PledgeMe Appoints New Board Member

By Guglielmo de Stefano on Tuesday 5 April 2016

Savings and Investment

Cultivate Mentoring Lab’s founder Jessica Venning-Bryan joins New Zealand-based equity crowdfunding platform PledgeMe.


Wellington-based crowdfunding platform PledgeMe today announced the appointment of Jessica Venning-Bryan – founder of Cultivate Mentoring Lab, a company that supports early to mid career women navigating the modern work place – as a new member of its board. According to PledgeMe’s blog, the position was targeted by 107 applicants, but Ms Venning-Bryan stood out from the crowd.


Founded in 2011 by Anna Guenther as a rewards-based platform, PledgeMe became one of the first New Zealand equity crowdfunding platforms to receive its license from the Financial Markets Authority in 2014. Since inception, it has accounted for 936 successful projects and has raised approximately $8.3 million.


Ms Venning-Bryan has spent 15 years as an advisor for various organisations in New Zealand, Australia, the United States and the UK, including the like of Lion, the Electoral Commission, Seafood NZ, Saatchi & Saatchi Global, and the Sustainable Business Council. At the moment, she is a General Manager at Flick Electric Co. – a company that gives New Zealanders access to the wholesale price of electricity direct from the spot market – and trustee of Cultivate Mentoring Lab.


Ms Venning-Bryan explained how excited she was about the new challenge:


“The most important thing to me in my professional life is working with great people. I’ve known Anna for some time, and have always admired her relationship-centric approach to business. […] I completely believe in democratising access to capital, so being part of a platform that supports all New Zealanders to realise their aspirations is a great privilege and responsibility. […]I want to see PledgeMe be the category leader in projects, equity and debt. Not just on market share and profitability, but on impact too.”


This appointment follows on from the recent launch of a new product by the name of PledgeMe.Equity/Private. The new tool is a feature of the existing PledgeMe.Equity site, which allows companies to raise capital by addressing their campaigns to select groups of people through a private portal, rather than to the general public.


The company is also waiting for the authorization from the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) to offer peer-to-peer lending services. The new product – called PledgeMe.Debt – is expected to be live by the middle of the year.


PledgeMe CEO Anna Guenther, concluded:


“We are excited for Jessica to join the board of Team PledgeMe, and bring her experience which ranges from beer to wind farms, elections to employment. This varied experience will help us leverage off our existing brand and help us engage with our ever expanding crowd in better ways.”

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