How it all started
Brooke Roberts is one of six original founders of Sharesies. Ever since Brooke and her co-founders won a $20,000 Kiwibank Fintech Accelerator Grant for Sharesies in 2017, the business has gone from strength to strength. Sharesies has continued to raise capital at each stage of growth by pitching to investors and bringing on new shareholders.
Even though Sharesies might look like an overnight success, Brooke and her co-founders have worked relentlessly on their vision for the company and gave up income to create it.
“We did a lot of research for six to nine months before the product started to be built and we weren’t getting paid,” Brooke said.
But their hard work paid off and their first major capital raise exceeded expectations. “For our first capital raise, we ended up getting double what we’d asked for,” she said.
These days the co-founders look to raise capital when required from global venture capital firms and individuals such as Icehouse Ventures, Amplo and Rahul Mehta.
So, how did they find their investors?
How Sharesies found investors
“There's no database of eligible investors and there’s a lot of legal criteria around who can invest, so we started building connections, conversations and awareness around networks that invest,” she said.
“Sometimes there are opportunities where a whole network of investors are pulled together and you can pitch to them. There were a range of investors who believed in us from the beginning.
“At first it was a mix of family and friends and those who met the eligible investor criteria, as well as angel investors. Our first large scale investor came to us after hearing us talk on a podcast, and some others reached out too.”