About | FAQ

What is crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is really as simple as it sounds, you go out to your crowd for funding. You need a clear idea of what you're raising the money for, a $$ goal, a deadline, and you need to offer something in return.  For project campaigns, you offer rewards like the album you're creating or t-shirts, for equity campaigns you offer shares in your company, and for lending campaigns you offer a loan note to your crowd that you repay at terms set by you. You need to meet your goal by your deadline for the pledges to be processed. 

 

How do I choose what type of crowdfunding campaign to run?

There are three types of crowdfunding campaign that you can run through PledgeMe: project, equity or lending. Project campaigns tend to be around the $5,000 mark, and you need to offer rewards in return for pledges. This makes sense for more artistic and community projects, and for companies that have rewards their crowd will really want.

Equity campaigns only work for New Zealand companies, as you are issuing shares under our local legislation. You need to have a clear idea on how the investment will help your company grow, and be really clear in your offer to your crowd. We complete background checks on you and your team, and help you create your plan through CrowdfundingU. The typical raise is around $200,000, and you can choose to do a public or private equity campaign. 

Lending campaigns can work for New Zealand companies or organisations, but you need to show the ability to repay your crowd in order to set up your campaign. You set the structure of the loan including interest rate, repayment terms, and whether the loan is secured on unsecured. We complete background checks on you and your team, and help you create your plan through CrowdfundingU. We've hosted two lending campaigns so far, one for over $800,000 for Eat My Lunch, and one for over $380,000 for Denheath Desserts. 

You can learn more about the different types of crowdfunding in our guides, and the difference between equity and lending campaigns in this blog

 

 

Is it happening overseas?

Crowdfunding is happening pretty much everywhere - in so many niche (and general) forms. Word on the street is there’s over 1,000 platforms! We’re one of the first platforms in New Zealand, and have helped over 1,000 Kiwis raise over $14 million.

 

Do I need Facebook to login?

No - you can create your very own PledgeMe account by clicking the join now button. If you Facebook Connect, you will have fewer passwords to remember. You will need to have a Facebook account to comment on projects.

 

What happens when I follow a page?

When you follow a page you will receive any updates the project creator writes on the page (this also happens if you pledge!). These come out as an email and appear in your PledgeMe inbox.

Not a big fan of emails? No worries, you can turn off the emails in your profile settings.

 

Who’s behind PledgeMe?

We’ve got a crowd behind PledgeMe - with former government workers, lawyers, investment bankers, comedians, and musos. If you want to chat to us (or even meet us!) check out our team section here.

 

Are you regulated by anyone?

We are not regulated on the project side of our platform. But we are licenced by the FMA to provide equity crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending (what we lovingly refer to as crowdlending).

How do I create a project?

You need to log in, and hit the Create button at the top of the website. Choose the project option, and enter all the information requested. No worries if it's not final yet, you'll have a chance to edit the information provided before the campaign goes live. 

 

Do I really need a video?

We think you do! A good project pitch video is worth its weight in gold. It doesn’t need to be professional, or long - it should just introduce your project and you, and tell your punters why they should pledge to you. Check out our blog on what makes a good video here. Once created, add the youtube or vimeo link to the 'Media' tab of your project - just make sure they aren't password protected!

 

What is this update thing?

This is where you can post updates during the project for your pledgers and followers to see. This could be about the journey, new rewards, media coverage, hitting a big funding milestone, how you’re feeling, what you ate this morning... Anything really.

 

What should I do with my profile?

You should tell us about you. Add your website, location, a blurb about you, and a headline. Come on, you know you want to!

 

Can I edit my campaign after it's gone live?

You totally can, you can update your description, add photos, and add new rewards as you go. What you can’t change is any reward that has been pledged on, your deadline, and your goal.

 

What happens if I raise more than my goal?

Wahoo! Go you. You can keep on going until infinity with rewards based projects. You keep everything you raise, minus PledgeMe's 6.5% success fee.

 

What happens if I don't reach my goal?

Unfortunately, nothing. PledgeMe is an all or nothing platform, which means you have to reach your target for the project to be successful and us to process your pledges. We do this so you aren't caught out of pocket trying to deliver a project without enough moeny, so we suggest setting your budget as the minimum you need to cover the cost of delivering your project, rewards, and fees.  

 

How do I get a mention on your social media, oh PledgeMe gurus?

