Wefunder Launches communityround.com as Demand for Turning Fans Into Investors Builds

File:Wefunder logo.png - Wikimedia Commons

Late Stage VC-Backed Companies – Replit and Alto – Launch Community Round™ Campaigns

Wefunder, a platform that helps founders raise a Community Round from their most passionate customers and fans alongside venture capitalists, announced today the launch of communityround.com, a place to showcase the venture funded startups that have successfully raised Community Rounds and those that are planning to.

Wefunder is leading the movement to mainstream Community Rounds for any startup that has, or wants, to build a strong community of supporters and evangelists. A Community Round is a funding round where anyone—including customers, users, community members, friends, and family can invest in a company for as little as $100.

Wefunder has played a foundational role in revolutionizing the impact and opportunities in the crowdfunding equity regulation market. Wefunder helped create the industry in 2012 and worked alongside Congress to pass new laws. Wefunder then worked to fundamentally change the startup financing landscape – creating a whole new marketplace for investments accessible to everyone. Starting in May of 2016, thanks to a new law called Regulation Crowdfunding, it became legal for everyone to invest small amounts of money in the startups they believed in. But it took until March 2021 for the laws to be reformed to be workable and attractive to all companies.

“One of the most powerful forces in the world is when someone believes in you and backs it up with a bit of their own money. Wefunder now allows that to happen at scale,” said Nick Tommarello, CEO and Co-Founder of Wefunder. “It’s a mark of prestige when a startup raises a Community Round. It’s hard to build a business that your customers believe in so much that they actually want to invest their hard earned money in the company’s success.”

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These venture-backed companies are raising a Community Round on Wefunder this month:

  • Replit – the easiest place to start coding, build, deploy, and host apps, collaboratively. Replit’s mission is to bring the next billion software creators online and has raised more than $120M in venture capital. Replit launched its Community Round on Wefunder in early April with over $5.7M reserved in less than 24 hrs1.
    • “Without our amazing community, Replit wouldn’t be what it is today,” said Amjad Masad, CEO of Replit. “We know that, and as much as we continue to say that, we have been working hard to find a way to show it. We are excited to work with Wefunder to make sure our community members get an opportunity to take a direct part in our success.”
  • Alto – is a self-directed IRA solution that enables individuals to invest their tax-advantaged retirement funds in alternative assets like startups, real estate, farmland, securitized wine and art, and crypto. Alto has raised $70.3M to date, including a recent Series B, and will be launching its forthcoming Community Round in alignment with its mission to make investing in private offerings accessible to everyone.
    • “Empowering your team and the public to invest is core to what we do at Alto,” said Eric Satz, Founder and CEO of Alto. “Providing access to investments for everyone, your followers, customers, and beyond will benefit any brand, and a Community Round strengthens those bonds.”

Nearly $442M has been raised on Wefunder to date, and more than half of that was in the last year due to the latest round of regulation improvements. There are now more than 1.4M investor accounts on Wefunder who have collectively backed over 1,800 founders, but unlike traditional [accredited] investors, Wefunder investors put in a median investment of $250. Companies are raising a Community Round because of the clear benefits of turning fans into investors.

“When a community of users loves a product so much they want to personally invest in it, that’s great product validation. I support founders offering ownership opportunities to their community,” said Andrew Chen, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz and investor in Replit, who just raised their Community Round.

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