A start-up based in Byron Bay raised a staggering $5 million in one day, with feverish demand from retail investors who were eager to get hold of equity in the waste-reduction company.

Zero Co had only just completed a private market transaction with Square Peg Capital to raise $6 million before they went live with their equity crowd-fund campaign on the Birchal platform. 

Within the first hour of going live, the flood of demand had crashed the system, and founder Mike Smith decided to reduce the maximum investable amount down to $10,000 to allow more individuals to come on board. 

As the day progressed this cap had been lowered to $1000, and when the campaign finished at 5pm, they’d brought on 3,081 new equity holders, raising $5 million. It’s likely this total would have been higher, but $5 million is the max raise legally allowed.

Zero Co has developed a closed-loop system for distributing household cleaning products and soap that aims to reduce plastic waste. The model is based around ‘forever bottles’ which can be refilled with pouches that are mailed to customers, the pouches themselves are then returned to be refilled and mailed-out once again. 

So far, it’s proving popular. The business was launched only 11 months ago, and is already reporting sales of $1 million per month, with 43,000 subscribers. 

The company currently has 18 staff, and new hires are on the way. The funds will also go towards increasing stocks and inventory, a boost in marketing, but also an allocation to be set aside for a rainy-day. 

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