Crowdfunding crowdfunding: a second round of moolah for Kiwi platform PledgeMe

Crowdfunding crowdfunding: a second round of moolah for Kiwi platform PledgeMe
Just six months after putting its hand out in an equity crowdfunding campaign, PledgeMe is back at it again for round two. And this time, it’s asking for a whole lot more.

In November of last year, PledgeMe launched its own equity crowdfunding campaign, raising $100,000 for 14.3 percent of its shares. It was a smashing success, achieving its goal within 23 hours of the campaign going live.

Today, PledgeMe put up a second campaign, this time asking for a maximum of $750,000 for 26.3 percent of shares. The campaign went live at 6am, and by lunchtime, it had already broken through the first campaign’s hundred-grand-limit.

That’s six hours, or thereabouts.

“We’re really, really, really stoked with the support we’ve received from our crowd,” Anna Guenther says.

Anna Guenther

Guenther, PledgeMe’s ‘chief bubble blower’ (CEO, in boring speak), says the second round of funding is focused on growing the platform beyond what it’s currently capable of, and developing into new markets.

The first round of funding “was [used] to grow a team, mobile-optimise the website, and just grow a community, and we’ve done that,” says Guenther. “We’ve done all those things, and now we just want to go further.”


The PledgeMe Team

That first campaign was the first successful equity campaign PledgeMe had that reached its target, and since then, the platform has managed to push out eight more successful campaigns.

Those campaigns range from beer company Yeastie Boys, vegan start-up Angel Food, to sustainable cosmetics Sorbet.

The biggest success has been the Yeastie Boys campaign, which managed to raise its maximum goal of half a million dollars in half an hour.

Guenther dismisses any notion that the platform is growing a bit too fast, and says the company has a very clear plan about what they want.

“There’s a lot of room in the space between how much money is being invested by angels and how much is being lent by banks, so that’s a big market that we’re trying to get a piece of,” Guenther says.

And the biggest difference PledgeMe has against its competitors such as Snowball Effect, according to Guenther, is that the companies which crowdfund using PledgeMe have “crowds they want to activate”, and want not just monetary investment, but also a relationship with the crowdfunding investors.

“It’s like the difference between dating and marriage.”

Should the campaign reach its maximum goal, Guenther’s current 43.1 percent stake in the company will be reduced to 31.8 percent, with the total number of company shares raised from 35,000 to 48,750.

The minimum pledge is set at $500, and the campaign will last until 10pm, July 24. The overall target has been set at $250,000 with a maximum of $750,000, and the campaign can be found here.