Campaign: Attack of the Drones

CrowdReady’s take on some of the best Crowdfunding campaigns (with an unapologetically regional Australasian focus)

 

Part V: The drones are coming…

We’re up to the penultimate instalment in this illustrious series and we hope you’re well and truly getting a feel for the whole crowdfunding landscape. It’s pretty uncharted terrain still, especially on the equity front, but the dozers of institutional regulation have been idling away and will be up and ploughing some fire-trails soon. If you’re in NZ, those fire-trails are closer to double lane highways by now, so of course we in Australia will take all credit when crowdfunding takes full flight in the region.

This week we continue on the Tasman crowd sourced equity funding tip. We’ve already profiled some pretty awesome campaigns and products throughout this series but this could be the most awesome product yet – particularly if you’re a young boy, or an older boy who, much to his partner’s dismay, refuses to stop acting like a young boy. Long story short, it’s up, up and away into the semi-dystopian landscape where machines do the heavy lifting and the humans follow along with their medium labradoodle-sized remote controls.

 

Campaign: Aeronavics

Platform: Snowball Effect (NZ)

Campaign style: Equity, with a sniff of a reward

Capital raised: NZ$1.5m (maximum funded)

Equity offered: 15%

 

What is it?

It’s super cool. For all you kids out there who’s mums and dads never bought them remote-controlled toys, this makes up for all those crestfallen Christmas mornings where you woke up and opened the remote-control toy box and got some crappy wooden trains set. CrowdReady has mortgaged the cat so we can test pilot one of these things and knock down our mums’ roses. Think the coolest remote controlled toys you could think of, boringly referred to as Remotely Piloted Aeronautics Systems (RPAS) by Aeronavics and the industry. In more exciting terms, quad-, hex- and octo-copters with payloads up to 5kg for 4D mapping, film-making, peeking over the neighbour’s fence or drug smuggling. We could go on but it’s better to just have a peek at the website, the products are awesome.

What did investors get for their money?

15%.

Why was it successful?

If you have a look at the campaign site and the company’s website we’d recommend a shot of adrenaline, or a caffeine enema before you do because…..snooze. Words, words, words. Again proof that a winning product sells itself but the campaign really had far too much verbage and not enough visual stimulation, especially for a company with close-ups of Niagara falls, 4D digital terrain mapping and the sort of footage that makes you want to mortgage the children and buy a hot air balloon. All this really doesn’t matter in most regards since - and you have to delve deep into the campaign site to find a lot of this under the ‘Offer’ tab and others– the company has an existing and defined market, is valued at $8.5m pre-money and is in an industry showing significant growth potential in the short- to medium-term. It’s a good bet with reasonable earnings potential from a company with a proven track record even if it doesn’t offer the sort of excitement that a 100-200000x ROI from the next Facebook might offer.

The wrap

In short, a fairly tight if dry example, but the success of this campaign highlights the versatility of the crowd sourced equity funding model. Knowing your investors is key and the good folk at Aeronavics clearly had a whole bunch of canny folk sized up before launch. And it helped towards closing the campaign within a week. You get the impression they crowdfunded it to get around some of the hurdles and demands from angels and VCs, and to fast-track a process they knew would succeed. Which neatly segues into the fact that crowd sourced equity funding isn’t just for startups and seed stages, as Aeronavics successfully closed a decent growth-stage funding round. As the crowd sourced equity funding scene matures, evidence is suggesting that there is a certain amount of recidivism amongst crowdfunders in going back to the honey pot to fund further rounds on the back of successful seed and startup campaigns.

 

Well that’s another round from us done and dusted. Be sure to check back for the last instalment where we head over to the comparatively middle-aged crowd sourced equity funding scene in Old Blighty and pick a natty little number for your listening pleasure. As always, check the CrowdReady website, email us and start getting the house in order to tell the boss to garn’ and start your own crowd sourced equity funding campaign to fund your future.

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