About little bird organics limited
little bird - big business!
In eight years we’ve built Little Bird Organics into an internationally loved brand. We’ve helped establish the rise of the modern healthy food movement in New Zealand, won acclaim for our Unbakery cafés, and learnt an incredible amount whilst keeping a firm grasp on our values.
Little Bird now operates 2 innovative, healthy, organic cafés in Auckland, an e-commerce website and a dedicated 600sqm manufacturing facility (and head office) where we currently produce over 20,000 units of delicious little bird product per month.
We employ 65 wonderfully loyal and clever staff and spend every day making the best quality organic, plant based food possible, food which also happens to be free from gluten, dairy and refined cane sugars.
This next step has been a long time coming. We have our new factory in place. We know our production capacity with current staffing levels, and what we will need as we grow. We know which roles we need to fill, and have hired several already.
But most importantly for us, we now have on board the amazing experience and mana of Melanie and Malcolm Rands, Founders of ecostore, and now cornerstone investors in Little Bird. The Rands are true pioneers in NZ business and a perfect fit with Little Bird.
We also have plans in place for great leadership at a Board of Directors level, once this raise closes Temuera Hall will formalise his role with us as Independent Chair, and bringing with him over 20 years experience in governance.
Finally we have had the opportunity to bring on board Leonard Mead - a very experienced General Manager.
Opportunities like these don’t come along often and we are very excited by the future direction for Little Bird.
New Zealand has experienced a boom in healthy food offerings in the last five years. We have witnessed this first hand - when Little Bird started, we were alone and the market was tiny. We put a lot of work into educating our customers and building the market. This gained us a ‘first to market’ advantage, and strong customer loyalty. Now the market has expanded and there are opportunities we don’t want to miss. Our brand is built on a reputation of health and quality. This reputation has seen frequent interest from suppliers and distributors in Australia, Asia and the UK.
Growth requires capital. Little Bird lost its financing partner at the start of 2015 with ‘ethical lender’ Prometheus Finance withdrawing from the market in a voluntary receivership. (To make matters worse we were already committed to a new café in Britomart when word arrived of this.)
Managing our growth with available cash has been tough throughout 2016-17. Despite this our manufacturing has still grown by 30% in the last 24 months. However this growth has put us behind with creditor payments - making further short term internal investment in growth difficult.
We are primed and ready to take advantage of the surging health and wellness market, both locally and overseas. We need capital to begin the next phase of Little Bird - significant growth in New Zealand and getting for export.
So let’s make this official.
We’d love for you to be part of Little Bird.
Invest in the future of food
We are offering up to 2,000,000 shares at $1 each which will equate to a total of 20% of the total shares in Little Bird Organics Limited.
We are offering a minimum of 500,000 shares (for the offer to go live) and up to a maximum of 2,000,000 shares.
The shares will be either Investor Shares (non-voting), or Ordinary Shares (with voting rights), depending on the level invested. For further detail see our offer document. All shares will be equally entitled to dividends and other distributions by the company. And, in addition to owning a slice of Little Bird, we have included some tasty rewards and benefits for each investor.
Use of capital
Cafes (including Satellite Kitchen) - $850,000
Primarily related to opening a number of new Little Bird Cafes but also includes some allowance for improvements and renewal in existing cafes.
New Product Development - $170,000
Customer research, trials and testing, sourcing of the correct ingredients, innovative and sustainable packaging options.
Operational Support and Working Capital - $575,000
Immediate operational and infrastructure support will include resolving all outstanding creditor payments, allowing us to utilise better payment terms on offer. It will provide us the opportunity to commit to longer term planning with suppliers which will further reduce costs. We also have additional people requirements (like a Food Technologist), further IT infrastructure and systems, and organic certification.
Plant and Machinery - $190,000
Investment in plant and machinery will go towards improving and automating more of our current processes and implementing leaner manufacture. There is provision for work required with potential co-packing partners.
E-Commerce Development - $65,000
Development of a new e-commerce website with greater functionality and more intuitive use.
Capital Raise Costs - $150,000
PledgeMe platform fees, Legal and Accounting work, Promotional work.
Total = $2,000,000
About our Team
Megan May, Founder
Our fearless and passionate leader.
Megans spends much of her time on recipe development and liaising with kitchen and making teams.
She leads development of our new products (and the continuous development of our staff). She is the driver of our ethics and the compass for our sustainability practices.
She's our brand ambassador and our spokeswoman. Her conviction for who we are and why we do what we do has seen Little Bird continually grow in stature and reputation.
