VC-backed crowdfunding platform Stride Equity is offering a new funding model for startups

- March 28, 2023 2 MIN READ
Stride Equity
Stride Equity CEO Maria Halasz
A team of former Investec executives have launched Stride Equity an equity crowdfunding (CSF) platform backed by a venture capital fund, Stride Lead, in a model that looks to  rethink how startups raise funds.

Stride Equity will evaluate each investment opportunity with experienced investors to choose the companies offered on the crowdfunding. 

Startups seeking capital will receive up to a 20% co-investment from Stride Lead, while the remaining amount will be raised through its CSF platform. It’s the country’s first combined equity crowdfunding and VC investment platform.

The platform will also offers mentoring and industry connections to early-stage founders, alongside giving retail and institutional investors to back a curated list of companies.

The cofounders, chairman Jon Brett, director Alan Chonowitz, and CEO Maria Halasz, previously worked together at the Sydney arm of South African investment bank Investec, which announced its withdrawal from the Australian market in 2021.

The trio have made more than 30 investments in startups and scaleups, such as Vocus, Airtasker, Goanna Ag, MediPay, and MadeComfy.

Halasz, founder of ASX-listed Anagenics, said that while local crowdfunding campaigns have raised around $220 million since 2018, investors have only seen a few successful exits.

Unlike our model, where we pre-qualify investee companies, crowdfunding is normally transactional, and companies are not routinely vetted by professional investors,” she said.

“Our purpose is to close the funding gap for emerging businesses by combining our experience as successful venture investors with the power of equity crowdfunding. We back these companies  with our money, expertise, and connections.” 

Stride is entering a crowded market for CSF, with market leader Birchal, which recently hosted its 200th successful campaign, alongside the likes of VentureCrowd, Equitise and  female founder-focused Microwd (formerly PledgeMe)

Chonowitz said the Stride model is the unique in the crowdfunding market, and makes the deals featured more attractive to both investors and investee companies.

Stride Equity will be launched today at the Sydney Startup Hub.