The general idea
Hello. My name’s Jonny and I lead the fundraising team at Wefunder.
We’re a startup (and a Public Benefit Corporation) on a mission to let anyone invest in startups they love, not just rich people. You can read our charter here.
I don’t know if this is apocryphal, but I heard that when Uber IPO’d, Jason Calacanis made a 5,000X return on his $25,000 seed round investment. I’m not very good at math(s), but I make that a return of $12.5 million!!!
(Just kidding. It’s $125 million).
I think it would have been cool if that $25,000 had been spread around 125 drivers investing $200 each. And so that IPO had created 125 new millionaires.
This is a strange example to lead with. Our tagline at Wefunder is not “invest in startups to make tons of money and become a millionaire”. It’s “invest in startups you love”.
Invest in a founder you believe in. A cause you care about. A product you couldn’t imagine life without. The coffee shop down the street from you.
But we hope that allowing everyone to invest in the next Airbnb’s seed round — not just “accredited investors” — might also be a powerful force for more equitable wealth creation.
And from the perspective of the startup, the idea is that — if you can recruit an army of thousands of your most passionate customers as investors and owners — that’s a powerful way to delight your customers, and strengthen your community.
In a few years’ time, we imagine a world where every (especially B2C) startup is opening up a small allocation of every round — from F&F to IPO — to let their community invest, alongside VCs (if they’re intent on going the venture route).
Vive la Community Round!