Spark Crowdfunding, Ireland’s first equity crowdfunding platform, has launched with its newest offering: Fleet – a person to person car sharing service that is seeking a raise of €275,000 through a sale of 20% equity.
Spark Crowdfunding is a Dublin based operation that has only launched in recent months. Management states that three smaller offerings have already raised on the platform. Campaigns typically run for 30 days and the company must achieve the full amount of funds they are looking to raise in order for the campaign to complete.
In Ireland, there is a tax program that mitigates risk for investors in early stage firms. Somewhat similar to UK programs (EIS/SEIS), the Employment and Investment Incentive Scheme (EIIS) provides a tax rebate of 40% of your investment. That means for every €10 invested, you get €4 back. Fleet has been approved by the Revenue Commissioners in Ireland as an EIIS qualifying company.
Fleet, launched in late 2017 by Wicklow entrepreneur Maurice Sheehy, seeks to allow car owners (B2C) and enterprise clients (B2B) earn extra income by renting cars to the public from both driveways and garage forecourts. The funding will be used for a planned online expansion. Spark reports that the company has already been approved by Enterprise Ireland for ‘matched funding’ as part of its High Potential Start-up Programme.
Sheehy said his company is at a stage now where they can achieve accelerated growth by increasing their digital marketing expenditure;
“… it is for this reason that we are raising funds through the sale of a 20% equity stake in our business. The equity crowdfundraising platform provided by Spark CrowdFunding appeals to Fleet not just as a mechanism to provide the funding we need to develop the business but also the fact that the very concept of equity crowdfunding ensures that new investors are likely to also become brand advocates for the business which will help with developing the business.”
Chris Burge, CEO of Spark CrowdFunding stated;
“The Fleet business model and technology is highly scalable and we know this is the type of business that appeals to investors. Fleet own their own platform and we believe the company is well positioned to benefit from strong end market fundamentals in the growing sharing economy and peer-to-peer marketplace.”
Burge added that a major advantage of equity crowdfunding is that it brings a whole range of new investors into a business, each of whom has a vested interest in the company succeeding and who frequently act as ambassadors for the company and its products.
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