Led by JAXAngels, with participation from Johnson Venture Partners, SeedFundersOrlando, and Seedfunders, Orlando startup Miventure has closed a $256,000 seed round to accelerate the development of its small business crowdlending mobile app.
“We’re excited to partner with prestigious venture firms in the Southeast who believe in the power of crowdfunding to create economic opportunities and strengthen local communities,” says Jason Crystal, CEO and Cofounder of Miventure. “This funding will enable us reach more retail brick and mortar stores that don’t yet know investment crowdfunding can be a great option for them to grow their businesses.”
Using the Miventure mobile app, small businesses raise capital by accepting microloans from friends, customers, and investors nationwide with investments as little as $100.
Unlike other crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and StartEngine, that offer rewards and equity, Miventure campaign’s offer debt-securities in the form of term notes. With Miventure, investors can lend as little as $100 to a business and receive monthly returns of the principal plus interest, should the business succeed.
“The Miventure platform can be a lifeline for many small businesses that don’t qualify for a loan from bank,” says Tyler Brown, Partner, JAXAngels. “By putting decision making about creditworthiness in the hands of a diverse investor community armed with the proper data to make an informed decision, more businesses will have the opportunity to flourish.”
Dennis R. Pape, CEO, SeedFundersOrlando, added: “Most crowdfunding platforms are primarily equity, so investors who have short time horizons can’t participate. With Miventure, unaccredited investors have the chance to access local investment opportunities and benefit from their success, and that’s exciting!”
Finally, Matt Johnson, Managing Partner, Johnson Venture Partners, said: “Millennials care most about the social impact of their investments. That trend coupled with historically low interest rates puts Miventure at the intersection of some really important macrotrends.”
Miventure is the brainchild of two friends from New York City. There, Jason Crystal was working as a business consultant helping companies scale their operations. His partner, Luiggi Pera, worked in banking compliance for JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley, giving him insight on how to design the platform and surmount the regulatory hurdles relevant to this type of marketplace.
The two moved their families to Florida in April as they continued building Miventure and, in October, Miventure, Inc. succeeded in becoming a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), a government-authorized organization that regulates funding portals.
The company launched publicly on December 17 and campaigns are actively accepting investments on IOS and Android mobile devices.