Australian crowdfunding platform VentureCrowd today announced its $1.2 million fundraising for the mobile payments service ingogo.
Ingogo had raised $9 million total investment in a pre-IPO funding round alongside a $1.2 million contribution from VentureCrowd investors. More significantly, this funding round signifies a major Australian example of when equity crowdfunding for the tech startup scene can work in providing critical capital.
Tim Heasley, COO of Artesian Venture Partners said in the press release that, “historically, individual investors have only received access to these types of deals by being on a favourite clients list with investment banks, and investing amounts of $250,000 and above.”
“VentureCrowd provided exclusive access for smaller investment amounts in this deal to our sophisticated investors, with close to 50 individuals taking up the offer.”
Heasley says that the response was unprecedented, “with applications significantly oversubscribed, demonstrating that VentureCrowd is a robust, viable investment platform for startups and investors.”
The funding success of ingogo is not unwarranted. Ingogo was initially founded by Hamish Petrie in 2011, who before that had sold his previous business, Moshtix to News Limited in 2007. Ingogo quickly evolved from a taxi booking app to become the mobile payment platform it is today in 2013. Since then it has made notable progress into the taxi booking and payments market, with $150 million in expected transactions within the next year. The company has also announced plans to IPO in 2015.
Petrie said in the media release that “Ingogo is a disruptive business, so it is fitting to be working with an innovative and disruptive crowdfunding platform. Alternative funding mechanisms are an important piece of the puzzle for our startup ecosystem, and we hope ingogo is the first of many Australian innovations to reach its funding goals thanks to VentureCrowd.”
Jonathan Herrman, who is one of the 50 individual investors in ingogo through VentureCrowd is also chairman of Shoeboxed Australia and co-founder of StartNest. He says that it was a great opportunity to be a part of the ingogo deal.
“It was the first time that I’ve been able to get access to a pre-IPO opportunity of the quality of ingogo. I would encourage investors to have a look at VentureCrowd to make sure they are aware of opportunities ranging from early stage to later stage investments.”
Sophisticated investors who are looking to gain access to these types of startups in Australia can register their details online to be involved in other deals offered on VentureCrowd. Investment can range from as little as $1,000 with no maximum on the VentureCrowd platform.