSec, buying things around the GFC. As you say, you couldn't really have done that today. Businesses like Stake that now give you very quick and easy access. Automate the US W8 tax forms and those sorts of things, for relatively low cost, is actually a tremendous opportunity as well that you couldn't even contemplate back in the day. At Citibank, when we were trying to set up some Australian institutional clients the steps and the forms and the things we'd need to go through to actually set them up to trade in the US was quite involved. Whereas these days individuals can do it in a matter of days. Dexter Cousins 12:32 I want to talk a little bit more about the Equitise business, Johnny. Particularly the journey that you've been on. I consider us as being good mates, it's been fantastic to see the growth of the business and the journey that you've been on. I guess for our listeners, what's that actually been like? You mentioned that you got a sore head when you woke up and it's been challenge after challenge. What have been some of the highlights for you as you've gone through that journey? Jonny Wilkinson 13:07 Thanks. and yes, we are good mates. AWe have had sore heads together. It has been a long journey. We started the business with an expectation that the laws were going to change to allow for equity crowdfunding in Australia. So in 2014, when we got accepted into the H2 accelerator and we quit our jobs, it was slated to change in a relatively short period of time after. Within six to 12 months. Not long after that all happened there was a change of government and we realised it was going to be delayed by considerable amount. Having quit our jobs, taken on some money, and had begun building the investment platform, we didn't know what to do. We quickly got on a plane and went to New Zealand. There was always an idea of doing Australia and New Zealand and then taking on Asia Pac. We got to New Zealand, we spread out our wings, went through our networks. We cold called people, we sent everyone emails, LinkedIn connections, and proceeded to have meetings with all the venture capitalists, angels, lawyers, accountants and people in the early stage capital markets that we could. We met with the regulator, the regulator was very encouraging in what we're doing. Then we came back to Australia, we had a board meeting, there was only Chris and I on the board at the time, but we had a couple of advisors. We quickly made the decision that New Zealand was what we needed to do. The next day I got on a plane and moved to New Zealand Ffor 18 months. We got the business quickly set up and licenced over there. The process of moving to a new country, we lived in a youth hostel for a long period while over there getting set up. Living off savings and sniff of an oily rag. Having to do that to get the business going and navigating all those challenges was difficult. Very lucky to have good family and friends and other people around me for support to allow that, which was great. From there the process of actually getting the legislation changed to allow for equity crowdfunding was pretty arduous,. It took a lot of time, took us pushing from a lot of different angles. We had to lobby the government and the opposition. We went to Canberra a few times. I have a funny story about James Bond, who was the head of the Financial Services Council for Economics and me going down to Canberra right after the there was a big security scare. Each of the offices of Senators and parliamentarians we went to go meet, their guy at the front desk had to call them up and announce who was coming. He was calling up and saying I got James Bond and Jonny Wilkinson to see Senator Sinodinos. You can tell he was getting some pretty bemused responses. Dexter Cousins 16:16 Massive disappointment when they turned up the reception and you were standing there Jonny Wilkinson 16:23 Even more James Bond wasn't there. It was a very difficult process. We spent a lot of time and a lot of shoe weather trying to get people involved and decision makers looking at it. There was a lot of things happening that were diverting the government's agenda and policy focus at the time. That was really difficult. We were lucky to be a part of some of the founding people involved with FinTech Australia. FinTech Australia has been an amazing platform for us to help get access and lobby the government. By virtue of that I was lucky enough to be put on a FinTech advisory panel to the government. Which again was another avenue we were able to use. We just have to go about getting the laws changed, which is no mean feat. I'm never going to try and start another business where I need to do that ever again. That was obviously a lot of time and energy and difficulty. We had to work with ASIC and make sure that we got regulations in place and then get licenced again in Australia and get going. Look, there's been a fair bit to do. We also had the usual growing pains of businesses, working out to get get funded. Paradoxically, it's harder for us to raise money for ourselves than clients a lot of the time. We've been through the usual travails that are all startups get to. While we like to think we're still startup in some ways, we've been going for a while. It's been fun. It's been a roller coaster, but there's plenty more to do and we're pretty excited. Dexter Cousins 18:13 How many people do you have in the business? Jonny Wilkinson 18:15 So we're a team of 10. Split pretty equally across technology, marketing, deals and management. We work pretty collaboratively. We've got our own proprietary technology. Our marketing team works with each of the companies we are raising money for, as well as doing the broader Equitise marketing. We've got of great guys and some juniors that help out in the running of the deals. Then there's the management side. It's a decent size. We're hopefully looking to grow a little bit in the next little while and it's exciting. Dexter Cousins 18:54 You touched on this a little earlier, Johnny, I guess around the significant impact a business like Equitise can actually have on the economy. We've mentioned Xinja, that was your first cab off the rank. Two years on from that they're out there raising a huge amount $400 million AUD. It must be really satisfying to sit back and see the level of impact you're having on the industry. Jonny Wilkinson 19:27 Definitely, it is amazing. It's something that we're very proud of. One of the things that kind of gets us going and out of bed every day is not only do we get to speak to amazing people doing tremendous things, but a lot of the companies we help go on and do well and keep on growing and give people jobs and all that sort of stuff. It's very rewarding, and it does deliver a reasonable amount of impact, I think. Private companies are the lifeblood of the economy, and they do drive growth and employment. For instance, not only Xinja but actually the second company we ever raised money for out in New Zealand works in a pretty niche space in funds management and life insurance. They are variable annuity provider, which doesn't sound sexy at all, but they provide financial products to retirees, that gives them certainty in life and they will get a annuity for the rest of their lives. They credit us, we help them with their first raise, if we hadn't helped them, they don't think they would have got that money and may not have been able to go on. We've now raised money for them four or five times and they're looking as though they're gonna potentially list or do something pretty interesting next year or so. To have watched them grow, they now have more than $250 million funds under management. They weren't even licenced when we first raised some money. All therse sorts of things that you see happen over time and the impact and what that brings is tremendous. As I said with these guys, they're the only licenced provider of this sort of product in New Zealand. They're doing a great job of providing a pretty essential service and product that does give these retirees some certainty and peace of mind in retirement. Dexter Cousins 21:27 Have you got any exciting deals in the pipeline that you can mention at the stage? Jonny Wilkinson 21:33 Yeah, we've got lots of exciting things, actually. With COVID and where everything's been of late, we've been holding off a little bit. We also have an exciting new platform, we've rebuilt the technology from scratch. That's quite exciting. Coming up, we have Bricklet, which is a fractionalized property play, which is quite exciting. You can now actually be on title rather than buying units and a fund or some sort of product and own part of the property. So that's quite exciting. We've got another little business that are doing authentic, certified organic, whole food. They're a bakery that are doing quite well. We've got a couple of exciting sort of the tech businesses coming through. Humaniti a personal finance up where you can actually earn money. Yeah, there's a lot of exciting things coming through in the short term and then were stacking of the pipe and there's some exciting stuff coming for the second half of the year. Dexter Cousins 22:54 Johnny, it's been fantastic to have you on the show and mate a little bit different a chat you over a microphone rather then over a beer. Nonetheless, I never get sick of hearing about, not only the story of Equitise, but all the great work that you're doing. I think people often underestimate the importance and the role that you guys play and hence why we're just massive supporters of everything that Equitise do. Jonny Wilkinson 23:21 Thanks a lot mate. That means a lot. We do do take a lot from that. It's nice to hear that and have people understand that. I look forward to having a beer and talking more sometime soon. Dexter Cousins 23:36 Well, that's the end of the show, folks. Thanks for tuning in. And thanks to our partners FinTech Australia. Remember to subscribe we're on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Google and all of your favourite players. Check out the show notes for additional info on our current opportunities. If you'd like to sponsor the show, or you're looking to hire game changing FinTech talent, check out tieronepeople.com or contact talent@tier onepeople.com
June 3rd 2020
The Wholesale Offer Guide
What is a wholesale offer Equitise facilitates investment opportunities that are only accessible by accredited investors. We enable our investor community to invest “deal-by-deal” in specific, highly sought after growth businesses that are ordinarily quite difficult to secure firm allocations for. A wholesale offer is a traditional form of private company capital raising. Wholesale refers to the exclusivity of the deal to wholesale investors, as opposed to an equity crowdfund or IPO that is open to retail investors. Wholesale offers can involve ordinary shares in addition to alternative instruments such as convertible notes. These offers are generally less restricted by financial regulations owing to the classification hurdles faced by wholesale investors.
June 2nd 2020
How to Get Started On Equitise
Investing with Equitise Investing in exciting early-stage businesses on Equitise is easy, transparent and fun. We launch new equity crowdfunds, wholesale offers and IPOs on the platform every month so here are a few tips to get you started on your journey. How to register your interest New offers are featured on the website, in our fortnightly newsletter and on our social media channels. When you see an offer you like, register your interest. Only those companies who receive enough interest will go on to raise capital, so make sure you signup. You'll also get exclusive early access when the offer does go live. How to Invest When the company opens for investment, head to the offer page to access all the important information relating to the offer and to invest. Investing is free and can be completed in a few minutes. 1. Click invest on the offer you wish to back & choose the amount 2. Create an account 3. Verify your identity online (name, DOB & residential address). You may need to upload an identification document 4. Invest using either direct debit or debit card For an equity crowdfund, Australian retail investors can invest anything from the minimum amount (usually around $250) up to $10,000 per company per year. Wholesale investors and New Zealand retail investors are not limited in their investment. For an IPO offer, there is no limit for both retail and wholesale investors. When is an offer successful? Once the minimum funding target is hit an offer is successful and you officially become a shareholder. If it doesn't reach the target your investment is returned in full. You can find out more about the minimum and maximum funding targets here. If you like a business, ensure you invest early to give that business the best shot at succeeding. What type of investor am I and what can I invest in? A retail investor is any Australian or New Zealand resident over 18 years old. They are eligible to invest in retail equity crowdfunds from their own country and IPOs. A wholesale, accredited or qualified investor varies between countries. If you think you qualify you can often invest more than a retail investor, plus access overseas and exclusive wholesale offers. In Australia, it's anyone who has earned over $250,000 for the past two years or has more than $2.5 million in net assets. In New Zealand, there are a number of qualifications such as sufficient financial knowledge or certain asset requirements. Find out more on each of the definitions here, and if you qualify, update your investor status within your dashboard here. View current offers.
June 1st 2020
The Capital Raising Process for Companies
The Capital Raising Process If you’ve just submitted your application to raise with Equitise, congratulations! That’s the first big step in what could potentially be a very rewarding and beneficial stage in growing your company. Here we’ll discuss the next steps in our process so you have a better idea of what to expect in the coming days.
May 29th 2020
What is an Accredited Investor?
A to Z of equity crowdfunding Throughout the Equitise platform, we mention quite a few industry-specific terms that you might be wondering about. For a full breakdown of the a to z of equity crowdfunding, check out our glossary here. One of the most important terms you’ll come across is accredited investor. There are a few different names for accredited investors which vary from country to country including wholesale, sophisticated, eligible and qualified. The criteria that need to be satisfied for each also differ so it's important you understand what the requirements are in your country - for some it's based on wealth, others more on knowledge and experience.
May 29th 2020
The Benefits of Equity Crowdfunding
There are numerous benefits of equity crowdfunding that make it an incredibly exciting industry compared to traditional investment opportunities. Equity crowdfunding is democratising investing, making the investment in startups and early-stage businesses accessible to all whilst simultaneously offering an alternative route to raise capital for businesses looking to scale and grow. Here are some of the top benefits: For Investors Get behind exciting, brave and innovative start-ups Equity crowdfunding gives investors the ability to invest in some of the most exciting companies that are challenging the status quo and helping to bring innovation to the industry. Investors can back companies they believe in, and as shareholders stand to profit if the company pays dividends or an exit event occurs such as listing on the ASX or NZX. Minimal barriers to entry Part of democratising investment is not only the access to these innovative early-stage businesses but also the low entry price. Each offer sets its own minimum investment amount however it usually starts from around $250. This means, unlike other investment routes, it’s highly accessible to everyone. Without hefty transaction fees (we charge nothing to invest) or high minimum investment thresholds, equity crowdfunding provides an excellent opportunity to start your investment journey or diversify your portfolio. Anyone can invest Equity crowdfunding enables everyday investors to access unique and previously inaccessible investment opportunities. With the attractive area of private company finance traditionally locked away for wealthy and highly connected investors, recent regulation means that any resident over 18 can now get involved. Diversify your portfolio Diversification means investing in different assets in order to spread the risk. Equity crowdfunding provides an easy and powerful way to diversify your portfolio. Within equity crowdfunding, there is no limit on the number of companies you can invest in. Combined with low minimum investment levels and no hidden fees, this means investors can easily diversify their holdings across industries and stages. Private company investments also provide a great way to diversify your overall portfolio. Since they are not traded on a public stock exchange, they are often less correlated with the ups and downs of the market as other shares are and whilst riskier, the potential returns are often higher. Due diligence Before launch, a company has to go through a rigorous due diligence process in order to be accepted by the platform. As an intermediary, there are specific due diligence checks we are legally required to undertake. On top of that, the Equitise analyst team aims to select companies that have the highest chance of success for potential investors by spending weeks to months looking at the financials, team, business model, offer specifics and future plans. Only a fraction of the thousands of companies we analyse each year end up conducting campaigns on the platform. Nonetheless, despite our best efforts, we can’t predict the future with early-stage companies failing for various reasons. Make sure you consider the offer document and risk warning before making your investment decision. Potential for high returns Similar to venture capital, investing in private companies through equity crowdfunding can carry greater risk, but it can also bring greater returns if the business is successful and provides an exit opportunity. Getting in early means investors can potentially experience significant gains as the company grows (imagine investing in Apple or Google from the start!), however, investors can similarly face a higher chance of losing part or all of their investment if the company fails. For more information on returns, click here. For Businesses Access to capital A third of startups fail due to a lack of capital. The world of venture capital can be brutal at times, and sometimes even the best businesses struggle to raise funds when they need them. The sad truth is that many deals hinge on founders being well-connected with key individuals, and industry outsiders face far higher barriers to funds. Equity crowdfunding provides a much-needed alternative avenue to raise capital, where the crowd, as opposed to just a few key individuals, decide if they want to invest. This access to capital hopefully means more early-stage companies succeed, helping to improve the industry for customers through its innovation. The creation of loyal brand advocates When you raise capital through the crowd, you create an audience that is literally invested in the success of your business. These individuals now have a real shared stake in the success of the business, and will often spread the word, purchase your products and do what they can to propel your business forward. With retail and wholesale investors engaging together, you might also walk away with some key strategic partners, insightful feedback and engaged stakeholders. For businesses, it’s a great way to reward your loyal customers, as who better to invest and stand to profit from your success than those who backed you from the start. Mass brand awareness Equity crowdfunding is not just about raising capital, it’s also a marketing campaign helping to increase brand awareness and possibly customers. The role of marketing in equity crowdfunding cannot be overstated, and most companies will experience a variety of press coverage throughout their campaign. In addition, the wide audience reached through the Equitise network, even if they don’t elect to invest, can provide another excellent marketing opportunity. Industry and stage agnostic At Equitise we consider ourselves industry and stage agnostic. That means we are open to all types of companies, from fintech to gold mining, from pre-revenue to profitable. Each company is assessed on its merits, and our variety of capital-raising instruments allows us to utilise the most appropriate method for a given company. Fair capital raising structure Our fee structure is transparent and clear, with no hidden fees along the way. We don’t demand a slice of equity for an unreasonable price, valuing each company fairly and as accurately as possible. For investors and businesses, the list of benefits could go on and on. That’s not to say equity crowdfunding is without drawbacks and risks, and every deal must be objectively considered on its merits but we believe it's fantastic for investors, companies and innovation. If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to reach out.
May 29th 2020
Minimum, Maximum, Overfunding - What Does It All Mean?
When you first click onto an equity crowdfunding deal room it all might look a bit foreign at first. Perhaps you’ve engaged in traditional forms of crowdfunding before, but even then the implications of certain terms differ quite significantly when equity is involved. Here’s a quick breakdown of three key terms right at the top of equity crowdfunding deal rooms.
May 29th 2020
Equity Crowdfunding vs. The Stock Market vs. Crowdfunding
Having only been introduced in Australia in late 2017, equity crowdfunding is still a relatively unknown area for most. Some have never even heard of it, despite being involved with the stock market or traditional forms of crowdfunding. The name itself can be quite confusing. After all, most associate the concept of crowdfunding with a donation or rewards-based initiatives, and the idea of buying shares in a private company seems foreign. Below, we break down the key differences between these three areas.
May 29th 2020
What is Equity Crowdfunding?
You’ve heard of Kickstarter? Equity crowdfunding is similar, but when you fund projects on Equitise, you get a stake in the business. It's a great way to throw your support behind amazing businesses. Equitise is the leading investment platform in Australia & NZ which partners with innovative early-stage businesses running equity crowdfunds or wholesale offers and IPOs.
May 29th 2020
Earning A Return With Equity Crowdfunding
How do I make money from a private company investment? Aside from the other benefits of investing in startups and early-stage businesses, we understand that visibility on how you make a return is still key. There is uncertainty when it comes to making money from any investment in a company but even more so with ones not yet listed on the stock exchange. This is because equity crowdfunding investments are relatively ‘illiquid’ (meaning you can't easily sell your shares) so a return can’t be made until what we call an ‘exit event’ occurs whereby you can sell your shares. However, high school economics teaches us that with greater risk, comes greater returns, generally. It’s the same principle here. Early-stage investing in startups is usually seen to be riskier than investing in more established businesses as there are a lot more unknowns however because you’re getting in on the ground floor, there can also be higher returns.
May 29th 2020
Crowd-Sourced Funding (CSF) Glossary
Whether you’re new to investing or a seasoned financial professional, the world of equity crowdfunding comes with a wide range of unique terms that you may not have come across before. Admittedly, a lot of the jargon used in the finance industry can be at times unnecessary and restrictive to newcomers. Here at Equitise, we’re trying to democratise the venture capital industry and provide unique opportunities to everyday investors. So while we will still use the technical terms where relevant, education is a top priority of ours, and here’s a quick breakdown of some of the key terms.
May 29th 2020
How / why we need to validate your identity
We’re required by law to perform AML/KYC checks on all our investors. AML/KYC stands for anti-money laundering/know your customer. These are standard checks against government databases that many types of companies must perform to comply with specific regulations. We legally must perform these checks before we can allow you to invest. When you enter a form of identification to complete the verification process, that information is only used to complete the safe and secure AML/KYC checks. It’s all done online using documents such as your passport or driver's license. It only takes a minute, after which you’re all set to get involved with the very exciting opportunity that is equity crowdfunding.
May 29th 2020
Is Equity Crowdfunding Safe?
We are sometimes asked about the safety and legitimacy of equity crowdfunding. It’s a reasonable concern, given the relative youth of the industry and lack of widespread knowledge of the practice. There are concerns over the legal protections, as well as the safety of investments themselves. Below, we break down the key components that contribute to the safe and well-regulated area of equity crowdfunding.
May 29th 2020
Initial Public Offering Guide
What is an IPO IPO stands for Initial Public Offering. This is when a company lists on a public stock exchange such as the ASX, also known as floating or going public. An IPO occurs when a sufficiently mature company wishes to raise capital from public investors. Becoming a listed company means that those investors can buy and sell their shares on the exchange. Shares are issued through a prospectus, enabling individuals to apply to make a purchase of a parcel of securities (also known as equity or shares). Prior to this process, the company must convert to a public entity. What’s the difference between IPOs and equity crowdfunding Both involve the sale of shares in exchange for capital to fund company growth and operations. Both are also accessible by retail investors (any Australian resident over 18 years), although equity crowdfunding has a maximum investment of $10,000. All information about an IPO will be housed in the Prospectus Document which is similar to the Offer Documents of equity crowdfunding. The key differences between the two are stage of company and future outcomes. Since IPOs are quite a costly process and often involve raising significant amounts of capital, they are usually only undertaken by mature, larger companies. After an IPO, the company is traded on a public stock exchange, meaning investors can buy and sell their shares. On the other hand, equity crowdfunds are often companies that are earlier in their journey. The shares are still private, meaning there are fewer options to sell, however the aim of a lot of companies that undertake an equity crowdfund is to go on to IPO, providing this option to their shareholders. Benefits of IPOs The key benefit of IPOs for businesses is capital raised. On a public stock exchange, businesses have access to millions of investors and therefore have the opportunity to raise significant capital. For investors, IPOs carry benefits of liquidity and maturity. Since a stock exchange is a secondary market, investors can buy and sell their shares immediately, potentially making a return which decreases the risk of investment. However on the flip side, whilst equity crowdfunds can be riskier there is also a potential for higher returns as you're investing at the beginning of the journey. How we select IPOs Our rigorous vetting process also applies to our IPO selection process. We ensure that every part of the business is in order, complies with regulations and presents an attractive investment opportunity for our community. Fortunately, there are significant disclosure requirements for companies choosing to go public, meaning that there will be sufficient information for even the most seasoned of investors to analyse.