Leonard Mead, General Manager
Leonard joined us in September 2017 fresh from South Africa. He comes with amazing experience in FMCG both in retail roles and through food business management. (And, he’s just completed an MBA in business management!). We are really excited to have his knowledge, experience and enthusiasm. He sees people and improved systems, processes and planning as key to Little Birds future success alongside the maintenance of the outstanding passion and ethics inherent in the business and its brand.
Jeremy Bennett, Brand & Key Projects
Previous to coming to Little Bird full time Jeremy worked as an architect for 12 years. Jeremy has had a multifaceted role within the company to date, from fixing equipment to managing finances to creating branding. With Leonard joining us Jeremy’s focus will sharpen to managing key projects and initiatives, and he will continue to guide the company brand and aesthetic wherever it appears (print, online, packaging, built environments). He remains a registered architect and is the go-to guy for planning anything from show stands to cafe fit outs.
Karla Granville, Cafe & Operations
Karla is a pure ball of positivity. She is also an experienced hospo operator, having run her own establishment, and worked for some of Auckland top cafes and restaurants. She helps train and develop our cafe staff and ensures our wonderful customers have a wonderful time. You will also see her out and about, managing our special events, trade shows and food shows. She always gets the job done, and always with a smile.
Temuera Hall, Future Independent Chair
Tena koutou e ngā kāwai whakapapa no ngā Iwi katoa. Temuera Hall is of Ngati Tuwharetoa and Te Arawa descent. Temuera has been involved in asset management and investment advice since 1994 and remains active in governance, financial services and investment consulting. Throughout his career Tem has developed a wealth of experience and knowledge in building businesses, finance, corporate compliance, instilling values and culture, developing relationships and driving strategy. Temuera has either lead or played a key role in numerous investment collaborations and partnerships. Other positions include; CEO Tuwharetoa Settlement Trust, Executive Director - Iwi Investor, Chairman – Opepe Farm Trust, Director – CNI Iwi Holdings Limited, Director Te Kakano Whakatipu Partnership. Previous directorships include 6 years with NZ Post and 7 years on Scion (NZ Forest Research).
Melanie Rands, Future Director
Mel was responsible for the amazing ecostore branding and communications, a key part of the international success of Ecostore. Mel’s passion for ethics and our environment is evidenced by her current involvement as Deputy Chair of the Greenpeace NZ Board. She is also a member of the Pacific Advisory Group for the Auckland War Memorial Museum. Mel is also a multimedia artist and poet. Mel provides a very special brand of clarity, wisdom, practicality and insight to the Little Bird board.
Malcolm Rands, Future Director
Malcolm was awarded a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to business, conservation and philanthropy. He is a foundation member of the New Zealand Sustainable Business Network. Malcolm has been awarded the Green Ribbon Award from the NZ Ministry for the Environment, plus two environmental awards from the Auckland Regional Council and is part of World Class New Zealand International Network. Ecostore won two awards at the 2014 NZI National Sustainable Business Network Awards in the Mega Efficiency Innovation category and Malcolm was joint winner of the Sustainability Champion award. In 2013 Malcolm released his book called ‘ecoman’ which tells the story of his personal and entrepreneurial life, the 20 years of ecostore’s remarkable development and his courage to take on the multinationals and create safer plant based products for people’s health that really work.
What we've done so far
Little Bird has achieved what many companies spend their whole existence trying to attain - a loved brand and a loyal tribe.
We are an industry leader, being first to market in the raw, plant based sector, and we have pushed that niche market to the mainstream. Megan is a recognised and respected personality in the food and wellness industry and media.
Our multi-award winning cafes provide a unique experience to our customers not found with competitive brands, as do our celebrated recipe books.
If you want a successful food business, flavour must be front and centre, above all else.
One of Little Bird’s key advantages is our fundamental understanding of taste profiles, the ingredients we use, what works together and what doesn’t. We have spent years educating and refining the taste buds of our team.
We are committed to sustainable activities, organics and the betterment of our community. This sounds lofty and a bit waffly, and we don’t see ourselves as social avengers - but the truth is almost every decision each of us makes has some sort of impact on the communities we inhabit. And when you run a business with 65 employees there is an opportunity to make a bigger difference, so why not take it?
Our social media reach has grown into a bit of a monster. We have 87,000 followers from all over the world on Instagram, and 34,600 on Facebook. Plus an electronic mailing list of 11,100. This means when we have something to say, we have great vehicles for getting the word out.
Sometimes though we just post pictures of cake.
People love cake.