Give us something share-able, and we’re happy to show it to our social media crowd. Think: pictures of people (eg. your team) and quotes. Our trending campaigns are automatically generated by campaigns that get a lot of pledges in a short time, so you'll need to get your crowd pledging is you want to trend. 

 

Do I have to issue receipts?

Since pledgers ultimately give to a campaign owner, not PledgeMe, you are responsible for sending receipts to your pledgers if they request one. This also allows charities to issue tax-deductible receipts if you are allowed to do so. 

 

What are PledgeMe's fees?

PledgeMe takes a flat 6.5% of the total raised on a successful project campaign. We recommend setting your target as the minimum you need to make the project happen, deliver your rewards (e.g. print tshirts, pay for postage, etc), and cover our fees. If you want to raise more than your target, talk about stretch goals in your project description and in updates to encourage your crowd to help you smash that target. 

 

Is GST included? Do I have to pay it?

What you raise is what you get, minus our 6.5% success fee - we don't add anything to pledges. PledgeMe isn't able to give accounting advice to campaigns - we have a lot of different types of people, companies, and organisations running campaigns. Tax implications can depend on the nature of your structure as well as your rewards, so it's best to chat to your accountant or finance officer to make sure you're covering all your bases. 

How do I pay my pledge?

You can choose to pay by direct bank deposit or credit card. Paying by deposit (to our NZ bank account) is free, while credit cards have a 2.5% + 25c fee that you'll be charged on top of your pledge amount.

 

Are my credit card details secure?

Yes - our credit card gateway, Flo2Cash, has the highest PCI compliance known to man. In order to be secure we use a SSL certificate throughout the whole site. That ensures that everything you do using PledgeMe is considered safe. We do not keep your credit card details. All of that is kept within our payment gateway system, Flo2Cash, who must fulfil all credit card security requirements. It also means that PledgeMe has got absolutely no access to this information, we rely on Flo2Cash to confirm whether your pledge was approved or not.

 

When will the pledge be processed?

If you've chosen to pay by direct bank transfer, when the campaign closes (and is successful) we'll email you with the bank details. If you've gone for credit card then your card will be charged on the first working day after the campaign closes successfully.

 

Help! My pledge isn't working, what do I do?

There are a few reasons why your pledge might not work, but the main culprit is that your details aren't entered correctly - make sure all the fields are filled out, and triple check your credit card number (no extra numbers, no dashes / spaces?). If you’re having an issue just shout out by emailing us. We'll get your pledge through.

 

When will I get my rewards?

The project creator will be in touch after the project has met its deadline and was successfully funded. They will organise the delivery of your rewards with you then. If you want to check in with them on reward delivery - leave a comment on their page, or contact them direct.

 

Can I pledge if I am outside of New Zealand?

Yes, you can pledge to a Project Campaign as long as you have a valid Visa or Mastercard. Please do not choose the bank transfer option, as wire transfers from overseas cost quite a bit of money. 

 

What does it mean when I 'follow' a project?

This means you will receive any updates that the project creator sends out about the project.

 

Can I change my pledge?

If you’ve pledged with a credit card, you can change your pledge up until a project closes.

 

How do I get a receipt for my pledge?

Receipts are issued by campaigns upon request, not by PledgeMe, since they have different financial structures and needs. If you need a receipt for your pledge, please contact the campaign owner directly. 

 

Are you regulated to provide Project Crowdfunding?

Nope, this side of our platform is unregulated. 

 

Can I use _____ as a reward?

So long as it isn't illegal or promising a return on investment, yes! Rewards can be goods, services, swag, experiences, credit, or anything else you can think of. They don't even have to be strictly related to your campaign - donated rewards from your crowd are a great way to get them engaged and bring in new pledgers. Get creative - people love rewards that are unique, limited edition, or will create lasting memories just as much as physical things. 

What about postage?

We don't have the ability to add postage costs to a pledge (yet!). We suggested including it in the value of the reward. If you anticipate getting a lot of overseas pledges, creating an international reward can be a good idea. 

 

Can my pledgers specify the size/colour/flavour of their reward when they pledge?

You can suggest they specify their request in the notes section of their pledge, or follow up with them to confirm their choice after the campaign closes. It's probably a good idea to follow up anyway, just in case people change addresses. 

 

Can I add photos of my rewards?