April 8th 2020
Companies That Have Pivoted with Covid-19
In times of crisis, true innovators and dreamers are often the ones to rally, finding creative solutions to our problems or identity opportunities that weren’t there before. It shows us that as humans we are resilient and adaptive, creative and courageous. Even in the last few weeks we’ve seen many examples of fantastic innovation in business, from startups to larger companies alike. Some of these businesses must adapt to stay afloat, while others simply seize an opportunity. It’s more important than ever to think outside the box by leveraging existing capabilities and pivoting to new areas. Below we take a look at twelve examples of business ingenuity and persistence. Mercedes F1 team In light of the cancellation of the Formula One season, the talented engineers in the Mercedes High Performance Powertrains team worked alongside engineers and clinicians at University College London to reverse engineer and develop a Covid-19 ventilator ready for mass production. These items are essential for more serious cases but are in short supply worldwide. This clever solution has been approved by the UK’s National Health Service. The efforts, dubbed Project Pitlane, are also being assisted by the other UK-based teams Red Bull, Racing Point, Haas, McLaren, Renault and Williams. Nice to see even the strongest of rivals ban together! Restaurants and cafes With social distancing laws in full effect worldwide, and at home, we’ve seen the hospitality and dining industries hit particularly hard. We’ve also seen some great ingenuity from all sorts of local institutions in converting their offerings to accommodate these new restrictions. Even the fanciest of high-end restaurants are offering takeaway options (including cocktails, yes), online cooking classes and DIY food packages. This enables these businesses to stay in business, and help keep at least some of their staff onboard. For our team, getting a special takeaway has also become the highlight of our week. $5 tacos and $12 margaritas from Bondi’s Carbon come highly recommended. Atomo HIV Testing Rapid blood-testing startup Atomo is an HIV testing company looking to soon list on the ASX. They’re funded by some big names including The Global Health Investment Fund, backed by Bill Gates. With the onset of the Covid-19 crisis, the company is repurposing its technology and capabilities to develop self-testing kits for Coronavirus. Not only is it looking to provide accurate testing, but also accessible and user-friendly systems that other solutions are currently lacking. Founder John Kelly hopes to have the tests ready in weeks, before proceeding with clinical studies and regulatory approvals. Read more here. LVMH Hand Sanitiser Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH) is usually known for their high-end fashion items, perfumes and alcohol products. The french conglomerate, with 76 portfolio companies, pivoted in just 72 hours after the French Government called on industry to help meet the needs of doctors and nurses. The 71-year-old billionaire quickly approved the pivot from luxury goods to hand sanitiser which is produced and donated to hospitals to bolster their supplies. Using existing capabilities and connections, the company is able to produce tonnes of the product, resulting in this truly impressive act of generosity. Bravo! Detmold Face Masks Adelaide-based business Detmold normally produces packaging for companies such as Subway. It’s now working to create 145 million face masks for medical staff in-need, with 45 million for South Australia and the rest shared across the country. Not only does this move provide a massive boost for those on our medical frontlines, it also means the company is employing an additional 160 staff for mask production, saving lives and stimulating the economy simultaneously. Breweries Hand Sanitiser Owing to their capabilities in alcohol production and products, an increasing number of Aussie breweries are answering the call to help bolster Australian supplies of hand sanitiser. They’re using existing capabilities and resources to produce the new liquid gold. CEO of Carlton and United Breweries, who are producing 30,000 litres of hand sanitiser, said: “for more than 150 years we’ve helped Australians come together over a beer. Now it’s time to lend a helping hand as they stay apart to fight the virus.” Other household names chipping in include Archie Rose, Four Pillars Gin, Canberra Distiller and Manly Spirits. Calumino Thermal Imaging Calumino has been preparing to launch its new product Eve Care, a thermal imaging device to monitor falls in aged care facilities without compromising privacy. With the onset of the virus, the company put its plans on hold to pivot its technology to building compact, AI equipped devices that can rapidly measure temperature for screening purposes. In just a few weeks the company has secured contracts with airports and governments to help in an area characterised by high cost and cumbersome technology solutions. RapidWard Importing Renewable energy entrepreneur Milton Zhou recently set up not-for-profit company RapidWard out of his own pocket. The company’s purpose is to import and export testing kits of surgical masks for Covid-19 from China to the rest of the world without marking up the price. He’s doing his best to help secure and bolster shaky supply lines for the benefit of the wider community. Zhou has been working 19-hour days, and has brought on six volunteers to provide assistance. His goal is to help Australia become one of the first countries to flatten the curve of the virus. Cork and Canvas Online Australia’s first paint and sip studio, having spawned a wave of similar offerings, has now taken its service online! With the virus preventing in-studio sessions, the team at Cork and Canvas is providing virtual sessions from the comfort of your own home, perfect for a stay-at-home date night or family fun! It’s also offering creativity kits for home delivery for those without a large stockpile of art supplies that come with canvases, paints and brushes. Isol-Aid Music Festival Isol-Aid is a clever take on the music festival industry, using Instagram live streaming to bring together artists and fans. Having now held three separate online festivals, Isol-Aid has featured dozens of artists and reached hundreds of thousands of fans in their own homes. It might not be the same as an in-person festival, but these performances have allowed artists to interact with their audience and create a somewhat surprisingly more intimate experience. The live streams are free, providing fans around the world with some much needed entertainment, while festival organisers are encouraging donations to struggling musicians. Art Galleries Online Another in-person experience disrupted by the Covid-19 crisis is art. While it’s always been possible to have a squiz at your favourite artist online, there’s something special about seeing their work in person at a gallery. Art Basel Hong Kong is Asia’s largest contemporary art exhibition, and was recently and understandably cancelled. Fortunately, the organisation is providing a panoramic virtual gallery experience with over 90% of its line-up (231 galleries) opted in. That means over 2,000 works of art worth over $270 million are on display for a quarter of the original fee. The Sydney Dance Company Online Finally, we come to the Sydney Dance Company, who have quickly converted their traditional dance classes to online form. Through their virtual studio, participants can access an unlimited range of dance classes for all levels for just $28 a week. The dance classes offer a great way to stay fit, improve your skills, or just have some fun, with classes including tap dancing, conditioning, hip hop and ballet! An excellent initiative keeping people entertained at home while allowing instructors and the company to stay in business. Unfortunately, being able to pivot and adapt your business like the ones above is not a reality for everyone. The fact of the matter is that the vast majority of companies will be hit hard by this crisis. The Australian government is doing its role in helping to stimulate the economy and help as many as possible to stay afloat. Read more about our summary of government initiatives here to find out if you might be eligible for assistance. In times of crisis we’ve also historically seen new companies founded that go on to achieve big things. You’d be surprised at some of the names that came out of the 2008 GFC - check out our blog post here. Equity crowdfunding remains a great way to support startups that are innovating and creating growth from the ground up. With longer term investment horizons and a lower correlation to public stock markets, these also present a great opportunity to diversify your portfolio holdings. Read more about why investors are turning to equity crowdfunding here. Social distancing wave
April 8th 2020
Reasons to Invest in BRICKLET
Despite everything going on in the world, we continue to launch new and exciting startups looking to raise capital to fast track their growth. These companies are the true innovators and drivers of our economy and retail equity crowdfunding presents an excellent way to support them directly and share in any success. Our newest retail offer is BRICKLET, a revolutionary fragmented property platform that is truly disrupting property investing. It offers a world-first model that makes investing in property accessible, easy and fast. It does this by breaking up a piece of property into ‘bricklets’ which are bought by investors at a fraction of the cost. Bricklet owners are a registered owner of that fragment on the land title and receive all the benefits that come with owning an investment property – such as rental and capital yields. We’ve summarised some key points which impressed us about the company below. Disrupting an age-old industry Property investing is nothing new, in fact it’s one of the oldest options out there recognised for its stability and ability to offer tax benefits, rental income and capital gains. Nonetheless, it’s an area that hasn’t seen much innovation for a long time. A major pain investing in property is the high cost of entry with the average house deposit in Australia being $161,800 (based on 20% of the average house price). This is true for both first time investors and more seasoned investors who wish to diversify their portfolio by buying several properties. Other pains include how much time it takes to buy an investment property as well as the issues associated with rental management. In contrast, BRICKLET enables investors to become landlords within days at a fraction of the cost whilst also receiving hassle-free asset management. World-first concept and platform There’s fractional property investing and then there’s fragmented. Confusing we know, but the difference is significant. Fractional property involves the purchase of a given property funded by a number of fractional smaller investors. However individual investors are not included on the land title, but rather own a fraction of the trust that owns the property. This limits direct exposure and control, meaning that if the entity ceases to exist, so too does the value of the investment. Another similar model to fractional investing is Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) which function like a managed fund of stock market investments. Investors gain exposure to the trust itself, rather than individual properties within the trust. As such, the choice in the buying and selling of specific assets is limited, with these decisions instead made by a manager. BRICKLET divides properties into a set number of “bricklets”, each with a value proportional to the overall investment. The investors are on the land title which means that the asset will never cease to exist like a trust and they have complete control over selling the asset. Whilst there are several examples in Australia of fractional investing platforms, the founding team of BRICKLET have never come across another fragmented investing platform making it a world-first. Backed by the best Don’t believe us? BRICKLET’s approach has been validated by big names in the real estate industry. Property giants Mirvac and Stockland joined the company on the journey as initial investors to fund its development and growth. Both companies conducted extensive due diligence and legal review and believe there’s a strong future for fragmented property. BRICKLET was also named by the Australian Financial Review as a top prop-tech company to watch in 2020. Plus Accounting firm BDO said “fragmented property investing could be ground-breaking for SMSFs by giving investors all the benefits of property without many of the risk and compliance drawbacks”. Traction to date BRICKLET has sold just under $9 million in bricklets in the first quarter of 2020 after launching in September last year. This is even more impressive when you consider the launch was only to wholesale investors - the group that fragmented property investing is currently limited to given its relative youth as a financial instrument. The Company is working with regulators to provide the opportunity to all Australians. Check out the coverage of the launch on Channel 9 and the ABC. Track record BRICKLET’s unique solution was entirely developed in-house by leading software development and commercialisation company Lakeba Group. Lakeba has successfully commercialised a number of software platforms including Shelfie, which was also a success story for Equitise with a current valuation of 8 times the original price in the 2018 raise. Proprietary technology This technology developed by Lakeba Group enables the company to provide a fast, seamless and highly user friendly investment experience in addition to ongoing property and portfolio management. The platform enables investors to purchase and trade securities hassle-free. This approach also enables BRICKLET to continue to develop additional revenue streams through the platform such as detailed analytics and finance. We see a lot of great ideas in our line of work but it’s really exciting when you come across one that’s not only a world-first but has already been built and received impressive traction. BRICKLET also has the benefit of not just operating but disrupting the property market - an industry at the heart of the ‘Great Australian Dream’ and one that has long since been recognised as a stable investment class. Marry the above points with the backing of two industry giants, as well as proprietary technology, and you’ve got an offer that’s pretty beefy! A few points to consider in this current crazy world we find ourselves in: Equity crowdfunding is a longer term investment as the equity is currently ‘illiquid’, which means the shares can’t readily be sold until an exit event like an ASX listing or a buy-out occurs. This means that the value of the investment is less prone to the fluctuations in the market like we’re currently experiencing as it gives the market time to recover Market correlation and investment returns aside, one of the best things about equity crowdfunding is the ability to support the Australian startups driving the economy from the bottom floor. Startup communities are becoming increasingly important in the modern economic era, and these opportunities allow you to make your investment mean something, whilst also potentially making a return, with funds going straight into growth and job creation. The property market isn't always correlated with ASX downturns and market crashes which means that BRICKLET might be less sensitive to the current climate. For instance in the 2008 GFC, the share market dropped a whopping -40% whilst the national property market rose +7.5%, and then in the following years went up +1.9%, +13.7%. Continue reading here. You can view our other equity crowdfunds here.
April 5th 2020
Opportunities in Crisis - Startup Success Stories that Emerged from the GFC
At times like this it can be hard to look beyond the horizon. There is no doubt that the Covid-19 pandemic is and will continue to have devastating effects on the economy, on people’s livelihoods and on their health. These things happen, and it’s important to remain positive where possible and look ahead to the future. But before we do, we’ll look back to the past for just a brief moment to acknowledge what did emerge out of the very tough climate of the GFC. The GFC was sparked by the collapse of a number of financial institutions with flow-on effects reaching all parts of the global economy and plunging many of the world’s markets into recession. Australia was one of the lucky few to avoid a technical recession, but nonetheless we felt the full impact of the crisis on our economy and livelihoods. Yet, despite the far-reaching impacts of the crisis, entrepreneurs and innovators remembered that when there are so many things we can’t do, we should never forget what creativity can do. Below are some of those success stories that emerged from the 2008/09 GFC. Uber - Founded in 2009 after founders Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp weren’t able to find a taxi on a cold night in Paris. This highlights the point that when consumers have a need, and businesses can solve it, an opportunity exists. Uber has since become a mainstay on most phones, it’s even used as a verb these days, and is valued at over $45 billion. Slack - This work messaging platform was founded in 2009 by co-founder of Flickr, Stewart Butterfield. We ourselves use Slack to communicate at Equitise, and the application is perfectly positioned to grow even more during the current crisis, given the vast majority of companies working at home. It’s now valued at over $15 billion. WhatsApp - Founded in 2009 by Jan Koum and Brian Acton, this messaging application changed the way people communicated over the phone. It found particular success in countries with limited cellular capabilities, given its ability to operate on Wi-Fi. The application was purchased by Facebook in 2014 for $19 billion. The potential success of startups founded in times of recession is not just limited to the GFC. Looking further back you’ll find even more companies rising out of the ashes. One example is General Electric (founded in 1892) which persisted through The Panic of 1893 to become one of the original 12 companies listed on the Dow Jones Industrial Average, where it has since remained. Or how about Disney (founded in 1929), a company that went head-first into The Great Depression, now a household name covering everything from superheroes to jedi knights. We've already seen great examples of companies pivoting in just the last few weeks from our local restaurants who now do takeaway (including cocktails!) to anything from gyms to wine clubs taking their offerings online. Now whilst not all businesses can pivot as quickly or as well (our local massage place is offering conference calls to teach us self-massage), what we have seen has been truly amazing. There's even a HIV self-testing startup who has already pivoted to help testing for covid-19. Smart Company wrote a great article on how global entrepreneurship will shift into overdrive as those who are wired to solve complex global problems lean right in to deliver solutions that create positive change. The article also outlined that: ''Future-focused investors will back those opportunities, as they always have, and the base of people rallying behind these worthwhile projects will expand to include everyday investors via equity crowdfunding. This will be particularly helpful for B2C companies, allowing them to raise capital and engage their consumers simultaneously.'' Crowd-sourced funding is one way to support these exciting businesses from the ground up, and to potentially share in any success they might encounter. It’s also a great way to diversify your portfolio and protect against crises such as this, you can read more about this here. So keep a look out as to what comes on the platform in the coming months. The human spirit and drive for innovation and progress is resilient. We’re sure that in a decade or so we’ll all be looking back at the world-changing startups founded during the Covid-19 crisis. Until then, stay safe, look after those around you, and be kind. Socially distant hugs, Equitise
April 1st 2020
Covid-19 & Government Support
In the last couple of weeks, the Australian government has announced three separate stimulus packages aimed at helping those impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. The team at Equitise has put together a summary of the government support being offered to small and medium businesses. We hope this information is helpful in navigating these uncertain times. 1. JobKeeper Payment (Wage Subsidy) As one of the latest announcements, the JobKeeper payment is a subsidy to businesses that will keep more Australians in jobs throughout the course of the coronavirus outbreak. Affected businesses can claim a fortnightly payment of $1500 per eligible employee from 30 March 2020. This payment is for a maximum of 6 months. To be eligible: A business (with a turnover less than $1 billion) must have lost at least 30 percent of their turnover over a month long-period compared to last year All workers (including self-employed) can access this money, but casuals would need to have been with their employer for at least a year. Workers who have been stood down can access this payment, but those who have been made redundant cannot For further information click here and register your interest on ato.gov.au. 2. Boosting Cash Flow for Employer Available from 28 April 2020, the Boosting Cash Flow for Employer measure will allow eligible businesses to receive up to $100,000 for operating expenses. This would help cover rent, pay bills and retain staff. To provide this relief, the government will pay 100% of the PAYG Withholding ($10,000 minimum to $50,000 maximum) on wages lodged in the March 2020 and June 2020 Business Activity Statement. Any refunds will be processed within 14 days of lodgement. To be eligible: A business must have an aggregate annual turnover under $50 million, established prior to 12 March 2020 and employ workers Click here for further information. 3. Temporary Relief for Financially Distressed Businesses The government has temporarily increased the threshold at which creditors can issue a statutory demand on a company and initiate bankruptcy proceedings. Individuals and companies will also be given more time to respond to these statutory demands, and directors will have temporary relief from any personal liability for trading whilst insolvent. The package also includes temporary relief for directors from any personal liability for trading while insolvent, and providing temporary flexibility in the Corporations Act 2001 to provide temporary and targeted relief from provisions of the Act to deal with unforeseen events that arise as a result of the Coronavirus health crisis. The ATO will also tailor solutions for owners or directors of business that are currently struggling due to the Coronavirus, including temporary reduction of payments or deferrals, or withholding enforcement actions including Director Penalty Notices and wind-ups. Find out more. 4. Increasing the instant asset write-off To support Australian Businesses, the government has increased the instant asset write-off threshold from $30,000 to $150,000 and expanded the eligibility criteria to cover businesses with an aggregated turnover of less than $500 million. This would help businesses claim a tax deduction and will be in place until 30 June 2020. Find out more 5. Backing Business Investment The government has introduced a time-limited 15 month investment incentive (until 30 June 2021) that will allow businesses to deduct the cost of depreciating assets at an accelerated rate. To be eligible for the accelerated rate of deduction, a business must have an aggregated turnover of less than $500 million and the depreciating asset must: Be new and not previously held by another entity (other than as trading stock) Not be an asset to which an entity has applied depreciation deductions or the instant asset write-off rules Be first held on or after 12 March 2020, and used before 30 June 2021 Click here for more information. 6. Supporting Apprentices and Trainees In a move to support small businesses retain their apprentices and trainees, eligible employers can apply for a government wage subsidy that will cover 50% of the apprentice’s wage or trainee’s wage up to 30 September 2020. In the event a small business cannot retain an apprentice, the subsidy will be available to a new employer that employs that apprentice. Employers will be reimbursed up to a maximum of $21,000 per eligible apprentice or trainee ($7000 per quarter). Find out more. 7. Tax Relief The ATO has decided to provide administrative relief for businesses impacted by the Coronavirus. This would be assessed on a case-by-case basis. To find further information talk to your accountant and contact the ATO’s emergency support and Infoline on 1800 806 218. 8. SME Guarantee Scheme The government has announced that it will guarantee 50% of new short-term unsecured loans issued by eligible lenders to small and medium businesses. With businesses across the economy experiencing disrupted cash flow and unable to meet existing obligations, this scheme can provide a business up to $250,000 to be used for working capital. To apply for this scheme, you will need to contact your current financial institution. Find out more here. 9. Financial Institutions As a result of the new measures implemented by the Government, the Reserve Bank of Australia and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, there has been an increase in the ability of lenders to provide credit in a timely and accessible manner. Below is a summary of some of the initiatives introduced by the Big 4 Banks as a response to the COVID-19 health crisis. ANZ All impacted customers can request a 6-month payment deferral on loan repayments for term loans, with interest being capitalised. Temporarily increased access to overdraft facilities for the next 12 months Reduced variable interest small business loan rates by 0.25% Westpac All impacted customers can defer the principal and interest payments of their business term loans, business auto loans, equipment finance facilities and equipment loans, for six months Reduced the interest on overdrafts and small business cash-based loans by 2% and 1% respectively, effective Monday 6 April 2020 For 3 months, Westpac will automatically refund all eligible merchant service customers their merchant terminal fee Offering a 12 month, 1.7% p.a interest loan of up to $500,000 for personal, business and SMSF customers Customers who are experiencing financial hardship can defer the repayment to their business credit cards Commonwealth Bank Automatically defer their customers business and equipment loan principal and interest repayments for 3 months, and allow customers to extend it to 6 months. Until May, Commbank will waive certain merchant fees for eligible business customers Reduced interest rates by 1% on small business loans, effective 3 April 2020 NAB Reduced the variable rates on their small business loans by an additional 100-basis points. This is on top of a 25-basis point reduction earlier in March. Allow customers to apply to defer their principal and interest payments for up to 6 months on a range of business loans.
