New Zealand: PledgeMe Reports First Dividends Paid from Crowdfunded Issuer

PledgeMe, an investment crowdfunding platform operating in New Zealand, is reporting the first dividends paid from a crowdfunded securities offer. According to PledgeMe, Wellington-based payroll intermediary company, Thankyou Payroll, announced their first dividend payment at their AGM last night.

“We understand that we’re not only the first equity crowdfunded company in New Zealand to pay a dividend but also the first social enterprise,” stated Christina Bellis, Thankyou Payroll CEO, in a release.

Reportedly, Thankyou Payroll raised $460,000 from 186 investors through the PledgeMe equity crowdfunding platform in 2017. The investment round was used to improve their technology, grow their team, and market their software in preparation for regulatory changes around payroll processing that came into force in 2019. Since their campaign, Thankyou Payroll has grown on average 120% year on year. Annual turnover has increased from $7,000 in 2010 to $2.7 million in 2020.

“Last financial year has been a year of change, of challenge, and in the face of adversity a year of continued growth. Keeping true to our kaupapa, we are delighted to be in a position to share our success with those who have supported. We believe the payment of a shareholder dividend proves that Impact Organisations are a force to be reckoned with,” added Bellis.

Thankyou Payroll identifies as a social enterprise, or impact organization, which broadly means they aim to create revenue and have a social impact as part of doing business. ThankYou Payroll provides free payroll to charitable organizations and contributes monthly donations to community organizations through the Thankyou Charitable Trust. Last year, the company donated over $120,000 through hyperlocal grants.

PledgeMe’s founder and “Chief Bubble Blower,” Anna Guenther, said she is excited by the precedent that Thankyou Payroll has set.

“It’s great to see a small kiwi company grow to the point where it can pay out dividends to its shareholders as well as providing annual charitable grants to its wider community. I hope this can be part of a new community focussed normal post COVID!” said Guenther.

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