About Parent Interviews
Parent Interviews is an online event management system for schools, designed to take the hassle out of organising parent-teacher interviews, uniform shop bookings, and other events that schools and institutions might hold.
Parent Interviews started off as a small school project for a Digital Media assessment. Designed for Bayfield High School in Dunedin, New Zealand, parents quickly fell in love with the website as there were no tedious paper forms to fill out, and they could book their interviews whenever and wherever they wanted. Staff commended the system as they didn’t have to sort out their timetable, and didn’t have to print out hundreds of booking forms.
Parent Interviews has been featured in Idealog magazine, WIRED Online, and Radio New Zealand, and has grown to manage over 400,000 interviews for over 23,000 school and university students across New Zealand.
Our goal now is to grow. With your investment, we want to market Parent Interviews to schools and other educational institutions in New Zealand and Australia, improve the product to make it even easier to use for parents and teachers, and to start building a team for sales and support.
Parent Interviews is already used by hundreds of thousands of parents and teachers, and now we’re ready to take on the world with your help.
We are offering a minimum of 10,000 shares and a maximum of 30,000 shares priced at $5.00 each, which represents up to 13.04% of Parent Interviews.
Shares are separated into two categories, Ordinary shares (parcels above or equal to 50,000 shares) and Investor shares (parcels less than 50,000 shares).
|Pre-offer||Post-offer (fully subscribed)|
Each Ordinary Share gives the holder the right to one vote at a meeting of shareholders.
However, in general, the Investor Shares do not give the holder the right to vote at meetings of shareholders. In very limited circumstances (to ensure the shareholder's core rights are protected) each Investor Share gives the holder the right to one vote. This only occurs where there is a proposal or resolution that will affect the rights attached to the Investor Shares to put the company into liquidation for the disposal of the whole, or a material part, of the property, business and undertaking of Parent Interviews.
Both the Ordinary Shares and the Investor Shares give the holders the right to an equal share in dividends and other distributions made by Parent Interviews (subject to the rights of any other class of share), and the right to an equal share in the distribution of surplus assets of Parent Interviews.
The rights of each class of shares are outlined in our constitution, which you should read before pledging for shares.
Why Should I Invest?
Parent-teacher interviews are held in schools across the world, and the basic format of these events is practically the same as what we have here in New Zealand, meaning Parent Interviews can be used in a broad range of situations for a variety of potential customers.
The design of Parent Interviews makes it very easy for us to launch to schools in other countries with minimal effort, and it can be customized to cater for the differences in each demographic (such as different school types)
We'll also reward you for investing! You'll be invited to our Annual General Meeting and our campaign afterparty, and you'll be included on a special section of our website! If you invest over a certain amount, we'll engrave your name/company name onto the ceremonial Parent Interviews gong (yes we do have a gong, and we ring it every time a new school signs up)
If you have any interesting or cool ideas for perks you'd like to see, let us know!
At this stage we're focused on investing any surplus profit back into the company, which means that it's unlikely that dividends will be paid out in the next few years. Growth is our key focus, and reinvesting our profit back into the company will help us achieve the number of schools we want on board and the markets we're operating in.
This doesn't rule out dividends entirely. A return on investment is obviously a goal for any investor, and we're comitted to reaching a stage where we can pay dividends once the company is making a solid profit and we feel the time is right.
Parent Interviews is designed for schools and other educational institutes, such as universities and colleges.
There are over 2,500 schools in New Zealand and over 9,300 schools in Australia who are potential customers for Parent Interviews. With almost 12,000 schools who can benefit from Parent Interviews, one of our primary objectives is to get the word out to schools about how we can help them save time and money by making event management a breeze for their staff.
Rather than managing parent-teacher interviews or uniform shop bookings, institutions such as universities and colleges can use Parent Interviews for organising lecturer-student interviews or other events that require bookings made in advance.
The Māori Health Workforce Development Unit of the University of Otago have successfully implemented Parent Interviews in a tertiary environment, using the system for student evaluations with lecturers.
By ensuring that we diversify Parent Interviews and include these institutions in our marketing campaigns, we can help extend the reach of Parent Interviews to other organisations and increase our customer count.
Our Plan for Growth
After trialling Parent Interviews with schools across the country, we’re now ready to grow. Being almost fully-funded by the co-founders means we haven’t been able to fully execute our plans for growing the company.
