By JD Alois
November 2, 2016
Wefunder, the leader to date in the Reg CF crowdfunding market, has become a Public Benefit Corporation (PBC).
A Public Benefit Corporation is a corporate entity that has a legal obligation to benefit society. A PBC still embraces profit and growth but a PBC does not focus soley on maximizing shareholder value to the detriment of purpose. Not too long ago Kickstarter, the largest US rewards based crowdfunding platform, announced that it had become a PBC. Wefunder has updated its charter to reflect its objective to “Defend the American Dream”. Wefunder will accomplish this goal by growing wealth and decreasing economic disparity by providing access to capital alongside access to investment opportunity. Wefunder’s core beliefs, as outlined in their charter, include:
I. More startups and small businesses increase the wealth of America.
Young, hungry, and scrappy companies do more, faster.
II. The people are wiser than banks or venture capitalists.
The “wisdom of the crowd” allocates capital better than elite gatekeepers.
III. Everyone deserves the right to invest in what they believe in.
The middle class must rise up and break the monopoly of the wealthy.
IV. Investing in dreams – win or lose – benefits us all.
Changing the world is hard; most startups die. But by funding more founders who strive valiantly to take their shot, we enrich our society and boost our talent, even if they fail.
Wefunder co-founder and CEO Nick Tommarello outlined his philosophy in changing his company’s corporate structure. Tommarello embraced capitalism as the best way to “create more wealth, faster, raising all of our living standards”. Tomarrello pointed to the fact that extreme poverty declined from 94% in 1820 to 9.6% in 2015 due to capitalism. Yet he is of the firm belief that capitalism must be guided by values that create opportunity for all. That unfettered capitalism may self-destruct. Additionally, overly burdensome regulation stifles the freedom of potential entrepreneurs.
“Wefunder is becoming a PBC to fight on the side of increased opportunity, for everyone, over generations. Our goal is for Wefunder to fight the good fight?—?as proscribed in our charter?—?long after the founding team has died;” said Tomarrello. “We will never become a soulless finance company focused on moving little green pieces of paper around; we focus on creating real wealth for our entire country by building relationships between founders and investors.”
The over 200 Wefunder shareholders have signed the updated Charter showing broadbased support for the change to a PBC. Wefunder will seek to balance investor protection while providing an effecient and effective ecosystem to fund early stage companies.
“The American Dream is an ideal our country has always strived to reach: that anyone?—?no matter how low they start?—?can rise as high as their talents allow, with hard work. No barriers. Just opportunity,” stated Tommarello.
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