First Dividends Paid From Equity Crowdfunding
Wellington-based payroll intermediary company, Thankyou Payroll, announced their first dividend payment at their AGM last night.
“We understand that we’re not only the first equity crowdfunded company in New Zealand to pay a dividend but also the first social enterprise” says Thankyou Payroll CEO Christina Bellis.
Thankyou Payroll raised $460,000 from 186 investors through the PledgeMe equity crowdfunding platform in 2017. The investment round was used to scale up technology, grow their team, and market their software in preparation for IRD changes around payroll processing that came into force in 2019.
Since their campaign, Thankyou Payroll has grown on average 120% year on year.
“Last financial year has been a year of change, of challenge, and in the face of adversity a year of continued growth. Keeping true to our kaupapa, we are delighted to be in a position to share our success with those who have supported. We believe the payment of a shareholder dividend proves that Impact Organisations are a force to be reckoned with” says Bellis.
Thankyou Payroll identifies as a social enterprise, or impact organisation, which broadly means they aim to create revenue and have a social impact as part of doing business. They generate revenue through their payroll intermediary services. They provide free payroll to charitable organisations, and contribute monthly donations to community organisations through the Thankyou Charitable Trust. Last year, they donated over $120,000 through hyperlocal grants.
“Thankyou Payroll remains Aotearoa’s best value intermediary, delivering a fantastic service, community impact and a commitment to caring for the planet.”
PledgeMe’s Chief Bubble Blower, Anna Guenther, is excited by the precedent that Thankyou Payroll has set, especially in a time where local businesses and local investment could be more important than ever.
“It’s great to see a small kiwi company grow to the point where it can pay out dividends to its shareholders as well as providing annual charitable grants to its wider community. I hope this can be part of a new community focussed normal post COVID!” says Guenther.