Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.
For this week’s deep dive, the Equity team brought on Gumroad CEO Sahil Lavingia and Hustle Fund General Partner Elizabeth Yin to talk about equity crowdfunding. It’s been about a week since the SEC increased the equity crowdfunding cap from $1.07 million to $5 million, creating the perfect opportunity to go beyond the dollar amount and understand how the change impacts founders, venture capitalists, retail investors, and future fund managers.
Here’s a brief rundown of the show:
- We talk about the basics of this new SEC regulation, and understand which platforms might be leading the pack for these bootstrapped campaigns. Indiegogo’s founder wrote an op-ed grading the new regulations on the site.
- Some banter on Gumroad’s 12-hour campaign that led to a successfully crowdsourced $5 million for the company. Lavingia talks about his decision to crowdfund a round in his company, why it made sense for the company, and what it will take to make this raise mainstream.
- Of course, Yin shared a ton of helpful nuggets around crowdfunding, providing a venture capital perspective that was still bullish on growing the amount of check-writers in the ecosystem. Some recent equity crowdfunding campaigns have shown that there are thousands of individuals willing to fund the enterprises they want to see succeed. Juked.gg is one such example.
- There are also notes on the Testing the Waters dynamic that could usher some wiggle room to early-stage founders thinking about this.
- Will equity crowdfunding supplant venture capital, or will it merely augment it? Our discussion leads us to ponder both possibilities. What seems clear is that equity crowdfunding could widen the band of companies that are “backable,” if not the band of companies that traditional venture capital players find enticing.
- And we end with a whole bunch of meta debates, from the role of the platform in vetting campaigns. As with every innovation, including crowdfunding itself, there will be fraud and failure. But if there will be enough bad news to limit consumer interest is far from certain.
This is one of those nerdy topics that gets us really excited about the future of dollar allocation and startup creation. We hope you love the show and leave with a better understanding of what’s ahead.