The magic of New Zealand equity crowdfunding revealed

A guest post from Josh Daniell and Nathan Rose

New Zealand is a pioneer in equity crowdfunding – one of the very first countries to create a legal framework for retail investors to participate in offers of shares in private companies. So when the first equity crowdfunding offer launched in New Zealand in August 2014, many watched with interest as this new way to raise capital took its first steps.

There were initial mixed reactions from existing market participants. Some saw the broader reach to retail investors as an opportunity to create efficiencies through a streamlined online process, as well as increasing access to an asset class previously restricted to the traditional institutional and high net worth networks. Others were concerned that retail investors would struggle to fully understand the risks involved with early stage growth companies, and would be fleeced through low quality deals.

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Crowdfunding Justice

By Tadhg Walker

There is one thing lawyers need to invest time in a case: money. Money is usually the principal cause for a lot of people, even if they have a valid case, to be denied representation. The rule of law is meant to secure justice for all but many are denied this right due to a lack of capital. This funding gap has led to a growing number of crowdfunding sites dedicated to legal services, allowing the underrepresented to have their day in court.

Hiraa Khan, co-founder of CrowdDefend, came to this realisation during his three year term working at the American Civil Liberties Union. Khan discovered the “prohibitive costs of legal representation, court fees, associated trial costs can exclude most lower and middle income Americans from participating in the justice system, resulting in an astonishingly high number of legitimate legal matters that never make it to the courtroom.” According to Khan, 67% of poor Californians’ legal needs are not met by legal aid services, a fundamental violation of the rule of law. CrowdDefend is taking on “impactful, socially motivated cases,” like helping Adan to post bail in the USA where he is seeking asylum, after escaping gang members who were trying kill him in his home country of Guatemala.

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Crowdfunding The New Powerhouse For Renewable Energy

By Tadhg Walker

Powerhouse Wind, a Dunedin based company producing single blade wind turbines for domestic and small scale commercial use, want to take their product throughout New Zealand and the world. Having already developed and tested their patented idea, they need a boost of capital to increase production and hire staff to market their turbines to customers. More money is required, and, as with many start ups, banks were not supportive as their idea is too new and too innovative. Powerhouse Wind turned to the New Zealand crowdfunding site PledgeMe, in a fitting attempt to find alternative finance for their off the grid renewable energy. They are one of an increasing number of renewable energy companies that are turning to crowdfunding worldwide.

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