Equitise is an Equity Crowdfunding Platform.
We enable Companies to raise capital in an intuitive, modern and efficient way.
Bringing Investors and Companies together, the Equitise Investment Platform simplifies the investing process. It removes traditional barriers to investing and sourcing capital by making the process quick, easy and safe. In doing so, we help businesses grow.
Equitise is the trans-Tasman equity crowdfunding platform, offering global companies a way of raising capital in Australia and New Zealand.
Equity Crowdfunding is a mechanism that enables a group of Investors (the Crowd) to provide funding to a Company in return for an ownership stake (Equity).
For investors, equity crowdfunding is a great way for anyone over 18 years to back the companies they believe in, with the opportunity to get in early while the company is in a growth phase. Investing is accessible starting from around $50 and, like other investments, there’s the potential to receive a return, too.
For companies, equity crowdfunding is an alternative route to raising capital for growth.
In many cases, the first crowd they invite on the journey is existing customers as who better to invest than those who already believe in you. It's also a way of saying thank you to these customers and giving them the opportunity to profit from any success.
But existing customers are not the only people who can invest via equity crowdfunding. Companies open their capital raising up to other investors, too, creating a tribe of passionate supporters who are all invested in a company’s success.
For investors, it's free to invest.
For companies, once the EOI campaign is complete and you decide to progress, there is an upfront fee which starts at $2,500. This is to cover all the support we offer to get a campaign up and running including help with marketing and creation of the offer document. We then charge a commission of the total funds raised starting at 6%. There are no other hidden or ongoing costs.
Equitise conducts all sorts of raises for unlisted companies from seed to IPO. The three most common offers we undertake are:
1. Retail equity crowdfunds: open to all residents over 18 years and overseas accredited investors, an equity crowdfund is where you back early-stage companies in exchange for equity in that business.
2. Wholesale offers: a capital raise for an unlisted company only available to sophisticated and wholesale investors.
3. Initial Public Offering (IPO): An IPO, or ‘float’, is when a private company is raising capital to list on the stock exchange. These companies are usually past the startup stage and have had solid traction. When the company lists, your investment will be liquid meaning you'll be able to sell your shares.
Australian retail equity crowdfunds are open to any resident over the age of 18 plus wholesale investors from overseas.
New Zealand retail equity crowdfunds are open to any resident over the age of 18 plus wholesale investors from overseas.
An IPO offer is open to any resident from either Australia or New Zealand over the age of 18 plus wholesale investors from overseas.
A wholesale offer is open to any wholesale investor.
In Australia and New Zealand, a retail investor is any resident over the age of 18. In Australia, a retail investor is allowed to invest up to $10,000 per company per year through platforms like Equitise. In New Zealand, there is no cap for anyone to invest. To invest, retail investors simply have to create an account, verify their identity and invest via the offer page.
In Australia, the definition of a Sophisticated or Wholesale investor is someone who has:
- a gross income of $250,000 or more per annum in each of the previous two years; or;
- net assets of at least $2.5 million.
Sophisticated or wholesale investors are not limited in how much they can invest in any offer. They also aren’t shielded by the same benefits and protections as retail investors.
Sophisticated and wholesale investors must present Equitise with a certificate issued by a qualified accountant before investing in an offer. Please refer to this tutorial on verifying your Sophisticated or Wholesale investor status.
In New Zealand, the definition is similar but slightly different:
- The investor’s net assets, combined with the assets of the entities they control, exceeded $5 million for the two most recent financial years, or;
- The investor’s total turnover, combined with the turnover of the entities they control, exceeded $5 million for the two most recent financial years.
For all other countries, the requirements to become an accredited investor is country-specific so if you're unsure whether you qualify, simply have a chat to your accountant.
Investing is free, simple and only takes minutes.
Step 1: Create an account on Equitise (this requires you to acknowledge and agree to our Investor Agreement, Risk Warning and Disclosure Statements.)
Step 2: Verify your identity using your choice of identification such as passport, drivers licence or electoral roll.
Step 3: Head back to the offer page and click ''Invest”.
The minimum investment for an investor is different for each campaign and is set by the company raising capital. One important aspect of equity crowdfunding is that it is accessible to all, so investment often starts from around $50.
