Birchal Review

For Business Owners

Birchal is an Australian equity crowdfunding site Flag: Australia on Google Android 9.0

This independent review has been written for startups & growing companies who are considering using Birchal to raise money with equity crowdfunding

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In this Birchal review, you will learn about:

  • Birchal’s Attitude To Curation
  • Which Companies Can Use Birchal
  • How Birchal Helps Business Owners
  • What Is Unique / Different About Birchal
  • Advice – How To Raise Money Through Birchal

Platform Website: www.birchal.com 

Birchal Attitude To Curation:

“Curation” refers to the process whereby platforms narrow the number of companies that apply, down to a smaller number which ultimately get the chance to “go live”.

There are two main schools of thought in terms of equity crowdfunding curation:

  • highly curated (where the platform screens aggressively, before the public get the chance to see them)
  • open access (where the platform takes more of a “let the crowd decide” approach)

Birchal see themselves as somewhere in-between the two ends of the spectrum. They run in-depth background checks on the directors and senior management of the companies, but also want to make it relatively straightforward for companies to invite interested stakeholders to join them on their journey, instead of replicating a very hard-line “VC-like” approach to curation.

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Which Companies Can Use Birchal:

Sector Focus:

Birchal want to make raising capital simple and fast for consumer brands. Their tagline is “helping Australians invest in brands they love”. This highly-specific sector focus means companies raising money on Birchal can extract the maximum ancillary benefits of equity crowdfunding – including word of mouth for their brand, better customer loyalty, connecting more deeply with their biggest brand ambassadors, and growing their community.

Stage Focus:

Many equity crowdfunding platforms prefer to only work with businesses with significant existing traction, but Birchal are more accomodating. Birchal are open to working with companies with little existing brand awareness *if* the founding team is strong and they can show they have the ability to gain an audience quickly.

Border Restrictions:

Overseas companies can create a Birchal profile, but raising money on Birchal is only for Australian companies. This is because Birchal is an Australian platform regulated by Australian securities law. However, Birchal are looking into becoming licenced in other jurisdictions – so watch this space for new developments.

Raise Size Restrictions:

Companies should realistically be looking to raise at least AU$400,000 through their Birchal campaign, and therefore must have a valuation which supports raising this level of capital. The maximum amount which can be raised for a public (retail) equity crowdfunding offer in Australia is AU$5 million.

Individual investors can invest as little as AU$50 per campaign. This level halps encourage brands which are looking to achieve a very wide shareholder spread. With a low investment minimum like this, companies can naturally expect to find more people who can afford this than if a higher minimum had been set. Whether having lots of micro-investors is desirable or not depends on which kind of business you have, but it generally works very for the consumer-facing businesses which Birchal specializes in helping. It’s easier to get wide exposure to the maximum number of people with a low individual investment minimum.

Take The Quiz – Are You Ready For Equity Crowdfunding?

Equity crowdfunding can raise 6 – 7 figures of investment for startups & growing companies, without banks or VC.

But is your company ready to launch?

This short multi-choice assessment has been created to give an indication of whether your company is fit for funding.

All answers are kept completely confidential.

How Birchal Helps Business Owners:

Birchal provides helpful guides and materials to assist with the company onboarding process. They have a template offer document, and lots of other examples for their companies to draw upon as they assemble their content.

Another thing Birchal does is assist in refining the investment story. For some companies on Birchal, it may be the first time they have sought outside investment, and the marketing messaging for investors is naturally a bit different than the kind of message that goes out to customers. Birchal help with making sure the pitch hits the right note.

Helping gain the engagement of wholesale investors is another of Birchal’s specialties. One of the main value-adds of an equity crowdfunding platform is providing introductions to *new* investors, beyond those that the issuing company has themselves. Good platforms have many large investors actively browsing for opportunities. This is why companies should use a platform which not only provide the technological means to reach your own crowd, but also with a strong wholesale investor database as well.

What Is Unique / Different About Birchal?

As already mentioned, Birchal has a strong focus on consumer brands. Many equity crowdfunding platforms call themselves “sector agnostic”, which means their user experience is general, rather than specialized. By catering only to consumer brands, Birchal’s branding can be more-closely aligned with that particular sector.

Birchal has strong connections to the rewards crowdfunding space. Birchal has been built by the same team that brought Pozible to life – a rewards crowdfunding platform for creative, community and passion projects. This means that Birchal can easily direct companies to rewards crowdfunding, if that turns out to be a better “fit” for their current stage and goals.

Finally, Birchal has a database system which in some ways resembles social media. Brands and companies can create a profile on Birchal to engage with new and potential stakeholders. It means businesses can build list of subscribers using the same web URL for their company lifetime – resulting in a brand focus, rather than a transaction focus. According to Birchal, this promises to “change the way investors find and invest in the businesses they love”.

Advice – How To Raise Money Through Birchal:

Having a lead investor is very helpful to raising money on Birchal. “Lead investors” are investors with deep expertise in the industry in which you operate. They conduct due diligence on the investment proposition, and then invest a relatively large amount of money – thus providing leadership to the “crowd” who follow. Lead investors provide validation to the crowdfunding platform too, because it gives confidence in the proposition to the decision-makers when you can point to the backing a “smart-money” investors.

Having a strong rationale for equity crowdfunding is also very useful for those wanting to raise money through Birchal. You should have a compelling reason for deciding to raise capital, and why you have settled on equity crowdfunding as the best way to do it. Birchal appreciate it when founders are really clear on where their business is at. It’s a big tick in the box if the founders can show they are clear on their business objectives, and have already given careful thought to why equity crowdfunding makes the most sense for them.

Birchal also advises that companies put together excellent content for their offer page. This content includes video, images, and copywriting to explain their business model and their plans – and to do so in clear and compelling terms. Fortunately, what consititutes “excellent content” can be learned by looking at past successful crowdfunders! Business owners should learn best practices in digital marketing, so that they can bring people to their offer page, and then convert them into investors.

Next steps: Click this link to watch the Free Equity Crowdfunding Training.

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