*Jibril Sulaiman, an Atlanta-based African American techpreneur and web developer, has created Spendwith – the first ever shopping app for smartphones that aims to increase commerce within specific cultures and demographics. Using GPS and tagging technology, the app makes it easy for Black consumers to find and support Black-owned businesses.
But it’s not just for Black people! For example, Latino consumers can also find and support Latino-owned business – and so forth for Asian American-owned, Women-owned, LGBT-owned, Veteran-owned, Muslim-owned and Jewish-owned businesses.
Although the app is already available for download on iTunes, Jibril Sulaiman and his company are looking to be funded to take the app to the next level.
$20,000 plus in investments already secured
Spendwith is currently on day 9 of its 90 campaign to reach it’s goal of $500K through 2,500 investments. Their campaign has currently raised $2,700 from 11 investors with another $20k committed to the round. (According to statistics, as a Black founder, Sulaiman would only have a 1% chance of raising a sizable funding round through traditional means.)
After reaching the $500k investment goal, the money will be used towards increasing the app’s user base, working capital, future development and activating the app’s revenue model. The minimum investment amount starts at $101.01 and the maximum amount is determined by the individual’s personal income level, per the rules set by the SEC. Please review this link for SEC rules on investment limits.
Also, to learn more about investing in Spendwith, please visit their Startengine.com campaign page at www.startengine.com/startup/
Funding a Black-owned tech company through equity crowdfunding
Spendwith is the latest startup to take advantage of the 2012, Title III, provision of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act that legalizes Equity Crowdfunding. Because the Title III provision didn’t take effect until May 2016, very few companies have taken advantage of the new law and the chance to accept small investments from people other than the wealthy. Spendwith applied and was awarded approval by Startengine.com to conduct, an equity based (Reg CF), crowdfunding round, to raise money for its app.
Equity Crowdfunding is slightly different than the more common “perks based” crowdfunding, offered by popular platforms like Kickstarter or Indiegogo. Equity crowdfunding gives the general public the ability to buy shares, early in the life of a new company. “What if the general public and not just the ultra wealthy had the ability to invest in Facebook in 2005? There would have been thousands of a very happy walking around today,” said Sulaiman.
“In no way am I saying that Spendwith will be the next Facebook and in no way can I promise that we will even be successful.
But with experienced founders at the helm of and of a unique startup, and by using the new law, we give regular working people the chance to make an educated choice on whether or not they’d want to invest in our company early on,” continued Sulaiman.
“People want to feel good about targeting their spending to help businesses in their community. This is evident by the popular Buy Black movement,” said Jibril Sulaiman.
“But I’ve personally witnessed similar movements in other communities, consequently, the co-founders and I wanted to scale the app in a way that provided the largest impact. Therefore, we created a multi-culture solution and one of a kind business model.”
To learn more about the Spendwith app, visit www.spendwith.in