Start-up Rabble aims to lower bar for investing

You no longer need a million dollars to participate in a fundraising round for a start-up — the JOBS Act of 2012 changed that.

One start-up — New York-based crowdfunding platform Rabble — is taking advantage of that, and has built a platform enabling investors to buy into private companies for very little money. Unlike other start-ups in this space — like Fundrise or Wunder Capital — Rabble lets investors get in for as little as $100.

And by tapping people who are not accredited investors — generally people with a net worth of at least $1 million — Rabble gives young companies access to potentially many more investors than they could get otherwise, enabling the funding of projects overlooked by traditional capital.

Generally crowdfunding platforms for investors have focused around two areas: real estate, or tech start-ups offering innovative products or services.

Rabble’s investment focus is positioned somewhere between those two. The company’s investments aim to have the stability of hard assets, while also chasing innovative designs or business models that fall outside traditional investment categories. It’s also focused on social or environmental-conscious initiatives that have the potential to be high return.

“[The] shopping patterns of our target demographic — late 20s to early 40s, savvy, professionals — indicate a strong preference toward locally grown food, boutique clothing and apparel, and customized ways to spend their disposal income,” said founder and CEO Umber Bawa.

“At the same time, [investors] face a contradiction with their investments that do not align with their social values….

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