March 31st 2020
Food to Nourish Case Study
Food to Nourish (FTN) launched in 2013 in co-founder Danielle Minnebo's kitchen. As a nutritionist, she saw a major gap in the Australian market for whole food products that are nutrient-dense and made with integrity and love. Now in a custom-built 600m2 production facility in West Gosford, NSW, FTN produces a wide range of high-quality snacks and food products from nut butter to cake mixtures. The company also provides contract manufacturing services which currently takes up 50% of its revenue supplying to competitors as well as companies looking to enter the health food space.
March 31st 2020
Kitfit Case Study
Kitfit is a revolutionary retail technology company founded by a deeply experienced management team. It provides proprietary software that results in an online shopping experience that is 50 times faster, 20 times more personalised and 10 times the fit accuracy of existing systems. The company is addressing the issue of misfit - whereby customers return goods that aren’t right - a problem that is costing retailers hundreds of millions each year in returns, loss of brand advocacy and category abandonment.
March 31st 2020
Xinja Wholesale Offer Case Study
Overview Xinja is an independently owned and operated Australian neobank disrupting the age-old banking industry right at its core. As our first ever Australian retail equity crowdfunding company, Xinja has continued to kick a whole lot of goals over the past couple of years. It’s raised with us every year in fact, and most recently completed an exclusive wholesale round as it looks to ramp up growth even more. The reason for completing a wholesale round was that Xinja exceeded the CSF asset cap as defined by ASIC, and thus unfortunately weren’t able to expand their offering to our retail investors.
March 22nd 2020
Covid 19 Opinion Piece: Stock Markets Have Taken a Hit So What Do Investors Do Now?
Jonny Wilkinson, Co-Founder of Equitise, talks through options now the stock market is down 30% About a month ago the ASX200 index, the value of the 200 largest companies on the stock exchange, hit a record high, which is generally a good reflection of the health of our economy. Fast-forward a few weeks and with the spread of Covid-19, the market has plunged over 30% and is fast approaching the levels of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. Part of this can be attributed to the economic impact of the virus, slowing down growth and consumption. Another part can be linked to panic selling, with many investors liquidating their assets to avoid further losses, and to have some cash reserves for rainy day scenarios. Where can investors look when traditionally stable sources of growth such as Qantas and CommBank are down over 70% and 30% respectively? The experts are all saying the market will recover and that continued investing will help it to recover quicker and I couldn’t agree more. However in the meantime, there are also alternative options other than the stock exchange which aren’t as sensitive to market conditions. This includes longer-term investment options which are currently ‘illiquid’ such as equity crowdfunding, private equity and infrastructure. Equity crowdfunding is a relatively new way to invest which is highly-regulated and secure. Whilst previously only available to wealthy investors, anyone can now invest in an early-stage company or ‘startup’ in exchange for shares. Whilst investing in early-stage companies carries greater risk, there is potential for greater return as you get in on the ground floor. It’s also highly accessible with investment starting from $50. Because the equity is currently ‘illiquid’, which means the shares can’t readily be sold until an exit event like an ASX listing or a buy-out occurs, it’s a lot less prone to the fluctuations in the market we’re currently experiencing. This week was evidence that some investors are turning to equity crowdfunding in these market conditions. We closed two offers successfully, raising nearly $1 million from 190 investors. The first one, Kitfit, is a really innovative RetailTech app which helps consumers find the products that fit them best when online shopping. The second, Food to Nourish, is one of Australia’s leading health food producers. More evidence was perhaps the launch of a new equity crowdfund this week - Bondi-born eyewear Pacifico Optical which already has $74,000 invested. With most of the market dominated by just a few massive conglomerates, prices for sunglasses and optical were historically very high. Pacifico wants to change that by offering high-quality, stylish and affordable eyewear and is raising capital to ramp up their operations and expand. With the majority of its revenue coming from its online store, Pacifico feels that despite current market conditions, their strong sales will continue. Market correlation and investment returns aside, one of the best things about equity crowdfunding is the ability to support the Australian startups driving the economy from the bottom floor - something that the market might desperately need right now. Startup communities are becoming increasingly important in the modern economic era, and these opportunities allow you to make your investment mean something, whilst also potentially making a return, with funds going straight into growth and job creation, rather than into the pocket of a senior executive. And for the reasons listed above, we believe the equity crowdfunding industry will remain robust throughout this period.
March 22nd 2020
Investors Turn to Equity Crowdfunding After Stock Exchange Plummets
The stock market has fallen 30% but Equitise has had one of its biggest weeks, raising nearly $1 million Leading equity crowdfunding platform Equitise last week closed two offers, raising nearly $1 million from 190 investors. This suggests that despite the stock exchange plunging 30%, investors are still participating in alternative investment options that are less sensitive to the current market fluctuations. The first offer was Kitfit - a RetailTech app. Global from day one and already attracting major interest, Kitfit is changing the game for how we shop online eliminating issues millions face daily. Its equity crowdfunding closed on Monday 16 March, raising a total of $502,000 from 116 investors. In the last day alone, over $65K was invested. Out of the total raised, $469,000 was from NSW with 35-44 year olds being the more frequent investors. The second equity crowdfund to also close on Monday was Australian-owned health food brand and manufacturing business Food to Nourish. The company raised $446,000 from 69 investors with 43 of those coming from NSW closely followed by 35 from Queensland. The most frequent age again was 35-44 year olds. Last week the stock market plunged over 30% and is fast approaching the levels of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. Part of this can be attributed to the economic impact of the virus, slowing down growth and consumption. Another part can be linked to panic selling, with many investors liquidating their assets to avoid further losses, and to have some cash reserves in order to seek opportunities or for a rainy day. This is perhaps why investors are turning to alternative options which aren’t as sensitive to market conditions. This includes longer-term investment options which are ‘illiquid’ and won’t vary too much from the underlying asset value such as equity crowdfunding. Launching only in 2018, equity crowdfunding allows anyone to invest in an early-stage company that hasn’t listed on the stock exchange in return for equity. As unlisted companies, their returns are a lot less correlated to the market. Whilst investing in early-stage companies carries greater risk, there is potential for greater return and it’s widely been acknowledged that investing into these companies is a great way to diversify your portfolio. With volatile market conditions upon us, there might be no better time than to diversify your portfolio which is perhaps what some of the 190 investors were thinking who invested in Kitfit and Food to Nourish. Last week Equitise also launched Bondi-born eyewear label Pacifico Optical which already has $74,000 invested. With the market dominated by a few major players who keep prices high, Pacifico offers high-quality, stylish yet affordable eyewear and is raising capital to ramp up their operations and expand. With the majority of its revenue coming from its online store, Pacifico feels that despite current market conditions, their strong sales will continue. Market correlation and investment returns aside, one of the best things about equity crowdfunding is the ability to support the Australian startups driving the economy from the bottom floor - something that the market desperately needs right now as demonstrated by Scott Morrison’s stimulus package announced yesterday. Startup communities are becoming increasingly important in the modern economy, with funds going straight into company growth and job creation, rather than into the pocket of a senior executive. Founder of Equitise, Jonny Wilkinson, says: “We love giving everyday Australians the ability to get behind the companies that really are the engine room of our economy. It’s an uncertain and difficult time for many, but investing in longer-term options that don’t fluctuate as much with the market is a smart move. It also supports the economy helping these brave, innovative and exciting startups bolstering long-term growth. We believe the equity crowdfunding industry will remain robust throughout this period.” Kitfit Returns for online purchases are at 33% globally, costing retailers hundreds of millions of dollars annually and wasting 70-120 hours a year of consumers’ time. The Kitfit team has created breakthrough technology that is 50 times faster, 20 times more personalised with 10 times the fit accuracy of existing systems. Using a myriad of data, it identifies products in use by people like you from all over the world, only serving you products that actually fit your measurements and meet your needs and taste. Food to Nourish Food to Nourish launched in 2013 in Co-Founder Danielle’s Minnebo’s personal kitchen and quickly moved to its first commercial kitchen in early 2014 before relocating in 2018 to a custom-built 600m2 production facility in the Central Coast. Experiencing consistent and impressive sales growth, no other competitor company produces such an extensive range of health food products that are organic, gluten-free and sprouted with 37 product lines stocked in 800+ retail stores Australia-wide, and abroad in Singapore.
March 18th 2020
5 Reasons to Invest in Pacifico Optical
From a travel-inspired business idea to over $1 million in sales, Pacifico Optical is revolutionising the eyewear industry one pair at a time. Chuck on your reading glasses for some reasons you might consider investing in Pacifico. Expansion Opportunities Pacifico is fortunate to have a number of expansion opportunities just waiting to be actioned. To date, the company has primarily focused on the Australian market, making sunglasses that were more male/unisex in design. While these products in this market have been highly successful, there are also opportunities for growth. International expansion: Pacifico has sold sunglasses to 56 countries without a focus on international marketing. In particular, the US market, which is 73x larger than the Australian market, makes up 15% of online sales. Imagine what Pacifico could do if they started to actively market and expand further globally Female-focused eyewear: Finally, with a 67% male customer base, the company is planning to launch a female-focused line to take advantage of a major segment which is currently largely untapped. It also offers a great potential in the prescription eyewear category with 65.2% of Australian women 18+ in need of prescription glasses/contact lenses, compared with 54.8% of men. Prescription eyewear: Sunglasses represent only one part of the larger eyewear industry. The business expanded into prescription eyewear in 2018 acknowledging the high demand in that area for high quality but affordable glasses. Approximately 7 million pairs of prescription glasses are purchased every year and are tipped to increase with our ageing population. Customers of Pacifico Optical can also claim their prescription eyewear on health insurance. Omni-Channel Retail Pacifico employs a variety of retail methods in order to best diversify its sales channels and access a larger customer base. The company’s primary sales channel is its online store, with no permanent physical locations keeping overheads low and efficiency high. Pacifico further leverages digital sales channels via third-party e-commerce stores including Amazon and THE ICONIC. These provide additional brand exposure and reach. Pacifico also employs brick-and-mortar pop-up stores in strategic locations, with the latest in Bondi and Paddington NSW, to build brand awareness and increase access to both warm and cold sales conversions. An Industry Primed for Disruption We all know how pricey a new pair of specs can be. The reason some companies can get away with charging so much is that the vast majority of the industry is controlled by just a few massive corporations. This means they can keep prices high and us consumers can’t do much about it. Pacifico is part of the revolution in the industry, disrupting the outdated big players by providing high-quality products and stylish designs for a much lower price hurdle. In the digital age, no industry is safe from disruption, and companies like Pacifico help create a better deal for everyday consumers. Brand Traction Pacifico has enjoyed some impressive brand traction to date, having featured in a multitude of publications and on the heads of plenty of famous people. Vogue, GQ, Men’s Style and The Australian Financial Review have all featured the brand. So too have Harry Styles, Liam Hemsworth and Dacre Montgomery just to name a few. This is not only great exposure for the company but it’s a proof of concept, showing that Pacifico’s designs are on-trend. Quality-Focused Supply Chain At less than $200 a pair, Pacifico does not compromise on quality. The company has worked hard to establish a strong and flexible multi-national supply chain that keeps costs low and keeps quality high. Pacifico has partnered with industry-leading suppliers and manufacturers. It sources acetate frames from Italy’s Mazzucchelli and Japan’s Daicel, combining them with European hinges and lenses from Carl Zeiss Vision in Germany. To own a piece of this sunglasses brand that’s disrupting the big players, head to the offer page. We always encourage you to review all relevant information on the Offer Page and Offer Document. If you have any questions, we encourage you to reach out to the Pacifico or Equitise teams through the platform’s Q&A facility. Always consider the risk warning before making an investment.
March 11th 2020
Where Are They Now? 6 Innovative Companies That Raised With Equitise
As we look to start 2020 with a bang reaching the $40 million mark, we’ve decided to check in on some companies we’ve raised capital for, updating you on their amazing achievements since hitting their targets on the Equitise platform.
March 11th 2020
March 10th 2020
March 10th 2020
March 3rd 2020
Xinja Bank Launches Capital Raise for Sophisticated Investors as Part of Series D
MEDIA RELEASE 4 MARCH 2020 Xinja Bank launches capital raise amid unprecedented customer demand Australia's independent neobank has raised around $70 million to date It holds more than $300 million in deposits just 7 weeks after launching Stash savings account with 2.25% interest rate Offer open to sophisticated or wholesale investors: minimum investment $20,400 Xinja Bank, Australia's independent neobank built entirely for mobile, has launched a fund raise aimed at sophisticated investors, with a minimum of $20,400 to invest. The capital raise is part of Series D, and funds will be used to continue to build the lending side of the business, and regulatory capital. Xinja Bank launched a market-leading savings account, alongside its bank account, on January 15 2020. In just seven weeks, more than $300 million in deposits has flowed into the bank. Xinja now has 25,000 customers and more than 41,000 accounts. "This is a massive response from customers,” said Xinja Bank founder and chief executive Eric Wilson. “It’s a big vote of confidence in Xinja’s style of banking,” he said. Xinja was built from scratch to deliver better banking to customers. It uses the latest cloud-based banking technology. It has no costly, old-style IT to patch, no expensive bricks and mortar branches to run, and a tight team of Xinja-workers who help deliver the kind of banking Australians deserve: lower lending rates, higher savings rates and technology that helps them get the most from their money. "People expect seamless technology in almost everything they do daily: from ordering food, to booking holidays or a ride home," Mr Wilson said. "Xinja is in that category. We have built a bank from scratch, where the technology is intuitive and fun, and that offers a better way to bank." Xinja has raised around $70 million in total, from Australian and offshore investors through Series A, B, C and the first 40% of Series D. This includes two equity crowdfunding (ECF) rounds, held in January 2018 (Australia’s first ever equity crowdfund) and January 2019. Xinja still holds the record for the most raised from equity crowdfunding in Australia. It is now opening Series D to ‘sophisticated’ or ‘wholesale’ investors (as defined by ASIC and the Corporations Act) with a minimum of $20,400 to invest, via investment platform, Equitise. Equitise partnered with Xinja through its two ECF campaigns. Shares are priced at $4.08 a share and the minimum investment is $20,400. The 1,220 investors in the first ECF bought shares at $1.25 each. A year later, in January 2019, Xinja issued shares at $2.04 each, attracting another 1500 investors, with a minimum parcel of $255 for each investor. “We would like to have done another equity crowdfund to open this to all our customers,” Mr Wilson said. “However, equity crowdfunding regulation prevents us from doing that,” he said. “As part of our recent submission to the Australian Senate Select Committee on Financial Technology and Regulatory Technology, we recommended that this restriction be lifted.” Xinja was launched in May 2017. It built an app, launched a prepaid card, and then secured a full bank licence in September 2019, opening bank accounts for customers on the same day. It appointed former Tesla engineer Thomas Vikstrom to its Board, and banking futurist US-based Brett King as a Board advisor. Mr Wilson said Xinja Bank's purpose is to provide banking that helps customers make the most out of their money, and get out of debt faster. Its Stash account, which offers a market-leading interest rate at 2.25%, has no strings attached: it's a variable rate, with no minimum deposit, no minimum monthly investment, no intro period, and no demands around the number of account transactions each week or month. "It's an entirely transparent offer. It speaks to the Xinja Bank ethos of trying to do the best by our customers, no strings attached." Xinja Bank will offer personal and home loans later this year. "We have had a huge influx of customers and deposits, so much so we have met our target for deposits already,” Mr Wilson said. “We welcome each and every new customer who has made a decision to bank with us and will do our best to keep our promises.We are looking forward to continuing to grow the bank, with some really amazing banking experiences and features.” Fast facts: Xinja raised more than $17 million, $2.4 million via equity crowdfunding in Series A and B Series ‘B-C’ raised $6 million, with a further $27 million in Series C. This includes a second equity crowdfund, which raised more than $2.5 million Series D is 40% complete with $20 million raised so far Minimum investment parcel in current offer is $20,400
March 2nd 2020
Plastiq's Successful Raise
Plastiq is a revolutionary consumer cashback provider that leverages the monetary value of transactional data to reward consumers. Members automatically receive cashback to their Plastiq account on their online and in-store purchases at participating merchants, without the need for merchant integration, loyalty cards or receipts. With a world-class team, including Shark Tank’s Andrew Banks, Plastiq’s proprietary technology platform has streamlined the cashback experience for businesses and consumers, facilitating a mutually beneficial relationship for all involved. Minimum Funding Target: $50,000 Maximum Funding Target: $400,000 Public Launch: 29 January – 19 February Total Raised: $400,000 Average Investment: $1,260.28 Total Investors: 316
February 19th 2020
Revolutionising Online Shopping One Kit at a Time
Having recently gone live on the platform, Kitfit is an exciting technology company looking to turn the retail industry on its head. This disruptor has built from scratch a range of patent-protected technological products that could change the way you shop online. Kitfit has already smashed its minimum funding target having raised well over $250,000 so far. You can invest from as little as $360 and share in the success of this Aussie innovation. Kitfit’s proprietary technology removes the uncertainty and inaccuracy from shopping to provide consumers with the optimal fitting options, resulting in 10 times the fit accuracy, 20 times more personalisation and 50 times faster shopping experiences! We could talk all day about the technological ecosystem and matching algorithms and AI bot automation and so on, but let’s focus on our top reasons to consider investing in Kitfit. Solving a massive problem by creating benefits for all We all know online shopping is the future of the retail industry, already comprising $2.8 trillion in sales globally and forecast to grow to $4.8 trillion by 2021. And yet there are still some major issues. How many times have you shopped online and had your search query return just a cool 40 pages of items to scroll through and after having picked one, had it arrive and it either doesn’t fit or it’s not what you expected, even though you consulted size charts and previous purchases? Not only does this waste your time (approximately up to 120 hour per year) and on occasions your money, it costs retailers hundreds of billions in returns, loss of brand advocacy and even category abandonment when we give up because it’s all too hard. It also has a terrible environmental impact from the shipping and also all the items that aren't returned that end up in landfill. This issue of ‘misfit’ and its flow on economical and environmental effects is one that needs to be addressed. Enter Kitfit - innovative, proprietary technology that changes the way you shop. Not only does it make sure your clothes fit better, it also can match you with products based on your personal preferences and interests - narrowing your options down to only the best options. For businesses, the technology can not only save them money but also drive sales and conversions. Highly scalable technology. Global business from day one You might have noticed a fair bit of cycling imagery currently in the deal room which will be the first vertical the Kitfit team launches in before it quickly expands into other activewear markets including gym, swimming, hiking, campaign and yoga to name a few. Without even needing an API to connect new retailers, Kitfit’s flexible proprietary technology can be implemented immediately, across markets which means the business can scale quickly and be global from day one. Cycling was just a good place to start, with a passionate community and clothing items where fit is extra important. And let’s face it, if the tech can get it right for skin-tight, aerodynamic, lycra-clad cyclists, then getting it right for a gym t-shirt will be a piece of cake. Huge social media following Another exciting part of this company is the team’s incredible marketing prowess. In just 8 months they were able to build and become the No. 1 Instagram account for premium road cycling kits, surpassing a lot of existing giants in the process. They now have over 100k followers reflecting the effectiveness of their network effect strategy, using a combination of influencers, industry professionals and enthusiasts to create viral content. Not only does this bode well for their full product launch and the potential traction, but is also a further sign of how rapidly the team will be able to scale the product into other activewear markets. A pretty awesome team at the helm Led by Founder and CEO Andrew Jacobs, the leadership team at Kitfit has been kicking goals for years. Andrew co-founded and grew a New Zealand startup to a listing on the NZX in 2013, ranking as the 62nd fastest growing technology business in APAC in the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 under his leadership. With a combined 45 years from a range of industries and startups, and 12 years together as a team, Andrew, Joe, Mikkel and David are the perfect people to head up this exciting product. They have worked at startups that have raised significant funding, been acquired and listed. Their experience ranges from Motorola Ventures to News Corp, Yahoo! and Hotels Combined. This history and experience will play an important role in scaling Kitfit to be the global player it can potentially be. Key strategic partnerships secured Another exciting part of this investment opportunity is the many partnerships and achievements that Kitfit has already secured. It partnered with cycling retailers Rapha, Biehler, The Heavy Pedal and Cycle Republica during its MVP phase, with 11 brands secured as launch partners and a further 87 on the waitlist for post-launch onboarding. Kitfit was also granted a $61,000 R&D Tax Incentive, the highly competitive Jobs for NSW MVP grant in 2018 and was included in the Google Startup Program in 2019 alongside only 9 other Australian technology startups. Kitfit went on to win the Customer Solutions Competition at Google. With this deal well on its way, we’re very excited to see what comes next for this Aussie innovator. While these are our top reasons to invest, they do not constitute investment advice, so please read through the deal room and offer document yourself. Always consider the risk warning before investing.