PledgeMe doesn't have the functionality to put a picture with a reward, so we suggest including photos in the project description part of your campaign page. Use tables (without the lines) to array or centre images. 

 

 

How much does it cost?

PledgeMe.Equity creator

6.5% success fee (zero rated) charged to campaign creator if goal met by deadline

CrowdfundingU

$3,000 + GST for 6 session programme. Required for all Equity and Lending campaigns. Reduced to $750 + GST for campaigns under $100,000

You may incur additional costs launching and running your campaign, ranging from legal and accounting to design and comms. 

 

What is CrowdfundingU?

CrowdfundingU is PledgeMe’s programme to make sure your equity crowdfunding campaign is in the best shape it can be before it goes live. Over the six sessions, we help you build, plan, and generate a buzz around your campaign. The programme focusses on key areas of crafting your pitch and connecting with your crowd. There is a one-off fee of $3,000+GST for this for larger campaigns, and $750+GST for campaigns aiming to raise less than $100,000. You could get match funded by your local Economic Development Agency through their capability vouchers. 

For more information on CrowdfundingU check out this page.

 

Who is going to pledge on my equity campaign?

Your crowd. These could be family, friends, existing business partners, and/or customers. To run a successful campaign you’ll need to engage with them: tell them why you need the investment, and talk to them about what's in it for them. If you have a good investment proposition, activate your crowd and get them to tap into their networks your campaign will spread to the general public. You’ll need to use all the tools in your toolkit to get your campaign out there — social media, traditional media, phone calling, launch parties… Whatever gets awareness about your campaign raised in a fun and interesting way.

 

What kind of information do I need to share to get my crowd on board?

Your campaign should be part story and inspiration, and part cold hard facts. You’ll need to talk about your company, your team, and why you need investment and also your current financials, three year projections, and valuation of your company. We highly recommend a pitch video, and offering your crowd rewards as an immediate return for their investment. And, for the love of all that's good, if you're making a claim, reference it and show your assumptions. You’re not allowed to include misleading or deceptive claims in your campaign.

 

How do I get my campaign up and running?

Head along to the “Create” tab and enter your details into the equity campaign request. Then we'll be in touch to get you set up for CrowdfundingU.

 

How quickly can I go live?

Before your first equity crowdfunding campaign you’ll need to run through our CrowdfundingU programme. This takes up to six weeks and will prepare you and your company for running a crowdfunding campaign. During this time PledgeMe will work with you to get your campaign into the best possible shape it can be. Our experience in this space shows that the most successful campaigns require (at least) several weeks of planning, priming and positioning before going out to your crowd.

 

Can I raise investment through PledgeMe more than once?

You sure can! The only limitation is a cap on raising more than $2 million per year through equity crowdfunding. If you’re looking to create a more than one campaign in any year we’ll walk you through that. You will need to think about how future investment could affect your status under the Takeovers Code (eg. if you have more than 50 shareholders). There is more on this in the Equity Crowdfunding guide.

 

Is there anyone that can help me with this?

PledgeMe is here to help. We will give you feedback on your campaign and are happy to chat if you need more support. You will learn a lot during CrowdfundingU, and can read our education guide.

 

If you’re looking for some crash course in DIY crowdfunding online, here are a few links you should check out:

 

If you need help doing things like making your pitch video of financial forecasting, we know people who can lend a helping hand.

 

You might also want to talk to your local economic development agency, incubator, or read through the Investment Ready Guide by NZTE.

 

Is there a cap on how much someone can invest?

No. The only cap is for companies seeking investment. Investors can put as much money into shares through PledgeMe as they want. However, it is important to remember that when you’re investing, startup companies are risky — so invest in companies you believe in and think you’ll get something in return for your money.

 

 

What if someone steals my idea?

It’s all about execution. You need money and support to turn your idea into reality. Crowdfunding is a great way to get both. At some point you’re going to have to let the idea out of the bag. If you're not quite ready to do that then it probably isn't the right time to try equity crowdfunding!

 

Who is in charge of managing shareholders?

You are ultimately responsible for managing your shareholders. To help you PledgeMe has built an online communications portal as a convenient way to stay in contact with them. It’s up to you (or your appointed director) to create discussions and decisions for your shareholders within the portal. You’ll also need to send out annual reports, and invite your shareholders along to your AGM. Even if you don’t use our comms portal, it is best practice to keep your shareholders in the loop. They’re your crowd so give them something to cheer about.

