The first equity crowdfunding campaign by a Queensland-based business has been launched with the help of HopgoodGanim Lawyers.
The firm has been helping Food Connect Shed on the campaign, which aims to raise between $2m and $4m to build what would be Australia’s first community-owned food hub. The campaign is on the PledgeMe platform, which is the first equity crowdfunding intermediary to be based in the state.
Partner Michelle Eastwell, who said that the campaign is a first in many respects, is advising Food Connect Shed. This includes setting up the new public unlisted company Food Connect Shed Ltd to purchase the warehouse that has been rented by Food Connect Foundation and Food Connect Pty Ltd for the last decade.
Founded in 2005, Food Connect is a social enterprise that aims to help connect farmers and local buyers. It has generated more than $25m in revenue for the local food economy since then.
The equity crowdfunding regime was legislated last year. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission granted the first licenses to crowdfunding intermediaries in January and released further licenses just last month.
“With the equity crowdfunding regime now up and running in Australia, we expect to see many companies from a wide variety of industries consider equity crowdfunding as a means of providing capital to their business,” Eastwell said.
Prospective investors to the Food Connect Shed campaign should read the offer document and risk warning, as well as seek independent professional advice, the firm said.