February 11th 2020
How Do I Actually Make Money From Private Company Shares?
Let’s be frank, this is what most of you are probably thinking when looking to invest in one of the Equitise offers. In fact, we know so, that’s what you keep telling us in our post-raise surveys. There is definitely uncertainty when it comes to making money from companies not yet listed on the stock exchange, just as there's uncertainty with many listed companies. This is one of the reasons this new way to invest was only recently opened up to everyday Australians despite being legal in other countries for years. There is risk involved as currently, the investment is ‘illiquid’ (meaning you can't sell your shares as there is no exit opportunity just yet). High School economics teaches us that with greater risk, comes greater returns, generally. It’s the same principle here. Early-stage investing is usually seen to be riskier than investing in more established businesses as there is a lot more unknowns. However, with greater risk comes the potential for greater returns which is why we advise four things: Only invest what you can afford to lose If you can, invest in early-stage investments as a way to diversify your portfolio, evening out the risk, but also maybe the return, by investing in more established businesses as well Do your research. We do ours, but it’s still important you understand the business you are looking at investing in, which is why there is a comprehensive offer document Be prepared to be in for at least the slightly-longer term. These investments are not yet liquid and it can take several years before you might realise a return. Read on for how that might happen So how do you actually make money off these investments? There are a range of different ways investors can potentially earn a return on their investments. Here’s a quick breakdown of the options: IPO: An initial public offering, or float, is one of the more common and better-known exit opportunities. Generally, once a company reaches a certain size, they may wish to raise a larger amount of capital, and provide their shareholders with a way to exit their investment. In Australia, this usually takes place through the ASX. The company offers a new set of shares to investors, and in doing so also becomes a publicly listed company on the stock exchange. This means that existing shareholders and interested parties can buy and sell their shares relatively easily, for a market-determined share price. But not all private companies want to go public, so what are the other options? M&A: We’re sure you’ve seen this combo of letters before but what does it actually mean for you and your bank account? M&A stands for mergers and acquisitions, representing the range of business transactions that can occur between business entities, both private and public. A merger is where two businesses combine into a single entity, often so they can benefit from greater scale and work together. An acquisition is where another entity purchases a majority stake in the company and takes control. When this occurs, the impact on you can vary slightly depending on your shareholder agreement, but generally, you will have an option to sell your shares in the transaction, and usually, this is a good thing, as the company making the acquisition will have to pay a premium on the share price to complete its transaction. Share Buyback: A company might back itself to such an extent that it wants a greater degree of exposure to its own growth. In this scenario, management would facilitate an offer to purchase shares from existing shareholders at a determined price level. This provides investors that choose to take the deal an opportunity to exit their investment. Dividends: Distributions of company profits aren’t only limited to publicly listed companies. If a private company is profitable it may elect to return a proportion of these profits to its shareholders on a regular basis. Shareholders still maintain their holding of the company and receive dividend payments reflecting their share of company profit. Generally this happens later in a company’s lifecycle where it no longer needs to reinvest all profits into growth. Private Secondary Market: The ASX is an example of a public secondary market where existing shares can be traded between buyers and sellers. Private secondary markets allow private company shareholders to exchange shares between one another should they elect to exit their investment, or desire to increase their holding. Off-Market Transfer: Similar to a private secondary market but in a more manual sense, if two individuals decided to make an exchange of a shareholding and cash, they can do this privately in accordance with their relevant shareholder agreement. Why you might want to get involved in an early-stage business: Return on investment might be greater as you’re getting in on the ground floor when share prices are low. Imagine investing in a company like Apple or Google right from the get-go (sure beats 2% p.a. on a standard savings account!) Investment is accessible starting from as little as $100 for some deals, which is a nice break from other investment opportunities at the moment and allows you to diversify (invest in many) It’s also exciting being given the opportunity to become a co-owner in a business you’re passionate about. So far all of our companies have chosen equity crowdfunding because they want ‘the crowd’ around them, drawing on those shareholders for advice and feedback on new products etc Private company investment is a great way to diversify your portfolio. It can provide protection from market forces that might impact on public shares. Support something important! A lot of the companies we work with are doing genuinely amazing things for the world whether they’re helping to save the environment or providing opportunities to those in need. You might not make a difference with a Telstra investment but you can put your money towards a positive outcome with some of our clients If there’s anything in particular you’re curious about, send through an enquiry to [email protected]
February 11th 2020
Health Foods Just The Tip Of The Iceberg For Food To Nourish
There’s more than meets the eye for the exciting health food manufacturer, Food to Nourish (FTN). As an Australian-owned and operated organic and gluten-free food producer, here’s the lowdown on why we think this is an investment opportunity with a bright future. Profits: Unlike many early-stage businesses, FTN is already profitable with consistent and strong sales growth over the last three financial years. Profitable even back in FY18 and with a growing demand they could not meet, the company decided to upgrade to a new larger and custom built factory, resulting in a dip out of profitability in FY19. Now settled in the new home, the financial strength of the company is once again being demonstrated, reaching profitability and achieving the strongest sales month on record in Oct FY19. This consistently growing profit level can be attributed to an improvement on gross margins which are up from 50% in FY17 to 55% in FY19 reflecting a high degree of product efficiency stemming from strong vertical integration. Existing Traction: FTN is an established and validated business. Its products are already distributed in over 800 retail outlets nationally with another 5 outlets in Singapore. The demand has seen the team move to bigger premises twice and develop 37 product lines. No other Australian company produces such an extensive range of health food products that are organic, gluten-free and sprouted. And all this success is without significant investment into the online store, which in a world of e-commerce represents a massive opportunity to boost sales. Currently sitting at only 3% of the total revenue share, the team is aiming to grow this to 10%. Assets: FTN’s 600m2 West Gosford facility represents a solid fixed asset that further paints a picture of stability for the company. Unlike some competitors, FTN's custom machinery means it can take greater control of the production process and benefit from a range of scale factors. We’ve had a few queries about the negative asset balance, with $350,000 in non-current liabilities. However after our due diligence process we’re comfortable since this line item is almost entirely composed of an interest-free Regional Growth Loan from the NSW Government, alongside a smaller interest-free loan from company Directors in the startup process. As these loans are interest-free and therefore not urgent, the team has decided to remain focused on company growth first while gradually paying down the balances. This is further reflected as the Director loan is only able to be paid out with company profits and no more than 25% of profits in a year. Valuation: To get slightly more technical, another great reason to consider an investment is the valuation placed on the company for this raise. Despite being profitable and running a unique and well-equipped factory, FTN is currently valued at $1.4M, which was set by a cornerstone investor coming in on this round. Market Opportunity: FTN is perfectly poised to take advantage of a really exciting market opportunity both at home and overseas. It goes without saying that the health foods market is experiencing a period of rapid growth worldwide. The Australian Organic Market Report 2019 estimates a compound annual growth rate of 13% since 2012. The global organic packaged food market in 2017 topped close to US$30 billion. Australian brands, particularly in the health food industry, have a strong track record in expanding their offerings to Asian markets. FTN has already begun to expand overseas into Singapore. They can use this experience and the funds raised to further leverage existing capabilities to expand elsewhere into Asia and worldwide. Contract Manufacturing: Finally we come to what is potentially the most exciting reason to invest - contract manufacturing (CM). There’s a few reasons why CM is so important in this story: FTN has unique manufacturing capabilities that enable flexible and accessible minimum order quantities for burgeoning health food brands Rapidly growing market for health foods: FTN is not only benefiting by selling more of its own products, but can also capitalise on other businesses who need CM services for its products An increase in output for both the FTN brand, as well as current and potential CM clients, results in a decrease in cost of production, increasing margins and product efficiency for the company resulting from scale When other companies need to manufacture health food products, there might be a number of barriers to entry. It might be a smaller player without the required scale to run its own facility. Or a larger player just entering the market without the capabilities in its own factories to produce certified organic, gluten-free and vegan products. FTN’s CM service provides high levels of support, manufacturing and nutritional knowledge and accessible terms with third-parties. In two years the CM arm has doubled now comprising 50% of FTN’s revenue, and is forecast to grow to over 60% by 2022. Manufacturing over 40 product lines for 7 current clients, the company needs to upgrade the factory’s capacity with new equipment following this raise to meet current client requests and take on an additional 4 clients who wish to work with FTN. These clients provide stable, recurring revenue and allow FTN to receive further benefits from scale due to larger ingredient order quantities and efficiencies. So while it might seem counterintuitive, to gain from the success of your competitors, in FTN’s case its unique capabilities make this yet another source of growth. These are just a few of the reasons we think you should consider investing in FTN. Of course, it’s important that you review all relevant information yourself and make a careful assessment based on your own financial position. If you have any questions, we encourage you to reach out to the FTN team through the platform Q&A facility. Always consider the risk warning before making an investment.
January 20th 2020
Equitise's Up Rounds
What is an Up Round? Unlike public listed companies, private company shares are not traded on a public stock exchange such as the ASX. Increases in company valuation and share price are reflected in ‘up rounds’, where the company revalues itself at a higher amount during a new capital raise. A higher valuation often reflects company growth and the potential for shareholder returns upon an exit opportunity such as an IPO. Equitise’s Up Rounds Over the past 12 months, 7 companies that have raised capital on Equitise have come back to raise capital again at a higher valuation: Xinja (+63%), Goodments (+104%), Car Next Door (+102%), GoCatch (+28%), Digital Classifieds Group (+257%), Maker&Son (+76%) and Retirement Income Group (+135%), averaging +109% across the raises. These companies have performed particularly well all having experienced up rounds within a few years of their first raise with Equitise. Furthermore, no company we’ve raised for over the last three years has experienced bankruptcy which is also another measure of success when working with early-stage companies. This is a great outcome for the companies and Equitise investors, which shows the focus and effort the Equitise team puts into sorting and selecting some great companies to raise on the platform. Two standout CSF up rounds were the social impact investment platform Goodments and the neobank Xinja, gaining 104% and 63% on their valuation respectively after their 2018 raises. Xinja’s 2018 raise was the first retail equity crowdfund in Australia and raised a staggering $2.4 million from 2,768 investors - an amazing feat given equity crowdfunding was largely an unknown investment channel. Xinja went on to raise another $2.6 million with Equitise in 2019. Its share price from round one to two rose from $1.25 to $2.04, reflecting the granting of a full banking licence, rapid customer base growth and a strong outlook. Equitise’s up rounds haven’t only been limited to CSF, with a number of wholesale raises also experiencing increased valuations. Digital Classifieds Group, a portfolio of online classifieds platforms, completed a raise in 2017 that experienced a 257% up round, increasing their valuation from $7 million to $25 million. Car Next Door raised $770,000 in 2018 from 24 sophisticated investors. The Shark Tank success story then raised another $210,000 on Equitise, having secured $7.7 million from Hyundai and Suncorp to facilitate further growth. Its valuation increased 102% from $27 million to $55 million. When do I see money back? Whilst these up rounds are extremely positive and a good sign that the business is doing well, it may still be some time before investors receive money back. This often comes through an acquisition by another company or an IPO on a stock exchange. So now is the time to keep an eye on the business and maybe an opportunity to invest some more if you think it will continue to do well but as always investing in startups is risky and you shouldn’t invest what you can’t afford to lose.
January 8th 2020
ReadiiTel Case Study
ReadiiTel Pty Ltd is a 100% Australian-owned telecommunications and managed Information Technology (IT) services company providing clients with a fast, flexible and reliable private network, Australia-wide. Through a custom-built optic fibre network and personalised customer services, ReadiiTel enables businesses to achieve their maximum productivity and performance. The company believes that every business deserves the same level of care and customer support regardless of their monthly spend, understanding that some businesses live or die based on internet access and IT support. Australia has long suffered from sub-par internet connectivity – currently 62nd in the world for broadband speeds - and service as a result of outdated telcos that are too big and impersonal. ReadiiTel strives to change this, providing Australia with the necessary solution.
December 23rd 2019
Year in Review 2019
What a year it’s been here at Equitise! As the next decade fast approaches, we’re taking a look back on everything we’ve achieved over the last twelve months, and the lessons we can take with us into the new year. This year marks the first full year everyday Aussies could invest in early stage companies. In 2019 so far (ReadiiTel is still live until 9pm tonight) we’ve raised $12 million from more than 5,000 investors. $9.5 million came from equity crowdfunding in AU & NZ, while another $2.5 million was raised through wholesale deals. We’ve raised capital for 24 companies which is an increase of 100% compared to 2018, something we’re really proud of and a positive indication of where equity crowdfunding is heading in Australia. A few offer highlights: Xinja - In 2018, the neobank Xinja was the first company to raise capital through equity crowdfunding and in 2019, almost a year to the date, they returned and were the first company to undertake a second equity crowdfund. Xinja went on to raise another $2,573,970 (515% of the minimum funding target) at a share price of $2.04 on top of their initial $2,779,000 (556% of minimum) at $1.25. A whopping 1,543 investors got involved and helped Xinja to hit their minimum in the first day the offer was live! Rhinohide - Rhinohide was another double raise success story in 2019. The Perth-born 4x4 body armour startup hit their $500,000 maximum funding target. With numerous investors disappointed they missed out, the Shark Tank success story opened up a second round the following week, raising another $161,250 in seven days from the crowd, boosting them towards their USA and Asia expansions. Sofi Spritz - This Bondi-born ready-to-drink cocktail brand enjoyed a wildly successful raise with Equitise. Aiming to bring their Australian version of the Italian aperitivo to the wider market, Sofi raised $641,448 from 320 investors and was featured in over 50 press articles over the duration of the campaign. Expect to see this Summer beverage in a store near you soon! It was also great to see Equitise alumni Xinja, Goodments, Car Next Door, GoCatch, DCG and Maker&Son return to raise capital at higher valuations along with Retirement Income Group returning for its fourth time. Some businesses won’t raise the money they need via equity crowdfunding. This year it was three fantastic companies: Urbotanica, The Clean Collective and Purahealth. Like all forms of raising capital, success is never guaranteed, and ultimately with equity crowdfunding it’s up to ‘the crowd’ to decide. However Equitise and these three businesses have learnt from these failures, taking invaluable lessons on board for next year. Some of these include the importance of pre-funding to ensure there is momentum in the offer from day one, the presence of strong press and the benefit of launching an offer as quickly as possible to maintain the interest of those who have registered to hear more. So with that we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Thank you for being a part of the Equitise community and we look forward to bringing you more in 2020. Now for some fun. Businesses that only came about in the last decade... if you can believe it: Snapchat - Founded in 2011, this app is now worth over $20 Billion on the NYSE. Instagram - After this photo app’s founding in 2010, Facebook acquired it just a couple years later for $1 Billion. Canva - An Australian startup founded in 2012, Canva is now valued at over $3 Billion. Tinder - First released in 2012, the infamous dating app is worth around $10 Billion. Best articles of 2019 Best consumed on the beach with a cold drink in hand What AngelList learned from analysing over 1,000 deals LinkedIn’s thoughts on the big ideas of the next decade Draw inspiration from these successful Australian startups The best performing stocks of the decade
December 4th 2019
Ag-tech impact company AgUnity partners with Equitise for Equity Crowdfunding campaign
MEDIA RELEASE 05 DECEMBER 2019 Former Goldman Sachs and Lehman Bros banker David Davies, founder of impact startup and AgTech business AgUnity, today announced the launch of its equity crowdfunding campaign with Equitise to raise $1.25 million. The disruptive AgTech is an innovative technology platform and app that connects organisations and service providers with the “last-mile”, defined by the business as the 2 billion smallholder farmers, fisherfolk and their communities in developing countries regions. The AgUnity business provides poverty stricken communities with an affordable smartphone and access to its super app, introducing farmers to services such as a digital identity, business insurance, a bank account and a trusted space to transact. The AgUnity app was first designed as a solution to overcome a lack of trust by enabling secure, immutable peer-to-peer transactions recorded on the blockchain. Farmers can sell and distribute their products through the online ledger that revolutionises the way they trade and communicate, bringing billions of non-digital transactions online, in a simple, transparent way. The AgUnity super app also helps farmers to plan for crop spoilage and overcome corruption, unreliable record keeping and restricted market access. The startup has evolved beyond recording farm and industry transactions through the deployment of hundreds of applet within its “Super App” ecosystem. This means the technology solves additional issues the western world takes for granted, such as access to a bank account. AgUnity has a unique value proposition and in three years, the impact company founded in Brisbane has grown from a startup to a business with a market capitalisation of $11 million. The business has a multi-stream revenue model and operates a multi-faceted business model. Revenue streams include subscriptions fees charged to service providers for each user, transaction fees and technology development and licencing fees. The businesses’ larger development contract fees come from corporations and organisations working with those in need of AgUnity's technology ecosystem. Future revenue opportunities for AgUnity exist in the white-labelling of the product plus data insights. With this multi-stream revenue model and massive target market on both the supply side (organisations) and demand side (farmers), there is a major growth opportunity for AgUnity. AgUnity, plans to become the first ag-tech super app to reach and meet the needs of millions of farmers globally. A super app is an emerging category of mobile application designed around a secured and safe ecosystem of many complementary applications and is created as a multitask tool intended for everyday use. AgUnity plans to follow in the footsteps of other dominant super apps such as WeChat and Go-Jek, tailored to the needs of the developing agricultural world that has traditionally been left behind by technological innovations. Brisbane-based founder David Davies has an extensive history working in technology for global investment banks and firms. He created AgUnity as a solution for the farmers in developing countries who don’t have access to simple services such as a digital identity, bank account and secure, online records of transactions. “Three and a bit years ago we stumbled across an idea that had the potential to change the lives of the 2 billion lowest-income people on the planet. We believe that AgUnity will be the missing piece of the puzzle that connects thousands of organisations to billions of smallholder farmers, fisherfolk and their communities,” says Davies. “We’ve rolled up our sleeves, travelled to and lived in remote and rural communities, conducted pilot projects, built up a highly talented team and continued our technology development and R&D. We’ve won global competitions, been published by the world’s largest financial and agricultural bodies, and secured contracts with multi-billion-dollar Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs). Now it’s time to share the opportunity to own equity in our business with like-minded, everyday Aussies,” he says. “With AgUnity, I see an opportunity to bring more than 2 billion people into the digital and financial economy. This isn’t a ‘could happen’ scenario – it will happen - it’s simply a matter of time. Just like Apple changed the world for the top billion with the iPhone, my belief is AgUnity has the same potential to transform the lives of the 2 billion,” he said. AgUnity is a digital solution that deals with the immediate challenges including corruption, unreliable record keeping, restricted or no access to markets, bank accounts and financing in third world countries. As a philanthropic business venture, AgUnity works with service providers such as banks, insurance companies, commodity buyers, traders and NGOs to provide farmers with smartphone technology. AgUnity harnesses the latest technological innovations, such as distributed ledger technology, to provide the benefits of digitisation to those in need. AgUnity’s solution prioritises user experience, having been developed alongside key agricultural communities. It enables offline capability in core platform transaction functions (such as “Give Harvest” or “Receive Cash”). These peer-to-peer transactions can be completed without signal and later reconciled when signal connectivity resumes. Access to bank accounts then allows for the farmer to start saving and access insurance that might limit the devastation crop damage can cause. These examples and more all help to break the cycle of poverty. Co-founder of Equitise, Jonny Wilkinson, welcomes a business creating such a positive impact around the world onto the Equitise platform. “AgUnity is creating solutions to improve the lives of small farmers globally in developing countries. It’s not only going to potentially help millions, but it also has a strong revenue model, earning fees from both the supply side (service providers) and demand side (farmers). We therefore think it’s a great opportunity for like-minded investors to get behind such a great Australian Ag-tech,” he said. “Over 2 billion smallholder farmers, fisherfolk, and their communities are the most financially and technologically excluded people on the planet. They suffer on a daily basis due to trust issues that people in developed nations solved a century ago and nowadays take for granted. This is something AgUnity is working to solve and will be closer to achieving by raising capital with Equitise,” said Wilkinson. In 2018, AgUnity were selected as the exclusive technology provider for the world’s largest fresh-food supply-chain tracking project for a $50B retail chain. Since then they have built and deployed a complex software platform, integrated with IoT devices tracking temperature, location and trip time, from farm to retail store. AgUnity has also delivered solutions for the Wool industry, and has been approached by the Red Meat and Sustainable Fishing industries for technology services. AgUnity’s first of its kind smartphone technology provides the tools for large companies and NGOs to have the positive impact they often strive for and gives millions in poverty access to basic digital services that allow individuals to securely transact and sell goods through its super app. Retail and sophisticated investors will be able to purchase shares in AgUnity through the equity crowd fund with Equitise in the first stage of the company’s overall $5 million Series A capital raise. In early 2020, AgUnity will look to raise an additional $1.75 million from wholesale and sophisticated investors in a second round and a further $2 million from a third.