 

 

Is it just about the money?

Nope. There is so much more your investors can offer. As, one of our favourite CEO’s recently told us, this “isn’t dumb money, it’s love money”. And there’s so much more that comes with it than just cold hard cash.

 

Do I need to repay the money?

As long as you haven't mislead your investors, no. They've taken a risk to invest in you. In saying that, you should do all you can to achieve the forecasts you gave them.

 

 

Can I direct people to my campaign before it launches?

Yes! Once we have approved your campaign and you have added a picture and a blurb, PledgeMe can make it so your campaign appears on the site as "coming soon".

 

This allows potential pledgers to follow your campaign and receive a notification when your campaign goes live.

 

 

Can my campaign be private?

Yes! It’s super simple: select the private option when you’re setting up your campaign.

 

 

What does making my campaign private mean?

Selecting a private campaign means that your campaign won’t be visible on the main page or be searchable on PledgeMe. Only people who have the link will be able to visit your campaign page. This means you have a bit more control over who sees your information while still going through the PledgeMe process. Other than the extra privacy, there aren’t really any other differences to normal campaigns.

 

 

Why would I choose to do a private campaign?

There are two main reasons you might want to run a private campaign: doing a friends and family and/or initial investment round or just not wanting to show the world what you’re up to yet.

 

Either way, PledgeMe’s platform provides you with a simple way of getting your offer out to your crowd and allowing them to invest.

 

 

What's the difference between doing a public and a private campaign?

In terms of readying your company for accepting investment: nothing.

 

Regardless of running a public or a private campaign, a company is going to need to follow the same process to putting forward an offer on our platform. The only difference is that instead of the offer being visible to anyone on pledgeme.co.nz, it will only go out to those you choose to share it with.

 

One potential difference for a private campaign is that some of the costs around getting your campaign ready may be reduced or eliminated (compared to public campaigns). Things like pitch videos cost money and, depending on the private campaign, may not be necessary.

 

What is the Shareholders Portal?

PledgeMe’s Shareholder Portal provides a space for you to have ongoing private communication with your shareholders.

 

You can use it for general discussions, monthly shareholder updates, requests for advice / support, and to vote on resolutions.

 

The portal is great because

  • it stores your communication and interaction with shareholders in one place,

  • reduces email overload,

  • makes your shareholder discussions many to many (instead of oldschool 1:1), and

  • allows engagement and actual discussion with your crowd!

 

There is a fee of $25 (plus GST) per month, first two months free. It’s optional to use this service.

What does it mean to pledge to invest in an equity campaign? 

Pledging to invest means you are pledging to buy shares in a company. If the campaign goal is met by the deadline your pledge will be processed. Once your pledge is processed and shares issued, you are a part-owner of the company. As an owner, there is the potential to make money off your investment. 

Investing in an early-stage company is risky. It can be hard to judge the likelihood of success with startups and growing businesses. Losing your whole investment is possible. This means you need to think carefully before you invest, and make sure you’re not investing more than you can afford to lose.

Read our guide on what it means to be an investor here.

 

How do you take my pledge to invest?

There are two ways to pledge to invest, via credit card or bank deposit. Pledging using a credit card generates a token and we charge your card the day after the campaign successfully finishes and you've been verified. Paying by credit card incurs a 2.5% + 25c fee, to be paid by you.

 

Direct bank deposits are free for all! Once the campaign meets it's goal and you've been verified, we will email you our bank details including a reference number to use when making the transfer. We hold your pledge in a trust account until the the company's share register has been updated.

 

What is the register button for?

Registering to invest means you have acknowledged startup investment is risky, and you’ve provided your legal name, postal address, date of birth, and passport / drivers license details (or uploads) and that it is all legit.

 

You only need to do this if you want to pledge to invest and you only need to do it once.

What happens if the company I’ve pledged to doesn’t make their goal? You won’t be charged. If the goal is met, you will be charged the next business day (via your credit card) or be required to pay within 5 working days.

 

 

Do I get to keep in touch with the company after I invest?

Most definitely. You can keep in touch with them through PledgeMe’s built in communication portal if they choose to use it. We also hope you’ll meet the team in real life as well. You’ve just signed up for an ongoing relationship with them — and they might ask for your brains at some point!

