Hikurangi Cannabis crashes crowdfunding website

6.30am 9 May 2018

Investors in a company aiming to become New Zealand’s first medical cannabis producer last night broke the equity crowdfunding platform, PledgeMe just before the offer opened.

Ruatorea’s Waiapu Investments had planned to open their campaign to invest in Hikurangi Cannabis Company last night but ten minutes before the campaign opened to the public the PledgeMe servers were overloaded and crashed. It took a team of PledgeMe technicians two hours to recover the site and the offer page will open instead tonight (Wednesday 9 May) at 7pm.

“The support that we’ve had from all over New Zealand over the last six months has been massive” says Waiapu Investments director, Panapa Ehau. “We have a passionate crowd who believe in us and the level of support last night was literally overwhelming. Everybody was frustrated by the crash and we are humbled by the support for our vision of creating a new industry – from seed to sale – that works to transform our people, our land and the health and wellbeing of people everywhere.”

Over one million dollars has already been raised by Waiapu Investments from a roadshow through East Coast communities over the past week.

“Giving our whanau and local supporters the first opportunity to invest in us was a crucial part of our plans. The success of Hikurangi Cannabis will be owned and shared amongst our community.”

Investors purchased shares in Waiapu Investments Limited, an investment vehicle that will invest the money raised into Hikurangi Cannabis. Up to $2 million raised through the crowdfunding process will be used to build a high tech pharmaceuticals processing facility and plant growing operations in Ruatorea and to carry out phase one clinical trials for a New Zealand made medical cannabis product. Hikurangi Cannabis has applied for a Medical Cannabis Cultivation Licence from the Ministry of Health, and the investment from Waiapu Investments will be made once that licence has been granted.

PledgeMe co-founder and CEO Anna Guenther acknowledged the crash was unacceptable.

“This was a fail, and we’re really sorry for the confusion and frustration it caused. We recently upgraded to Amazon Web Services – a secure cloud services platform, offering compute power, database storage, content delivery – designed to stop server issues from occurring on large campaigns. After two issue-less million dollar campaigns, we thought scaling servers wouldn’t be a problem. We were wrong. We have well and truly learnt that medical cannabis is more exciting than organic unbaked goods and craft breweries. Three of our team have sorted the issue, and we’ll be ready for 7pm tonight.”

Once the campaign has met its maximum goal, interested investors can join the waiting list for future capital raises here: pldg.me/hikurangi


For more information contact:

  • Panapa Ehau, managing director, Waiapu Investments Limited, 027 2000 747
  • Barry Grehan, PledgeMe Chief Lending Officer, barry@pledgeme.co.nz, 027 366 4284

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