Through equity crowdfunding we have several key goals we're looking to achieve over the next few years.
Marketing and Sales. Over 2,500 NZ schools and 9,300 Australian schools could potentially benefit from Parent Interviews. One of our primary objectives is to get the word out to schools about how we can help them save time and money by making event management a breeze for their staff.
Enhancements to our website. Our booking website is optimized for mobile, but we also want to ensure our school administration website is also suited for mobile and tablets. We also want to explore different features we can add (our most-requested feature is video chat between parents and teachers).
Parents have the opportunity to review their Parent Interviews experience, and our positive satisfaction level is currently at 90% satisfied. We want to be operating at 100%, which means making the booking process easier and smoother for parents.
- Growing the team. While the three of us have been running Parent Interviews smoothly for the past two years, it’s not sustainable for the number of school we want on board. We plan to bring someone onto the team as a dedicated support representative for our schools and parents.
Our goals outline the next three years for Parent Interviews, where we want to increase the number of schools signed up, and by 2017 we aim to have schools in Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. It won’t be an easy task, but with the right execution strategy and a capable team to lead the company, Parent Interviews will become the go-to solution for event management for schools and institutions.
About our Team
Indy Griffiths - Co-Founder / Chief Executive Officer
Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Parent Interviews, Indy built the original system as a school project back in 2012 and manages the day-to-day operations of the company. When not working on Parent Interviews, Indy is currently working towards a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science at the University of Otago.
Matthew Baird - Co-Founder / Chief Financial Officer
Co-founder and Chief Financial Officer of Parent Interviews, Matthew develops strategies beneficial to the company’s future and monitors the performance of the company. Matthew is currently working towards a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Accounting at the University of Otago.
Evan Amezcua - Co-Founder / Creative Director
Co-founder and our Creative Director, Evan ensures that our marketing materials and design elements are pixel perfect. Evan is completing a Bachelor of Applied Science majoring in Design for Communication with a minor in Marketing Management at the University of Otago.
Co-founder & CEO
Summer of Tech
Get in touch!
What we've done so far
|Schools||55 (includes one department of the University of Otago)|
|Parents and Teachers||310,000|
(sum of school roll sizes)
|Most Popular Subjects||English, Mathematics, and Biology|
|Least Popular Subjects||Latin and Boat Building|
|Average Number of Interviews (parents)||5|
|Average Number of Interviews (teachers)||27|
Since launching in 2013, Parent Interviews has grown to manage over 50 schools and interviews for 23,000 students across New Zealand. Over 70,000 reminders have been sent to parents and teachers, and during peak periods we have between 600-1800 interviews booked per day.
When we first launched, we had a core set of features that we felt were missing from our competitors. Over the last two years some of the popular features we've added include:
- KAMAR Sync for schools.
- Text message timetables and reminders.
- School maps.
- iCal integration for timetables.
- Responsive (mobile friendly) booking website.
- Room management.
- Customisable reminders.
- and more!
While everyone was celebrating 2015 New Years, we launched our Australian division of Parent Interviews. Our aim this year is to get our foot in the door of the Australian market and to market Parent Interviews to Australian schools.
In 2014 Parent Interviews was chosen as a finalist for BNZ Start-up Alley held in Wellington, where we had to pitch our company to a panel of expert judges and a live audience. While we didn't win the main prize, the judges awarded us a special prize of $1000, which we reinvested back into the company.
Co-founder / CEO Indy Griffiths up on stage at BNZ Startup Alley 2014
Since launching in 2013, Parent Interviews has been featured in the Otago Daily Times, Idealog magazine, WIRED Online, and the New Zealand Business podcast. Right now we have a very limited marketing and advertising budget, and we've found media exposure invaluable.
We're quite friendly if you'd like to chat with us: [email protected]
In 2014 we partnered with School-Links, a Ministry of Education approved Early Notification provider for schools. Our partnership allows schools using School-links the oppurtunity to use Parent Interviews as part of their School-links subscription, which has dramatically increased the number of schools using Parent Interviews.
We want to get an effective team established early on. This includes appointing a new director to the company elected by the shareholders, and formalising our board of advisors. Our next step is to start to execute our key goals for our campaign, which include marketing and advertising, hiring our first staff member, and to start making improvements to our website.
Thinking long-term, we want to get started right away on our growth plans for Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. There is massive opportunity in these markets for an event management system for schools and institutions that's simple and easy to use.
