How Can Common Folks Put money into Startups?

We’ve all heard tales of startup firms making it huge and, in flip, making their traders extraordinarily rich. Investing in an organization on the very starting of its lifecycle can show to be very profitable.

In fact, it looks as if startup investing is reserved for rich enterprise capitalists, not the Common Joe.

Thankfully, startup investing by common traders grew to become simpler in 2012 with the passage of the JOBS Act, which relaxed some federal securities rules and made it simpler for companies to hunt investments via crowdfunding. The Securities Alternate Fee additionally in 2016 voted to undertake guidelines that made crowdfunding extra potential.

The outcome has been a surge in platforms for a typical investor to inject some capital right into a fledgling enterprise and probably make some cash.

The Fundamentals of Investing in Startups

Earlier than you get began investing in early-stage firms, it’s necessary to know that many startups fail and go away traders with nothing. It’s a high-risk, high-reward sort of enterprise.

However, in contrast to different types of investing, startup investing often means you will get your a reimbursement if an organization will not be profitable in elevating ample funds.

It’s value noting that startup investments are usually not tradeable like shares. You must count on to carry onto your funding till the corporate goes public or is acquired.

Whereas relaxed rules have allowed for extra particular person traders to get a monetary share of startups, there are some guidelines to comply with. Because of the dangers concerned, the Securities and Alternate Fee limits how a lot you may put money into any 12-month interval. This limit may very well be as little as $2,200 for folks with low web value and revenue, to $107,000 for wealthier traders.

The platforms listed beneath supply a sampling of the avenues accessible to anybody who desires to put money into a startup with restricted funds. Whereas it’s unlikely that you just’ll grow to be the subsequent Silicon Valley billionaire, these platforms will help diversify your broader funding portfolio and provide the satisfaction of supporting a younger firm you imagine in.


Seedinvest is a crowdfunding platform that permits people to put money into early-stage firms which were pre-screened for potential viability. In line with SeedInvest, lower than 1% of firms that search funding via the platform are accepted.

The corporate claims it has greater than 259,000 customers, with greater than 220 firms efficiently funded.

Once you join an account on SeedInvest, you’re offered with a listing of firms searching for cash. Many firms are open to receiving investments from anybody, however some require giant investments ($20,000 or extra) and are open solely to accredited traders.

You might be supplied with a “pre-money valuation” in addition to the full worth of funds being sought and the quantity already raised. Every firm has its personal minimal funding requirement and a time by which the cash must be raised.

For instance, an ice cream firm in New York Metropolis can have a pre-money valuation of $9 million and have raised $71,250 out of a objective of $2 million, with 29 days remaining.

If you happen to aren’t all in favour of investing in only one startup, you may construct a portfolio of investments via the corporate’s auto-invest function. With auto-invest, there’s a minimal funding of $200 and there’s a 2% processing charge for every funding.

SeedInvest touts the significance of diversification, recommending that you just make investments not in a single startup, however a portfolio of as much as 25 firms.


WeFunder has a acknowledged objective of funding greater than 20,000 startups by the 12 months 2029. It hopes to do that by accepting investments of as little as $100 at a time.

By way of WeFunder, a median investor can inject capital into a variety of firms. Ultimately look, it was accepting investments into dozens of firms together with a minor league soccer membership, an app-based private swim coaching program, a gourmand scorching canine stand, and a maker of craft whiskey.

The platform permits an investor to buy inventory (with dividends or no dividends), convertible notes, or debt. WeFunder has accepted $83.5 million in investments since 2013, supporting 250 firms.

Once you make investments, cash is positioned in an escrow account. If the corporate succeeds in elevating sufficient funds, your funding goes to the startup. In any other case, you get your a reimbursement.


Republic is one other on-line platform that permits particular person traders to buy a stake in early-stage startups. It means that you can get began for as little as $10.

The corporate was based by alumni of AngelList, the favored funding platform for accredited startup traders.

For what it’s value, AngelList performed an enormous position in passing the JOBS Act.

Republic says it selects the businesses you may put money into via a four-step screening analyzing the agency’s founders, product, mission, and proof of progress. It then performs prolonged due diligence earlier than placing an organization up for funding.

Along with providing investments, the Republic platform hosts six totally different funding teams, permitting for dialogue, concepts, and recommendation. Group members are additionally inspired to speculate collectively.


The Microventures platform permits for early-stage and late-stage startup investing for as little as $100.

The corporate has dozens of firms to put money into, starting from a maker of dwell motion cell sports activities video games, a digital advertising and tradeshow firm, and a producer of high-end tequila.

Microventures was based in 2009 for accredited traders and was an early funder of many high firms, together with Twitter. It stays fairly selective concerning the variety of firms accepted for funding.

Like different platforms, Microventures gives info on every funding together with the corporate’s fundraising objective, and the variety of days left within the funding spherical. Normally, a startup will supply particulars on the way it intends to spend the cash it raises. Many firms will even supply traders perks, comparable to free merchandise or invites to unique occasions.