The Business Herald’s markets and banking reporter.

Invivo raise a glass to $2 million milestone

Invivo Wines co-founders Tim Lightbourne and Rob Cameron are delighted with the $2 million crowdfunding effort.  Photo / Steven McNicholl
Invivo Wines co-founders Tim Lightbourne and Rob Cameron are delighted with the $2 million crowdfunding effort. Photo / Steven McNicholl

Invivo Wines has become the first company in New Zealand to raise the maximum amount allowed through an equity crowdfunding campaign.

The Auckland-based wine company hit the $2 million limit yesterday morning, with two weeks of the offer left to run.

Co-founder Tim Lightbourne said 439 new shareholders had invested in the company through the campaign, run on the Snowball Effect crowdfunding platform.

"We're ecstatic to hit the $2 million mark," Lightbourne said.

"It's a vote of confidence in us but also in New Zealand wine."

Snowball Effect head of platform and investor growth Josh Daniell said having an offer reach $2 million was a significant milestone.

"The whole market is developing faster than we expected," Daniell said. "We didn't expect to have a $2 million raise within the first year."

Equity crowdfunding was made possible by new securities legislation that came into force last year.

Before the Financial Markets Conduct Act, shares in companies could not be sold to the public through crowdfunding.

Three platforms - Snowball Effect, Equitise and PledgeMe - are now operating in New Zealand.

Twenty per cent of Invivo was sold through its crowdfunding offer.

The company, which has experienced more than 200 per cent revenue growth since 2011, has forecast net income of $152,000 from sales of $5.1 million in the 12 months to March 31 this year.

Invivo, which is targeting revenue of $25 million by 2020, sells its products in 17 markets around the world.

The offer valued Invivo Wines -- founded by Lightbourne and Rob Cameron, Invivo's winemaker, in 2008 -- at $10 million.

Invivo, which counts British talk-show host Graham Norton as an investor, is also considering listing on NZX's soon-to-launch NXT market, targeted at firms valued at up to $100 million.

- NZ Herald

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