As well as our key goals, we've got a few planned features for schools in the pipeline that will add extra functionality to Parent Interviews, and could potentially be monetized. We want to spend some time working on implementing these features, and turn them into yet another reason why schools and parents love Parent Interviews.
Risks and Challenges
|Loss of Key Staff||Over the past year documentation has been implemented for core services relating to Parent Interviews, if in case someone else needs to take over the day to day operation of the business.|
While we define a single customer as one school, hundreds or thousands of parents and teachers will use Parent Interviews for that school.
|Planning our infrastructure and support costs with a focus on scaling with the number of users we can expect in relation to the number of schools on board will help ease the load on Parent Interviews, in terms of physical infrastructure and support.|
Existing or new competition that may appear could pose a risk to our growth plans and onboarding of new schools.
Right now Parent Interviews only faces one competitor in New Zealand, and three in Australia.
By ensuring that we offer a competitive service for schools in terms of features and ease of use, we can build a reputation amongst schools as the leading event management system for educational institutions.
First off, thank you for reading this and for considering to invest in us!
We couldn't be where we are if it wasn't for the schools, teachers, and parents who have used Parent Interviews. Our aim is to simplify event management and the process of booking interviews, and we hope to continue to improve the process for you.
Special thanks go to the staff of Bayfield High School, especially Rob Wood who encouraged us to take a leap of faith and launch Parent Interviews to the world.
Final thanks go to all the people who have played a small part in the growth of Parent Interviews, from our following on Twitter, to our partners, and to PledgeMe for helping us out with our campaign.
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.
Parent Interviews is not associated with School Interviews.
The final countdown and we're so close!
08:34AM Fri 24/04/15 on Parent Interviews
It's been a rollercoaster of a month, but our equity crowdfunding campaign wraps up TONIGHT!. If you're wondering why we chose the 24th of April to finish, I'm hoping it'll help make my 20th birthday even more awesome!
We're only $6,480 away until we hit our minimum goal!
I want to quickly thank all the people who have supported us during our campaign, from friends, family, the PledgeMe team, and most importantly the people who have pledged to invest in Parent Interviews. Even if we don't hit our minimum goal, your support means the world to Evan, Matthew, and myself.
Now is the time to pledge if you haven't already, or if you've already pledged you can help our campaign succeed by sharing it with your friends and family. We are so close to the finish line, but just need a little kick to get us over the line. Remember, you have until 11PM tonight to get your pledges in.
Co-founder and CEO
Comment on this update:
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Over $17,000 raised in under a week!
09:34PM Wed 18/03/15 on Parent Interviews
First off a massive thanks to everyone who has pledged so far! It's fantastic to see not only people we know personally invest, but also complete strangers who have faith in us and Parent Interviews. Last weekend we got some great press coverage in the Otago Daily Times, Stuff, NetGuide, and Idealog, which has helped increase the publicity of our campaign.
So far we've raised over $17,000 in equity for Parent Interviews, but we've still got a way to go before hitting our minimum goal of $50,000. If you haven't already pledged, get in early and be a part of Parent Interviews as we go global.
If you've already pledged, don't forget to share our campaign and get your friends and family on board!
The big question: what's with the gong?
I've had a few questions emailed to me about why one of our perks is your name on a gong. We wanted some way of "announcing" new customers who have signed up to Parent Interviews, and a gong seemed like a fun way to do it.
Right now it's wired up to the internet, and every time someone pledges it's struck three times. If you haven't already pledged, it's ready and waiting for you! We've also got a Dunedin business ready to laser-etch our investors names into the front of the gong.
Have any other creative perk ideas? Let us know by emailing [email protected]
Comment on this update:
|Maximum Shares Offered||30,000|
Explanation of valuation:
The valuation of Parent Interviews represents a fair value for our current position and our potential growth over the next three years, based on the number of schools that could use Parent Interviews as shown in our forecasts, as well as the worth of our current customer base (taking into account the decile rating, roll size, location of the school, and the estimated number of parents who are using Parent Interviews for that school).
Types of Shares
Shares are separated into two categories, Ordinary shares (parcels above or equal to 50,000 shares) and Investor shares (parcels less than 50,000 shares).
