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Boost for SMEs as first Kiwi equity crowd-funding completes in style...

25 Aug 2014

The first capital raising offer through equity crowdfunding in New Zealand history has successfully completed after less than two weeks of opening to the public.

Renaissance Brewing reached its initial funding target of $600,000 on Thursday, and over the weekend reached its stretch target of $700,000.

Josh Daniell, Snowball Effect Head of Platform and Investor Growth, says the success of the Renaissance offer clearly demonstrates the public appetite for investment in small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs).

“This is an important milestone, for both SMEs and Kiwi investors, and a vote of confidence in a new way of raising capital for growth-focussed companies, such as Renaissance,” Daniell says.

“The fact that the funding target was achieved in such a short space of time is a definitive endorsement of both the quality of the offer and equity crowdfunding itself.”

Renaissance chief executive Brian Thiel says the brewers are thrilled at getting over the line in less than a quarter of the offer period.

“We’ll be celebrating tonight and I guarantee you it won’t be with bottles of champagne – we’ve got better stuff with which to toast our new shareholders," Thiel says.

Renaissance plans to invest the capital in boosting its production capability and developing new markets in Australasian and overseas territories, including the US, Canada, UK, mainland Europe, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Japan.

Daniell says the successful Renaissance offer shows how opening up the capital markets to include a wider range of investors can make a big difference: 287 investors with an average investment just over $2,400; two investments over $50,000; and the smallest of $500 (the minimum investment).

Investors flocked to the offer from across the country, with over 40% of the investors located in the South Island.

Daniell says that creating a central market for such investments brings efficiency for both companies and investors.

“We’ve been building the platform for over two years and were told time and time again by companies that they want an efficient method of raising capital so they can focus on growing their businesses,” he says.

“This first offer was an excellent showcase of what can be achieved.

“The uptake is that several hundred entrepreneurial investors have now taken a stake in a wealth-creating Kiwi asset and have the opportunity to share in its success. We’re excited to see what Renaissance can do with this groundswell of support behind them.”

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