 

How do I know the company won’t run away to Rio?

PledgeMe runs background checks on company directors and sizes up companies before equity crowdfunding campaigns go live. The biggest weapon against getting ripped off is your own early warning system: if the investment proposition doesn’t add up, or you don’t trust the entrepreneur, don’t invest!

 

Are you guys, like, angels?

Although Team PledgeMe is pretty divine, we’re not an angel group. There’s no lead investor, we leave the due diligence of all investments up to you, the crowd. We do basic background checks and comply with the law but we’re just a platform that gives companies the ability to seek funding. You’re the ones who add the magic.

 

Can I pledge if I am outside New Zealand?

Yes, but you’ll need to upload a copy of your passport and proof of address when you register to invest. You will also need to confirm you are legally allowed to invest in your home country, and we require you to confirm you are a wholesale investor.

 

What is your complaints procedure?

If you’ve got a problem, email us on help@pledgeme.co.nz.

 

What do I need to know?

PledgeMe.Lend helps companies and organisations borrow from their crowd to fund the things they collectively care about and repay them with interest.

 

A lot of what you need to know is covered in our guide to crowdlending. Have a read.

 

Has PledgeMe become a bank??

Nah. We won’t be filling the main streets of cities and towns around the country with branches of PledgeMe property.

What we do do is create a transparent way for borrowers and lenders to connect. Borrowers pick how much they want to borrow, for how long and at what interest rate. Lenders pick who they want to support and in doing so are potentially given the chance to earn a higher return than leaving their money sitting idle in a bank account (though, it is definitely riskier than sitting in a bank account).

We’re democratizing funding decisions by shifting the power away from banks and into the hands of both borrowers and lenders. 

Who is it for?

PledgeMe.Lend is for a range of companies and organisations. They’ll typically have some experience behind them, a clear idea of what they want to do with the loan, an ability to repay the loan (which we run through in our CRED) and a passionate crowd who love what they do and want to be part of their journey.

A borrower could be a stay up, a growing business, a social enterprise, a non-profit, a school, a society, a community organisation, a co-op, collective or club.

Here’s a few examples:

  • A company who wants to crowdfund but is unable to issue new shares (eg. some shareholders not on board issuing more shares or is of a more mature profile and can repay their loan)

  • A school putting solar panels on their roof and repaying their crowd with their saved costs.

  • A renewable energy organisation raising from their community to build and operate a wind farm hyper locally. 

Why don't I just keep borrowing from my bank?

If a bank will lend money to you, you could stick to that road. But, you get so much more out of crowdfunding than the funding.

  • It’s a more transparent way to access capital and have the power to make your own calls.

  • You’re able to involve those that support you already and connect with new supporters by engaging your crowd and building your supporter base.

  • You can market what you do further, and possibly receive media coverage.

  • You control your loan. You set your terms — how much you borrow, how long you’ll take and how often you’ll repay the loan. It’s up to you to set your own interest at a reasonable level that rewards lenders for backing you.

  • We remove the constant high margin that financial institutions are charging. Banks’ constant “net interest margin” of between 4% and 11% is replaced by our 1% repayment fee that’s paid by your lenders.

  • It’s a structured way to raise capital.

  • You have no ongoing compliance & reporting burden. Instead, we give you the opportunity to communicate with your lenders as often as you wish.

  • There is no obligation to secure your loan with company or personal assets, unlike banks’ growing appetite for personal guarantees from small business owners.

How much does it cost? 

PledgeMe.Lend creator

5.5% success fee (zero rated) charged to campaign creator if goal met by deadline. Note: there will also be fees to the pledger of 1% of principal repayment

CrowdfundingU

$3,000 + GST for 6 session programme. Required for all Equity and Lending campaigns. Reduced to $750 + GST for campaigns under $100,000

Pledgers

The cost of using your credit card will be passed onto you if your card is charged, currently this is 2.5% + 25c per transaction attempt.

1% of the principal repaid to pledgers on PledgeMe.Lend campaigns (note: no fee on the interest earned)

 

Who is going to pledge on my campaign?