Please see page 8 of our Business Plan for the general assumptions underlying these forecasts
|Prev Year||Current Year||Est. FY 2019||Est. FY 2020|
Company Name: Parent Interviews Limited (registered as PARENT INTERVIEWS LIMITED)
Company Number: 4463522
Companies Office URL: http://www.business.govt.nz/companies/app/ui/pages/companies/4463522
Incorporation Date: 29 May 2013
Company Status: Registered
Entity Type: Registered
Constitution Filed: Yes
Annual Return Filing Month: April, last filed 16 Apr 2014
|Registered Office||8 Allen Street
North East Valley
|Address for Service||8 Allen Street
North East Valley
|Indy Griffiths||Co-founder / Chief Executive Officer||http://twitter.com/indygri||✔|
|Matthew Baird||Co-founder / Chief Financial Officer||http://||✔|
|Evan Amezcua||Co-founder / Creative Director||http://||✔|
Ask a Question (You must login to ask a question)
Why the minimum pledge of $500? I'd like to invest, but I was thinking 100-200.Posted on 13-03-2015 by Adrian Parker
We set the price as $500 as we felt it was a level to ensure that we get a wide range of investors, but high enough so that our list of shareholders wouldn't be too large.Answered on 15-03-2015 by Indy Griffiths
How many schools are signed up to use Parent Interviews now? You mention 53 schools in the 2014 FY and your projections for 2015 range from 106 - 300.Posted on 13-03-2015 by Ralph Shale
Right now we're at 55 schools, and we're hoping to increase the number of schools through a much larger marketing and advertising effort in New Zealand and Australia over the next FY. We're in the middle of a peak period and have seen quite a bit of growth over the last month.Answered on 13-03-2015 by Indy Griffiths
Based on your most optimistic projections, you achieve revenues of circa $450k in 2017, and pre tax earnings of $170k. What are the growth plans beyond that.Posted on 13-03-2015 by Ralph Shale
We've got some fantastic 'add-on' in mind that we're wanting to add to Parent Interviews and monetize. These features are not directly related to parent-teacher interviews, and could be potentially be spun out into their own subsidiaries operating under Parent Interviews. These features alone could save schools thousands of dollars per year.
In terms of what we're offering now, our goals mention entering markets such as AU, UK, and the US, but the potential for Parent Interviews can be further. Thinking beyond these markets, we would potentially look at localizing Parent Interviews for different languages/regions and increase our potential market share.Answered on 13-03-2015 by Indy Griffiths
your competitor has stated in the media that they have around 60% market share in the NZ market. Of your sales achieved to date, how many are into schools that have shifted from the competitor to your system? Why do you think schools will shift in the future?Posted on 13-03-2015 by Ralph Shale
Quite a number of our schools have shifted from our competition, and from comments we've received from schools it's because we offer a much broader range of features that help schools/teachers/parents manage events. Parent Interviews can be customized exactly how the school wants, from what teachers can and can't do, to who can manage the system, and what colours appear on the booking website.
As an example, one of our big selling points is a responsive booking website, which means parents can book their interviews easily from their mobile device. Our key goals mention redesigning the school administration website to also be responsive, so that teachers can view their interviews on the go. Around 50-60% of bookings in the last two months have been done from a mobile device for us.Answered on 13-03-2015 by Indy Griffiths
thanks for the response. I am still lost on the FY2015 projections. FY 2015 ends in March 2015 - two weeks time. Your projections (in the downloaded pdf) shows between 106 - 300 schools and revenues of $13 - 36k for FY 2015.
Below you are saying you have only 55 schools signed up. Are you saying that you could sign between 51 and 245 schools in the next two weeks. Or am i missing something.
Sorry for the confusion, in our docs FY15 is 1st April 2015 - 31st March 2016.Answered on 13-03-2015 by Indy Griffiths
I'm puzzled how 55 schools only gave you revenue of $1,585 in the last year. This works out at about $29 per school, which bears no relation to your license fees ($150/$200/$250).
Can you break your FY2015 revenue down into income from the different sources (Parent Interviews, School-Links, and SMS messages), and how many schools are in each segment.Posted on 14-03-2015 by Ken Griffiths
First off we added SMS messages late last year, which was by the time schools had held all their events for the year. Now that the school year is back, we're seeing a spike in events being run and in turn a lot of SMS messages being sent out to parents.
Breaking down schools, we have 6 schools signed up directly through us, the remaining 49 are from School-links. It's important to note that we haven't had a massive ability to advertise ourselves to schools (hence this campaign) whereas School-links already has several hundred schools using their product that they can advertise Parent Interviews to.
