BUCKiTDREAM enables consumers globally to create and share their dreams with their social networks and then connect with brands and merchants to transact and fulfil those dream experiences.
BUCKiTDREAM is approaching 150,000 dreamers on the platform, creating over 750,000 dream experience intentions.
Carroll talks about why he set up in America and his hopes for the company.
WHY DID YOU SET UP IN THE US?
I’m as Australian as they come but the enormity of the opportunity in the US, where there are simply so many more consumers and the fact that Americans tend to accept big ideas more so than in Australia, made setting up in the US an easy choice. It helps that Australia is among the top five destinations Americans want to visit.
HAS YOUR DECISION WORKED OUT?
Absolutely! We have structured the company equivalent to an Australian Pty Ltd and gone down the path of building a global private shareholder base. When you are starting out you have the choice of going to an incubator or for early-stage venture capital. We went the longer road which was to go after sophisticated individual investors.
We were very disciplined about not just getting any investor but those that could add value to BUCKiTDREAM because they were experts in their industry and they had connections. We wanted to attract those investors who were leaders – when they invest so do many of their connections, similar to those who follow Warren Buffett for example.
Our goal has been to create a global share register – and we have achieved that. About 20 to 30% of investors are from Australia but the rest are scattered throughout the US, UK, Europe and Asia Pacific. About 95% are connected to myself, existing shareholders or management. Unless you know someone who knows someone, you are unlikely to be involved.
WHERE ARE YOU AT IN REGARDS TO FUNDING?
We have had two seed rounds of funding, raising $US4 million. We are currently fully subscribed on our $US5 million convertible note which is our bridge to our first strategic/equity investment round. So, we have raised $US9 million.
We have crossed the chasm of early stage and private investors are now seeing BUCKiTDREAM demonstrating all the attributes of being an exciting venture. As a result, demand to invest in BUCKiTDREAM has never been higher and what we will do is expand the convertible note to fill that demand.
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT ANY OF THOSE WHO HAVE INVESTED?
Jim Greene was one of the really early investors in BUCKiTDREAM and is the lead investor in the US. He is a former VP of Cisco Global Financial Services. When I first spoke to him over the phone about BUCKiTDREAM he was so impressed that he flew from California to Melbourne to hear more.
We shook hands on a $US250,000 investment. That was extraordinary in the early days! Marty Pompadur is a former global Vice-Chairman of Macquarie Bank (Entertainment and Media) and ex CEO of NewsCorp Europe.
Marty said he would invest on the condition he joined the Global Board. We were blown away that he would commit without meeting us. Mark Donald is a private investor from London and an ex Lloyds of London executive.
He has bought in $US2.5 million through his own networks. One of the founding shareholders briefed Mark and he is now the lead investor globally. John Zeigler, is a former CEO and Chairman of advertising agency DDB Asia Pacific and Global Marketer of the Year in 2013. To have John invest in 2015 was a fantastic vote of confidence.