6 weeks ago I returned from holiday and launched the AgeWage crowdfunding campaign. We have £25,000 committed from one investor. We set ourselves a target to raise a further £175,000 from the crowd.
Today our funding stands at £305,600 and we may almost double our target. We have had over 400 new investors, many investing via a crowdfunding platform for the very first time. 530 people have liked our Facebook page, our blogs and videos have been read by many thousands – (a lot of this down to Phil Loney).
We have surprised ourselves and we have surprised a lot of people who thought that putting a value of £3.5m on a company that hasn’t traded, was a little dot.com
A lot of people will still think that and perhaps the idea of engaging people with pensions by making pension scoring simple, won’t happen. There’s always a chance that providers who endorsed the idea – will not want to commit data to a project that tells their customers how they’ve actually done. It may be that regulators who applaud us today, will see our plan to nudge people to better outcomes as a little too disruptive. It may be that our algorithm doesn’t work and we can’t make those scores tell the whole story.
There are a lot of things that may not happen, but what we’ve established is that people love the idea of AgeWage enough to make us a solvent company with time to get things right. The hardest bit is the first bit, but we can’t stop for a moment. I am writing from our office in WeWork Moorgate early on a bank holiday, planning the next three months.
A huge thanks to the 400 people who’ve put their money where my mouth is! The campaign will go on a few days more so if you’d like shares in AgeWage , you can buy them here.
The AgeWage terminal bonus.
Now here’s something I thought I’d never be able to do! We are reducing the cost of shares purchased via http://www.seedrs.com/agewage from £16.50 and we’re doing this retrospectively.
So all the people who bought shares at £16.50 will get a terminal bonus of extra shares, cash back or a combination of the two when we close the round. It won’t always amount to very much (£1.50 for someone buying one share) but it amounts to a 10% terminal bonus for everyone.
Why?- because we cocked up!
Well when we printed our Information Memorandum for investors, back in February, our valuation of our proposition was 10% lower than the valuation that Seedrs put on us. So we’ve been offering shares direct to larger investors at £15 and to smaller investors at £16.50.
Now I know that our business advisers wanted us to sell all shares at £16.50 – which would have been better for founding shareholders like me, but that’s not the right way to correct what is frankly – a cock-up. The way to correct a cock-up is to put your hands up, then in your pockets!
So everyone will get the same price, which is the right thing for the EIS rules, and 400+ people will get a nice surprise when we close.
It certainly gives me confidence that our proposition will be valued even higher when we come back for more money once we’ve launched our minimum viable product and our proof of concept in the autumn.
So here’s the rules
If you’ve invested less than £165, you’ll get back 10% of your money directly into your bank account. That’s up to a £15 rebate
If you’ve invested £165 or more, you’ll get a 1 for 10 bonus allocation with any non-invested balance returned to you as cash (with a maximum rebate of £15.50.
So who pays?
The impact of this extra allocation is a slight dilution of the shares owned by Founders and those who invested in the pre-seed SEIS round. These people pay by there being more shares in circulation and by their share price increasing by less than had been anticipated.
Worse things happen at sea, these investors are doing very nicely whatever and I won’t hear any whingeing from them!
Start as we mean to go on.
I want there to be an AgeWage way, which is the right way. I don’t want any more cock-ups , but I know that we’ll have them – it’s in the way of start-ups.
But what we’re not going to do is to pretend that the cock-up didn’t happen and we’re going to make sure that mistakes are dealt with quickly and in the right way.
That’s a better operating ethos than I’m used to – having worked a lifetime in financial services.
What happens next?
Whether you are an existing shareholder or about to invest, there is still time to buy shares and I promise you , you will be buying at £15 (even though Seedrs still says £16.50).
Sometime in the next few days, I will close the Seedrs funding round which will mean that you can’t invest more beyond a certain date. I believe Seedrs will send round notice of this , but if you’re poised to buy, don’t risk missing out – invest today.
Once we’ve closed the round, we’ll be going through all the investors and treating each one fairly. You will get notification by email of your terminal bonus!
Then we’ll report to HMRC and apply to get you your EIS certificates that will allow you all to get a further rebate of 30% of the amount invested. That means you will be paying £10.50 (rather than £11.55).
Thank me very much!
As the largest shareholder in AgeWage, I’m sure you’ll thank me very much for giving away more shares.
I am not a mug and I will not carry on offering the £15 share offer for very long, we are at a point where we have the money to do what we need to do between now and the end of the year (when we’ll get the next round through)
So for now- I’m sure you’ll join each other in wishing me “thank you very much”!