Revenue between Apr-2013 and now, from Parent Interviews schools is 738.88. This isn't a round number as we had a school sign up through our first marketing campaign. Income from School-links schools is 798.12. The remaining income was from a brief weekend trial of running ads on the booking website, which we scrapped. Now for School-Links schools, they pay a discounted rate for Parent Interviews on a monthly basis, instead of yearly like we charge. The final reason for the low amount is our licensing agreement with School-links, which only came into effect June last year.
From this you can see that right now we have a massive proportion of School-links schools using our system. The aim for our marketing and advertising goal is to get more schools directly on board through us (especially in AU/UK/US), and try to lessen the influence of School-links schools.Answered on 14-03-2015 by Indy Griffiths
So to be clear, you've made just 6 direct sales in nearly two years since you launched? 2 in FY13-14, and 4 in FY14-15?
If so, given all your forecasts are based on direct sales, claiming 55 schools is misleading to say the least. You are promising your investors that you're going to ramp up to hundreds of direct sales/year, but it makes a huge difference if you're going from 6 instead 55.
Next question - if your marketing efforts over two years have brought you 6 customers, are the advantages of your system really that compelling? And if they are, what will stop your competitor simply adding features to compete?Posted on 15-03-2015 by Ken Griffiths
I don’t see how claiming 55 schools is misleading, as we still get revenue from School-links schools, but over a period of 12 months instead of a yearly lump sum.
When we launched in 2013, we found that we launched at the wrong time, and schools had already purchased or renewed their subscription with our competitor. We've taken this into account for our future marketing, and are planning our “launches” into different markets around school starting dates (for example US schools have summer vacation, which means that school "starts back" around August or September)
Our marketing efforts so far haven't been massive, just two sets of flyers sent out to a limited number of schools. If we're successful with our campaign, marketing is a big chunk of that. We're looking at advertising in magazines or websites like the Education Gazette (NZ), INTERFACE (NZ), EducationHQ/Education Week (AU/NZ), Education Business (UK), starting a Google AdWords campaign, sponsoring educational events, and simple sales calls to schools and seeing whether they'd like to try Parent Interviews out.
The features we offer can really make a difference in the amount of time and energy it takes to organise an event for schools. Teachers don’t have to spend hours filling out their timetable, parents don’t have to wait a day to find that the slot they wanted has already been taken, and schools don’t have to print hundreds or thousands of booking forms to send home. With our marketing, we need to reinforce these points and make sure schools know about it.”
Indy GriffithsAnswered on 15-03-2015 by Indy Griffiths
Hi -- do you have a video demonstrating booking interviews for a high school student? Eg: multiple teachers/subjects/times/days? Also, I was disappointed to hear a cheezy American voiceover on your website's promo video. Proud to be a New Zealand company?Posted on 16-03-2015 by Kirsten
Not that this stage, but we are planning to create a new promo video featuring teachers/parents/principals of schools who are using Parent Interviews, instead of relying on a cheap American voiceover with some animation to explain how we help schools through our product. Getting real people to speak about their experiences with Parent Interviews will definitely benefit our marketing efforts.Answered on 16-03-2015 by Indy Griffiths
In the interests of full disclosure, Greg Fawcett is the director of VIRTUAL INDUSTRIES GROUP LIMITED, which runs our direct competitor SCHOOL INTERVIEWS.
School Interviews and Parent Interviews are two separate businesses and are not related in any way.Answered on 19-03-2015 by Indy Griffiths
Can you confirm that you are not School Interviews, the service used by most NZ schools?Posted on 17-03-2015 by Greg Fawcett
Ralph makes the point that one of your competitors has cornered over 60% of the NZ school interviews market, so this is not a greenfields opportunity. Do you not think you are coming a bit late to the game?Posted on 18-03-2015 by Greg Fawcett
Nothing wrong with being late to the game, especially in a market that's long overdue for disruption.Answered on 18-03-2015 by Indy Griffiths
The deal with School-Links looks terrible. If one of your schools switches to them, you lose 90% of your income for providing the exact same service. And if School-Links sells to a new school before you do, you lose any chance of getting the other 90% of that revenue.
Doesn't this deal make School-Links another competitor?Posted on 18-03-2015 by Greg Fawcett
As I mentioned in my answer below, schools signed up using School-links pay their subscription fees monthly, not yearly. Over the course of the year this adds up to the full figure.