Peoples eating habits are rapidly changing (see page 19 of our IM). There’s a ground swell towards plant based food, increasingly backed up by medical professionals (and environmental and ethical advocates). Little Bird has a reputation as a leader in this change. Our mission now is to take things further, to keep innovating and expanding our range to meet the surging market.
Little Bird currently has its products stocked in 248 stores throughout New Zealand, we service 9 more with fresh meals daily, we have a product range of 24 deliciously healthy packaged goods, with another 6 set for release early this year.
The demand to open more of our highly regarded cafes is very strong and we plan on opening at least 3 more within the next 3 years.
We started Little Bird in 2010 not because we saw the coming trend towards healthy eating, but because we truly believed in what we were doing.
We have watched the world change around us and are proud to have been part of the exciting and really rewarding rise of healthy eating in New Zealand and around the world.
In the last ten years the value of the global health and wellness sector of the food industry has flourished and has accelerated even more quickly in the last five. It has now surpassed $1 trillion US dollars, and is showing no signs of slowing down.
Locally we are seeing this growth reflected in the rise of healthy options at conventional cafes, and expanded health food aisles in our mainstream supermarkets. Sales of plant-based, vegetarian and vegan food products are showing significant year on year growth.
Allergy awareness and special diet choices also continues to grow and with it, the demand for suitable food options.
Our packaged products were created to be a nutrient dense, delicious compliment to a fresh plant based diet - to make it easier to consume a plant based diet that meets all your nutritional needs.
Growing our manufacturing division, (including ‘packaged fresh’, page 26), will be our primary focus for the next 12-18 months, (at which point we believe we will be ready to export).
The big investment in our factory is done and dusted - a food grade fit out with specialist areas (dehydrating room, sprouting zone). Our Food Control Plan has been registered with MPI.
Currently our product range uses a very ‘handmade’ approach. Acquiring appropriate, (less manual) manufacturing equipment and techniques will have a dramatic effect on production capacity and product cost. We know what we need and would like to get it installed as soon as possible.
We get regular requests for cafes in new areas (and enquiries on partnership possibilities for new cafes). There is obvious potential here to grow the reach of the cafes both within Auckland and across the country.
Our cafés have done wonderful things for our brand awareness. We have found that the tandem business model of fresh food and packaged food works very well for us. Customers discover one via the other and a good experience at one of our cafés supports brand loyalty when seeing our products on store shelves. Our intention is to have at least 3 new offerings over the next 3 years. Being able to support the brand more directly in other areas will be a great thing
Packaged Fresh Offerings
Our first cafe was launched to provide a showcase of what could be done with plant based cuisine.
There has been a huge shift in awareness for food and healthy eating in the intervening five years. While the cafés remain a fantastic showcase for Little Bird, there is obviously a limit to how many customers we can serve each day. We see a great opportunity in providing packaged ready-made meals, both fresh and frozen. This has been reinforced through discussions with our retail partners who have all said their most significant gaps are in healthy snacking, (our next range coming), and frozen meals.
Ready To Eat
Our current fresh food satellite kitchen is set up at the factory. From here we supply meals and items to our cafes and online customers, and since the start of 2017 we have been sending packaged meals to our retail customers.
Currently we supply daily fresh packaged meals to Commonsense Mt Eden, several of the Huckleberry chain stores and most recently to a Pop Up cafe at Auckland International Airport.
We recognise the growing consumer desire towards ready made meal options and will be targeting strong growth in this area amongst both new customers and from with our existing retail partner groups. While it comes with obvious costs, supplying branded fridges into appropriate stores will be investigated longer term as a great way of ensuring brand experience remains more within our control.
Direct to Consumer
We see a big opportunity in supplying direct to consumer, as peoples buying habits change and delivery options expand. We have Uber Eats, LazyAz, Bring It (NZ Post’s newly launched fast delivery courier service), catering to food deliveries, The Warehouse is trialling 2 hour deliveries... Customer options for immediate service are expanding quickly, and we are excited by the potential this brings.
Currently we offer cleanse packs, juice boxes and meal packs online and we would love to grow this area, (the confirmed sales means wastage can be kept low).
We have also been discussing the potential of a Little Bird grocery staples box - providing nutrient dense pantry staples (things we already produce for the cafes) to support a plant-based diet (sprouted bread loaves, flat breads, nut cheeses, spreads, nut milks, activated nuts and seeds, basic ingredients...).
Risks and Challenges
SLOW NZ GROWTH: Slower than anticipated monthly spend at targeted outlets / Fewer outlets acquired
We already have our management and head office team in place in the preparation for our next stage of growth. We can hire additional people responsively to suit the achieved growth. We do not anticipate immediately needing to hire a big group of people to facilitate the next phase of our journey. (Meaning we will not be directly relying on fast NZ Growth to continue with our plans). Our facility and team are already in place and can grow as required.
