BY Casey hall
After investing in a couple private companies using the Wefunder platform (see last blog post), I wanted to venture out and explore some competitor platforms. Wefunder does have a wide range of private equity companies to invest in, but after narrowing down to those which you might consider “socially impactful”, which is totally subjective and a topic for another day, the options are a bit limited.
Local Stake https://localstake.com/ was built to specifically address supporting local businesses, so all of the investments you would consider on the platform have the community feel to them. The platform offers 4 different investment structures: Revenue Share Loans, Preferred Equity, Convertible Debt, Traditional Loans. I prefer the preferred equity and convertible notes options because I’m less risk-averse and I think longer term. But, to each their own! Similar to Wefunder, Local Stakes vets each company on the platform, provides prospective investors with comprehensive due diligence materials (pitch deck, financials, business plan, etc.), manages the paperwork for the investments terms, and handles the payment processing if you so choose to make the leap and invest. Add to that the legal hoops and SEC compliance that the platform strictly makes the private companies adhere to, and it makes this whole process super efficient for investors like us.
I used Local Stake as a broker to investing in a County Farm located in Ann Arbor, Michigan that aims to be the nation’s first mixed income net zero energy community. It touches on a couple SDGs I’m passionate about, while also putting forward some financial promise (along with plenty of risk as well of course!). What investment opportunities have you seen that support the SDGs that you’re most passionate about?
Another unique aspect of Localstake, are the opportunities the investment give you to get directly involved. Some of the companies will invite you to ribbon-cutting ceremonies, happy hours, pre-sale opportunities, etc. The Wefunder platform provides strong opportunity for you to communicate with the investment owners as well, but it is more of a virtual approach. I will be keeping my eye out for specific opportunities @ Local Stake within the Philadelphia City Limits!
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Casey is the Treasurer and VP of Finance for the Net Impact Philadelphia Professional chapter