4 Startups That Have Raised Over $1 Million From Everyday Investors
Investing in startups can deliver 1,000x returns in a fraction of the time required to earn an equivalent return on stock investments. For instance, Airbnb is one of the most successful startups of the past decade, debuting as the largest initial public offering (IPO) in the U.S. in 2020. This vacation rental company — which struggled to raise $150,000 in 2008 — has a $68.1 billion market capitalization.
As lucrative as it sounds, startups come with heavy risks, and even brilliant startups fail. Apart from looking into a startup’s intrinsic financials and growth practices, examining market interest is crucial.
Let’s look at startups that have raised over $1 million from retail investors through crowdfunding.
StartEngine is the largest crowdfunding platform in the U.S., with a $1.32 billion valuation. The startup has continually disrupted the private equity industry, allowing retail investors to acquire a stake in promising newly launched companies before it goes public.
They have further pioneered the industry by creating a startup stock market to trade pre-IPO companies, and allow new users to receive $100 worth of their company, just for signing up.
StartEngine facilitates international investments through the platform as the company plans to become a pioneer in the global crowdfunding space. The startup acquired the equity crowdfunding platform SeedInvest from Circle Inc, parent of stablecoin USDC, to expand its operations and market share.
RAD AI has already raised over $3.1 million from everyday investors for building the first AI marketing platform built to understand emotion. This should come as no surprise either, as teh company is backed by Fidelity Investments and Expert Dojo. With $20 million in research to develop the platform, AI trending, and more, it’s no surprise the company has seen so much momentum.
RAD AI already has some of the largest companies in the world added to it’s client list. Accenture, Dignity Health and Conde Nast are all companies using the platform to help increase the effectiveness of their marketing.
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GoSun builds solar-based appliances and outdoor gear, such as solar ovens, portable fridges, water purifiers, lighting devices and chargers. The startup, with a pre-money valuation of $59.89 million, aims to capitalize on the increasing demand for renewable energy-powered products. It was named in the 2021 CES Innovation Awards as an Honoree.
Also, as the popularity of outdoor activities rises in the post-pandemic era, the demand for GoSun’s products is on the rise. The startup is currently tapping into the $460 billion outdoor recreation industry. Revenues generated from the sale of GoSun’s solar gear amounted to $5.87 million in 2021, up 50% from 2020. It sold more than 100,000 products in over 70 countries last to last year.
GoSun has raised $2.58 million in its latest crowdfunding round, which is active until April 11, 2023. It aims to raise $3.93 million through this equity fundraising round. Retail investors can buy GoSun’s shares on the StartEngine platform with a minimum investment of just $250. The company provides several company perks for different investment levels, ranging from a 10% discount on retail products to bonus shares and complimentary GoSun gear.
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Fanbase allows creators to monetize their content directly instead of getting a percentage of earnings. It facilitates the creation, management and monetization of various types of content, including photos and videos, chat rooms, stories, live streaming and long-form content. The platform hit the 270,000-user mark last year.
With an $84.93 million pre-money valuation, Fanbase is a budding social media platform with the potential to challenge industry leaders such as Instagram and TikTok. It has a subscription-based revenue model, charging $4.99 per month per subscriber for unrestricted access to all content. It also charges 20% of all in-app purchases from users.
The startup previously raised $6 million through Reg A+ and CF crowdfunding rounds. Its latest crowdfunding round is active until Feb. 21, 2023, with a total fundraising goal of $2.51 million. The platform has already raised $2.48 million and is on track to meet its target amount.
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