CircleUp connects investors with consumer-facing startups, mostly in the technology, fitness, and food and beverage sectors.Through CircleUp’s DealFlow feature, platform-registered investors can see which companies are actively raising funds, view complete investment prospectuses, and even request product samples, if offered. An investment isn’t final until the company hits its investment target, which is usually in the six- or low seven-figure range.
AngelList is one of the oldest and most established equity crowdfunding platforms. It was originally conceived to broker connections between cash-strapped technology entrepreneurs and angel investors – high-net-worth, tech-savvy funders, many of whom earned their fortunes by selling out of their own successful startups.
Fundable offers rewards-based crowdfunding, a la Kickstarter, as well as equity crowdfunding. For companies interested in equity crowdfunding, Fundable provides hands-on help with onsite profile building, pitch construction, and even business plan development. Now operating under the aegis of TheStartups.co, whose portfolio businesses include virtual assistant platform Zirtual, its wheelhouse is software, hardware, and consumer products startups.
Though it doesn’t formally restrict admission, Crowdfunder‘s listed companies and funds skew heavily toward innovative consumer products, consumables, and social/nontraditional niches (such as green energy startups and African real estate funds).
EquityNet bills itself as the “original equity crowdfunding site” and claims to hold the only patent for the concept. Its listed entity mix is similar to Crowdfunder, with emphasis on consumer products and social enterprises. EquityNet also appears to attract single-asset projects, such as assisted-living facilities and medical clinics, as opposed to product-based startups or multi-asset funds.
Wefunder‘s co-founders were heavily involved in the debate over the JOBS Act and claim some credit for the crowdfunding-friendly measures that made it into the final legislation. Listed offerings range from funds invested in 10 to 15 early-stage companies to individual startups in the biotech, green energy, insurance, logistics, retail, and packaged food segments.
Localstake connects investors with revenue-generating small businesses. Listed companies tend to be involved in consumer-facing enterprises, such as brewing, food production, and apparel manufacturing. Minimum investment thresholds typically range from $250 to $500.
SeedInvest is a more buttoned-up platform that specializes in “highly vetted investment opportunities.” The platform claims to accept just 1% of applicant companies. Though its company profiles are mostly invisible to the general public, registered investors have access to a wealth of descriptive and financial detail about each listed entity, plus direct access to founders or executives.
EarlyShares is dedicated exclusively to commercial real estate crowdfunding opportunities, including multi-asset funds and discrete properties. Due to the high value of the assets involved, most opportunities require minimum investments of anywhere from $5,000 to $25,000.
PeerRealty also focuses exclusively on real estate, mostly commercial and multi-family residential. Most opportunities are specific projects, such as already-completed apartment buildings and planned or under-construction office buildings. Multi-property portfolios are available as well. Note that investing in planned or under-construction projects may present additional risks.