School-links is our partner, not a competitor. The team behind School-links have been professional through our partnership, and are helping us reach our potential by getting Parent Interviews into more schools throughout New Zealand.Answered on 18-03-2015 by Indy Griffiths
I'll explain why I find it misleading. There is a huge difference between the revenue from School-Links schools ($16 average) and the 6 direct sales ($123 average).
If you want to claim you have made 55 sales, you should use the average of those 55 sales ($36) in your forecasts. If you want to use $123 in your forecasts, you should be claiming 6 schools. You are cherry-picking the best number from each, and you can't do that.
Which one do you choose? Either you reduce your forecast revenue by 70%, or you explain how you can turn 6 sales over two years into hundreds of sales in the next year.
Can you also answer my second question, about why your competitor would not add the features you expect to give you your edge. Have they stopped development?Posted on 18-03-2015 by Ken Griffiths
I think there is a misunderstanding around how School-links billing works. Schools signed up using School-links pay their subscription fees monthly, not yearly. Over the course of the year this adds up to the full figure.
There isn't anything stopping my competitor from adding features, and I can't speak for their future developments, but we're currently several steps ahead of our competition in terms of how we help schools/parents/teachers manage interviews, and we plan to stay ahead.Answered on 18-03-2015 by Indy Griffiths
So are you saying that the figure of 798.12 that you gave me above is for one month? That explains a lot, and makes the forecasts make better sense.Posted on 18-03-2015 by Ken Griffiths
Made a slight mistake in my original answer, the figure quoted is from April 2014 to now, not April 2013.
No that figure is the total made from School-links sales between April 2014 and now. It's important to note that our agreement was signed May 2014, meaning the monthly income started in June. Over the course of the year, more schools signed up, increasing the amount we get each month. We haven't processed this month's total yet, but it's *much* higher than the previous month.
I've generated a report for School-links income here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/uami86kbz1409qn/Parent%20Interviews%20Limited%20-%20School-Links%20Sales%20Summary%20%281%29.pdf?dl=0Answered on 18-03-2015 by Indy Griffiths
Final question - on what basis did you arrive at a $1m valuation. Did you have any advise and from whom on the valuation.Posted on 18-03-2015 by Ralph Shale
The information regarding our valuation can be found in our business plan or the Details tab of our PledgeMe page. We consulted with several people who are involved in angel groups and early stage investments particulary around startup companies, and also participants of PledgeMe's Pitch Kitchen event that was held before our campaign launch.Answered on 19-03-2015 by Indy Griffiths
Some robust questions from potential investors on this crowdfunding opportunity, which is good. I see some questions have been removed, presumably for breaching PledgeMe's terms and conditions.
However can you confirm whether or not the Greg Fawcett that has been commenting is the same Greg Fawcett that is a Director and major shareholder of a direct competitor, and that the Ken Griffiths that has also been commenting appears to be a relative of his? Or is this a different Greg and Ken?
Thanks.Posted on 19-03-2015 by Paul Matthews
I cannot speak for Ken Griffiths being a relative of Greg Fawcett. I can confirm that Greg Fawcett is the a director and a major shareholder of VIRTUAL INDUSTRIES GROUP LIMITED, which runs our direct competitor SCHOOL INTERVIEWS (no relation to Parent Interviews in any way)Answered on 19-03-2015 by Indy Griffiths
The graph shows the maximum revenue was $120 for February, for the 49 schools. So your annual revenue for 49 School-links schools is $1,200. That gives an average annual revenue for School-Links schools of $24. Can we agree on that?
Next, your forecasts are based on an average annual revenue of $120. That closely matches the average revenue from your direct sales, so I'm assuming that your forecasts rely purely on direct sales - not School-Links. Correct?
In which case, after all your ducking and diving we come back to the fact that your forecasts rely on turning 6 direct sales in two years into hundreds of direct sales in one year. Widely claiming 55 schools and never mentioning those 6 direct sales is seriously misleading in that case.
And I'm afraid there are several other glaring anomalies in your material:
- As an accountant, your valuation is simply a fantasy. I am aware of the stratospheric valuations in Silicon Valley, but even they would laugh at valuing something with so little revenue after two years at a million dollars.
- Your vague assurances that your system will sweep all competition aside are at odds with the fact that two years after you launched, so little sweeping has happened.
