Two Equity Crowdfunding Deals Reviewed

The first week of equity crowdfunding in the U.S. has brought a number of good-looking deals.

Today, I’m going to review two of my favorites so far.

But before we dig into these startups, I’d like to share a great piece of news. AngelList is dipping its toe into equity crowdfunding. The company, which is currently a leading portal for accredited investors, has announced a partnership with Republic.co to offer all investors the chance to invest in some deals.

Here’s AngelList co-founder Naval Ravikant, as quoted in The Wall Street Journal: “We… are going to create a seamless experience for companies that raise [money] on AngelList and then want to add a piece for the crowd after.”

This is very good news. AngelList has arguably the best track record of any startup investment portal (Uber was one of the first companies to list there). Now some of the same companies raising money there will also be open for investment to everybody.

Republic has applied with the SEC to become a Regulation Crowdfunding portal. I’ll let you know when it launches.

Now let’s take a look at some live equity crowdfunding deals.

Beta Bionics
Tagline: Building a bionic pancreas to improve the lives of people with Type 1 diabetes
Listed on: Wefunder.com
Industry: Medical Devices, Internet of Things
Terms: $100 priced common stock
Minimum investment: $100

Beta Bionics makes a smart insulin pump for Type 1 diabetics. It measures blood sugar and releases insulin as needed. It also releases glucagon (an “antidote” to insulin) to raise blood sugar as needed.

What makes the product unique is that it is designed to learn about its user over time, improving glucose management.

Pharma giant Eli Lilly recently invested $5 million in the company. Beta Bionics CEO Ed Damiano estimates the company will need $35 million total to go to market, and he expects to deliver a product sometime in 2018.

Note: Beta Bionics is a “public benefit corporation.” This doesn’t mean it’s a nonprofit. It simply means the company is primarily driven by a socially positive mission. It can be viewed as a cosmetic classification. More details on that aspect here. More coverage in Time here.

MF Fire
Tagline: An app-driven, ultra-clean wood stove, engineered for the perfect burn
Listed on: SeedInvest.com
Industry: Heating
Terms: $7 million capped convertible note
Minimum investment: $500
When I interviewed MF Fire’s CEO last month, I promised to let you know if the company moved forward with an equity crowdfunding round. I’m happy to report that it did. In fact, MF Fire was one of the very first to go live on May 16.

Just a few days in, it’s raised more than $29,000.

I like this product. And I consider myself to be part of the target market. The Catalyst is a clean-burning wood stove with an app that controls it. It’s a good-looking stove with wraparound glass. Read my full interview with CEO Paul LaPorte for more details on the product.

The company has been cash-efficient to this point, relying mostly on clean energy grants to operate and build prototypes. That’s nondilutive capital, which is great for a young company.

If you want to learn more about MF Fire, I recommend the Q&A section on SeedInvest. Also be sure to check out the financial disclosures and risks sections.

MF Fire’s Catalyst stove just opened for pre-orders. If you’re in the market for one, take a look here.

Have a great weekend. More deal reviews to come next week.

Adam Sharp

Founder, Early Investing

Important Note: Do your own research. These are illiquid, early-stage investments. We don’t take money from any of the companies we write about or the startup portals. Our research is independent.