Equitise, a New Zealand based equity crowdfunding platform, has acquired Rabble.co.nz, an online business community.
Equitise will run Rabble in parallel with its equity crowdfunding platform, providing Rabble members with easy access to crowd-funding opportunities.
Rabble is known as “the directory of Kiwi tech companies”. It lists New Zealand based startups in a number of categories, including software, hardware, SaaS, mobile apps, marketplaces, e-commerce, services, clean tech and life sciences.
Rabble was founded by Rowan Simpson, a leading figure in New Zealand’s startup community. He was also one of the early members of staff at TradeMe, which was acquired by Fairfax in 2006 for NZ$750m, and is now partnered with P2P lender Harmoney.
Rowan Simpson commented:
“We originally built Rabble because we thought it was an important resource for early-stage companies in New Zealand who wanted to raise their profile, grow their team and attract investors and advisors. We’re excited the team at Equitise share this view and look forward to seeing it continue to flourish in the future as part of their platform.”
To mark the acquisition Equitise have launched a competition for both established companies and early-stage businesses with prizes totalling over $20,000. The prize in the established business category includes a package of business services valued at over $10,000 to help the winners raise capital for expansion. The early-stage category prize includes $10,000 web development and additional business growth support including mentoring from Suse Reynolds, an angel investor and Executive Director of the NZ Angel Association, who will also be helping Equitise with the judging.
Equitise co-founder Chris Gilbert said he is keen to expand Rabble into Australia.
“We get a pipeline to some of New Zealand’s best and most active fresh tech companies and early-stage startups. Rabble has a fairly large membership base and we’ll be able to integrate that into the Equitise platform. We’re looking at bringing Rabble to Australia through a partnership with one of Australia’s leading business learning providers as part of our growth strategy.”
Equitise was launched at the end of January 2015 and crowdfunding in New Zealand is beginning to pick up since it was made possible by new securities legislation that came into force last year. This week Invivo Wines, an Auckland-based wine company, broke Kiwi crowdfunding records. It is aiming to raise $2 million on the Snowball Effect platform and has thus far has raised $1,523,587, breaking the previous record of $1.5 million set by drone company Aeronavics last month.