Your crowd. This could be family, friends, existing business partners, and/or customers. To run a successful campaign you’ll need to engage with them, tell them why you need the investment, and talk to them about why they should lend. Once you have a good loan proposition, activate your crowd and ask them to tap into their networks so your campaign will spread to the general public. You’ll need to use all the tools in your toolkit to get your campaign out there — social media, traditional media, phone calling, launch parties… Whatever gets awareness about your campaign raised in a fun and interesting way!

 

What kind of information do I need to share to get my crowd on board?

Your campaign should be a combination of  your story, inspiration, and hard facts. You’ll need to talk about your organisation, your team, why you need capital and also provide your current financials and three year projections. We highly recommend a pitch video, and offering your crowd rewards as an immediate return for their pledges. And, for the love of all that's good, if you're making a claim, reference it and show your assumptions. You’re not allowed to include misleading or deceptive claims in your campaign.

 

How do I get my campaign up and running?

Head along to the “Create” tab and fill out  our Campaign Readiness Evaluation for Debt (CRED) form which will let you know if the time is right. Once you’re CREDible you’ll need to enter your organisation details to submit your loan request. There’s a bit of work which needs to be done here, so don’t worry if you need to save and come back later. All of your directors need to sign the Borrower Agreement and then we do a background check on your company and directors.

 

How does the CRED work?

Your journey begins with our Campaign Readiness Evaluation for Debt (aka the CRED). To get an insight into your organisation and your ability to repay the loan, we’re gonna ask you some questions. If you have your organisation’s financial statements at the ready, it will only take a few moments…five minute long moments to be precise!

 

The CRED works by pulling out a handful of financial measurements from your statements – the most important ones being how solvent your organisation is (have you funded yourself through equity and profits or through debt?) and the liquidity of the company (how effectively you manage your short-term cash flow). And your combined score from all of the measurements is compared to our ready / not ready threshold. 

 

How quickly can I go live?

Before your first crowdlending campaign can go live you’ll need to take part in our CrowdfundingU programme. This takes up to six weeks and will prepare you and your organisation to run a crowdfunding campaign. Team PledgeMe will work with you to whip your campaign into the best possible shape it can be. Our experience in this space shows that the most successful campaigns require (at least) several weeks of planning, priming and positioning before going out to your crowd.

 

What is CrowdfundingU?

CrowdfundingU is PledgeMe’s programme to make sure your crowdlending campaign is in the best shape it can be before it goes live. Over six sessions, we help you build, plan, and generate a buzz around your campaign. The programme focusses on key areas of crafting your pitch and connecting with your crowd. There is a one-off fee of $3,000 + GST (or $750 + GST if your campaign is under $100,000) for this.

 

For more information on CrowdfundingU check out this page.

  

Can I borrow through PledgeMe more than once?

The rule is an organisation can’t raise over $2m in total over a 12 month period, including all equity and lending campaigns.

Remember that, unlike an equity raise, you’re taking on an obligation to repay the money that you borrow. Keep it reasonable, keep it repayable.

A handy hint is keep your loan below 2.5 times of your current Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA ).

Is there anyone that can help me with this?

PledgeMe is here to help. We will give you feedback on your campaign and are happy to chat if you need more support.

If you’re looking for some crash course in DIY crowdfunding online, here are a few links you should check out:

If you need help doing things like making your pitch video or financial forecasting, we know people who can lend a helping hand. Check out our supplier page.

You might also want to talk to your local economic development agency, or incubator.
 

Is there a cap on how much someone can lend?

No. The only cap is for organisations seeking capital. Lenders can put as much money into loans through PledgeMe as they want.
 

Who's in charge of managing repayments?

PledgeMe coordinate repayments of the loan (be they monthly, quarterly or annually) between the organisation and lenders.

Every scheduled payment is set up when the loan is established. Your responsibility is to manage your cashflow so that there is enough cash in your designated bank account to foot each bill.

 

How do repayments work?

Your Loan Contract will set out the amounts you owe on every repayment date throughout the life of your loan.

A typical loan will repay an equal amount every month, comprised of principal and interest. As the loan amortises (reduces as you pay it back) the amount of interest you pay will decrease as the amount of principal you pay increases.

 

What happens if I can't pay?

So here it’s different to an equity raise. As a borrower, you have a legal obligation to do all you can to return the loan principal and interest to your lenders. Lenders accept that they’ve taken a risk by lending to you and are aware that the returns that are realised may not be what’s anticipated in your Loan Contract.

If you do have trouble repaying your loan, we’ll talk it through with you.