Like all investments, equity crowdfunding involves risk. While Equitise conducts rigorous due diligence on each business we assess (and we encourage you to do the same), we can never guarantee success – businesses can fail for a number of reasons beyond our control. Because there is more uncertainty with early-stage ventures, the risk is higher, but there is also the potential for greater returns as you're investing at the beginning of the journey.
At Equitise, we recommend that you only invest what you can afford to lose. Our offers have low entry points, often starting at just $50.
Companies will typically offer ordinary shares which means you have the same rights as all other shareholders including voting, pre-emptive and dividend rights. Your rights as a shareholder will be outlined on the offer page of the transaction. The specific details relating to the shares offered will be articulated in the documents attached to the offer.
There are several ways in which you might be able to sell your shares in the future including if the company floats on the stock exchange or is acquired by another company.
We're also working on a secondary market where similar to the stock exchange, you'll be able to buy and sell shares of unlisted companies. In the meantime, we can register your buy or sell interest and broker a private transaction if a matching buy or sell order is presented by another Investor.
If the investment remains illiquid (unable to sell shares) then another potential for a return is through dividends.
To find out more on selling your shares and getting a return on investment, read this blog article.
Companies set a minimum amount of funding they wish to raise in order to achieve the goals they set out to achieve. Once they have reached the 'minimum funding target' then the offer will close successfully and they go into 'overfunding'. The offer will close when the company either reaches the 'maximum funding target' or when the time on the offers is up. If the company does not reach the 'minimum funding target' then it is not successful and the investments will be returned in full.
When you invest, there will be an Investment Agreement to sign which means we can proceed with your authority to direct debit your nominated account for your investment amount. We will hold your investment funds in our trust account until the offer is finalised.
If the offer is successful, the company will receive the proceeds from the trust account. If the offer fails, we will return your funds.
If you have a broker or online trading account you will have a HIN. A HIN is a unique number that is issued to you by the ASX when you become a client of a broker. You can find your HIN on a CHESS statement or by speaking to your broker or logging into your online trading account. A HIN starts with the letter X and followed by ten numbers, e.g. X0001234567. If you don’t have a HIN, the shares will be allocated to you under a Shareholder Reference Number (SRN) and held in the Issuer Sponsored sub-register.
If you have a HIN, all shares you have been successfully allotted will land in the one brokerage account assigned to that HIN. Please make sure the HIN and the Applicant Name and Address exactly match what is on your CHESS Holding Statement. If they do not match, the share registry responsible for allotting the shares will allot your shares under a Shareholder Reference Number (SRN) which are held in the Issuer Sponsored sub-register. Whether your legal title to shares is registered on the CHESS subregister using a HIN or the issuer sponsored subregister using a SRN, you will need to go through a stockbroker if you want to trade them. Another reason to have a HIN is if you want to change your registration name, address, or notification of Tax File Number for your shares with a HIN on the CHESS subregister, you need to contact only your sponsoring broker. For shares on the issuer sponsored subregister, you need to notify the share registry of each company in which you hold shares.
- Sign into Equitise
- Select 'settings' from the drop down menu next to your name on top right hand side of screen
- Browse to the section referencing HIN settings
- Enter your HIN (your HIN must be 10 digits)
- Click on the 'update HIN' button
Please make sure the HIN and the Applicant (ie Name) and address EXACTLY match what is on your CHESS Statement.
A SRN is unique reference to each particular share parcel. So, if you own shares in BHP (example only), it will have an SRN which identifies that parcel of shares. If your spouse also owns shares in BHP, he/she will have a different and unique SRN.
If you do not have a HIN you will be issued a SRN by the Registry who manage the Share Register of the company undertaking the IPO.
You can find your SRN on correspondences sent to you by the company you own shares in, or more precisely, their share registry. This includes Dividend Statements and Holding Statements.
Equity crowdfunding was only recently legalised for retail investors in late 2017. Like all investing, it carries risk with the potential that the investor could lose their entire investment. The government therefore put protections in place to ensure everyday Australians avoid financial harm that Equitise supports. These regulations include but are not limited to:
- retail investors can only invest up to $10,000 per company, per year
- offers have a minimum funding target to ensure they can achieve the goals stipulated in the offer document
- there are disclosure and mandatory due diligence requirements
- intermediaries, such as Equitise, need a variety of approvals and licences prior to operation
The industry is closely monitored by ASIC with severe penalties in place for those who flaunt the rules.
