Online crowd-funding platform PledgeMe has announced it
is moving into equity crowd-funding - and founder Anna Guenther
could not be more excited.
It followed Cabinet's recent approval of new regulations for
crowd-funding and peer-to-peer lending, as part of the
Government's financial market overhaul.
There would be no investor caps for equity crowd-funding,
although there was a $2 million cap on what a company could
raise through crowd-funding each year.
Companies no longer needed to prepare a prospectus or
investment statement before raising funds from the public.
Ms Guenther, a graduate of the University of Otago's Masters
of Entrepreneurship programme, said PledgeMe's equity
platform could start trading anywhere from mid-April.
The move meant Wellington-based PledgeMe, founded two years
ago, could widen what it was doing and help more people.
''We definitely see ourselves as almost the Trade Me of
social good, helping people fund things they care about,''
There was plenty of interest in equity crowd-funding and Ms
Guenther believed the challenge was to educate both investors
and businesses in what it meant and how it worked.
There was an awareness of it as a concept but an
understanding of how it worked ''isn't there yet'', she said.
While there was competition, PledgeMe had the advantage of
already working in the crowd-funding space and knowing how it
worked, she said.
It was not going to remove the need for angel investors and
venture capitalists and did not stop capital from being
matched further downstream, she said.
PledgeMe's board included former Ngai Tahu chief executive
Anake Goodall and Ms Guenther said it was interesting that
she met most of the board when they were guest lecturers when
she was doing her masters degree in Dunedin.