Raising money in public

by Josh Pigford

Over the past 15 years I've been building companies, I've given hundreds upon hundreds of pitches. I've been in lots of boardrooms, had lots of awkward video calls, sent thousands of emails. All while asking a very humbling question: can you give me money?

In those 15 years, a lot has changed about fundraising. It's slowly been transitioning to be more founder-friendly both with deal terms but also in the sheer number of folks who want to invest in companies. Then, with the approval of Regulation CF here in the US, it's now possible for even more people to invest in companies as you don't have to be accredited.

With the last company I started, I had two investors. They were fantastic, but there were also so many smaller investors who were interested but weren't able to get in.

So, this got me thinking: can I raise money for Maybe without pitching? And can I raise money from 200 or 2000 people instead of just 2?

And that's what I'm aiming to do.

I'm raising $1m for Maybe and anyone can be a part of that. I'll be doing it using two methods/rounds: 506(c) and Reg CF.

506(c) via AngelList RUV

Today, you can invest in Maybe via a 506(c) through AngelList RUV.

There are a couple of caveats to being able to use this method.

  1. You must be an accredited investor. You don't have to be in the US, but you do have to meet US-accredidation rules.
  2. There's a minimum $1,000 investment.

We're using this method first as the fees associated with an RUV are substantially cheaper.

Reg CF crowdfunding campaign

We're running the 506(c) campaign through the end of May. After that, there will be a roughly 3-4 week delay and we'll then kick off a Reg CF crowdfunding campaign through either Republic.co or Wefunder.

This round allows essentially anyone to be involved for as little as $100!

The big downside with this are fees. They're generally 6-8% of the total raise. So, if we raised $1m through this, we'd spend $60,000-80,000 in fees (versus the flat $8,000 fee for the AngelList RUV).

So, purely from a fees perspective, we'd like to raise as much through the RUV as possible.

Why do this in public?

From the beginning of having this idea at all, I've wanted to build the company in public. It's how I ran my previous company and it's sort of the only way I know to do things.

If the financial world is known for anything, it's for being opaque. It's lack of transparency that drives the industry forward. Leaving people in the dark makes it easier to sell them products they don't know and charge them fees they won't notice for years.

I'm determined to not do that with Maybe. You deserve to be in control of your finances.

You deserve to know what your money is doing, why it's doing it and how to change it. You deserve to have access to your money and be equipped with the tools to live the life you want now and not decades down the road.

With Maybe, we're committed to building modern financial planning and wealth management tools that cut out the middleman and give you complete and absolute control around your finances.

This is about democratizing and normalizing fundraising so it's no longer about exclusivity and closed-door deals for the lucky few, but something anyone can play a role in at any price point.

If you'd like to be a part of that, we'd love to have you!

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