More than 1,100 investors have backed crowd-sourced funding (CSF) platform Birchal in its own CSF campaign, raising $2.39 million.
Alongside a range of retail investors, the cap table includes existing investor Dom Pym, cofounder of Up; Mckeage Cole Foundation MD Connie Mckeage; Giant Leap venture partner Peter Cameron; TodayPay founder Peter Cameron; Doshii founder Sean O’Meara; and 1Form and Fillr founder Chad Stephens.
The raise is $600,000 short of the fintech’s $3 million ambition, however, it’s now nonetheless the second-most successful startup when it comes to raising capital via crowdfunding, having previously banked $3 million in April 2022 for a combined total of $5.39m. That’s just behind the medicinal cannabis startup Montu, which banked $5.5 million across two Birchal campaigns.
Birchal CEO and cofounder Matt Vitale said the result of the latest raise underscores the confidence investors have in the platform.
“We are thankful to our community of new and loyal investors and we are blown away by the support. It’s an honour to experience the power of our own community first hand. Even despite economic uncertainty, huge cost of living pressures and higher interest rates, our community has grown 40% in the last 12 months,” he said.
“Birchal drives entrepreneurialism in Australia. We work with founders to bring exciting and revolutionary businesses to market. We want to make it possible for startups to be commercially successful and bring ideas to market that improve the world we live in.”
The fresh capital will be used to launch new products and services to complement Birchal’s core business and diversify and grow revenue streams.
Investor Connie Mckeage said she was “cashing in some of my OneVentures-facilitated Employment Hero shares which have done well”.
OneVentures announced it had sold a tranche of its investment in Employment Hero in a secondary transaction worth nearly $68 million from its Growth Fund II, during the Birchal raise.
“I am returning some of that capital back into the startup ecosystem and the startup companies it supports is a way to do that,” Mckeage said.
“I’ve had my time running a public company and investing in the index, but now I think more about investing in assets that can create a better future for my grandchildren. I am a fan of equity crowd-sourced funding because I know what it’s like to have a vision, an idea that I believe in but find it challenging to find funding for.”
Dom Pym, who’s backed Birchal from the outset via his family office Euphemia, said: “Birchal stands out as a beacon of success in Australia’s equity crowd-sourced funding landscape. Euphemia’s ongoing investment in this latest funding round speaks volumes about our joint dedicated to fortifying the funding ecosystem and nurturing Australian startups.”
Euphemia invested $1 million in the latest round.
Vitale said crowdfunding has an important role to play in a tougher funding environment for startups.
“With current funding channels across the wider financial system slated to worsen next year, we believe that equity crowd-sourced funding will offer a lifeline to startups and scaleups. Birchal is proving to be a resilient source of capital, affirming our place and purpose in the Australian startup ecosystem,” he said.
“As the market matures, we see the untapped potential for growth and a unique opportunity to accelerate the CSF industry in Australia. We are glad investors share our vision for Birchal.”