- Speaking of which, School-Links are doing plenty of sweeping, depriving you of 90% of your potential revenue each time. I'd suggest they are not the ally you think they are.
- On a lighter note, I was amused to see figures of 310,000 parents with only 23,000 students on the last page of your offer document - perhaps you can explain that one?
A friend asked me to advise her about investing in your project, but I'm going to offer you some advice too. I see that you are young and enthusiastic, and maybe that enthusiasm led you to gloss over these awkward details and throw impressive but meaningless numbers around. But you need to be rigorously honest when soliciting other people's money, because there are serious legal penalties available to investors who can prove they were mislead. In my judgement, proving that would be simple in this case.
If you are wise, you will take a few minutes and be rigorously honest with yourself too. As well as other people's money, you are gambling your reputation and your focus. One day you will find a far better opportunity than this, and you don't want the first question on every investor's lips to be "why should we trust you this time?".Posted on 19-03-2015 by Ken Griffiths
I've been led to believe you are a relative of Greg Fawcett, director of the company who runs our main competitor School Interviews. If so, could you please declare this conflict of interest?
You've made several incorrect assumptions.
- Many of our School-links schools signed up during a promotional period before we entered our partnership agreement with School-links. Looking back through my answers I haven't clarified this.
- 310,000 is the number of parent and teacher accounts who have used Parent Interviews, and 23,000 students is the sum of the school roll sizes of all our schools (we keep track of roll sizes to measure the size of our schools).
- As mentioned in our Business Plan, we do take into account revenue for School-links schools. We've taken into account increased marketing to schools and institutions, so FY16+ we're accounting for more direct sales instead of School-links schools and starting to even out the proportion of direct:S-L sales.
- Our primary focus for this campaign is marketing, as we haven't had the resources to do so. Can't do sweeping without a broom.
- As I have previously mentioned, School-links is our partner, and they have chosen to work with us for the benefit of their customers. If you choose not to believe this, feel free to contact School-links directly for clarification.
- In terms of potentially misleading investors, we have been openly honest with our crowd, answering questions, providing financial information regarding the company, all so that potential investors can make their own informed decision on whether to invest in us. We believe our valuation is a fair representation of the company and our potential.
The goal of Parent Interviews has always been to simplify event management and booking interviews for parents, teachers, and schools features. Through exclusive features like a mobile booking website, text message reminders, school maps, room management, customizable teacher permissions, or automatic syncing between Parent Interviews and KAMAR, we offer a level of service that our competition cannot match.
We're here to make a difference to how schools manage their events, and so far we've achieved that in 55 schools across the country. We're now wanting to take the next step and take Parent Interviews to as many schools as possible, either directly or through our partners at School-Links.Answered on 19-03-2015 by Indy Griffiths
When you reach your $50,000 goal do you intend to promote your product at Principal and Deputy/Assistant Principal conferences in NZ?
Word of mouth is obviously the best recommendation but to achieve the rapid growth you are expecting this will not be enough.
When Bayfield High School started using Parent Interviews we did so because the product was made by a student. This advantage is no longer a factor in our choice. Having used both competing products there is now way we would return to school interviews. Parent Interviews has almost double the attendance rate of what we experienced with the competitor - simple features like the reminders pushed to parents, the ease in which parents can alter their bookings, the simplicity of management of the application and tight links with our SMS make Parent Interviews a compelling product.Posted on 20-03-2015 by Rob Wood
Yes, included in our Marketing/Advertising key goal is getting out there and talking to the decision makers for schools at events and conferences. Not only will this be helpful for getting more schools on board, but will allow us to hear first-hand how schools currently manage their events and how we can compliment and improve their existing processes through new or existing features.Answered on 21-03-2015 by Indy Griffiths
Can you define what a parent or teacher "account" constitutes? 310k accounts for <24k students is over ten accounts per student - are you sure this measure is correct?
Secondly, your offer document does not detail your strategy for continuing to stay ahead of the competition. What resources (BA, software development, UX etc) will be dedicated to this, and how will this ensure you are able to stay ahead?
Finally, are there any risks involved with, for example, security, and if so do the expenditure projections take this into account?Posted on 22-03-2015 by Keith Humm
The figure we use for parents accounts is for all parent accounts registered to book interviews, whereas students is the total roll size for all of our schools, which is calculated using data provided by the Ministry of Education. We keep a running total of parent accounts, but we do not keep a running total of students added by parents.
