Raglan company Aeronavics raised its target of $750,000 in just three days, and is now over the $1m mark.

Raglan company Aeronavics raised its target of $750,000 in just three days, and is now over the $1m mark.

That's the biggest equity crowdfunding campaign in New Zealand to date.

The company last week launched a drive to raise capital of between $750,000 and $1.5m on website Snowball Effect.

The campaign will run for 30 days, or until the $1.5m cap has been reached.

Aeronavics co-owner Linda Bulk said she was surprised at the quick take-off.

"I don't think that anyone would have expected this."

She said the success was thanks to a combination of factors.

Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles are a new and popular product.

"The product is really hot at the moment around the world."

Also, she said, the company spent over a year preparing for equity raising.

That meant the campaign and information available to investors were high-quality. It also meant Bulk and co-owner Rob Brouwer could spread the word around interested parties.

Bulk said there had been a combination of interested people taking advantage of the unique opportunity, as well as traditional angel investors.

"I think ultimately, it's just a really good opportunity."

She said some investors were her friends and family.

"I would feel very uncomfortable if we had painted a picture that wasn't [accurate]."

Aeronavics makes high-performance drones for tasks like carrying movie cameras and spraying crops.

Equity raised will be put towards expanding production of a new line of five models and marketing them around the world.

Investors can buy a minimum of 1000 shares at $1 per share.

More than 400 people pre-registered for the campaign, and $100,000 had been raised within a few hours of the Wednesday launch.

Bulk said it was looking likely they would reach $1.5m.

"Which is fantastic, we're so happy."


- Waikato Times

Photo: Aeronavics co-owners Linda Bulk and Rob Brouwer.



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