Neobank begins equity crowdfunding

by Rebecca Pike16 Jan 2019

A neobank is offering potential investors a chance to buy shares through an equity crowdfunding platform for the second time.

Xinja, which was recently granted a restricted banking licence, originally launched its first equity crowdfund in January 2018.

This most recent raise was opened early to existing investors, customers and people who had registered interest, and it passed the minimum of $500,000 in less than nine hours.

With shares available on equity crowdfunding platform Equitise, Xinja chief executive and founder Eric Wilson said he was confident there would be early and consistent interest from investors who wanted to help shake up Australia’s banking system.

Wilson said the bank was now a step closer to delivering real competition in the local banking market.

“We are now working towards a full banking license from APRA in 2019 subject to regulatory approval [and] we have ambitious plans in place for the years ahead.

“We’re all about making banking easy. We're about banking technology that more closely resembles what people expect from innovators and disruptors, like Netflix or Uber, as opposed to old-style, bricks and mortar-based banking.

"We want people to make better decisions about their money. Getting them on board, as early shareholders, also helps us build a better bank."

As part of these plans, it has released a beta version for its Xinja home loans to friends and family.

The digital bank has an Australian Credit Licence and plans to roll out home loans to the public alongside bank accounts, subject to regulatory approval.

Co-founder of leading equity crowdfunding platform Equitise, Jonny Wilkinson, said since the last raise Xinja has continued to receive significant interest from investors, customers and the Australian public.

He added, “Xinja hit the ground running with its first equity crowdfund and interest continued to remain strong from previous and new investors who were keen to know when the next raise would be.

“Xinja is a fantastic example of the power of equity crowdfunding where ‘the crowd’ is given the opportunity to back a company they believe in.”

Xinja will issue shares at $2.04 each, with a minimum parcel of $255 for each investor, with expectations of raising up to $5 million.

In its raise in 2018, Xinja reached its minimum funding goal within 18 hours, raising a total of $2.7million. It was pitched at $1.25 a share and added more than 1,220 new investors to the Xinja share register.

More than 23,000 people have signed up for the Xinja app and over 9,000 tap-and-go Xinja cards have been issued. The card is in use in 17 countries a day, on average.