If completely necessary, we’ll bring in a debt collection agency to recover as much as possible to repay your lenders.

Is it just about the money?

Nope! There is so much more your investors can offer. As, one of our favourite CEO’s recently told us, this “isn’t dumb money, it’s love money”. And there’s so much more that comes with it than just cold hard cash.

 

How does the Campaign Readiness Evaluation for Debt work?

The CRED (Campaign Readiness Evaluation for Debt) takes a look at your organisation’s profile to suss out whether a loan is suitable for you. What we aim to do here is make sure that those that have a good chance of repaying the money they borrow are given the opportunity to create a campaign.

 

From the financial info you put in, our tool runs a quick calculation at the click of a button and spits out whether you are ready or not quite ready. Unlike other crowdlending platforms, it doesn’t “price the risk” of borrowers by putting you in a rating box and dictating what your appropriate interest rate is.

 

From there, if you’re ready, the next stop is to request your lending campaign.

 

What if the CRED tells me I'm not ready?

Don’t worry. Not every organisation will be in the position to borrow money.

 

We want you to learn about and discover each avenue of crowdfunding so you can make the right decision for your organisation.

 

If you aren’t quite ready to borrow, an equity or project campaign could be better options for you to raise money.

 

We can give you some feedback and have a quick chat about what your options are and how you can best engage and attract your crowd.

  

What information do I need to provide?

You’ll need proof that your organisation is real. This involves having a written plan setting  out the basic information around your organisation and the reason for the loan, your financial accounts created by an accountant or extracted from accounting software (up to the last three years depending on how long the company has been trading). It will need to include your financial forecasts and explanations of the reasonable underlying assumptions for the next three years.

You’ll also need to tell us how much you want to borrow, for how long and what interest rate you want to offer.

 

What interest rate should I offer?

The interest rate you pay on your loan is up to you. The trick is to find a balance between what  you can afford to pay and what will incentivise lenders to lend. For more take a look at Your interest rate in our How to Lend guide.
 

What's the difference between a secured and an unsecured loan?

The majority of loans through PledgeMe.Lend will be unsecured, but you as a borrower have the choice to secure your loan.

Securing your loan means you put up personal or business assets (collateral) to support your loan. This reduces the risk of you not repaying. If you secure your loan and then default (fail to repay), lenders can be entitled to take ownership of the pledged asset and, if then sold, the proceeds can be used to repay the outstanding debt.

Generally, the interest rates for a secured loan are lower because of the lower risk of a lender losing out.

Banks tend to only grant loans when borrowers secure them. And typically with personal assets, such as  your home.

Can I secure my loan?

Sure you can. For organisations with substantial fixed assets like property, equipment and vehicles this could be a good option to reduce the cost of your loan.

If you’re considering it, we recommend not securing your loan with personal property.

 

Can I offer rewards too?

Indeed you can. You can offer rewards as well as interest to capture the imagination of your crowd and give them a little more reason to be a part of your raise.
 

Will lenders know who I am?

Absolutely!  Here at PledgeMe transparency and trust are so important to us that we have both words tattooed on our shoulders.

We want everyone to be able to see who they are dealing with, laying everything out openly and in a clearer environment, where decisions can be made with more certainty.

 

Where do I sign?

You should make sure to read through all of our agreements while deciding if PledgeMe.Lend makes sense for you. Before you launch, we'll need a fully signed copy of the borrower agreement.

How do you take my pledge to lend?

There are two ways to pledge to lend, via bank deposit or credit card. Once the campaign successfully closes, we will email you the transfer details through the PledgeMe system including a reference number to use when making the transfer. Any requests for payment will show in your profile as well as generate an email. We hold your pledge in a trust account until the campaign is completed.

Opting to pledge using a credit card generates a token and we charge your card the day after we've verified you and the campaign has successfully finishes.

 

What is the register button for?

Registering to lend means you have acknowledged lending to growing businesses and organisations is risky. You’ll provide your legal name, postal address, date of birth, income tax rate and passport / drivers license details (or uploads of your ID and a proof of address) and that it is all legit.

You only need to do this if you want to pledge to lend and you only need to do it once.

 

How much does it cost?

The cost of using your credit card will be passed onto you if your card is charged, currently this is 2.5% + 25c per transaction attempt.

