Arbit took to crowdfunding to seek out investors

The social polling startup is turning to equity crowdfunding to raise money. It's among the early companies using the new investment tool.

Alex Bullington pitches Arbit to investors.

(Photo by Stephen Babcock)

The founders of Arbit¬†are looking to take advantage of a relatively new form of startup fundraising that’s designed to open up investing in early-stage companies to more people.
The Baltimore-based social polling company is seeking to raise a maximum of $425,000 through equity crowdfunding, a funding instrument that was first officially made available last year with regulations under Title III of the federal JOBS Act taking effect. With the changes, nonaccredited (read: non-millionaire) investors can now participate in equity rounds for companies.
Arbit is one of the first Baltimore companies we’ve seen take the approach. Cofounder Alex Bullington said that in addition to the funding, the exposure will also help the company. In that sense, it’s not that different from other types of crowdfunding campaigns. In this case, however, those who put down money own a piece of the company.
Investors can find Arbit on First Democracy VC, a crowdfunding platform from Microventures and Indiegogo. The startup went through a due diligence process to be listed on the site. Now, investors who want to fund the company can do so with as little as $100. Just like any equity investment, the investors would be paid out in a liquidity event. Investments can be as little as $100.
It’s a next step in fundraising for the startup. Arbit’s app allows side-by-side photo photo comparisons of two items. Users can vote on which they like better. The startup received backing from professional basketball players including Steve Blake, Anthony Tolliver, Caron Butler and Ty Lawson. Earlier this year, Arbit participated in AccelerateBaltimore earlier this year. Recently, they received a $100,000 investment from the TEDCO Seed Investment Fund.
Recently, the company identified a revenue model that involves using the technology beyond its own app.
“This gives us a lot of breathing room, should we hit our target, to be able to scale our revenue model,” Bullington said.


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