Ignite formed as a Delaware C-Corporation in March 2020 and has the goal of advancing “Tech for Good” companies that address United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – “to end extreme poverty, reduce inequality, and protect the planet by 2030”. Tech for Good companies are based on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) such as software, complex systems, environmental and life sciences.
Ignite will leverage its due diligence framework — inspired by the Impact Management Project and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) Operating Principles for Impact Management — to select issuers with the potential to address at least one of the UN SDGs. Ignite issuers will be expected to maximize the financial and social impact of each investment.
Ignite issuers and investors will soon be able to take advantage of US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) changes to crowdfunding rules, which were adopted in November 2020. New SEC rules will allow issuers to raise up to $5 million, instead of $1.07 million, through Title III offerings. Moreover, new rules get around prior challenges issuers faced when they had to raise a significant amount of capital. Issuers will be able to use Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) to avoid fragmenting their capitalization tables and, thereby, deterring future investors. Accredited investors, who could only invest up to $107,000 annually, will no longer have investment limits. Ignite issuers will also be able to “test the waters” before issuing an offering, so that they may gauge investor interest before committing resources to a raise.
Rosemarie Truman, Co-Founder and CEO of Ignite, said, “400,000 startups are created every year. About 60,000 of them are tech companies. ~90% of them die within the first year, chiefly because they run out of money. My co-founders — Dr. Jerome Di Giovanni and Dr. Cody Locke — and I created Ignite to help Tech for Good companies get the capital that they need to survive and, in parallel, to enable anyone — wealthy or not — to invest in solutions that they believe will make our world better. We seek to democratize impact investing.”
Stephanie Benedetto, Co-Founder and CEO of Queen of Raw, added, “Queen of Raw received funding from impact investors for its software and marketplace that turn the world’s pollution into profit. We know firsthand the impact this can have. I’m thrilled to see Ignite, the first crowd equity platform for impact investing, get approved and come to market. Bringing together a powerful network of investors with significant capital means the world’s most game-changing organizations can flourish, building new business models that support people, planet, and profit.”
Investing on Ignite is free for investors. Issuers pay 7% of what is raised on the portal as a success fee.
To apply to become an issuer and raise crowdfunding through Ignite, US-based companies should submit the form at https://www.ignitesocialimpact.com/engage-request/.
Investors — accredited and non-accredited — may sign up to invest through Ignite by submitting their information at https://invest.ignitesocialimpact.com/.
Ignite Social Impact (“Ignite”) is a crowd equity funding portal for US-based technology companies with impact. Ignite was founded by a team of passionate entrepreneurs and scientists to showcase a wealth of innovative companies addressing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and to enable anyone to make a positive impact by investing as little as $100 in those companies. To learn more, visit https://www.ignitesocialimpact.com/, and follow Ignite on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.