Due Diligence Process
Part of the industry’s regulations mandate we perform a number of checks and verifications as part of our due diligence process. This means we confirm identities of all key company stakeholders such as major shareholders and directors. We check key contracts and intellectual property holdings, and assess the health and validity of the business itself. On top of this, however, we have our own higher standard of due diligence created after years of experience. We comb through financials, markets, teams and more, proceeding with companies we think have the best chance of success.
Our platform is very secure and your investment is held in a trust until the offer ends and the investment either goes to the company or is returned to you if the raise was not successful.
We are 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.
Equity crowdfunding legislation has a lot of protections put in place to ensure Australians are not overly negatively impacted by any investment decisions made. These measures include investor classifications, investment limits and more. By validating your identity we are also able to ensure these protections can be correctly applied. If individuals were able to create multiple accounts without the need to verify their identity, then exceeding investment limits, for example, would be all too easy.
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 only takes a minutes, is all online and can be done using your choice of identification. After you’re all set to get involved with the very exciting opportunity that is equity crowdfunding
Equity Crowdfunding is well suited to businesses with strong growth potential and therefore an ability to generate high returns for investors.
It's also particularly well suited to Business-to-Consumer (B2C) companies as they tend to have larger databases which they can leverage by inviting customers, fans and followers to invest. Raising capital through equity crowdfunding has the added benefit of also being a marketing campaign so is great for mass brand awareness which is often a major objective for B2C companies.
As we want the best outcome for both investors and companies, we only partner with those we think have the best chance at success. We also run an expression of interest (EOI) campaign before fully engaging so companies can gauge the interest from 'the crowd' before committing more time and resources to raise capital via equity crowdfunding.
For those that are suitable, equity crowdfunding is a fantastic way to fundraise as it gives you the capital to grow, generates brand awareness and gives you a tribe of investors who are literally invested in your success.
Equitise will request that Companies complete an on-boarding process that may differ depending on the size and history of your company.
The process begins by filling out the application form on the Raise page of our website. A team member will then be in contact to request more information and arrange a kick-off call.
- Kick-off call
This will include basic onboarding including your traction to date, goals for the campaign, how much you'd like to raise and what you'd use the funds for.
- Expression of Interest (EOI)
Validate the investor demand for your capital raise before doing the heavy lifting. An EOI marketing campaign is fast and simple and costs you nothing.
Work with our highly skilled team to create the offer document and deal room video for your capital raise.
Our marketing team will help you create a strategic and complementary promotional plan to build awareness and gain investors.
- Private launch
The offer is open to an exclusive group which might include your previous investors, close network and top customers. We also give access to EOIs.
- Public launch
It’s go time. The offer is open to everyone and as much traffic as possible should be driven to the offer page through marketing. The campaign runs for approximately 6 weeks.
- Campaign ends
Once you hit the funding target (100% funded), the offer will close successfully and will then go into ‘over-funding’. The offer ends when you hit the maximum funding target or the timer finishes.
- Receive funds
After the capital raise process closes, we settle the funds and transfer you the amount raised, less our fees. It’s then over to you to welcome your new shareholders!
There is no limit on the amount you can raise from sophisticated/wholesale Investors in Australia or New Zealand through the Equitise Investment Platform. Equity crowdfunding regulation limits the amount that can be raised from retail Investors in Australia to $5,000,000 AUD and in New Zealand to $2,000,000 NZD in any 12-month period.
We typically require a minimum of $100,000 to be raised through the platform.
We will work with you to set an offer period that is suitable for your business. General timeframes after engagement/EOI campaign are as follows:
Onboarding: 4 weeks
Privately live: 2 weeks
Publicly live: at least 4 weeks
You will set a minimum amount of funding you wish to raise in order to achieve the goals you set out to achieve. Once you have reached the 'minimum funding target' then the offer will close successfully and go into 'overfunding'. The offer will close when the company either reaches the 'maximum funding target' or when the time on the offer is up. If you don't reach the 'minimum funding target' then it is not successful and the investments will be returned in full.
If your minimum target amount is not reached, the campaign is not successful and we return all investor funds committed to your offer. This is because it's imperative you have the funds needed to achieve the goals laid out in the offer document as that is why investors chose to invest.
It usually takes 14 days to complete all documentation, confirm investments and transfer the offer proceeds to your account from our trust account.