LOSS OF KEY STAFF
We are implementing more of a systems based approach to running the company. Making it easier for another team member to step into a vacant role. Megan would obviously be difficult to replace, but we have already experienced a reduced availability for Megan as she cared for her new daughter (Megan now back full time). We have increased our management team and advisory board to help reduce the workload on Megan and Jeremy (to reduce likelihood of burnout).
RAPID NZ GROWTH: Bigger sales requiring more cashflow
We manage our debtor exposure closely. We have a good track record of on-time payments from the vast majority of our wholesale customers, meaning growth in sales should be able to be covered by normal business operation.
PACKAGING SUPPLY: Delays in manufacturing/transit
We have already shifted our production partners to a local operator, (rather than direct from China), to reduce risk – though this does come at more cost. We have a supply arrangement managed several months in advance to ensure lead times for new stock are achievable.
NEW TO EXPORT: Spoilt stock in transit, Incorrect labelling, Cost structures higher than planned, Inability to supply in time
We are under no illusions as to the potential difficulties in exporting. We will be making as much use as possible of export consultants and agencies like NZTE as we prepare for export. And working closely with our chosen overseas distributor/s to ensure we have everything in order before anything leaves our door.
LOSS OF FACTORY: Natural disaster or fire
Little Bird carries business interruption insurance should the worst happen. Having set two Little Bird manufacturing kitchens up already, Jeremy has strong knowledge of what is required to get up and running quickly. We also have established relationships with equipment suppliers and can get replacement equipment more quickly – (our equipment research has already been done).
FOREIGN EXCHANGE VOLATILITY: Higher prices for imported ingredients
We have already experienced this over the course of the last 3 years. Both wholesale and fresh food items are now more robustly costed and regularly reviewed. We have a specialist Costing Accountant review our wholesale range periodically.
INGREDIENT SUPPLY: Price increases due to increased global demand / Price increase due to droughts / climate fluctuations
Again both things we have experienced previously. We maintain visibility of our margins and react when required. For ingredients whose extended outlook is poor we will reformulate recipes or replace products as necessary.
Note from PledgeMe
We have completed a Veda check on the company and their directors, as well as a google check. There were no adverse findings.
UpdatesHey! Thanks for checking out this project. We haven't made any updates yet, follow us if you want to be notified when we do.
|Maximum Shares Offered||2,000,000|
Explanation of valuation:
The Valuation of Little Bird Organics Limited was undertaken by the company Directors with internal and external advice. We have considered how the targeted fund raise would affect the turnover and growth of the business and determined a long-term view for Little Bird.
We have used a number of conventional models to determine business value (including discounted rates, revenue, EBITDA and NOPAT multiples). We feel that our current valuation is well-considered and reflects our understanding of and belief in the business.
The most common benchmarking undertaken for company valuations in crowd funding scenarios is to use a revenue multiple in direct comparison to recent market transactions in the same or similar industries.
Whilst we have used more detailed analysis to determine a valuation, we have cross-checked it against the revenue multiple method. Our valuation equates to a multiple of 1.82 times the current year’s revenue, which we believe represents a fair value for the company.
The Comparative Market Transactions table on page 32 of our offer document illustrates recent market transactions both within New Zealand and internationally.
|Prev Year||Current Year||Est. FY 2019||Est. FY 2020|
Company Name: Little Bird Organics Limited
Company Number: 2436632
Business Plan (application/pdf, 17.4 MB, uploaded 21 February 2018)
Financial Performance (application/pdf, 393 KB, uploaded 22 February 2018)
Financial Projections (application/pdf, 393 KB, uploaded 22 February 2018)
LBOL_-_Constitution.pdf (application/pdf, 172 KB, uploaded 21 February 2018)
Cert_of_incorporation_Little_Bird.pdf (application/pdf, 1.68 MB, uploaded 21 February 2018)
Company_extract_Little_Bird.pdf (application/pdf, 2.67 MB, uploaded 21 February 2018)
|Temuera Hall||Independent Chair||https://www.linkedin.com/in/temuera-hall-0b891464/||✗|
Ask a Question (You must login to ask a question)
Hey! I've joined the pledge, just wondering if you guys have plans to open a Café in Christchurch anytime soon?Posted on 22-02-2018 by Oliver jenks
Hi Oliver, Congrats - welcome to the team! We have not yet determined any definite locations for new cafes, there is quite a bit of feasibility work required to be sure of any site and location, which of course comes at a cost, so we thought it best to wait for the results of the raise (and undertsand how many cafes we might be able to fund) and then get into it!Answered on 23-02-2018 by jeremy bennett
Hello Little Birds.
