Take a deep breath. Your campaign is over. Hopefully you've had enough pledges to make your minimum goal, or even better have pushed onward to your maximum goal. The work isn't over yet though. After the campaign has finished you need to tie up all the loose strings and there are now legal obligations which your company has to stick to. Here are some tips on what to do after your campaign.
You've taken their money, they have shares in your company. But that’s not where the relationship should end. PledgeMe offers a shareholders page so you can keep all your shareholders up to date in one place. For more on that check out further down the page.
It’s good practise to keep your shareholders informed about what you’re up to and the progress you’re making on goals. We recommend a monthly update so they feel connected to the business. This is important because now they have an interest in you succeeding and you have an interest in them continuing to support you.
Also you've got a requirement under law to hold an Annual General Meeting, and release a financial report to shareholders. There are also certain decisions your Shareholders need to vote on.
Most importantly, communicating to your shareholders allows them to support you further. They’re more than champions now, they're a resource that want to see you succeed.
You must send annual financial statements to your shareholders. There are now audit requirements which you have adhere to, unless 95 percent of your shareholders vote to not have an audit.
For more on your financial reporting obligations check out the Business.govt.nz website.
You'll need to be aware of the takeovers code too. If you have over 50 voting share parcels you’ll need to comply with the code in the event of a take over. Essentially you need to get an independent report if you’re in this situation.
You can find out more about the takeovers code on the Takeovers Panel website.
Obligations to shareholders
As we've already said you now have a legal obligation to provide all shareholders with annual financial statements. You must also hold an Annual General Meeting – it doesn’t have to be a bunch of people sitting around in a stuffy room. Some companies that have done equity crowdfunding have made their AGMs into parties and celebrations of their business! You should also be communicating with shareholders regularly to ensure they know what you’re doing.
Further capital raising
You can raise up to $2 million dollars through equity crowdfunding a year. If your first offering raises $60,000 so you can hire a new staff member, and once you have them on board for six months you realise you need to buy some more equipment, you can do another equity campaign.
It is important to go back out to your current shareholders and crowd again to let them know you’re going to do this, especially if you're going to dilute their shareholding.
The shareholders page
What is it?
PledgeMe’s Shareholder Portal provides a space for you to have ongoing private communication with your shareholders.
You can use it for general discussions, monthly shareholder updates, requests for advice / support, and to vote on resolutions.
The portal is great because
it stores your communication and interaction with shareholders in one place,
reduces email overload,
makes your shareholder discussions many to many (instead of oldschool 1:1), and
allows engagement and actual discussion with your crowd!
How does it work?
You can automagically add all the people who became investors through your PledgeMe campaign. If you’ve got other shareholders, no problemo,you can manually add them in (if you want to).
Once everyone is in, you can create discussions with your shareholders around anything. It could be to update them on your performance, you could be asking them for help, or it could just be a simple hello! You can share images, documents, or just have a good ol’ discussion. If the discussion includes a resolution you need to pass as a company, your shareholders can vote as well.
What does it cost?
You get the first two months free to see if you like it and after that there is a $25/month fee.
Your shareholders can:
- Pull all of your shareholders into this page.
- Hold discussions around certain topics, and share images/attachments.
- Go out to your shareholders to vote on resolutions.
- Publish the results of these votes.
Your shareholders can:
- Support you with ideas, information, and (potentially) even be tapped for work and advice!
- Get to know each other.
- Manage their responses to resolutions simply.
- Read the information you provide.
Think about your Cap table
Keep your capitalisation table handy. You can plug in future fundraising at different times and different valuations to see the dilution effect on each shareholder.
Remember: things generally take longer and cost more than you expect, so don’t cut it too fine. Plan for the time and cost of raising future money as well as where you expect it to come from. There are also other places you can go to raise capital. You may want to look up your local Angel Investors clubor look for some venture capital (and matching).
Now you are ready to run your very own equity crowdfunding campaign. Huzzah! We’ve covered all the basics of what you need to do to run a campaign. We can provide more specific advice about the PledgeMe platform if you need it.
The PledgeMe team is easy to contact.
You can fire through questions and emails to the team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Or call us on 027 PLEDGE 1
We’re super excited about helping you go out to your crowd. We think equity crowdfunidng is the future for people raising investment from people.
We look forward to working with you,
Anna and the PledgeMe Team