A rapidly growing Kiwi tech startup aims to raise $500,000 through equity crowdfunding to continue to grow its social marketplace app, which is based on a geo-advertising business model. SellShed, a free mobile app which matches buyers and sellers in their local communities for online trading, has seen more than 13,000 users sign up to the app since its launch last October.
The company, based out of Mt Maunganui, has so far raised $300,000 in private capital fundraising initiatives and is now raising further investment to continue its national expansion plan.
Equity crowdfunding platform PledgeMe, which recently raised $500,000 in 30 minutes for another Kiwi business, is hosting SellShed following a rigorous assessment of the company’s potential appeal and future success. SellShed CEO Peter Howell says they put their proposal forward to PledgeMe because their due diligence and acceptance process stood out as market leading, and provided additional credibility for their capital-raising plans.
Crowdfunding fits with the ethos of the company’s brand. “SellShed is about community involvement. Those that take up the opportunity will be investing in an exciting high tech start-up that will revolutionise how online trading is conducted in the future.” Howell expects younger investors in the 30 to 40 year old age bracket to be interested in the offer. “We’re expecting good uptake from people who have a reasonable investment income, and also a good understanding of online technology and its applications,” says Howell.
“We see this approach as a potential funding model for a lot of future online or app-based businesses in New Zealand, as it’s an ideal way to tap into investors who want to be involved in a project like this but may not want to go through traditional investment channels to do it.”
The SellShed app is locally relevant, integrated with all key social networks, free on mobile phones, and most importantly, easily customised to user needs – all of which has made it popular with the thousands of Kiwis who have signed up already. Its revenue model includes two streams – geo-advertising, which is based on the location of the user; and subscriptions, which will see businesses pay a monthly fee to cover listings.
SellShed will expand internationally in future, says Howell, although the initial focus is on growing the business within New Zealand. “Because of the nature of the mobile platform there are no geographical boundaries,” he explains. “We already have users in New Zealand, Australia, UK, USA, Italy and Uruguay, although 99 percent of the users currently registered are Kiwis.”