We're in a 'sweet spot' where we have a number of features that put us ahead of the competition, but now we need to refine and improve what we have to ensure that parents and teachers are getting the best experience, which primarily revolves around UX. As mentioned in our Improving the Website goal, this includes redesigning the school administration website to be fully responsive and improving the flow of booking an interview. Making the process not only easier, but also quicker will be another selling point we can use to stay ahead.
Parent Interviews is hosted in Auckland, but obviously as we grow and expand to new markets we'll need to scale up. Included in our forecasts is migrating to a cloud-hosted solution such as AWS or Azure, particularly when we start to think about different markets, and also consulting services for our current and future infrastructure (including security, given what kind of data we're dealing with).Answered on 22-03-2015 by Indy Griffiths
Hi Indy -
I want to apologise for my aggressive questions above, and those from Ken Griffiths, my father-in-law. I wrote them in anger, because it seemed to me that you were trying to pass off your company as mine to potential investors.
I hope you can see that the similar name, your description of a thriving company with hundreds of thousands of users, and the fact that you refused to mention our name could raise this fear.
It doesn't help that PledgeMe has no independent forum where I could make my point more reasonably. To be fair, you deleted my first question where I made it very clear that I was from School Interviews, and my powerlessness to respond to what I felt were your evasions drove me to make comments I regret.
I'm not trying to condone my comments, though, and I will do my best to conduct myself better from now on.
Good luck with the campaign.
Greg Fawcett.Posted on 23-03-2015 by Greg Fawcett
what is the monthly revenue you earn via school links?
is there a minimum term a school signs up when going via them?
What markup do they charge?
If they provide free trials, what is the maximum length allowed per your contract with them?Posted on 02-04-2015 by First Heritage Ltd
Just wondering why you set the level for ordinary shares at 50,000 when the maximum issue is 30,000. With these numbers no investors in this campaign can get voting rights.Posted on 12-04-2015 by JSM
As per our Constitution, share parcels under 50,000 shares are classed as Investor Shares, which do have voting rights on resolutions:
a. that affects their rights attached to their shares.
b. to put the company in liquidation.
c. for the disposal of the whole; or a material part, of the property, business, and
undertaking of the company.
The primary reason is to avoid the Takeovers Code, which comes into effect once we pass a certain number of shareholders who hold Ordinary Shares. Being a Code Company has the extra burden of costs associated with complying with the Takeovers Code, which we'd rather avoid.
Investor Shares still have equal rights to any dividends or distributions made by the company in the future, and have the same rights protected as Ordinary Shares.Answered on 12-04-2015 by Indy Griffiths
No matter what number I put in the Investment box on the Pledge form, I get the following error:
There were errors saving the pledge:
Pledge value must be greater than 500
I got the same error, but after trying one or two more times I got to the proper page. If it happens again let me know and I'll nudge some people at PledgeMe.Answered on 20-04-2015 by Indy Griffiths
As Managing Director of School-links I wish to clarify our business relationship with Parent Interviews Limited, and to give a clear overview of our current offering into the education sector.
We offer Parent Interviews (PI) to our existing customers and to all new sales enquiries.
Parent interviews is bundled into our full School-links offer and also made available as a stand alone product.
Parent Interviews receives a 50% commission on the monthly licence value for each completed sale.
Our support team is very experienced in the education sector and provides full support to our customers for the Parent Interview product within normal business hours.
The feed back from our schools using PI has been positive from both our schools and their parents, and we will continue to promote actively to all our new sale prospects.
The School-links Product:
School-links provides schools and their students, parents and staff with a complete set of communication tools including:
- A Disaster Recovery (DR) Emergency Alert system via text, email and app
- A Government-approved system since 2006 to provide parents with “Early Notification” of a student absence via text and email
- Plus newsletter, event and parent-interview booking functionality via text and email
Essentially schools and early childhood centres can contact families immediately in times of crisis or when there are important announcements using a web application and smart phone app.
Our Current Market:
School-links DR Alert System is used throughout the education sector, from early childhood centres through to large secondary schools.
We also provide emergency communication platforms for the Royal New Zealand Ballet and the Tauranga City Council.
Current recipients of School-links communications are made up of:
165,000 Parents and Caregivers
10,000 Teachers and Administrators
Andrew Balfour (Managing Director) of School-links www.school-links.co.nzPosted on 23-04-2015 by Andrew Balfour
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