Christchurch-based social enterprise Ethique is launching their second equity crowdfunding campaign on PledgeMe on September 29.
The money raised will be used to fund marketing and expansion in international markets as well as working capital to keep up with demand for their products. Brianne West launched the solid beauty bar business in 2012 with the aim to reduce plastic waste.
Since then, Ethique has stopped almost 200,000 bottles from going to landfill and have grown substantially in the last year. In 2015, Ethique raised over $200,000 in two weeks to fund the development of their product and expansion. “Since we raised money last time, we’ve been busy,” says Brianne West, Ethique CEO. “We’ve gone from our home kitchen, into a small factory, into a new 780 square metre premise in June 2017 whose warehouse we are struggling to keep full.” Last year, they grew their revenue over 350%, achieving just under $1 million in sales.
Ethique currently export to Australia and the United States. “After huge interest in the United States in 2016, including social media shares from Britney Spears and Ashton Kutcher, we decided to focus on the American market,” says West. “Since 43% of online sales go through Amazon, we knew we had to be selling there. We’ve partnered with Pharmapacks, the largest online pharmacy in the US who also work with Unilever, Kérastase, Revlon, and Neutrogena to get listed.” “Now, with the huge growth we are experiencing, we are raising capital again,” says West. Ethique Limited is expecting to raise a minimum of $350,000, and up to $500,000, which represents 2.3% - 4.7% of the company, at $8 per share with a minimum investment of $504. “We’ve decided to crowdfund again because we love involving our customers and supporters as much as possible in all facets of our business and bringing them along for the ride,” says West. Anna Guenther, PledgeMe founder and CEO says it’s exciting to see a company come through for a second round of equity crowdfunding. “Over 80% of the first round of investors were Ethique customers, so it’s awesome to see them get another opportunity to own a piece of the brand they love.” Ethique will be launching to existing shareholders at their AGM on September 28 and then for public investment from 4pm on September 29.