Friday, 29 March 2019 10:08

Shebah edges closer to $3m equity raising target

Shebah CEO and founder George McEncroe Shebah CEO and founder George McEncroe

Ride-sharing platform Shebah has landed a $1 million investment from a new investor, taking its crowdfunding equity raising to a total just short of $2.4 million.

Closing in on its $3 million maximum target, the Australian so-called “women-friendly” rideshare company’s founder and chief executive George McEncroe says she is confident the target is achievable.

“Given the feedback we’ve received from investors, media, our community and women’s groups from all over the country, I believe we’ll hit three million, or come very, very close to it. The response has been overwhelmingly positive and I’m thrilled with where we are at," McEnroe said.

“Now that we have bypassed two million, we can really start to make a difference to how we grow and put our plans into action. There is a long list of plans, from technology advancements, to improving the driver onboarding process and expanding internationally, so the focus is on implementing these and putting the right team structure in place to see them through.”

According to Shebah, its current pool of 1352 investors is a diverse group, and includes politicians, experienced investors of both sexes, as well as mothers who have become shareholders for the first time.

McEncroe says Jude Munro, and advocate for women in sport, Danielle Warby, are two public figures who have recently bought shares in the company.

"I want to make a contribution to a world in which women and children are safe. Where they can travel around our cities safely. My day job involves planning for cities and I believe Shebah is a practical solution to ensure safe and easy travel. It also creates work for women," McEncroe said.

Warby said: "I decided to invest in Shebah because not only do I think they have a really good business idea but I think they're going to change the way business is done. It's important to put women and girls front and centre and this isn't something that a lot of businesses consider. Our needs are different, especially around safety and community.

"When I heard George talk about how so many male venture capitalists couldn't even see the value in her idea because the things that are of importance to us are not even on their radar, I knew I'd made the right decision. When women support women, amazing things happen."

“Our current investors are feeling incredibly positive and proud that they have backed us. Many well-regarded female investors are also sharing the reasons why they have supported Shebah within their own networks, which is improving our word of mouth marketing and helping us reach our goal, so we're very grateful for that,” McEncroe said.

“We're also seeing a trend of many investors coming back for a second bite of the cherry, which is hugely encouraging and means every day, we're getting closer to the three million becoming a reality.”

According to Shebah, the Australian rideshare industry is worth $290 million and the taxi industry is valued at $6 billion, with the market growing at 14% year-on-year.

“We offer a service within the Australian market that doesn't already exist, and there is a huge and growing demand for it. No other rideshare service guarantees women the opportunity to travel with fellow women drivers, and to travel safely with their children. Shebah is the only solution locally, and we are looking forward to seeing our influence spread," McEncroe said.

Shebah has announced plans to launch in the New Zealand market on the back of the fund raising campaign.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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