Aryaman Taore has come up with an app that helps lazy people, busy people – and people wanting to invest.
His new app LazyAz allows anyone to order food, flowers, gifts, groceries, and more from local suppliers and have them delivered within the hour anywhere in the Auckland CBD.
Taore came up with the idea when he was just 17 years old. He started with a single investor and a whole lot of ‘sweat equity’ – doing the deliveries himself.
In just six months, he grew his fledgling business to around 40 orders a day and an income of NZ$3,000 a week. By the end of 2016, he needed the capital to support LazyAz’s jump up to the next level – and saw crowdfunding as a fantastic option.
He needed only a small amount of capital, and he felt that crowdfunding allowed a wide range of people to get involved.
“You don’t have to be a wholesale investor, or a high-net-worth individual – you can get in quick on high-growth start-ups like tech companies.”
Shares in LazyAz starting at NZ$200 were offered on AlphaCrowd’s equity crowdfunding platform. He’d hoped to raise between NZ$100,000 and NZ$200,000, but the response amazed him and money started pouring in.
“On the first day, we had NZ$40,000 in from committed investors we already knew or had approached,” Taore says.
“Then, on the second day, things slowed down, so there was a bit of uncertainty. But when the offer was promoted, it picked up and people kept investing.
“It was overwhelming; I didn’t expect it to be so quick. We reached our NZ$100,000 minimum on day two, and in the end it went to NZ$240,000.”
Most investors put in NZ$2,000-NZ$3,000, but a few committed NZ$10,000 or more – the highest NZ$30,000.
It’s very much a long-term investment, says Taore, but he adds that those early investors have seen the value of their shares at least double.
The magic NZ$1 million
LazyAz earned around NZ$1 million last year, and now has more than 6,000 users. Taore is hoping to expand the app to include Wellington, Christchurch, Hamilton, and Dunedin.
The money he raised through crowdfunding has paid for the development of the app. He’s now fundraising again, talking to angel investors.
“Crowdfunding was great when the business was small. People believed in the idea, but we didn’t have the metrics to support it. It appealed to the general public who could see the potential,” says Taore.
Now with a million-dollar turnover, a quantifiable track record and a world-class app, he says: “We’re looking for the right mentorship and people on board to guide the business.”
First published Autumn 2018
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