November 21st 2019
DD & AML/KYC - What Does it All Mean?
What is Due Diligence? Equitise employs a thorough approach when deciding to conduct an equity crowdfund for a company. The core component of this is our rigorous due diligence and AML/KYC (Anti-Money Laundering / Know Your Customer) processes. In fact only about 10% of the companies that we speak to go on to raise capital on our platform as we ensure we only promote high quality and highly vetted deals to our investors. Due diligence is a process of screening prospective companies in a number of respects. This can include anything from financial history, financial forecasts, key team members and the products themselves. Not a bad gig when you’re looking into a brewery. ASIC and the Australian government have prescribed certain minimum levels of due diligence checks that Crowd-Source Funding (CSF) intermediaries are required to perform. These checks are largely technical in nature and determine whether a company is ‘eligible’ to engage in CSF. There aren’t, however, any requirements around company strength, performance or potential return to investors; these factors are up to the intermediary to evaluate. To satisfy ASIC, intermediaries must check details such as the company’s principal place of business, company structure as well as gross revenue and asset figures. While these checks are an important baseline, at Equitise, we set ourselves a higher benchmark. Our fundraising team go beyond the minimum standards, deep diving into all aspects of the company until we are completely satisfied from a high level overview to the granular details. This additional research can extend the due diligence process by weeks to even months, however, it’s important to us that we only put offers up that we think have the best chance at succeeding commercially. We understand that not everyone has the time or knowledge to perform their own extensive due diligence checks. Our focus is on quality rather than quantity of deals to best assist our investors in their decision making. The Due Diligence Process The Equitise due diligence process is a layered progression of screening, with the eventual goal of establishing comfort around all material parts of a business. This generally takes a number of weeks, beginning with an initial overview of a pitch deck or information memorandum. We assess the viability of the business itself, competition in the market as well as market potential, and many other high-level indicators of quality. If our Analysts are happy with this overview, we go on to meet and speak to company founders and key team members. If relevant, we organise product and technology demonstrations. We ensure that the people with the largest roles in a company have respectable backgrounds, good track records and are committed to the long run. This reflects one component of our AML/KYC checks. We use a reputable identity verification portal to check all directors and non-executive directors, all shareholders with more than 25% interest in the company and all senior managers. We then dig into historical performance, looking at any relevant traction statistics such as revenues, costs and customers. We delve into financial statements focusing on different aspects such as outstanding liabilities that may compromise the company down the track and scrutinise any potential red flag within the company itself. We analyse forecasts and ensure they are reasonable and achievable. We even verify key contracts and company agreements that may be material to performance. We ensure valuations are reasonable and take into account the profile of existing shareholders and past capital raises. It’s important to reach a valuation that is fair for both the business and for the investors. We want to help companies grow while also providing good deals with strong potential returns to our investors. If at any point during these checks our Analysts find any significant red flags that can’t be resolved, we will reject the prospective company. If we are satisfied, then the offer is discussed in our Investment Committee meeting where our highly experienced team ask the hard questions and assess whether it’s the right fit for equity crowdfunding. Beyond the fundamentals, Equitise also assess the potential strategic value-add of the “why” a company wants to raise capital with this mechanism. Equity crowdfunding has a proven ability to increase engagement from stakeholders to build a community around a business, increasing market awareness and driving product sales. Ultimately, we want to improve the commercial prospects of the business and deliver value to the bottom line (not just raise capital). Over the years we’ve seen a trend which helps us gauge the offers that will be interesting enough for the crowd to get behind. These factors include but are not limited to: a product/service that is clearly solving a need or improving the status quo, B2C companies over B2B companies and proven traction which has resulted in a loyal following in the form of a database or on social media. However there are always outliers which is why we meet with a range of different companies. Ultimately, we want to help as many companies as possible to access the capital they need to grow and scale, we also have a duty to our investors to ensure quality across all our deals. We also offer aftermarket support when needed to assist and advise business, creating a long term relationship between Equitise and our portfolio companies. Our emphasis on quality and rigorous due diligence is reflected in the numbers. Of the thousands of companies that we’ve screened, only 20 have gone on to conduct Australian CSF offers since the regulations passed in late 2017. We have an 81% success rate across our CSF, wholesale and IPO deals, with 87% in the last calendar year as we learn valuable lessons and refine and improve our processes. 12 of our non-IPO deals have also experienced up rounds (where an unlisted company increases its share price during a new capital raise) in that short amount of time, with an average valuation gain of 109%. We take pride in the fact that the capital we’ve deployed in recent years is worth significantly more now. Despite our due diligence processes, CSF is still an investment and therefore there is risk involved. We recommend that prospective investors conduct their own due diligence, with information included in the offer documents on the offer page, and only invest what they can afford. Use any industry specific insight you might have, consider whether you agree with the company’s forecasts or ask yourself if you’d buy the product or use the service. As illiquid assets have a low correlation to public equity markets, equity crowdfunding can provide a good form of diversification with exposure to a higher risk asset class. We also encourage investors to reach out through the platform’s Q&A found within the offer page, to ask any questions they might have. These will be answered by company founders themselves and can help provide additional clarity on key areas.
November 12th 2019
Who are Urbotanica's Founders?
In any business the team acts as both the foundation and the glue that holds ‘it’ all together. Working with startups, we see this firsthand and it’s why we look very closely at the team during our due diligence phase. Founders not only have to pass a background check but we spend a lot of time with them discussing their plans for the business and how they see themselves achieving it. Our feelings are also mirrored in research. A study published in the Harvard Business review demonstrates that 60% of new ventures fail due to problems with the team. But it’s not simply a lack of experience (although that is important too) but a lack of passion and vision. The team therefore needs to be the perfect melting pot of skills, attributes and experience. Urbotanica’s co-founders luckily have it all with careers spanning 75 years, including roles in C suite positions. They also have demonstrated that they have the vision and passion being heavily involved in the startup environment and running their own businesses prior to Urbotanica. Here’s a little look at Urbotanica’s co-founders. Ray Hart - Manager Director and Co-Founder Ray Hart has 25 years experience spanning corporate advisory and executive CEO/CFO/CRO roles. Among them are roles at Air Malta and Caribbean Airlines in senior restructuring positions leading €240m and USD$400m restructures. Ray has been involved in the start-up environment in Australia since 2009, being the inaugural Chairman of the Perth Angels and committee member, which provides invaluable access to relevant industry and resources. He’s also launched and exited various businesses ranging from professional services, international airlines and technology enterprises. This experience underpins his role at Urbotanica, giving the business outstanding experience to grow with. In 2001 he launched his own international consulting and advisory firm, Catalise Plc, in Europe focused on delivering shareholder value through holistic business transformation, restructuring and turnaround assignments. Currently Managing Director of Urbotanica he is responsible for strategy and delivery, brand development, team building/performance, market development and Product/RandD. Ray and the two other co-founders, Neale and Greg, through their varied experiences recognised the opportunity that was beginning to appear in the combination of a few global trends: an increasingly urban population, increasing need and demand for sustainable products, and growing concern around the food we eat, where it comes from, and what is in it. Since the start of this journey in 2015 Ray continued to be inspired by the rapid growth of the AgTech industry however noted the focus remained on large scale projects such as urban farming and vertical garden, with very few concentrating on solving the problems for everyday people, giving them the tools to help themselves. The benefits of growing closer to home had become obvious which meant there was a gap in the market to bring this same technology straight to consumers. This opportunity manifested into the creation of the Urbotanica’s first product the UrbiPod which allows consumers to grow their own herbs, salads, chillies, flowers etc. Ray’s goal is that we all have the ability to grow some of our own food at home, and that in doing so we can be happier, healthier, and environmentally cleaner. Greg Wheeler Director and Co-Founder With extensive ‘C’ suite experience gained over 35+ years, Greg brings a wealth of experience to Urbotanica. His previous roles include Partner at Grant Thornton and Deloitte and CEO/CFO/Chairman roles at various ASX listed entities. He also owns his own consulting business giving advice to directors, shareholders and stakeholders on a range of business outcomes including business improvement, strategic issue identification and management, corporate governance, risk management and mitigation strategies. Greg is a past President, Councillor and Treasurer of the Western Australian division of the (then) Securities Institute of Australia (now Financial Services Institute of Australasia) and past Chairman of the Australasian CA Training Group. As Director of Urbotanica Greg oversees finance, risk management, compliance and team coordination. He sees the real opportunity in bringing high quality Australian products, especially agriculture related, to our close international neighbours like Hong Kong, Singapore, and Malaysia. Home to high density cities, Singapore for example only supplies 10% of its own food however are committed to seeing an increase in this area. Greg identities this huge opportunity to supply them with some of the tools to do to overcome the challenge of their high density living conditions and lack of agricultural space. Neale Anderson Chief Customer Officer and Co-Founder Neale has over 25 years experience in working with companies in Australia, Europe and the Caribbean, specialising in customer / business improvement programs across a number of industries. Neale and Ray have worked closely for 16 years at Catalise UK where Neale was a Director. Previously he worked with PwC in London and Direct Line Insurance in the UK, and in Australia, as well as with brands such as Caltex, Pepsi Co, Sony and Westpac. Responsible for community building and full service customer experience, Neale works closely with Urbotanica customers to provide the highest quality customer service. The feedback has been resounding with customers appreciating the support available, all from within Australia. Neale sees the opportunity of supporting people on their growing journey, and endeavoring to make it as effortless as possible with plans for introducing a subscription service and additional growing products to meet different consumer needs and give them the tools to continually grow more of their own food and favourite plants. Urbotanica's equity crowdfund is currently live. Check out the offer here.
November 12th 2019
ReadiiTel's Investment Opportunity
With the national broadband network still rolling out across the nation, households and businesses have encountered a range of issues from delays to unusable internet speeds. Australia has long suffered under outdated infrastructure and large incumbent telcos with our broadband speeds ranked 62nd in the world. The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman released their Quarter 1 report for the 2020 financial year stating, “Consumers are telling us problems with their bill and the customer service they are receiving continue to be problematic. Delays with getting connected and no working phone or internet service were also recorded as key issues.” ReadiiTel to the rescue! In a time where small-medium enterprises (SMEs) are booming and side hustles are becoming key to success, internet connectivity can be the difference between success or failure. With fast reliable internet powered by innovate technology, IT infrastructure management and exceptional, local customer service, ReadiiTel provides the internet solutions that Australia has been waiting for. You can currently invest in ReadiiTel for as little as $500 and so far, the response has been resounding. ReadiiTel hit its minimum funding target of $300,000 even before it went public. Closing on the 24th of December, these are some of the reasons why you should join the many others who are getting behind ReadiiTel’s journey. The game changer ReadiiTel is a disruptor in an outdated industry that lacks care and innovation. The big telcos have long gotten away with poor internet solutions and poor customer service. Smaller businesses have too often been left behind in favour of larger billing customers. ReadiiTel currently provides: Uniform Solution - ReadiiTel eliminates the inefficiencies associated with the traditional separation of ISP and MSP offerings by providing an end-to-end full solution for our customers Cost Effective - Since it doesn't need to realise a return on investment in outdated technology, such as the NBN, its customers are able to receive both the operational and financial efficiencies of innovative technology solutions Customer Service - Where most larger telcos outsource their customer service to call centres, ReadiiTel strives to provide a higher level of personalised and onsite support. As a single touchpoint for all ICT needs, we can provide service that Australia deserves. Since becoming operational, ReadiiTel has only churned one client. Fixed wireless - a better option The big telcos have spent the last several years investing in optic fibre technology, which while a source of fast internet, is cost inefficient. To make matters worse, the NBN, which was supposed to bring Australia’s Internet into the 21st century, had its own funding slashed, meaning it now combines outdated copper technology that prevents its potential benefits from being realised. ReadiiTel is developing a network of Fixed Wireless technology that provides speeds equivalent to private optic fibre connections, combined with higher reliability lower costs. Key achievements In little over a year, ReadiiTel has already expanded to most Australian capital cities and have reached over $70,000 in recurring monthly revenues. They have recently broken even on a monthly basis and are continuing to leverage existing capabilities while rapidly expanding and improving their technological solutions. Having only churned one customer in their operational lifetime, ReadiiTel’s approach has been validated and is primed to scale rapidly. A strong outlook ReadiiTel is undertaking a capital raise to facilitate its expansion plans Australia-wide. The construction of a fixed wireless network, a faster, cheaper and more reliable alternative to the technology currently employed by large telcos, is already underway in Melbourne. With the funds raised through this offering, ReadiiTel will be well-positioned to expand their superior service to further capital cities. ReadiiTel also intends to widen its target market to consumer households to enable all of Australia to benefit. More information can be found in the ReadiiTel offer page when the offer opens on Tuesday 19 November. Investment in early-stage companies is risky, so please consider the additional information and risk warnings before making an investment.
November 12th 2019
Rhinohide Case Study
Rhinohide is a patented car body protection system born and bred in Perth, Australia. It’s an 'easy to install and use' form of body armour for 4x4s that keeps paintwork pristine in the harshest of environments. The technology has been extensively researched and designed to maximise effectiveness and ease of use, including rare neodymium magnets that make it easy to securely attach the panels to your vehicle. Since its first prototype, Rhinohide has expanded the range to include 12 vehicle variants covering 50% of the off-road vehicle market. Rhinohide drove onto the scene after a successful pitch to the Shark Tank, with both Glen Richards and Andrew Banks investing. Glen remains on the board as a Non-Executive Director and Andrew remains as an Advisor. Rhinohide had already generated revenue of $128,000 in FY2019 and was launching in the US before expanding further. Tranche 1
November 6th 2019
Sofi Spritz Case Study
SOFI Spritz is Australia’s take on the classic Italian Aperitivo and is now on track to serve over 2 million cocktails this year. Inspired by a trip to Italy, the ready to drink cocktail blends the best aspects of Italian culture and Australian winemaking expertise. Using only quality, natural ingredients and no added sugar, SOFI is the perfect complement to the Australian sun.
October 22nd 2019
SOFI Spritz – The Journey So Far. A Note from Founder Tom Maclean
With under a week left of our campaign, we’re over 80% funded and we thought it would be a great time to take a moment and say a massive thank you to our investors, fans and the media for supporting SOFI’s journey so far - we’ve been absolutely stoked by the incredible response. Equity Crowdfunding was a fairly obvious choice for us, as SOFI was originally created in close consultation with fans - starting out at the Bondi Farmers Markets where we received feedback in real-time. We then successfully completed 3 rewards based crowdfunding campaigns, which helped us to upgrade our original packaging, select our second recipe and develop an entire seasonal range, key development projects that wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our fans. So, the idea that we can now give our supporters the opportunity to own a stake in the business, its growth and future success is really exciting. The most exciting part for us, is that anyone can invest in equity crowdfunding and with a low barrier to entry of just $250, to become a SOFI Spritz shareholder, unlike other investment routes, it’s highly accessible. Similar to venture capital, investing in private companies with equity crowdfunding can carry greater risk, but it can also bring greater returns when SOFI is successful. As well as being a co-owner, we’re also offering a number of immediate and ongoing rewards for all investors, depending on the level of investment including, investor only discounts, SOFI Spritz merchandise including t-shirts and eskies and first access to new releases. We look forward to growing the crowd behind SOFI and we can’t wait to see what comes next. Cheers, Tom
October 22nd 2019
How Micro-Gardens Can Help Close The Food Gap
The Food Gap is potentially one of the biggest impending disasters facing mankind. It’s one of the most alarming potential outcomes of climate change, whilst our agricultural industry is simultaneously one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. At Urbotanica we have realised that we need to drastically overhaul the ways in which we currently grow our food in order to be more sustainable. One of the ways in which we need to change is to start growing more of our own food at home, taking some pressure off the food supply chain (or "food-chain"). Micro-gardens allow for food to be grown at the closest possible point to where it will be consumed, with a fraction of the waste, avoiding deforestation, soil erosion and associated pollution, compared with traditional broad-acre farming methods. Among other great Agriculture and Food Technologies, we believe micro-gardens have a very important role to play in helping close the Food Gap. What exactly is the Food Gap? In the next 30 years there are going to be 10 billion people living on this planet, and our agriculture industry is not equipped to feed that population. In Australia alone, the food-chain wastes 7.3 million tonnes of food each year. For the food that you do eat, it has traveled an average of 70,000km (based on the average shopping basket). So, it's perhaps no surprise the IPCC (the UN’s scientific authority on climate science) has recently issued a damning report of the use of farmland around the world. This has been most notably demonstrated by the uncontrolled forest fires in the Amazon which were caused in part by unsustainable farming practises and the effects of climate change. The conclusion from the IPCC’s report is simple; the world is running out of food and polluting the environment while doing so. If we don’t overhaul our food-chain, the gap between what we can produce and what we need to produce is tipped to be around 30% by the year 2050. A snapshot of 2050 - what is contributing to its Food Gap? Our use of land accelerates the effects of climate change, and the effects of climate change drastically reduce our capacity to produce the food that we need. The pollution caused by the agriculture industry will continue to contribute around 22% of the worlds greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to a 2 degree rise in global temperatures. This increase in global temperatures will lead to more severe and more frequent drastic weather events, such as tropical storms, droughts and bushfires – causing massive crop failures. Soil erosion will continue as more and more nutrients are sucked out of the land and not replaced. More frequent and extreme storms and bushfires as a result of climate change will accelerate these affects. Soil erosion will lead to further crop failures in the Wheat Belt in Western Australia, whilst droughts in Queensland and NSW will continue to cripple the farming of cattle in the semi-arid areas of the country. There will be a 30% shortfall between the level of food produced around the planet, and the amount needed to feed the 10 billion people that will be living on it. This is assuming the current level of technological advancement continues and discounting the effects of climate change. If we factor in crop failures and the loss of farmable land as a result of climate change and current farming practises, then the gap could be even wider. Now while this all sounds bleak, the message is that there are people and companies working to change this outcome Recently, billions of dollars have been pouring into Agriculture Technology (AgTech) – which are essentially technologies that allow us to grow more with less, or to grow more sustainably. You would have heard about the developments in the meat industry in the media over the past couple of weeks – with the emergence of fake-meat products and the push to substitute meat-based diets with insect-based diets. These are essential technologies the media has been focusing on as potential part-solutions to climate change and the Food Gap. Whilst these are some of the greatest advancements in food technology, there are still two large problems left unsolved. Firstly, our food is still grown too far away from population centres, meaning there is a lot of pollution and waste associated with transportation. Secondly, so much of the food that is produced is wasted, whether it is produce being rejected by those who pick it, those who pack it, those who wholesale it, those who retail it, or eventually the end customer who goes to buy it. New farming techniques that allow for the growing of food in or around our major cities is essential for reducing the waste in the food-chain, and the pollution associated with transporting it. Challenges of growing in Urban Environments Urban dwellings are continuing to diminish in size and space as populations rise and we become more and more urbanised. 50% of new home starts in Australia were for apartments last year, and in the year 2050, 60% of the world’s population will be living in major cities. So, the stuff we grow to feed ourselves won’t be grown in the backyard or in community gardens (at least not in any serious way), but increasingly it will be grown indoors, in micro-gardens, on rooftops and often on multiple levels. Some of this food will be grown on major roof-top farms, like the 14,000m2 rooftop farm being built by AgriPolis in Paris, and more will be grown in major vertical farms, like the ones Grok Ventures have been pouring money into in Singapore. There will always be a place for traditional broad-acre farms to grow the things that are simply inappropriate to grow in Urban environments, however what we will begin to see is increasing investments into regenerative agriculture practises that allow our farmland to remain usable in a sustainable way. What exactly are Micro Gardens? At Urbotanica, we are targeting the last segment of this multi-factored approach to disrupting the food-chain - the consumer. We want to take all the indoor growing technology that is allowing large, commercial-sized vertical farms to become successful contributors to our food security, and scale down the technology into gardens that can fit on the kitchen bench-top. The idea is to have the exact same technology, just in much smaller units. This allows for the democratisation of growing and has a range of benefits: All the food you grow yourself takes pressure off the existing food-chain. There is far less waste associated with food that you grow yourself. Herbs and salads especially are much healthier and tastier when eaten fresh. You know the food grown in your micro-garden has travelled the least possible distance between paddock and plate, and your impact on the environment is minimal. Indoor gardens are protected from the weather and pests that can lead to growing failures. This further reduces the amount that is wasted. The first product from Urbotanica is called the UrbiPod – a smart indoor micro-garden that takes all of the guess work out of growing. Its tailor-made for those who have never grown anything in the past (or more commonly, those who have tried to start a veggie patch in spring, only to have everything die on them as they forgot to water their plants!). This is a great opportunity for everyone to start their own growing journey and begin to recapture some of the forgotten knowledge of horticulture. Support the Grow Your Own Revolution It’s never been more important to be aware of how and where the food you eat is produced. Experts have warned us that we should be eating food that is grown locally where possible, and what better way to do this than to start your own micro-garden. You can join Urbotanica’s “grow your own revolution” by become a co-owner in our innovative ag-tech. This allows you to own a part of our vision of micro-gardening becoming a part of every apartment block around the world. With the funds we raise, we will be investing into more product development, as well as exporting our vision to the most densely populated cities in the world throughout Asia. To find out more about our equity crowd funding campaign click here.
