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.

Xinja

Neobank Xinja, the first company to raise capital through equity crowdfunding in Australia, completed its first successful raise in 2018 only to return a year later for a second offer. Between these two rounds, Xinja raised an amount just shy of $5 million from over 2,500 investors with the second round hitting the minimum in less than 24 hours!

After a much-anticipated wait, Xinja received its full banking license in September 2019, paving the way for its banking operations in Australia. Following this huge milestone, January this year saw the launch of a new “Stash” savings account. 

In under 7 weeks, online savers have already deposited over $300 million, clearly seeing the value that these accounts provide with a 2.25% interest rate on a bank account that takes them 3 minutes to sign up to.

“We are offering a market-leading rate without the usual restrictive conditions," Xinja CEO Eric Wilson said. "This really shows that Aussies will try something new, won't be taken for granted on low interest rates, or sold a shiny new brand owned by an old bank. They want change and real competition."

Xinja has returned to conduct a third raise with Equitise as part of the Series D raise. Open to wholesale investors since Xinja has surpassed the asset cap for retail equity crowdfunding, the offer closes Wednesday 18 March. When Xinja first raised with Equitise, they were valued at around $40 million. With the second raise, the valuation had jumped to around $90 million. Now, it’s valued at over $230 million, representing a nearly 5x increase in value for Equitise shareholders who invested back in 2018.

SOFI Spritz 

Launched in Bondi, SOFI is Australia's very own aperitivo inspired by traditional Italian recipes and is on track to serve over 2 million cocktails this year. Already ranged in Australia’s largest liquor retailers and on Virgin Australia flights, it has a strong customer and investor base including two Sharks from Channel 10’s Shark Tank and fans who invested via the rewards based crowdfunds. 

Since raising over $650K last year, the team has been busy producing a limited edition Summer Series, Wild Berries & Pomegranate - a crowd favourite, for Liquorland, Vintage Cellars and First Choice.

Their new brand, Bone Dry Rosé, launched successfully in Vintage Cellars stores nationally with such strong sales First Choice Liquor are also going to range it nationally as of late January 2020.

The brand's also had new accounts open including one of Australia’s largest venue operators as well as other operators such as pubs, bar and restaurants across the country. 

Car Next Door

In 2017, online peer-to-peer car sharing platform, Car Next Door, partnered with Equitise to do a wholesale raise, surpassing its initial funding target by 56.9%. The funds raised were mostly used to boost customer acquisition through increased marketing efforts as well as further developing the existing platform.

Two years later and the company returned to raise $200,000 at a valuation of over $60 million -  an increase in value of over 100%! Included in this round was a strategic investment of $6.2 million from Hyundai and $1.5 million from Suncorp, helping to drive new mobility insurance solutions to meet more customer needs.

These new funds will be used to support Car Next Door in its next round of growth with over 3,000 cars already shared through the platform. 

Car Next Door was our first startup that we partnered with who were initially funded by the Sharks from Channel 10s Shark Tank. Since then we’ve also partnered with SOFI Spritz and Rhinohide. Plus in a unique turn of the tables, Equitise users were able to invest in Shark Tank Judge Andrew Banks’ new startup, Plastiq.it, which recently smashed its maximum target of $400,000! 

Maker&Son

The duo from Maker&Son is disrupting the homewares industry by hand-making the comfiest chairs in the world with all-natural materials sourced locally. We raised for Maker&Son back in 2018 with a successful wholesale round of $260,000. The UK-based company had only been founded in February that year, but investors were rewarded for their faith with the company completing a 76% upround alongside the very impressive recent metrics below. At the time of the raise the accessible luxury furniture business was experiencing exciting growth that has continued ever since.

A good proportion of funds raised were put towards marketing, and this, alongside the excellent team behind Maker&Son, have resulted in some pretty crazy achievements. After their second financial year the company has experienced 300% revenue growth with sales up at $6.2 million. That’s now even higher at $1.2 million in net sales per month.

The incredible digital marketing strategy of the company has paid off well, with a return on ad spend of 12x, meaning for every $1,000 spent on marketing results in over $12,000 in sales. Its Instagram following has been growing at a rapid 9,000 users per month now with over 77,000 in total.

The team has grown to 38 impressive individuals, with manufacturing in the US, UK and Australia and 9 mobile showrooms. The company’s strategy revolves around creating a uniquely high-quality product in a digitally native environment, and its performance reflects a highly successful management team.

Emperor Champagne

Emperor Champagne is revolutionising the way we consume one of the world’s oldest and most exclusive drinks. Operating in a traditionally entrenched luxury industry characterised by rapid and consistent growth of 11% on average, founder Kyla Kirkpatrick is onto a winning idea. 

In store, champagne lovers are under-serviced, under-rewarded and lack choice. Combining the much-loved drink with e-commerce, superior service and knowledge, Emperor is harnessing the power of the internet to create a very unique offering. In mid-2019 Emperor raised $559,360 from 87 investors with a focus on international expansion.

And expanded they have! In just the few months since their campaign with Equitise, Emperor has already achieved an impressive number of feats. In December 2019 the online store revenue saw a 119% uplift from the previous year, Club membership from October - December increased by 50% and the email database grew on average 25%. The Singapore chapter is accepting 250 members at a time and they’ve also started expanding further abroad to Hong Kong, Japan and China!

Emperor has also taken the major Champagne Sponsorship for the Grand Prix this year which is a great opportunity, exposing the brand to 350,000 patrons. 

2020 looks to be an exciting year with negotiation for an exclusive import of a major house taking place and the new release of a $40 Champagne which will create a big stir in the market.  

RIG

New Zealand annuity fund Retirement Income Group is one of our biggest NZ success stories. First raising back in 2015, it then raised with Equitise another three times to total over NZ$8,737,000.

We must be doing something right because RIG returned to raise a further NZ$2.7 million in 2020 from a combination of existing shareholders and New Zealand retail investors. 

RIG is New Zealand’s first and only licensed variable annuity provider having launched their Lifetime Income Fund in 2015. Total group funds under management now exceed a whopping $250 million with a solid revenue base. RIG is expecting to deliver a cash profit in 2020 and is among the 7 Equitise companies to experience an upround in the last 12 months, with a share price increase of 135% reflecting the great work the team is doing with the funds previously raised.

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Given equity crowdfunding has only been legal in Australia for 2 years, these results are a good sign that these businesses are growing and hopefully will provide investors with an exit opportunity. Whilst a longer term investment strategy, equity crowdfunding is a way for investors to back the companies they believe in, with the opportunity to get in early while the company is in a growth phase. We can't predict the future but we only partner with those that we think have a bright one. Investing is secure, highly regulated and every company undergoes due diligence. 

To take a further look into the companies that have experienced an upround, read another of our latest blog articles.

To view out current offers, head to the invest page for your chance to share in the future success of innovative companies like the above.

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