Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

Mobile gaming firm in crowdfunding floatation

Budding investors are being offered a slice of a Northern Ireland start-up which already has offices in New York and San Francisco.

Over the next 40 days, GoPrezzo, which has received over £570,000 from venture capitalists and business angels, will be open to investment through the crowdfunding platform Investingzone.com.

Up to 5,000 shares are being floated on the Investingzone.com crowdfunding website up to the end of September.

After setting up a free account, users can log on to view the GoPrezzo pitch and buy into the business.

Crowdfunders can claim 10 shares for a minimum commitment of £100.

GoPrezzo’s technology allows mobile gamers to translate points into real-world prizes, rewards and discounts with a number of leading brands.

Co-founder and chief executive Aaron Taylor has worked with global companies such as Electronic Arts and Cisco while other staff members and advisers include former staff at Google and Motorola.

Over 100 million people in the US play mobile games every day and billions are spent on mobile games in the US last year.

Advertising in the global mobile market is expected to reach $8bn (£5bn) by the end of this year.

Mr Taylor said that as well as planning a major funding round in the US next year, he is aiming to retain the Northern Irish character of GoPrezzo as a company.

“Investment isn’t just the preserve of the wealthy,” he said.

“Any knowledgeable individual can now back exciting early-stage companies.

“Yes, there are risks but similarly there are high rewards and generous tax incentives involved,” he said.

Crowdfunding is a growing phenomenon with global platforms raising $2.7bn (£1.7bn) in 2012, expected to increase to $5.bn (£3.2bn) this year.

FACTFILE

* What is crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is raising money directly from a large number of people all putting in relatively small amounts of money.

* Who can be a crowdfunder?

Theoretically anyone can be a crowdfunder, investing in or donating to businesses, projects or ventures of their choice. However, some crowdfunding platforms take the view that some investment products are more suitable for more sophisticated investors. What is important is that investors and donors can easily understand what they are putting their money into, what the risks are, where they are paying fees and what the possible return might be.

* Is there a minimum or maximum amount for investment or donation?

These will vary according to the crowdfunding platform you use. In some cases investments and donations can be as low as £5, with no ceiling on the amount you invest, others may cap the total investment you make as a percentage of your net assets. It really depends on the nature of the project you are putting your money into and the risks you are prepared to take with your money.

Source: UK Crowdfunding Association

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