Australian crowdfunding platform, VentureCrowd, has raised $363,000 in a pre-IPO funding round for question–and–answer micro job network Crowd Mobile.
VentureCrowd’s exclusive online platform, powered by Artesian Venture Partners, enabled a ‘crowd’ of sophisticated investors to tip in $363,000 as part of a $3.8 million secondary funding round over just four days.
This comes as Crowd Mobile’s lists on the Australian Securities Exchange.
Crowd Mobile was founded in 2009 and now operates in 13 countries around the world with its services: Passion for Fashion, Bongo Thinks and What Would Jesus Do.
The company’s products and services allow millions of customers globally to crowdsource answers to their much-needed questions, paying a small fee for each answer received.
In the 2014 financial year, Crowd Mobile charged for more than 3.4 million questions, generated more than $9.8 million in revenue and made $2.2 million in earnings.
Crowd Mobile chief executive, Domenic Carosa, said he believed in the power of the crowd to get things done.
"It was only logical that we used the VentureCrowd platform to raise required funds before our public listing," he said.
“It was quick and easy to get set up and gave us access to investors we otherwise may not have met, while retaining the simplicity of a single shareholder structure.
"Crowdfunding and crowdsourcing of all types isn’t the future; it’s happening now.”
VentureCrowd gives sophisticated investors the opportunity to invest in companies that they do not have the chance to invest in alone.
A sophisticated investor is a type of investor who is deemed to have sufficient investing experience and knowledge to weigh the risks and merits of an investment opportunity.
Typically, a sophisticated investor must have either a net worth of $2.5 million or have earned more than $250,000 in the past two years to qualify.
In 2014 alone, VentureCrowd raised $1.2 million for mobile payments company ingogo, and $50,000 as part of a larger angel funding round for fashion technology startup Fame & Partners.
Artesian Venture Partners, chief operating officer, Tim Heasley, said the funding round for Crowd Mobile was yet another example of the fervour with which sophisticated investors have adopted equity crowdfunding since VentureCrowd launched last year.
“The investors that participated in this funding round through VentureCrowd would not have had the opportunity to take part without the VentureCrowd equity crowdfunding platform,” he said.
“We have been able to identify potential investment deals like Crowd Mobile, Ingogo and others that provide a more efficient and vastly superior way to make investments in high-growth technology companies.
“We’re beginning to see many more sophisticated investors take an interest in this type of crowdfunding, which we believe is vital to ensuring the future success and continued growth of Australia’s technology ecosystem.”
Investors can invest as little as $1000, with no maximum, on the platform.