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Today’s the day—the long-awaited SEC rule changes have officially gone into effect. That means:
• Crowdfunding campaigns can raise up to $5M (5x more than before)
• Investors can vote with their dollars by indicating interest in “pre-sale” campaigns
• More investors can qualify as accredited and accredited investors can invest unlimited amounts in crowdfunded deals
What does it mean?
Up to $5 million opportunities. We’ve had some incredible companies raise $1.07M and sell out within hours of going live. Despite that success, most companies are looking to scale and grow quickly, and want to raise more than $1 million.
With the limit increased to $5 million, crowdfunding is expected to attract even more qualified issuers raising higher amounts. The more mature the issuers are, the less risk the companies may present. That means investors like you will have access to a higher number of attractive investment opportunities.
The two deals utilizing the new rules:
• Gumroad: Gumroad is a platform that makes it simple to sell online. Since launching in 2011, creators on the platform have sold more than $390 million of products. In 2020, Gumroad processed $143.8M in sales. With $9.2M net revenue and $1.08 net profit in 2020, they’re getting ready to expand their offerings. Founder Sahil Lavingia built the first iteration of Gumroad in a single weekend in 2011. Previously, Sahil was employee #2 at Pinterest.
• Backstage Capital: This mission-driven VC’s first tranche sold out in 8 hours. Backstage is dedicated to minimizing funding disparities in VC by investing in high-potential founders who identify as people of color, women, and/or LGBTQ. Founder Arlan Hamilton has been featured in Fortune, CNN Money, Forbes, Entrepreneur, and on the cover of Fast Company. Previous investors include Marc Andreessen, Stewart Butterfield, Heather Hiles, and Ellen Pao.
Testing the waters. Another exciting change, which was previously only allowed for certain deals, is the ability for companies to use a “pre-sell” feature for their offering. The SEC refers to this as “Testing the Waters” and it helps companies gauge the market before their launch. It gives investors more power to use their potential dollars as their vote for the companies they want to see shape the future.
Here are some deals that started testing the waters today:
• AdWallet is a platform that enables advertisers to reward consumers directly for their attention and data. With 150,000+ members, they’ve earned their community $1.5M already. They’re part of Google Startup Accelerator and backed by top VCs.
• Jumpstart Insurance is event-based insurance to help people recover from natural disasters. They have a projected ARR of $10M in 24 months, with 95% annual customer retention.
• NUOVO is a platform that connects people looking for flexible living options with safe, verified homes. They have $75M under management and 100k+ guests hosted with $6M in revenue in 2019.
• Pakt is travel gear built for the modern traveler. They have $4.6M in lifetime revenue and saw a 32% YoY increase in 2020.
• Upright is an instant oat milk product that’s allergen-free and packed with protein. Backed by Harvard + Yale scientists, they have 60% margins with a projected ARR of $44M by EOY 2024.
What we’re proud of: the rule change was a long time coming. For years, we’ve been providing our recommendations to the SEC (the people who make the rules) to expand access to investment opportunities and raise the limit to $5M.
Today’s new rules are a big step in the right direction. It means that investment crowdfunding is here to stay, more investment opportunities are coming, and the future is in your hand.
Thank you for being part of this monumental day.