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Equity crowdfunding for Footfalls & Heartbeats extended

Equity crowdfunding offer for Footfalls & Heartbeats on new platform extended

By Fiona Rotherham

Sept. 7 (BusinessDesk) - The equity crowdfunding offer for smart fabrics firm Footfalls & Heartbeats on the new My Angel Investment platform has been extended for two weeks to allow negotiations with wholesale investors to be completed.

The offer had been due to close today but so far has raised only $95,000 by 20 retail investors. The Auckland-based start-up had been seeking a minimum target of $250,000 and a maximum of $750,000, at a pre-money valuation of $7.49 million.

The company is understood to have raised $750,000 of a further $1.25 million sought in a separate fundraise from wholesale investors – high net worth sophisticated investors and fund managers.

Footfalls & Heartbeats has developed a patented smart knitted fabric that can measure pressure without the need for in-built electronics.

It recently closed its first multi-million dollar commercial licensing deal with medi, a German medical supplies company that expects to launch a product early next year that will measure the compression applied by a medical compression garment. The capital raised will help ensure the technology is implemented into medi’s first products and into further business development across new markets and extending patent applications.

Footfalls has also signed letter of intent with three leading companies that haven't been named for commercial reasons in relation to applications that detect pressure sores and patient falls in hospital beds, prevent injuries in wheelchair users and monitor passenger transport through seat use.

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The company is also developing optical textiles with potential applications in medical, athletic and military areas.

It is the first equity crowdfunding offer on the My Angel Investment platform which is focused on supporting early stage and start-up firms operating in the science, technology and engineering sector across New Zealand and Australia.

My Angel Investment is one of seven licenced equity crowdfunding platforms in New Zealand and co-founder and director Mark Malcolm said it is still confident of raising at least the minimum target and avoiding the failure of its first offer, as happened last week to new platform Liftoff which failed to fly after its first offer raised only $2,500 from three investors of the $1.225 million sought.

“We wouldn’t have extended it otherwise," Malcolm said. "Our focus is one technology, science and engineering companies and these type of businesses have a smaller niche than some of the more general offers. There are potentially greater returns but a smaller number of people interested who understand this type of business.”

Malcolm said it was too early to say if the equity crowdfunding market had too many players in a market the size of New Zealand, given the market has only been operating here for just over a year.

He said 20 percent of equity raised for small businesses in the UK is now crowd-based and he expects that trend to evolve here over time.

“What will happen, I believe, is a shake out in terms of certain areas of focus, some consolidation, and some may not make it in the long-term,” he said.


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