October 16th 2019
Firstcheck Case Study
Firstcheck is the first product of its kind, providing a life-saving technological innovation that revolutionises skin cancer screening. Approximately two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the time they are 70, an epidemic that Firstcheck seeks to address by placing the ability to check and detect skin cancer in the hands of everyday people. By combining a unique and scalable platform with the revolutionary Firstcheck SkinScopeTM, customers are able to check their moles and spots via their smartphones. The specialised skin magnifier enables the capture of highly magnified photographs, through which doctors are able to potentially diagnose skin cancers and at-risk spots.
September 30th 2019
5 Reasons to Invest in Urbotanica
Urbotanica is an innovative start-up that uses technology to help consumers grow fresh produce at home, empowering them to be sustainable and embrace the ‘grow your own’ revolution. The company is undertaking an equity crowdfund to access the capital it needs to take advantage of the growth opportunities at its doorstep. Urbotanica chose to raise capital via equity crowdfunding because it wants its customers and followers to join it on the ride becoming co-owners in the business. It makes sense that those who support the brand, and the ‘grow-your-own’ movement, are the ones to benefit from any growth. 5 Reasons to Invest Prior success Urbotanica launched its first product, the UrbiPod, in mid-2017. As an intelligent micro indoor garden the UrbiPod helps conscientious urban consumers who want to learn more about their food and how to grow in an urban environment. It’s success is a key indicator of customer and market demand and in two years the product has achieved: $350,000 in sales 100% year on year sales growth Designed and made 2,000 UrbiPods A portion of the funds raised will go towards commencing the next production run of the UrbiPod to meet increasing demand Market opportunities The Urban agtech consumer market is currently worth $210 billion dollars globally. In Australia, urban ag sales are valued at $750 million per year and it’s estimated that 4.7 million Australia households’ growth their own food. The demand for urban ag-tech products is only set to rise with the global population estimated to hit 10 billion people in the next 30 years with more than 50% living in urban cities. Asia alone will house 64% of the global middle class by 2030. This creates a massive opportunity for any urban ag-tech company especially one that is Australian founded and a product that is Australian made. Australia has a recognised agricultural heritage and reputation for high quality clean and green products as well as high levels of food & biosecurity controls. Urbotanica believes it’s very well placed to take a leadership position in the fast growing global urban agtech market. Established sales channels Urbotanica have tested and adopted a multi-channel sales approach that delivers an appropriate gross margin contribution including: E-retail - webstore with product info, how-to's and FAQ's Retail - UrbiPod product in expanding network of national retail Digital - digital/social media channels with over 1 million views Influencers - an understanding of the influencer cost and benefit Direct Channels - social and community engagement through word of mouth With these channels the company can effectively distribute current and new products as well as source and supply aligned 3rd party products. This means that whilst they have proven successful with UrbiPod sales to date there is significant potential to grow within. Plays within multiple global trends Urbanisation - As addressed above, the global population is growing with a substantial number of people living in urban areas. This means less space and often less time to ‘grow your own’ making the current UrbiPod a fantastic solution which is only going to become more relevant and in-demand. Sustainability - Each year Australians throw out $8 billion of useable food and the total distance travelled by an average Australian shopping basket is over 70,000kms which creates over 16,000 tonnes of CO2. Unquestionably consumers are becoming increasing conscious of their 'personal footprint' on the planet which is a major reason the ‘grow your own’ revolution is starting to take off. Health & Wellness - Consumers are seeking more information about the source and health impact of what they eat. Fresh produce plays a major part in this and the UrbiPod makes growing your own fresh produce so much easier. In this era of Netflix and Ubereats, it's also all about ease and convenience and what could be less demanding than a self-regulating indoor garden that sits on your bench? Tangible investors rewards If the other reasons weren't enough, exclusive rewards for investors are outlined below. Above we’re outlined 5 major reasons to invest in a business that lets you access the $210 billion urban agtech market. Urbotanica is harnessing multiple global trends (health and wellness, urbanisation, sustainability etc) in a market that is becoming increasingly important as the global population rises. The UrbiPod is the first of what the company predicts to be many products that give consumers solutions to growing fresh produce at home. Within the offer document (available when the deal opens) you’ll find many more reasons to invest.
September 11th 2019
5 Reasons to Invest in Firstcheck
A recap… Firstcheck’s technology is revolutionising skin cancer screening by placing game-changing innovation in the hands of everyday people. With a unique and scalable platform, Firstcheck provides affordable, convenient and reliable skin checks online - connecting patients with expert skin cancer doctors for reliable, rapid and convenient care. The Firstcheck offer has hit its minimum funding target – a whopping NZD $500K - however there is still equity available. If you’re still considering investing here’s a handy guide for 5 reasons to invest. Large & Active Target Market Large target market: Two out of three people in Australia and New Zealand are expected to develop skin cancer in their lifetime. This means it’s become an imperative that we all check and check regularly. As an online platform, Firstcheck can be utilised by millions of people across Australia and New Zealand. Active target market: A study showed that 85.4% of melanomas were detected by the patient and that most skin checks involve someone asking their GP about a spot the person is worried about. Firstcheck provides an affordable and convenient option for that process and, with additional brand awareness, could see mass adoption. Unlimited target market: As a scalable platform, Firstcheck is also not limited to Australia and New Zealand with growth plans involving expansion overseas. The market is already moving in that direction with teledermatology (online skin doctor consultations) expected to reach USD 8.6 billion globally by 2024. Multiple Revenue & Distribution Streams Firstcheck is a for profit and purpose business with multiple revenue streams already making returns. These include: In-app doctor consultation commissions which are collected before paying the doctor their fee Firstcheck SkinScope sales which retail at $29.95 Software/Integration/Platform fees for customisation of platform for strategic partners Insurance/corporate reimbursement when members or employees use Firstcheck as a health and wellbeing benefit The platform is certainly not one-dimensional when it comes to distribution channels and can be used and distributed by insurers, corporates, skin cancer clinics, pharmacies, public health programs and directly to customers. Traction Investment Firstcheck has secured NZ$800,000 in previous investment from strategic and Sophisticated Investors who have helped the company grow, including: Cure Kids Ventures (a high-profile health-tech fund), New Zealand Venture Investment Fund and New Zealand Angel Association angel investment groups. In this round, $220K was invested upfront by NZ angel investment group, Enterprise Angels, and NZ’s most recognised, trusted and innovative chain of skin health clinics, Skin Institute – which you can invest alongside. Awards Firstcheck has received notable recognition in the NZ Innovation Awards, New Zealander of the Year Awards, and the Ministry of Health’s MedTech Innovation Showcase. Skin specialists have presented, promoting Firstcheck’s technology, at melanoma and skin cancer conferences, GP conferences, nurse conferences, health technology conferences and public health organisation events. Firstcheck recently celebrated TAL’s SpotChecker program being named finalist for ‘Best Public Health Initiative’ in the 2019 Prime Awards celebrating contributions to improving the health of Australians. TAL introduced Firstcheck's personal skin check technology to TAL SpotChecker 2019 as part of TAL’s skin check initiative helping more Australians detect and prevent skin cancer. Partnerships Firstcheck has partnered with some big names in the health space, including insurers, skin specialist clinics, pharmacies and other health professionals: TAL Australia (leading life insurer). Leverages Firstcheck as part of TAL SpotChecker skin check campaign Skin Institute (dermatology and skin clinics nation-wide in NZ) use Firstcheck as part of a pharmacy skin check initiative all around New Zealand and also promote the Firstcheck service as a workplace/corporate screening solution. Pharmacy organisations (NZX-listed, Green Cross Health - including Unichem and Life Pharmacy brands) in connection with the pharmacy skin check initiative Skin cancer doctors across Australia and New Zealand embracing the platform to help people access a skin and spot check service. Growth Opportunities Strong customer acquisition plans to grow market share in Australia and New Zealand and capture more of the massive market of over 20 million people Expansion overseas Potential to leverage the unique dataset amassed by the platform Wider applications including other skin diseases Firstcheck Helps Save Lives We’re now at a point where deaths from skin cancer exceed the road death toll, despite being largely preventable through early detection. Currently there barriers to ensuring early detection including a shortage of dermatologists and high costs which can prevent widespread and timely access to screening services. This can result in significant patient delay, which is often the key determinant of the prognosis and can be the difference between life and death. Simply making it easier to have spots checked will ensure more suspect moles are checked and the dangerous spots being treated early, with good results all around. Firstcheck is that readily accessible early detection technology we need. It’s affordable, can be used from the comfort of your own home and is fast, with patients usually receiving a response within 24 hours. Plus, it’s already saving lives. The New Zealand Woman’s Weekly featured the story of Leah, wife and mother of two, who credits Firstcheck for saving her life when she was able to detect her malignant melanoma using the technology. With an unlimited, large and active target market, great traction to date in terms of investment and awards, big name partnerships and distribution channel already in place and, most importantly, the ability to save lives, there’s more than 5 reasons to invest in Firstcheck. The offer closes on September 30th, so ensure you invest early to avoid missing out.
August 5th 2019
The Clean Collective: Five Reasons to Invest
Before investing in a company, every investor likes to know the answer to the basic question - why should I invest? The Clean Collective is the fastest growing marketplace in the Australian and New Zealand region for sustainable purchases. The online shop sells natural, organic and eco-friendly personal care, cleaning and reusable products that meet a new Australian standard that the team has developed - its Safety & Sustainability Standard (IP). In addition, the blog helps us to live a healthier, more sustainable life - uniting the latest information with the best solutions in one place. The Clean Collective is looking to raise $1.5 million through equity crowdfunding before Friday 16 August and investors can own a piece of this very exciting business from as little as $120. Here are 5 reasons to invest in The Clean Collective: 1) Great Traction and High Growth Potential The Clean Collective was launched in 2017. In less than 2 years they have turned over $600,000 in revenue from over 10,000 transactions. The team has also attracted 400,000 blog readers and 80,000 followers and subscribers. It has partnered with over 500 companies which are aligned in achieving the mission of helping us all to live a more sustainable life. Looking to the future, The Clean Collective forecasts a 300% year-on-year growth rate over the coming two financial years estimating revenues of $2.08 million in FY20 and $7.1 million in FY21. Apart from this, the company has secured an exclusive commercial partnership that will elevate the retail margin to 142% in upcoming years. 2) Favourable Market Conditions and Negligible Competitor Interference Currently, the organic industry is worth USD $89.7 billion and is growing at a CAGR of over 15%. In 2019, Australia’s organic market accounted for up to $2.6 billion and statistics show that 49% of shoppers say personal health is the top reason they prefer purchasing organic products. These statistics show us that more and more people are adopting a sustainable lifestyle which means the demand for organic products is surging to new heights. The three biggest Australian competitors turn over ~ $75 million annually and own only 15% of the market. Google data confirms that 85% of the market is available to acquire rapidly with the right expertise on board. The Clean Collective’s new standard means consumers can trust that the products are toxin free, organic, and the savviest source of zero-waste solutions. Its blog creates a one-stop-shop which helps demystify all the conflicting information on how to live more sustainably. Competitors are no match for this new standard, nor do they meet the charitable initiatives outlined below. 3) Charitable Initiatives - They Walk the Talk With every purchase, The Clean Collective’s sustainable products help consumers to reduce the level of toxins and plastics they release into the environment. At checkout, the team also offers customers the opportunity to remove additional plastic through their partnerships with Take 3 from the Sea. Here is what they’ve achieved to date: Diverted 1.9M single-use items from landfill; Planted 54K trees - off setting last year’s Christmas wrapping paper; Removed 6K pieces of plastic from the environment; and Prevented approximately 2M litres of toxic chemical products being consumed. 4) IP Protected Standard Which is Changing the Game The Clean Collective’s Safety & Sustainability Standard was developed in consultation with global experts and chemical databases. It’s already so respected that one major supplier removed an ingredient from its cleaning product so it could be sold on The Clean Collective. With the capital raised, the team plans on digitising and disseminated this standard as an app. The idea is for people to scan personal care and cleaning products to identify their true safety and sustainability status. Thus, the app will act like a personal assistant during shopping. Given the new standard is the heart of the machine, fuelling everything the company does, setting it apart from competitors and ensuring trust from customers, the digitisation of it will change the game for this industry – and The Clean Collective owns the IP. 5) The Team One of The Clean Collective’s greatest assets is their extraordinary team. The three Co-Founders, Charlie, Georgia and Charli, have vast experience in digital development, marketing, logistics and customer service. Beyond this is a digital acquisition and retention agency (that usually only works with Fortune 500s) and a third-party logistics provider, with an Amazon-style distribution model. While the digital agency works to drive sales into the business, the third-party logistics provider reduces payroll liability, customer service demand, and distribution errors via state-of-the-art technology, all while increasing parcel-to-customer speed and satisfaction. On the advisor committee is Robyn Frost, former Editor-in-Chief of The Australian Women’s Weekly, Lex Pederson, Founder of SurfStitch, and Clover Chambers, Co-Founder of PeriscoPe Commerce Consulting For these 5 reasons and more we’ve chosen to work with The Clean Collective. More and more people are adopting a healthier lifestyle which means the market is growing as evident by the traction to date. The team and its mission means that you’ll be investing in something that is not only for profit but for purpose, profiting if the company continues to grow. According to research the air in our homes is more polluted than outside, our babies are being born with over 200 chemicals in their umbilical cords and we have only 11.5 years until an unprecedented climate disaster. It’s time to change and The Clean Collective offers us a chance to do so. And if That Wasn’t Enough, There are Investors Rewards As well as discounts and exclusive early access, The Clean Collective is pledging to plant trees and remove plastic from the environment with every investment. The Clean Collective's equity crowdfund closes Friday 16 August. View the offer here. Always consider the offer doc & general risk warning before investing: http://pos.li/2ackai
July 30th 2019
Press Release: Equity Crowdfunding sector reaches $30 million since new legislation passed
Media Release Quick Equitise Facts: Equitise has completed 54 successful raises totalling $25 million from 8,000+ investors through equity crowdfunding offers, wholesale offers and IPOs More than 20% of Equitise subscribers have already invested through the platform Industry is growing with Equitise having completed more deals in the past 6 months than in 2018. The company currently has 6 offers live on the platform and are forecasting 40 live offers on the platform in 2019 18 months since equity crowdfunding legislation passed in Australia, the industry has successfully raised over approximately $30 million for 40 companies from nearly 30,000 investments. Completing 54 raises, Equitise has cemented its place as the leading equity crowdfunding platform in Australia and New Zealand raising $25 million from 8,000 investors through equity crowdfunding offers, wholesale offers and IPOs. With a 75% success rate on its platform and an investment database of 30,000 potential investors, Equitise receives on average $3,100 per investor across its various investment channels. Winner of the 2019 Finnies Award for Excellence in Crowdfunding, Equitise is the largest platform in Australia and has been behind some of the most exciting and successful campaigns in the country. One of the first platforms to secure its equity crowdfunding license and the first to launch an equity crowdfunding offer, Equitise continues to be an innovator in the Australian fintech sector with plans for international expansion into new markets in the pipeline. With an investor split of 75% male and 25% female, the most popular sectors are fintech, food and beverage and consumer interest. For instance, Equitise has raised capital for three alcohol companies, Endeavour Brewing Co, Emperor Champagne and The West Winds Gin. Investors’ age between 18-87 years with the most active being between 30-40 years. Each raise has an average of 500 investors who overwhelmingly live in Sydney and Melbourne. Co-founder of Equitise, Jonny Wilkinson says whilst the equity crowdfunding industry is growing and maturing his mission to help innovative companies to access growth capital through new channels remains. “Equity crowdfunding in Australia has made significant strides since legislation passed in 2017. When we first launched there was doubt that equity crowdfunding would work and now its an early disruptor that’s raised over $9 million for 8 companies, no small achievement for a new fintech,” says Wilkinson. “We’re providing an alternative avenue to funding for a diverse range of founders and investors. We’re not just challenging VC firms but also giving early-stage companies a channel to engage further with their customers, users and future brand advocates. Data from our various raises shows that alcohol brands on the platform have a 100% success rate, raising over $2 million from 962 investors. This shows us that there’s a particular appetite for investing in consumer brands in industries that investors are passionate about. They also generally have more of a following which helps with traction in the initial stages of the campaign,” he said. Since launching in 2014, Equitise has completed its own successful funding rounds raising $3.6 million in five years with plans for a Series A in motion raising up to $3 million. Equitise is responsible for successful raises including neobank Xinja for $5.3 million over two raises, Ag-tech innovator DIT Technologies for $656K, Endeavour Brewing for $556K and several new exciting small-medium enterprises such as 4x4 body armour Rhinohide, sustainability marketplace The Clean Collective and Pacifico Optical which go-live on the platform in the coming weeks. Equitise offers support before, during and after capital raising to ensure businesses have the best opportunity for success and make it simple and accessible for everyone to invest in highly vetted innovative companies even if they’ve never invested before through an automated and scalable online investment platform.
July 29th 2019
The First 18 Months of Equity Crowdfunding in Australia
Equitise was among the first equity crowdfunding platforms in Australia to get their crowdsource funding (CSF) license after the legislation changed in September 2017. We're now eighteen months in and it's been fantastic to see so many Australian investors, 4,500 in fact, and early-stage companies embrace this new form of capital raising. At the end of the 2019 financial year we'd raised over $9 million - the most of any platform - and were also awarded the Finnies Excellence in Crowdfunding Award. The last six months has seen our success rate increase from 75% to 90%, closing Xinja, Endeavour, DIT, Goodments, Emperor Champagne and Credi successfully. We've also had the first companies, Xinja and DIT, come back to raise for a second time. As a team who has learnt so much over these 18 months, we're excited to continue to partner with innovative early-stage companies, offering the crowd the opportunity to invest, maybe more than once, in startups they obviously wish to back. Take a look at the statistics so far... Equitise's Australian Equity Crowdfunding Results January 2018 - June 2019 Equitise was founded in 2014 - well before the legislation for equity crowdfunding had changed in Australia. Whilst lobbying the Australian government for change, Co-Founders Chris Gilbert and Jonny Wilkinson headed to New Zealand. Offering retail equity crowdfunding in NZ and IPOs and wholesale investment opportunities across both countries, Equitise has therefore become the most comprehensive funding platform with 54 successful raises and raising a total $25 million. Here's a look at the last 5 years... Equitise's Results Since Launch Across Australia and New Zealand
July 29th 2019
Press Release: Three Aussie women on a mission to become the global watchdog invite all Australians to invest in their...