Lovely evening tonight, thank you.
I have just pledged another $1500 on top of my initial $1000 to bring me into the Package B category. At the moment it is just showing as 2 Package A's. Is this just a platform glitch? Thought I would just check with you.
Well done too for hitting the $500,000 mark in under 1 1/2 hours!! Congratulations.Posted on 22-02-2018 by Shae Kinney
Hi Shae, thanks so much for getting involved, twice!
No problem, we'll ensure you're in Package B.
The Rands joined the share register in last year and Karla and Paul joined more recently. At what valuation did they invest at.Posted on 22-02-2018 by First Heritage Ltd
Thanks for your question. The bulk of the Rands shareholding came from them buying out two previous shareholders. This transaction price was agreed between the parties.
The Rands also provided finance to the company, some of which was agreed as a convertible note, which has now been converted.
The company directors saw a huge benefit in bringing the Rands experience, governance, relationships, reputation, and advice into the company. Their involvement so far, and their help in bringing Temuera and Leonard on board has greatly supported our growth plans.
Our employee Karla (with partner Dom) also provided finance to the company as a convertible note at the same time as the Rands, which has also now been converted.
Firslty well done on the success to date with the raise. Can you indicate what % of revenues is from the cafe verses sale of manufactured goods to third parties?Posted on 22-02-2018 by Ralph Shale
Hi Ralph, sure - looking at the last 6 months revenue the split is 39% manufacturing/wholesale and 61% Cafes. We expect this to level out at around 50-50 over the next few years as we grow both manufacturing (and cafes). The only proviso being should our export initiatives exceed expectations it will likely see manufacturing bring in a greater share of revenue.Answered on 23-02-2018 by jeremy bennett
If all goes to plan, how far down the track do you see the company starting to pay out dividends to shareholders?Posted on 23-02-2018 by Symone Wishnowsky
Hi Symone, this is a difficult one to answer with surety.Our goal is to grow the company significantly and obviously this requires capital. (Such growth will also grow the value of your investment obviously.) We have said that at least for the next three years we will be investing in growth rather than paying out dividends. At the end of the three years we will review this on a yearly basis. It is hard to know where exactly we will sit in export markets at that point (which will be a big driver for how much capital the company might require).Answered on 23-02-2018 by jeremy bennett
hi I would also like to upgrade to package B what us the best way to do this as I am currently package APosted on 23-02-2018 by Peter Meister
Hi Peter, so long as your combined investments add up to $2500+ you will be considered a Package B level investor. (just make sure all investments are in the same name.)Answered on 23-02-2018 by jeremy bennett
Hi guys, congratulations on your success so far. I’ve been a long time supporter since working at Huckleberry for 2 years. I have 2 questions for you: Firstly, I have selected package A and it says that it needs our address as something will be delivered. What would that be and what is the timeframe for delivery? And secondly, with the free birthday lunch, is it possible to take advantage of this maybe a month or so before or after my birthday? I live in Christchurch but come up to Auckland and visit your cafes, just not usually on my birthday.
Hi Ethan, That was a 'in case we need it' request - we are still working through the best way to manage the birthday lunch offer. (we may end up sending a card out for use.) I will need to speak with the team on how much leeway we can provide on the redemption of the offer.Answered on 23-02-2018 by jeremy bennett
Not an urgent query, I have looked at the names of pledgers around the time I pledged $2500, I do not see my name, I did check well before and after I pledged 7.45pm on 22/2/18
Thanks Trixina Smith
Hi Trixina - we also have limited ability to check this - might be a better one for the PledgeMe crew to check for you.
Id send them a note directly.
Hi. Am I able to purchase shares for my child in her name if she is under 18?Posted on 24-02-2018 by Vanessa Lynch
What are the terms and conditions for the shareholder birthday lunch? My birthday is in 2 weeks - am I able to use the bday lunch offer then or will I have to wait until next year?Posted on 24-02-2018 by n sen
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“Brilliant idea to spread little bird’s wings. Hope you will make it to the Waikato. Pleased if I can help. ”
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“Happy to be able to support a company with ethics, sustainability and health at its heart. Looking forward to seeing the plans in action! ”
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“I love this business and would be honoured to become a shareholder”
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“I am excited to be a part of this. Good luck with the growth and future development.”
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“Marvellous to support a business that is so humanely ethical and authenticity Kiwi. ”
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“All the best with this expansion. ”
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