Aussie eco startup bags $1 million in four days as equity crowdfunding campaign goes gangbusters

Seabin

Seabin co-founder and chief Pete Ceglinski. Source: supplied.

Aussie ocean-cleaning startup Seabin has smashed its minimum equity crowdfunding target, raising $1 million in investment in just four days.

At the time of publishing, the campaign had reached $1.13 million of its $3 million maximum target — with 24 days still to go.

Founded by Pete Ceglinski and Andrew Turton, Seabin produces floating rubbish bins that filter seawater, plastics and other pollution, catching debris in a mesh bag.

In a Facebook post, Ceglinsky said he is “extremely excited”, and suggested this is a new speed record for hitting the $1 million mark.

The average investment has been $1,100, he said, with the majority of investors being first-time and retail investors.

Back in 2016, Ceglinsky and Turton raised just shy of $400,000 through Indiegogo, and put the money toward funding research and development. In 2018, Seabin launched its first commercial product.

Now, the startup has products in place in 52 countries, worth a total of about $5 million.

Speaking to SmartCompany last month, Ceglinsky said the company is operating in the black, supported purely by sales.

However, the Birchal campaign will allow the startup to move into its next phase of growth, the founder explained.

“We have to keep our business heads on — we need to pay the bills,” he said.

“The longer we take to get out there and scale up, the more opportunity there is for others to do the same thing.”

The investment will allow the founders to bring on new employees, and to invest further in the technology. They’re also planning to launch a new lease-based product offering, Ceglinsky said.

Also, raising through equity crowdfunding is intended to bring in community investment, and to allow people who have been supporting Seabin to share in its success.

“It’s power by numbers,” he said.

“The more people we can get involved and give financial incentives to support us … the more impact we can make and the more credibility we can have with our future clients.”

Reaching its maximum target of $3 million would bring Seabin’s equity crowdfunding campaign on par with the most successful Aussie campaign yet.

In April last year, women-only ridesharing startup Shebah raised $3 million, breaking Xinja’s $2.6 million record, set less than a month earlier.

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