Equity crowdfunding is hitting its stride in the U.S.
In the last week alone, more than $632,000 flowed into “Regulation Crowdfunding” deals.
(As a reminder, these “Reg CF” offerings are the smaller tier of deals, where companies can each raise up to $1 million per year.)
Of that total, $440,000 was invested on Wefunder.com.
So today we’re going to put a spotlight on three of its impressive new deals.
Let’s get started.
No. 1: Magic Instruments
Magic Instruments (MI) is building a new class of guitar. One that’s so easy to learn, the company says you can be strumming along in the time it takes to listen to a single song.
Features of the MI Guitar include:
- Real metal strings
- Beginner and advanced modes
- Companion app that teaches music theory
- Catalog of popular songs.
The first is Highway 1, a program designed exclusively for hardware startups. This accelerator specializes in helping startups manufacture complex products overseas.
The second is Y Combinator, arguably the most prestigious accelerator program in the world. MI graduated from YC’s winter 2016 class.
MI has also secured an investment from one of my favorite musicians, Matthew Bellamy, lead singer of rock band Muse. Here’s what Mr. Bellamy has to say about the MI Guitar:
For people who don’t have the time to learn the guitar, Magic Instruments is the ultimate shortcut – you’ll be strumming your favorite songs in minutes. For singers and non-guitar-playing musicians, it’s also a great tool for songwriting.”
I was able to speak with two people who have used the MI Guitar, and they both raved about it.
MI pre-sold 1,200 guitars on Indiegogo for a total of $416,000. The startup has raised approximately $1.9 million to date, including investments from founders. The valuation for this round of funding is capped at $12 million.
Learn more about the Magic Instruments opportunity on its Wefunder page.
No. 2: EVELO
Did you know electric bikes were a $15 billion market (worldwide) in 2015? In Europe alone, an estimated 1 million e-bikes were sold last year. So it’s already a sizable industry outside the U.S.
And with more U.S. cities adding bike lanes, the opportunity here is picking up steam.
EVELO seems well-positioned to take advantage of these trends. Its line of electric bikes lets users power up hills with “pedal assist,” or simply use the throttle and take a break.
The company has established itself as one of the up-and-coming e-bike producers here in the States, and now it’s looking to expand internationally. First into Canada, and then Europe.
Here’s a picture of one of its models.
- $6.5 million in revenue to date
- $1 million in Q2 2016
- 65% average annual growth
- Up to 60-mile range
- Direct-to-consumer model cuts out the middleman
- Free delivery and 10-day home trial.
EVELO also sells the Omni, an electric wheel you can use to turn any bike into an e-bike. It starts at $999 and is a unique way to make the transition from analog to digital biking smoother.
EVELO is raising up to $1 million at a $7.5 million valuation.
Learn more about the opportunity on EVELO’s fundraising page on Wefunder.
No. 3: Tradeshow
If you haven’t noticed, fan conventions like “Comic Con” have become a huge industry.
Last year, more than 160,000 fans showed up for New York Comic Con. If you aren’t familiar with Comic Con, it’s a festival and conference for fans of comic books, sci-fi and related media of all kinds.
It’s heaven for geeks.
New York Comic Con is one of the largest, but these types of events are taking off all around the world. There’s one in Japan called Comiket that had attendance of 590,000 in 2013. Gamescom in Germany had 345,000 attendees in 2015.
The list goes on and on (see the top 25 “Geek Culture” events here).
Tradeshow aims to bring this experience online. It will allow fans and vendors to participate in these events in several ways:
- Live video of panel discussions, product launches, etc.
- Private video meetings with celebrities
- Virtual “booths” for exhibitors
- The opportunity to purchase autographed items from celebrities and video chat with them while they sign your merchandise.
Tradeshow seems to have business development well under control. They’ve already signed agreements to put on 64 digital tradeshows in 2017.
Among the partners they’ll be working with is Stan Lee. Here’s a quote from the legendary Marvel comic man:
- Fans give comics their true power. A fan-owned company bringing comics and shows to everyone in the world is truly something we should all be excited about.
That’s why I’m excited to be working with the fantastic people from Boxes and Tradeshow to create the world’s first virtual comic book convention, Amaze Con! It’s going to be a spectacular experience for all the fans and collectors around the world.
Tradeshow will make entertainment history, and I believe it’s the future of the convention scene.
Tradeshow is raising up to $1 million on Wefunder. It previously raised $1.4 million from accredited investors and is now opening up a round for the crowd. The startup’s valuation for this round is capped at $12 million.
Learn more about Tradeshow’s investment offering here.
Like I said, equity crowdfunding is hitting its stride. I continue to believe that this is the future of capital raising for startups and small businesses.
I’m pleased by the consistently high-quality deals we’re seeing.
And this is just the beginning.
Have a great weekend everyone.