EMBARGOED MEDIA RELEASE 30th July 2019 9:00AM Aussie trailblazer, The Clean Collective (TCC), today announced the launch of its first Equity Crowdfunding campaign with Equitise, opening up equity to everyday Australians. TCC is the fastest growing marketplace for sustainable purchases in Australia and NZ. Delivering two sets of tools to support the population in addressing health and climate epidemics through day-to-day actions, The Clean Collective’s online shop sells natural, organic and eco-friendly personal care, cleaning and reusable products that set a new standard for Safety & Sustainability developed by the company. Its blog publishes information on how to live a healthier, more sustainable life, marrying the best products and information together on one platform. Looking to raise up to $1.5 million from the ‘crowd’, TCC is raising capital to fast-track its plans to create a digitised regulation app. The TCC app will be a consumer-friendly platform that will allow consumers to scan personal care and cleaning products to identify their true safety and sustainability status. The TCC app will become a personal shopping assistant for consumers seeking safe and sustainable options during their daily purchasing experiences in bricks and mortar stores. TCC will also introduce a series of personal development e-courses with leading experts focusing on sustainability for schools, individuals and businesses that will be accessible worldwide as part of the funding round. In addition to only stocking the most sustainable of products, every purchase results in a charitable initiative. In the last year alone, TCC has prevented almost $2 million litres of toxic-chemical products from coming into contact with people and the planet, diverted more than 1.9 million single use items from landfill and removed 6,090 pieces of plastic from the ocean. Achieving $600,000 in its first full year of operation, TCC is the fastest growing marketplace in Australia and NZ for sustainable purchases. TCC has attracted 400,000 readers, 80,000 followers and subscribers and 500 industry and brand partners. Identifying a gap in the market, Co-Founder Charlie Thompson, says there’s a pressing need for a more regulated way to check what products are actually sustainable and safe. “It’s estimated that we’ve got just 135 months until an unprecedented climate disaster takes place and that our babies are being born pre-polluted with 200 chemicals in their umbilical cords. What we’re leaving to the next generation is a crisis and threatened future,” says Thompson. “Never before has there been a more urgent need for a platform like The Clean Collective. Pretty labels and clever marketing has sold us on the short-term solutions instead of true and safe sustainable options. There’s growing health and environmental epidemics, but without a standard for consumption or umbrella body communicating that these two issues are born from the same problem: our consumption habits, consumers are largely uneducated in their choices. However, this is starting to change with 13 million searches a month on Google for the information and solutions hosted on TCC and the #zerowaste hashtag amassing 2.9 million posts on Instagram,” said Thompson. “We're so proud of what we have achieved with our customers, partners and supporters in just 20 months. We've seen an opportunity to drive much bigger impact for people and the planet and we need to raise capital to achieve it. The Clean Collective has never been ours - it's theirs. They give it energy. They give it a voice. They drive its mission forward,” she said. Research conducted by TCC shows the three biggest Australian competitors turn over $75 million annually and own only 15% of the market. Over 85% of the market is available to acquire rapidly with the right expertise on board. TCC’s competitors don’t match up to its new standard for sustainable purchasing or charitable initiatives. Co-Founder of Equitise, Chris Gilbert says he is very proud to be partnering with The Clean Collective in its first Equity Crowdfunding campaign. “We’re really excited to offer The Clean Collective equity crowd fund on Equitise, Equity crowdfunding is all about startups changing the game and in this case, it is change that needs to happen,” he said. To view the offer you can access the link here: https://equitise.com/offer/regular/the-clean-collective-1
July 29th 2019
Flying Cars and the Casting Couch in Silicon Valley. Both Exist. For Real
It’s no secret that raising funds as a female founder is tough. A Boston Consulting Group survey concluded that just two per cent of venture capital funding reaches female-led companies – a statistic made louder last week by Kim Jackson passionately speaking out (nice one, Kim). I’ve given myself an additional challenge in my funding mission in that I founded The Clean Collective to make a difference to human and planetary health, and finding investors that are interested in changing the world (not just their pockets) is like weeding a lawn of grass by hand. As the inspiring Catriona Wallace puts it, “you’ve got to get used to eating rejection for breakfast when capital raising.” Yep. Breakfast, sometimes followed too quickly by brunch. So, you can imagine my excitement to receive an invitation to attend an investment event in Silicon Valley, dedicated to social impact start-ups. What I left with wasn’t cash but something far more powerful. The start-up roller coaster I hit the first day of the event with a spring in my step from the possibility that was oozing from it. It kicked off with a presentation so powerful that I felt compelled to write and thank the speaker for the inspiration and for confirming there are VCs out there who believe in this planet’s need for double bottom line business. The next 48 hours were filled with strong chats and big pitches. Did you know someone already built a flying car? Legit, that James Bond stuff already exists. The bigger the ideas and the bigger the tech builds, the bigger the creeping sense that I was out of place here. Enter: the male protagonist In a true Moses moment, the crowd seemed to part as an engaged angel investor glided straight into my conversation. When he asked me how I found the event, my honesty spilled: “I don’t think I’m in the right place. I’m not building new technology or flying cars; I’m just trying to use existing technology to empower people to tackle climate change and take ownership of their health.” “Really?” he replied. “I have an interest in climate investments.” The conversation begins. A long and serious discussion ensues: the health and climate epidemics, the latest scientific research available, the solutions we’re building at The Clean Collective, how time is of the essence with just 134 months left on the Climate Change Clock. I left with a serious contact who’d confirmed serious interest in investing in The Clean Collective with further discussion, willing to connect me to further impact-concerned investors. I heard from him a few hours later. Lunch locked and loaded for tomorrow. Dining with the (angel) devil I’ve done coffee, lunch, dinner and wine with investors in rain and shine – even on crutches straight from a doctor’s surgery – to raise the funds I’ve needed to fuel my business. I felt prepared. Just another lunch… It started pleasantly enough. This guy had already expressed an interest in getting to know the person/s he was investing in. It’s not unusual. I played ball. We got chatting. Let’s call him Phil. It turns out Phil’s passion is photography and he’s got a studio just around the corner. The conversation turns – the horse bolts – and wrapped in some inappropriate comments, he tells me that he wants to “capture” me and asks if he can take my picture at his studio. As I wonder if I’ve understood the words that just casually fell out of his mouth, he’s already showing me a portfolio of images, cropped in a way that you’re left wondering if the women in them were wearing clothes. What he didn’t realise is the photos he tried not to show me were reflected in his wine glass, revealing a bit more skin. How does an Aussie start-up founder end up on a Silicon Valley casting couch? This man was practiced. He’d done this before. His words ducked around the subject in such a dance that I was left questioning myself at every sentence. In asking for clarification of his true interest and intentions, he revealed that he’d decided he wanted to take my picture the moment he saw me at the conference; that if I went to the conveniently-located photography studio from his lunch reservation, he “couldn’t be sure what would happen” after the photos were taken; and that my dismissive reaction was unusual, because most women become CEOs “because they want fame.” Read Charlie Thompson’s open letter to angel investor ‘Phil’. Dear Phil You know who you are. You stunned me into a state of gibberish that I’ll thank you for: sometimes your brain needs to be faced with an alien situation before it finds its script. Here’s mine: You’ve got the wrong definition of ‘human capital’. Women cannot be bought. Women are capable leaders that become CEOs for many reasons. Women founders do not deserve to be subjected to your well-rehearsed show. And in case you’re wondering, the world’s still dying, and the Climate Change Clock’s still ticking. Thank you for filling some of my precious time in the 134-month window of opportunity that we have to save the planet from a climate catastrophe with your ridiculous proposition because, you know what? No one grows in their comfort zone and you’ve just added some serious fuel to my fire. In the words of Meatloaf, “I’d do anything [for my love of this planet], but I won’t do that.” My mission is so much bigger than your cheque book. You sent me back home to Australia with next-level amounts of clarity, grit and determination to find investors that respect people, respect the planet, and understand that investing in our future is not only money and energy incredibly well spent, but an absolute necessity for civilisation as we know it. ~ The Clean Collective is now running an equity crowdfund crowdfund with us to raise funds to fuel its mission, seeking passionate investors for the future of human and planetary health. In return, investors will get 12-month discounts to www.thecleancollective.com, early-bird access and passes to new digital products, and The Clean Collective will remove 37,500 pieces of plastic pollution from the environment and plant 12,500 trees when they hit their target of raising $1.5M. This is what you call a true and fair exchange, Phil. Access the equity crowdfund here.
July 28th 2019
Press Release: Equitise named Equity Crowdfunding platform of the year at the 2019 Fintech Australia Awards...
MEDIA RELEASE 7 JUNE 2019 Australia’s leading Equity Crowdfunding platform Equitise is thrilled to receive the Excellence in Crowdfunding award at the 2019 Fintech Australia Awards (Finnies). Pioneers in the space, Jonny Wilkinson and Chris Gilbert founded Equitise in 2014 in Australia and New Zealand. Whilst lobbying the government to change the Australian Equity Crowdfunding laws, they ran IPO’s (Initial Public Offerings) and wholesale offers in Australia and retail equity crowdfunding offers in New Zealand. This meant that when retail equity crowdfunding launched in Australia in January 2018, Equitise was the only platform with direct experience. With combined knowledge across equity capital markets, investment banking and law, the Equitise founders bring diversity and experience to the platform and the companies they support. Equitise has successfully raised the most out of any platform since January 2018. Co-Founder of Equitise, Jonny Wilkinson says he’s thrilled to see Equitise recognised in the FINNIES awards. “As an industry Equity Crowdfunding continues to grow and has come a long way since we founded Equitise. We’re thrilled to be at the top of our game and to be awarded by such a reputable outlet such as the FINNIES,” he said. “Equity Crowdfunding is still a new concept with many Australians still unaware you can invest in exciting early-stage companies. However, the public’s awareness of our industry and our offers continues to grow which makes it both rewarding and a challenge. Equitise is a disruptor and we’re proud to be offering an alternative to traditional means of capital raising giving greater opportunities to both investors and early-stage companies,” says Wilkinson. To date, Equitise has raised the most funds with over $8.4 million raised via the ‘crowd’ and has been behind some of Australia’s most exciting and cutting edge Equity Crowdfunding campaigns. This includes Endeavour Brewing Co., raising more than $550,000, making it the most successful raise for a brewery in Australia. Direct Injection Technologies, an AgTech company from QLD, reached its minimum target within 24 hours raising over $650,000 in total. Lastly, neobank disruptor Xinja - the first company to do a second equity crowdfund - has raised more than $5.3 million. Wilkinson went on to say that more and more promising early-stage companies are looking to equity crowdfunding as a way to raise capital, not only to fuel their growth but as a way for fans and followers to join them on the journey. ‘’We have companies approaching us daily wanting to raise capital which is very exciting. At the moment we have Emperor Champagne live, as well as another twelve businesses signed on to use our services including a sunglasses brand, skin cancer detection app and fintech platform which is working to formalise informal loans.’’ Equitise is Australia's leading and most experienced Equity Crowdfunding platform and helps businesses with a range of services including but not limited to Equity Crowdfunded retail campaigns, wholesale campaigns and IPO offers. Equitise was also a finalist for Fintech Organisation of the Year up against big industry players such as AfterPay, Medipass, Prospa, Wisr and Up.
July 25th 2019
Credi Case Study
Credi is the world’s leading relationship lending platform, managing millions of dollars of loans between friends and family at interest rates that are often a fraction of those offered by traditional lenders. It formalises and automates loans and repayments through a simple platform that removes the friction of peer-to-peer lending.
July 18th 2019
Credi opens $1 million equity crowdfund on Equitise
Media Release 19th June, 2019 Chance for investors to participate in the ‘bank of mum and dad’ Platform has global potential, with more than 5,000 users in 26 countries Average interest rate for a loan managed through Credi is 3% pa compared with double digit rates charged by traditional lenders The Credi loan management platform today gives everyday Australians the opportunity to buy shares in the company through leading equity crowdfunding platform Equitise. Credi formalises loans between friends and family (often referred to as the 'bank of mum and dad') providing much needed structure to this massive untapped market. It removes common issues and friction associated with informal lending money and with ‘official mates rates’ through known parties, it’s an alternative source of finance to the high interest rates of traditional lenders. With a target raise of $1million, Credi’s first equity crowdfunding campaign will provide funds for marketing & international expansion. The company over the past two years has already been involved in more than $100 million of transactions with the loan's average at $80,000 , made up of transactions ranging from a few hundred dollars to over a million dollars. Founded by Perth-based Tim Dean, Credi is the facilitator for lending between known parties (usually parents and their children, or family and friends), formalising the repayment schedule and interest rate on loans. It now has 5,200 users from 26 countries on its platform. The ‘bank of mum and dad’ (and family and friends) is estimated to be the largest lending institution in Australia after the Big Four banks, lending more than $65 billion in 2017. “We have Credi users eagerly awaiting to invest in Credi. This endorsement confirms that our platform is a much needed disruptor in the fintech space,” Tim Dean said. “With Australians still digesting the findings of the Hayne Royal Commission, the spotlight is on high cost credit and irresponsible lending,” he said. “Credi makes it easy to receive financial support from friends and family as an alternative to traditional and more expensive forms of credit such as bank loans that often carry potentially crippling fees. “Credi was inspired as a result of my own experience and allowed me as a parent to navigate my adult children away from high cost credit and teach them how to repay and manage a loan responsibility and efficiently,” he said. “Australians are already lending millions of dollars to friends and family on Credi, at an average interest rate of three percent compared to the double digit rates charged by many of the majors,” Mr Dean said. Credi will issue ordinary shares valued at 10.5c each on the Equitise platform, with a minimum target of $200,000. With a minimum investment of $210, the offer will be open for just under a month. Equitise co-founder Chris Gilbert says Credi has identified a massive gap in the market that the banks and other financial institutions have failed to act swiftly on. “When we first started Equitise, one of our key motivators was to provide a platform that would accelerate and enable innovation just like Credi,” Mr Gilbert said. “As Credi is a platform formalising loans for everyday Australians, it makes complete sense the company would turn to everyday investors or ‘‘the crowd’’ to raise capital. For this reason, among others, Equitise has become a preferred method of generating funds for early stage ventures and growth companies,” he said.
July 3rd 2019
Emperor Champagne Case Study
Emperor Champagne is an e-commerce platform that offers an expertly curated collection of champagne with superior service and knowledge. We were excited to partner with the company as we realised there was a massive gap in the market for a leading online retailer dedicated to champagne. Both companies saw equity crowdfunding as a perfect way to involve customers and lovers of the golden bubbles, inviting them to join Emperor on their global expansion journey.
June 30th 2019
Democratising Venture Capital
Democratising Venture Capital Equitise is democratising the venture capital and private equity landscape in Australia and New Zealand through equity crowdfunding. For the first time, everyday people can invest in innovative and high-growth start-ups on the same terms as institutional investors and funds.
June 16th 2019
Equitise Wins Excellence in Crowdfunding Award in Finnies 2019
The Finnies (run by Fintech Australia) is the leading Australian business awards for achievement in the Fintech industry. In the 2019 Awards, there were more than 200 entries with a record number entered into the Fintech Organisation of the Year. Equitise won the Excellence in Crowdfunding award, as well as being a Finalist for the Fintech Organisation of the Year award, alongside industry giants such as Prospa and AfterPay. It’s a quite a journey for Founders Chris Gilbert and Jonny Wilkinson, starting Equitise in 2014 in Australia and New Zealand. As retail equity crowdfunding wasn’t legal in Australia, the Founders concentrated their effort in New Zealand, only running wholesale and IPO offers in Australia whilst lobbying the government for change. In 2017, the Australian Government legalised retail equity crowdfunding and Equitise was one of the first to be granted a license being the only platform with direct retail equity crowdfunding experience. Jonny Wilkinson said, ‘’Equity Crowdfunding is still a new concept with many Australians still unaware you can invest in exciting early-stage companies. However, the public’s awareness of our industry and our offers continues to grow which makes it both rewarding and a challenge. We have disrupted the traditional sources of capital raising and have given the opportunity to the everyday Australians to invest in early-stage companies. To date, we have successfully managed to raise over $8.4 million via the ‘crowd’. One of the major milestones in our journey was the raise with Endeavour Brewing Co., where we successfully raised more than $550,000, making it the most successful raise for a brewery in Australia. Direct Injection Technologies, an AgTech company from QLD, reached its minimum target within 24 hours raising over $650,000 in total. Lastly, neobank disruptor Xinja - the first company to do a first and then second equity crowdfunding - has raised more than $5.3 million.’’ We are proud of this award as it’s a result of our team’s hard work and dedication. We look forward to working with more exciting early-stage companies, giving alternative capital raising and investment opportunities to Founders and everyday investors respectively.'' Read the B&T article on the awards here
May 26th 2019
Successful Crowdfund Case Study: Goodments
Goodments is the world’s first investment platform that matches people to investments based on their environmental, social and ethical values. The business has constructed its model in such a way that it makes money whilst doing good. Equitise was really excited to work with Goodments as it’s a nice alignment that the people who want to invest in stuff they give a stuff about, could also invest and support the company that is giving them the opportunity to do so. Equity crowdfunding is all about giving everyday investors the option to invest in companies they are passionate about and, as evident in the data, people are passionate about investing for good.
March 21st 2019
BetaShares ETF 101 Webinar: How to build better portfolios with asset allocation
BetaShares' Chief Economist, David Bassanese, recently held a webinar explaining why portfolio diversification is important and how this can be achieved through blending investment exposures to different asset classes. For those unfamiliar with BetaShares, they are a leading Australian fund manager providing a range of exchange traded funds, with over $6.5 billion in funds under management. The key takeaway from this webinar is a story of asset allocation and how smarter asset allocation can lead to better risk-adjusted returns for investors. Before looking at asset allocation, we need to first understand what is meant by an asset class. In general terms, they are a group of investments that have similar characteristics, expected to have similar risk and returns and to perform in a similar manner in a particular market condition. For example, we can think of the big 4 banks as being part of an asset class as Australian equities in the financial sector. More broadly, we can consider equities as a whole as an asset class, against cash, bonds, commodities etc. Each of these asset classes is expected to have a different risk/return profile and to perform differently under the same market conditions when compared with other asset classes. In statistical terms, we can expect that different asset classes will not be perfectly correlated. Where returns of investments are not perfectly correlated, this allows for the creation of portfolios combining different asset classes - providing higher levels of expected return for any given level of risk. This is visualised in the graph below, where there are two assets with different risk and return profiles, asset A and asset B. By varying the proportion invested in A and B, we are able to create a portfolio C, that provides higher levels of return than if A and B were perfectly correlated (the line between A and B). In essence, this is the theory behind diversification, and the age old adage "don't put all your eggs into one basket." Looking at a hypothetical portfolio mixing bonds (lower risk, lower return) and equities (higher risk, higher return) shown in the table below, we can see that the benefits of diversification increase as the returns of the asset classes become more uncorrelated (correlation refers to the degree to which two securities move in relation to each other). The increased risk-adjusted returns are shown by the standard deviation, as a proxy for the risk of an asset, falling from 9.25% to 5.8% (from more risky to less risky) as asset class returns become less closely correlated (moving from +1, or perfect positive correlation, to -1, perfect negative correlation), with expected return stable at 7.5%. This means that by decreasing correlation through diversification, investors can achieve the same rate of return with lower risk. Diversification is a particularly pertinent consideration for Australian investors on the ASX. Looking at a breakdown of the ASX200 by industry, we can see that Financials makes up 32.32% of the market, with materials making up 18.66% and Information Technology a mere 2.27%. If we treat each industry sector as its own asset class with different risk and return characteristics, then it would appear that the Australian stock market has a very large exposure to financials and materials. The result is that investors, despite holding many individual stocks listed on the ASX, may have portfolios skewed towards certain industries and not taking full advantage of the benefits of diversification. With a clear lack of Information Technology sector companies listed on the ASX, Australians have limited options to gain exposure to Australian companies in this space. Equitise is aiming to change this, by providing retail investors access to innovative Australian companies from a broad range of industries, from neobanks to craft breweries. As earlier-stage businesses than those listed on the ASX, the unlisted companies offered on Equitise can be thought of as a separate asset class to ASX listed businesses, with a risk/return profile that is more readily comparable to venture capital investments. Investment in these businesses can therefore form part of a broader asset allocation strategy, achieving higher risk-adjusted returns by creating blended portfolios (as seen in Portfolio C above). In summary, David Bassanese explains that investors can achieve higher risk-adjusted returns through strategic asset allocation, with a portfolio spread across asset classes with lower levels of correlation being more effective. He elaborates by stating that many Australians investing in the ASX alone may not have exposure to a variety of industries in their portfolio due to the concentration of the ASX200 towards Financials and Materials. Investing in unlisted companies as an asset class can be a strategy to alleviate this lack of diversification, due to different risk/return profiles and different performance in similar market conditions.