It's free if you choose to direct deposit the pledge amount once the campaign has met it's goal. 

1% of the principal repaid to pledgers on PledgeMe.Lend campaigns (note: no fee on the interest earned). 

  

What happens if the organisation I've pledged to doesn't make their goal?

You won’t be charged. If the goal is met, you will be charged the next business day (via your credit card) or be required to pay by bank deposit within 5 working days.

 

Do I have to pay tax on my returns?

PledgeMe accounts for and captures the Resident Withholding Tax (RWT) on the interest you earn from the loan. RWT is how the IRD make sure you’re paying the equivalent of income tax on any income you receive in the shape of interest.

If you have any concerns or questions you should consult your accountant or financial advisor.


 

Do I get to keep in touch with the borrower after I invest?

You’ll get updates through the PledgeMe platform and money will flow through as repayments.

 

 

How is the interest rate set?

Interest rates are set by the campaign creators, and do not reflect the level of risk that PledgeMe has assigned to a loan.

 

How do I know the borrower won't run away to Rio?

PledgeMe runs background checks on directors of the borrowing organisation before crowdlending campaigns go live. The biggest weapon against getting ripped off is your own early warning system: if the loan proposition doesn’t add up, or you don’t trust the entrepreneur, don’t invest!
 

 

What happens if the borrower goes under?

Not everything will be a success and supporting a borrower with a real purpose may come at a price. It’s important to understand there is a risk that the borrower’s ambitions won’t come to fruition and you might lose all or part of your loan.

PledgeMe will engage a debt collection agency to recover as much of your investment from the borrower as possible if things do go awry.

 

Can I pledge if I am outside New Zealand

Yes, but you’ll need to upload a copy of your passport and proof of address when you register to invest. You will also need to confirm you are legally allowed to invest in your home country, and we require you to confirm you are a wholesale investor.

 

What is your complaints procedure?

If you’ve got a problem, email us on help@pledgeme.co.nz. You will need to tell us what is up so we can help you. If we are unable to resolve your complaint, it will be passed on to Financial Services Complaints Limited (FSCL) who are an independent and impartial dispute resolution service. We are part of their scheme, and you can also contact them direct on 0800 347 257 or complaints@fscl.org.nz.

 

How is a loan repaid?

Loans on PledgeMe are typically what’s called “fully amortising” loans. This means the  borrower will repay the principal amount you invested as well as interest gradually over the life of the loan.

It works just like the way a mortgage does. The borrower’s repayments will be mainly made up of interest at the beginning but this will reduce as the principal repays over the life of the loan. The amount (before tax) will stay the same, but the interest part will decrease as the principal part increases by an equal amount.

You’ll typically be repaid a bit every month and you can then put your return to further use in whatever way you like.

 

Will the borrowers know who I am?

Absolutely! Here at PledgeMe transparency and trust are so important to us that we have both words tattooed on our shoulders.

We want everyone to be able to see who they are dealing with, laying everything out openly in a clearer environment, devoid of shady middlemen in their chalk-striped suits, (the worst), where decisions can be made with more certainty.

 

 

Is there a cap on how much someone can lend?

No. The only cap is for organisations seeking capital. Lenders can put as much money into loans through PledgeMe as they want. However, it is important to remember that when you’re lending, there is a risk that you won’t be repaid — so lend to organisations you believe in and trust that are offering something in return for your money.

 

Can companies and organisations lend?

Oh yeah!

There’s a separate process for organisations to register to Lend.

We currently don't take loans from trusts.

Watch this space, our list is coming soon!

 

Fee structure after 1 April 2017

PledgeMe.Project creator

6.5% success fee (GST inclusive) charged to campaign creator if goal met by deadline

PledgeMe.Equity creator

6.5% success fee (zero rated) charged to campaign creator if goal met by deadline

PledgeMe.Lend creator

5.5% success fee (zero rated) charged to campaign creator if goal met by deadline. Note: there will also be fees to the pledger of 1% of principal repayment

CrowdfundingU

$3,000 + GST for 6 session programme. Required for all Equity and Lending campaigns. Reduced to $750 + GST for campaigns under $100,000

Pledgers

The cost of using your credit card will be passed onto you if your card is charged, currently this is 2.5% + 25c per transaction attempt.

1% of the principal repaid to pledgers on PledgeMe.Lend campaigns (note: no fee on the interest earned)