Equitise Nominees Limited is a New Zealand registered company (NZ Business Number: 9429042159025). It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Equitise Pty Limited, the parent company that runs the Equitise Investment Platform and its sole purpose is to hold and manage shares for Investors that execute an investment through the Platform.
A nominee company holds shares on behalf of Investors. You are still able to vote in accordance with the type of shares you own, and you are still able to sell your shares.
The Equitise Nominee helps to simplify the shareholding structure of a crowdfunded entity. The Nominee will action any instructions you give to it, such as aggregating any votes and voicing them on your behalf.
The Equitise Nominee holds shares on bare trust for Investors. This usually flows through to the Investor for tax purposes. We are happy to provide further details upon request.
The nominee simplifies the shareholding structure, and facilitates communication between the parties – a benefit to both Investors and Companies.
Investors benefit by:
- Not having to worry that they won’t be updated as to a Company's progress.
- Equitise provides Companies with a template report to be filled out biannually, and then provided to shareholders. Equitise helps keep Companies accountable to their Investor base.
- Equitise will act in the interest of the Investors. Investors need not worry about raising concerns with the Company itself, as Equitise Nominees will ensure that they are heard.
Companies benefit by:
- Having only one shareholder on their share registry – this means that they do not have to contact potentially hundreds of Investors to obtain consent for things such as "major transactions".
- The nominee structure means that Equitise will contact your Investors and receive their responses on the Company's behalf, easing the administrative hassle of managing Investor relations.
- If you are an Australian Proprietary Limited (private) company, the Equitise Nominee allows you to raise capital beyond the 50 shareholder limit, without becoming a public company.
- In New Zealand, avoiding the Takeovers Act 1993, which applies to companies with 50 or more shareholders and 50 or more share parcels.
When there is a resolution (an event requiring shareholders to vote on whether they think a Company’s action is the correct path forward), Equitise will pass that information to Investors to vote on. Equitise then aggregates the votes and passes the votes to the Company. This simplifies the management of multiple shareholders, and allows the Company to interact with Equitise with whom it is already very familiar.
An exit event is typically when a Company sells or lists on a stock exchange. If your shares are held on trust by the Equitise Nominee, the nominee will dissolve allowing you to take your investment profits, less Carry, directly.
Equitise charges a Nominee Setup Fee for establishment and ongoing management of the Equitise Nominee, which is payable by the Company if their offer succeeds.
Equitise manages all communication between Investors and the company, and any queries from either the company or investors can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
When a company makes an offer through the Equitise Investment Platform, it will upload any legal documents to the "Documents" tab of the offer page.
In Australia Equitise is a corporate authorised representative for Laterne Securities, and as such has a wholesale Australian Financial Services License (AFSL). Equitise is a licensed intermediary in New Zealand, regulated by the Financial Markets Authority.
In Australia an offer made on the Equitise Platform can be made to the public (i.e. both retail and sophisticated investors). A company can raise $5,000,000 per year if the offer is public. In New Zealand an offer made on the Equitise Platform can be made to the public (i.e. both retail and wholesale investors). A company can raise $2,000,000 per year if the offer is public.
The Issuer Agreement is the legal document signed between Equitise and a Company before the Company launching a campaign on the Equitise Investment Platform.
The Investment Agreement is the legal document between the Company raising capital and the Investor that outlines the terms of the investment. This agreement sets out the fact that you are agreeing to buy shares in the Company and that the Company will issue those shares to you.
You can download a copy of your Investment Agreement when you click “Invest” and execute an investment through the Equitise Investment Platform. By entering your name in this digital investment process, you are digitally signing the Investment Agreement and also agreeing to the terms of the offer.
The Company Constitution is the primary document outlining the rules governing a Company's structure and control, business activities, its Directors and shareholders.
The Shareholders Agreement is the legal document signed between the Company and Investors in the Company. The Shareholders Agreement sets out the agreed principles governing the interaction of shareholders, for instance the rights attaching to shares (such as voting rights) and different classes of shares (if applicable).
Investors may be required to agree to a Shareholders Agreement of some form when investing in the shares in a Company through Equitise, though not in all cases. When you execute the Investment Agreement by typing your digital signature in the "Invest" section of the Equitise Platform, you also automatically agree to the Company’s Shareholders Agreement if there is one.