March 12th 2019
Why Booktopia Can Compete with Amazon
It’s been well over a year since Amazon launched into the Australian market. While it may take years for the e-commerce giant to gain a strong foothold, it will take more than just price to compete. Especially in the online book market where Booktopia has steadily carved out their place as Australia’s leading online book retailer since 2004. What Amazon is trying to do in Australia is something that Booktopia has perfected over years of understanding their market and optimising their business model. So, with Booktopia undertaking a capital raise and inviting Aussies to for the first time for only $250, we look at how the local success story stacks up against the global behemoth. You Can't Be Everything To Everyone Whilst Amazon started with books, as of January 2018 the company stocks 562 million products. This rapid expansion into other industries and categories has seen books and e-books diminish to only 4.48% of Amazon’s total revenue. Compare that to Booktopia who has perfected their model over 14 years, selling only books, eBooks, audio books, DVDs, magazines, maps, calendars, journals and stationery. Macquarie Group analyst Andreas Inderst notes that "Amazon is certainly a serious competitor, but it is a generalist with a focus on basics and lots of discounted products." The benefit of concentrating efforts on one or a few product segment/s is that specialist retailers are able to curate and recommend relevant products giving a better customer experience. Booktopia achieves this through its in house team of merchandising and product experts who improve user experience, making browsing and purchasing easier. Third Party Sellers Amazon also uses third party sellers which make up 42.75% of the business. The issue with third party sellers is that the order can be fulfilled directly by that seller who will also handle the customer service. This means that a customer of Amazon might be dealing with different processes and customer service teams with every order. Booktopia sells all its own books and has an in house call centre based in Australia handling any issues a customer might have. The customer-first mentally meant Booktopia won the 2018 People’s Choice Australian Business of the Year at the Telstra Business awards. Where Amazon Has Met its Match There is no denying that Amazon has set the bar high however it’s set it at a level Booktopia is already comfortably hitting. Below are a few examples where Amazon has met its match. Convenience of e-commerce: Amazon is the largest online retailer in the world but that doesn’t mean other companies aren’t also geared towards e-commerce. Booktopia was born online, established by experienced internet entrepreneurs who, prior to 2004, developed and sold live-in chat software and provided digital marketing consulting services. Wide Selection & quick delivery: Booktopia has strategic partnerships with the major publishers and suppliers, who work with them to ensure customers have access to a full range of titles (a total of 148,000 in fact) at competitive prices. In most cases their order will be shipped the same day or next day. Digital Innovation:The website, warehouse systems, content systems, algorithms and automation software have all been purpose built in house by the software development team. There has been heavy investment in customer-first innovation including proprietary technology. Booktopia has experienced high-end double-digit revenue growth of 31.9% each year for the past 10 years, despite Amazon shipping into the Australian market. Over the years, 5.2 million people have bought from Booktopia with 1.8 million repeat customers. Of those 5.2 million, 5 million are Australian meaning 20% of the Australian population is a customer, cementing a strong base. So why do they keep coming back? "We're Australian, we hold a lot of stock, we get it to customers quick, we've got a call centre here, and we sponsor a lot of Australian literacy projects (writers festivals, readers conferences). Everyone has their own reason but most of the time it's because they buy it from us and they get it quick. Most of the time they have a great ordering experience and they tell people. We've got a lot of passionate supporters and fans." - Tony Nash, CEO of Booktopia. Booktopia is undertaking a capital raise through Equitise to scale quicker and sooner. You can become a co-owner of Australia’s leading online book retailer from $250, standing to profit if the company continues to do well. Click to learn more.
March 7th 2019
Successful Crowdfund Case Study: Xinja 2019
Xinja is one of Australia's first neobanks, being 100% digital and designed for mobile. As a challenger bank, it's disrupting traditional banking with its customer-first mentality, helping people bank better through AI. The team regularly engaged with the Xinja community, welcoming feedback and ideas, and as result, has already built a loyal customer base of 23,000 subscribers.
March 6th 2019
Successful Crowdfund Case Study: DIT Technologies
DIT Technologies Case Study Campaign Year: 2018-2019 Campaign Type: AU – Retail Equity Crowdfunding Campaign Duration: 87 Days Amount Invested: $656,500 Investors: 115 Average Investment: $5,708.70 % Funded: 164.1% DIT Technologies (DIT) is an innovative AgTech company, born out of the bush in Queensland and developed over generations by founder Mark Peart and his father and uncle. DIT’s patented technology supplements livestock (an essential practice to ensure adequate nutrients) through their drinking water. The proportional dosing equipment and supplements saves farmers' time and costs and better equips the animals to handle extreme weather like the 2018 drought. In fact, a farmer with 500 cattle can see a return on investment in just 50 days. In the first 4 months of FY2018, DIT generated $408K in revenue – a 38% increase from the full financial year prior. With a robust business model poised for growth, DIT undertook the capital raise to scale quickly, maintain a competitive advantage and expand. Use of funds will go towards opening new factories across Australia to cover key sales areas with access to ports for raw commodities. DIT will continue to grow their sales team, building on their humanised customer service approach, by creating personalised relationships. Prior to the launch of the campaign, DIT opened the first of several ‘microfactories’ in Toowoomba. The story caught the attention of local and national newspapers and news stations alike including SmartCompany. Their merger with Harrington Systems Electronics (HSE) was also announced during the tail end of the campaign. HSE creates remote monitoring technology that withstands rural environments, further complimenting DIT’s value offering. The growing awareness surrounding the extreme drought in certain parts of Australia was key to generating awareness in the equity crowdfund. DIT received press from Smart Company and The Australian where Mark Peart bridged the gap between ‘city folk’ and the bush by noticing the success of campaigns such as “Buy a Bale” and the growing concern for farmers. After raising 85% of their minimum investment target in under 24 hours, it was not only social interest that encouraged investment but also the support from the surrounding community. Local and industry press covered the raise, including Beef Central, Queensland Country Life and The Courier Mail. In fact, 46.6% of investors were from Queensland as you can see from the graph below. DIT is an example of how powerful a community can be for funding the growth of a start-up that benefits a local industry. Quote from Mark Peart, CEO & Founder at DIT Technologies 'DIT Technologies successfully raised over $650,000 from 115 investors which we were extremely happy with. The Equitise team came with a wealth of experience and supported us throughout the campaign. They are passionate about helping early stage companies raise capital - a task which can be very difficult. The process was streamlined with their automated systems and the marketing and PR helped to not only secure funds but raise brand awareness. We've walked away with not only capital but with 115 investors who are brand advocated for DIT.'' The offer successfully closed after an 87-day campaign period, raising a total of $656,500 from 115 investors.
February 28th 2019
Successful Crowdfund Case Study: Endeavour Brewing Co.
Campaign Year: 2018-2019 Campaign Type: AU - Retail Equity Crowdfunding Campaign Duration: 76 days Amount Invested: $557,800 Investors: 585 Average Investment: $953.50 % Funded: 182.9% Endeavour Brewing Co is a 100% Australian, 100% independent brewery founded 8 years ago by 3 blokes with the help of 35 mates. What sets Endeavour apart in a market quickly growing with new entrants is their commitment to quality and taste. Their core range uses the best that mother nature has to offer; fresh Australian ingredients. The result is flavoursome, award-winning brews and the company has experienced double-digit growth year-on-year since inception. Their launch into hospitality with Endeavour Tap Rooms in The Rocks, Sydney was a major contributor to this growth. The collaboration with Applejack Hospitality complimented their focus on seasonal ingredients and gave Endeavour a home with a microbrewery onsite. Already sold nationwide (1,100 Dan Murphy and BWS stores) the company sought capital to expand further into hospitality, opening new brew bars in more high-traffic areas, building a world-class production brewery (eliminating the need to outsource production) and expanding into SE Asia and beyond. Endeavour was the first brewery in Australia to launch an equity crowdfund. After the incredible success of breweries around the world, such as the equity crowdfund for BrewDog, more breweries are looking towards the crowd. With 40% of craft beer drinkers being 30-39 (22% between 18-29 and 23% between 40-49), the Endeavour raise is a clear example of turning a loyal following into a community of investors. Press began prior the launch of the campaign, gaining over 600 expressions of interest after they appeared in Brews News, SMH and news.com.au. An event after the launch of the campaign was held at Endeavour Tap Rooms with a strong turnout where attendees received their own Endeavour cap and six-pack of their newest release - Citrus Pale Ale – a crisp summery pale ale with Blood orange and mandarin. The offer successfully closed after a 76-day campaign, raising a total of $557,800 from 585 investors. Every Endeavour investor became a part of the Endeavour Brew Crew, a tiered rewards system, that gives investors exclusives such as the first to receive new releases, discounts, merchandise and investor-only brews.
February 13th 2019
Harrington Systems Electronics Merges With DIT Technologies
Media Release: Harrington Systems Electronics Pty Ltd merges with DIT Technologies Ltd to up AgTech game for farmers. Harrington Systems Electronics are pleased to announce the planned merger with DIT Technologies Ltd to offer joint Ag-Tech solutions for farm management and increased productivity through remote monitoring and supplementation through water medication. DIT Technologies Ltd will acquire 100% of Harrington Systems Electronics Pty Ltd, including key people and customers and the merged business will operate under the Direct Injection Technologies brand. Harrington Systems Electronics was created in 2005 by William Harrington and family with the aim of bringing to the agriculture industry practical and hardy technologies made to withstand rural conditions. HSE over the last 14 years have provided the industry with game changing remote monitoring technology (uSee Remote Monitoring) to help producers save time and money with water and stock management. DIT Technologies is an exciting company with a long history of providing water medication products that allow for water supplementation for livestock using patented proportional dosing technology. DIT has plans over the next 12 months to expand operations to multiple locations across Australia and in the longer term, expect to roll out a global expansion. HSE has been working with DIT Technologies Ltd for over 2 years to help develop their water medication systems and integrate them into the uSee Remote Monitoring platform to allow users to see all their camera, tank and water data in one spot. DIT Technologies Ltd is an exciting company paving the way with remote water supplementation so the merger is a natural progression for both companies. This merger will allow the continued development of the uSee platform and designing of practical technologies with rural condition in mind. Moving forward, William Harrington will take on the role of CTO for Direct Injection Technologies to spearhead development of their next generation of water medication systems and develop the next generation of uSee products. William Harrington, managing director of HSE will become DIT’s Chief Technology Officer and will oversee product development for DIT going forward: “I am excited to join the DIT team and to have the opportunity to further the development of the uSee remote monitoring system and on DIT’s other key products, the Nutridose and Promatic. I’ve had an interest in AgTech my entire life and will continue to design products for the industry I am wholly dedicated to.” Mark Peart, CEO and Founder of DIT Technologies Ltd sees the merger as a positive move for the consumer: “The merger with Harrington Systems Electronics will allow us to offer a platform for remote monitoring and in time the ability to provide remote controlling of our proportional dosers. As we move forward we will be able to solve connectivity problems in real time, offer animal tracking and virtual fencing solutions This will give graziers and farmers a ‘one stop shop’ for all of their technology and innovation solutions.” The uSee platform is a very easy to use platform to assist with remote monitoring and Will’s understanding of Technology in the Livestock sector is second to none. His network, connections, passion and ability will add tremendous value to DIT and allow our business to continue to scale and innovate assisting Australian farmers in remaining the best in the world. This is a very exciting day for our company as we scale and grow to build a truly Global Australian Livestock Technology and Animal Health Business from the dust up. This acquisition will allow DIT to integrate the uSee remote monitoring system into their water supplement dosing products and to use DIT’s newly established sales team to further sales and support of the uSee products. To view the DIT investment offer on the platform, click here.
December 16th 2018
A Year in Review - An Infographic
2018 was a year of firsts for us, and a really exciting one at that. For the first time ever, everyday Australians over 18 years could invest in early stage companies and we set out to provide the platform to make it happen. As soon as we received our license on 11 January, we launched our first campaign with Xinja which would go on to be the most successful equity crowdfund in Australia. Over the year, equity crowdfunding's place as a new way to invest or raise capital began to take shape as a variety of companies joined our platform including an award-winning gin distillery, an innovative movie app, and a socks and jocks subscription service! In September, the law passed allowing proprietary companies to raise capital through equity crowdfunding, removing the hassle for many early stage companies of converting to publicly unlisted. This opened up equity crowdfunding to a whole host of new investment opportunities and we launched our first campaign (and Australia's first brew raise) under the new laws in December. But it wasn't just about the retail raises. We also successfully completed six wholesale offers including Car Next Door and two IPOs including identitii which raised A$1,672,500 and listed on the ASX later in the year. It's been a strong and exciting inception for a new industry which is only just getting started. Now to 2019... For our upcoming 2019 offers, click here.
December 12th 2018
Equitise Platform Tutorials
We've compiled a set of tutorials to guide you through the most frequently asked questions about our platform and the investment process. Click the below links to view the tutorials: How to create an account on the Equitise platform How to verify Sophisticated or Wholesale investor status How to verify your identity on the Equitise platform How to set up an Investment Vehicle How to invest in an Equitise offer What is Equitise? Why invest through Equitise? When can I sell my shares? Also check out our FAQs for more information about Equitise and equity crowdfunding.
December 11th 2018
Endeavour Brewing Co: Craft Beer and Equity Crowdfunding
About the Company Endeavour Brewing Co. is the first brewery equity crowdfunding campaign in Australia. Endeavour was founded in 2010 with the backing of 3 blokes and their 35 mates and has grown to sell over 6.7 million serves, generating 4.8 million in revenue in FY18. Their multi-award winning beers (including 2 awards won at the prestigious Beer World Cup) are now stocked in over 1,100 Dan Murphy's and BWS stores, as well as iconic bars and restaurants. A collaboration with Applejack Hospitality saw Endeavour expand to hospitality in 2016 with the opening of the Endeavour Tap Rooms, home to Endeavour's first brewery. With the capital raised, the company hopes to expand on their highly successful launch into hospitality, opening a new Brew Bar each year, as well as building their own world-class production brewery, moving away from outsourcing the bulk of their beer production. Why Equity Crowdfunding? Craft breweries have experienced strong growth in recent years as consumers demand a higher quality and more flavoursome product. This success has triggered a wave of acquisitions locally, with popular brands including Little Creatures, Mountain Goat, 4 Pines, Pirate Life and Feral selling off to the large international players (Kirin, Asahi, ABInbev and Amatil). Valuing their independence and wanting to grow the brand in tandem with their customers, Endeavour is following in footsteps of international craft breweries that have chosen equity crowdfunding to grow the business. The company hopes that its community of shareholders, dubbed the 'Endeavour Brew Crew', will play a role in its future growth and will allow the business to evolve without the constraints of typical 'big beer' boardroom decision making. Case Study: BrewDog Founded in 2007, UK based BrewDog began its journey selling hand-filled bottles at markets out the back of a van. Raising just £750k in their first 'Equity for Punks' equity crowdfund in 2009, BrewDog has just closed their fifth equity crowdfund, 'Equity for Punks V' at a £1 billion valuation. This valuation represents a 2,765% ROI for early investors, who were given the opportunity to participate in a share buyback to realise profits from the uplift in valuation. BrewDog achieved this impressive growth by building a community around its brand with its 90,000 shareholders, offering discounts and first access to limited edition brews to its 'punks'. The company's AGM is an annual highlight for shareholders, being a craft beer filled concert at BrewDog's brewery in Aberdeen, Scotland. BrewDog now operates over 65 bars internationally, 2 breweries, with a third planned, and the world's first crowdfunded craft beer hotel. Craft Brewery Equity Crowdfunding Valuation The craft beer industry is experiencing high growth with Goldstein Research forecasting a CAGR of 5.3% to 2025. As craft breweries are early stage businesses that may not necessarily be generating positive earnings at the time of a capital raise, revenue multiples are commonly used in the industry to provide a relative valuation. A higher revenue multiple represents a relatively more expensive company, while a lower revenue multiple shows a relatively less expensive valuation. However, revenue alone is not a complete picture of a business and differences in multiples may be explained by fundamental differences between the companies. The below table summarises some of the statistics behind brewery equity crowdfunds internationally. The Endeavour equity crowdfunding campaign is live until mid February on the platform. Investors can invest from as little as $100 and gain access to the rewards and benefits of the Endeavour 'Brew Crew'
October 11th 2018
Successful Crowdfund Case Study: MANRAGS
Campaign year: 2018 Campaign type: AU – Retail Equity Crowdfunding Campaign duration: 40 days Amount invested: $362,250 Investors: 177 Average investment: $2,046.61 % Funded: 120.8% MANRAGS Holdings Ltd is made up of two brands; MANRAGS and the soon to be launched, MS SOUS. Both brands offer unique, high-quality socks and underwear made using 100% Egyptian cotton through subscription. At the time of MANRAGS’s equity crowdfund on the Equitise platform, it had amassed a 35,000 strong social media following with over 7,000 subscribers, representing an annual growth rate of 109%. As MANRAGS prepared for the imminent launch of its MS SOUS brand, targeting the women’s essentials market, the company sought capital to fund product development, an increased marketing budget and working capital. MANRAGS co-founder Michael Elias saw equity crowdfunding as the obvious choice to raise the required funds, stating that “Our growth has been driven by our community, hence the decision to bring the community on the journey. They can own a piece of it.” The MANRAGS equity crowdfund is perhaps the clearest example of how equity crowdfunding provides businesses the capital they need to expand by bringing their customers on board to grow together with the business. Investors within the 25-34 age group, being MANRAGS’s primary customers, invested 58% of all capital raised. This result is another example of how equity crowdfunding is not only a capital raise, but a focused and targeted marketing activity. The Equitise x MANRAGS offer was featured in SmartCompany and Jumpstart Magazine and social media and email channels were utilised to raise awareness of the offer. Events were held in both Sydney and Melbourne to provide a forum for interested parties to learn more about MANRAGS from co-founder Michael Elias and the equity crowdfunding process from Equitise co-founder Chris Gilbert. Those attending also received their very own pair of MANRAGS socks. The offer successfully closed after a 40 day campaign period, raising a total of $362,250 from 177 investors. MANRAGS’s new shareholders will not only be able to share in the company’s future growth, but will also enjoy up to 36 months of subscriptions to either MANRAGS or MS SOUS or both.
October 8th 2018
Successful IPO Case Study: identitii Limited
Campaign Year: 2018 Campaign Type: AU - IPO Campaign Duration: 20 days Amount Invested: A$1,672,500 N° of investors: 289 Average Investment: A$5,787 identitii (ASX: ID8) is an emerging Australian software company providing enterprise software for financial services and banking institutions. Established in 2014, identitii has developed its own proprietary product called Serra, an application that enables the secure and trusted exchange of information (such as “Know Your Transaction” information) over financial networks, powered by a secure private blockchain. identitii developed Serra through a two and a half year in-house research and development program, and has a long term product roadmap for additional features or ‘add-ons’. With Serra, identitii has taken the approach of utilising the benefits of blockchain and tokenisation to complement the established payment networks such as SWIFT, the international messaging network that facilitates the exchange of funds between correspondent banks. Serra aims at mitigating the shortcomings of these existing networks, primarily the way by which they share information, rather than trying to replace them, which is attractive to an industry that is risk averse when it comes to mission critical systems. Equitise's allocation was filled in 20 days, oversubscribing the offer. Demand for shares was high, with over $1m being committed within a week of the offer going live. identitii comes as a time when blockchain technology is gaining mainstream attention, following the highs that cryptocurrencies made in December last year. According to a recent YouGov survey, 79% of people have heard of cryptocurrencies and almost half of millennials believe that there will be widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies in the next decade. The enthusiasm of millenials for blockchain technology and its applications beyond cryptocurrencies is reflected in our investor makeup, with the largest age group being the 25-34 bracket, followed by the 35-44 age group. The offer also gained interest amongst older age groups; a sign of how blockchain is no longer only within the realm of tech-savvy millenials. Low turnout for the 18-24 age group is likely due to lower levels of savings and investment amongst students and those not working full time. The funds raised in this offer will assist with ongoing development and commercialisation, appointing resources in business development, marketing, account management and professional services in key Asia-Pacific markets, costs of the Offer, corporate overheads and working capital. The shares were issued at a price of A$0.75, and listed at $0.95 on the ASX. Quote from Nick Armstrong, Co-founder and Chairman at Identitii Ltd "We engaged Equitise to manage the Chairman's list and also the retail spread requirements for our ASX listing. The process of engagement and running the offer was very slick and we were very happy with the outcome. The Equitise team worked extremely hard on the transaction and I was very impressed with their output. We would happily recommend Equitise to any future prospective client."