New funding opportunity has potential to supercharge black-owned startups

A startup with a platform targeted to millennial apartment renters, WhoseYourLandlord, recently launched an equity crowdfunding campaign on SeedInvest.

WhoseYourLandlord is one of several black-owned companies currently running equity crowdfunding campaigns on platforms like SeedInvest and Republic. Equity crowdfunding allows anyone to invest as little as $50 in early-stage companies; a privilege previously reserved for wealthy “accredited investors.” This presents an opportunity for black, brown, and female founders to activate their networks to not only buy their products but also invest in their companies.

In 2012, President Obama signed the JOBS Act into law. This legislation allows companies to be funded through online platforms by non-accredited investors.

Black Enterprise interviewed WhoseYourLandlord CEO Ofo Ezeugwu about his startup’s crowdfunding campaign.

 

Brandon Andrews: WhoseYourLandlord empowers renters. Tell us about the business.

Ofo Ezeugwu: WhoseYourLandlord (WYL) is a platform built to empower and inform millennial renters through neighborhood insights, landlord reviews, community-driven content, and access to quality listings. We have over a quarter million users and 10,000 landlord reviews, mostly in the Northeast.

 

(Image: Ofo Ezeugwu, CEO, WhoseYourLandlord)

Why is equity crowdfunding the right funding opportunity for your business?

It’s a way to connect with the people. We’re a platform predicated on neighborhood and community among renters and, more specifically, millennial renters. By allowing them to invest in a company focused on bettering their lived experiences, they are literally taking ownership of their futures. This is a win-win for us. Raise capital and raise the brand’s profile.

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