Ingress will hope to ride a number of key distinguishing features to early success. The pivotal USP for the platform is the advertising expertise that they offer to companies. Unusually, Ingress takes full responsibility for pitching the campaigns of fundraisers to its investors. This includes creating a video, handling photography duties and in general shouldering the burden of crafting the written campaign. They’ll of course due diligence every prospective fundraiser before listing them on the platform.
Ingress is targeting Series A investment opportunities and so focusing on companies that are looking to raise $1-$10 million in funding.
The platform gives investors direct access to company founders and CEOs and “immersive multimedia views into their companies”. For every live deal on the platform, Ingress showcases a list of the currently participating private investors and institutions. This is a potentially powerful feature – as individual investors might be more prone to invest in a project if, for example, a prominent VC is already involved.
Ingress claims that their platform is able to connect investors with an exclusive group of high growth companies. They have an investment committee that evaluates companies for inclusion on the site. This monitoring process is critical as Ingress takes the high-risk strategy of having some skin-in-the-game with every fundraise that they list. The platform is investing “tens of thousands of dollars in each of them, which is something that very few other platforms are willing to do”.
They are launching with 3 companies: Forsake, Brideside and Pijon – but plan to add to these in the coming weeks. Currently it is free for companies to raise funding on the platform but once Ingress are licensed as a broker-dealer they will charge a 7% success fee for funds raised. It could take up to 9 months for the platform to acquire licensed. In the mean time, fundraisers will pay the 7% fee to partner company WealthForge LLC – an independently operated and registered broker-dealer and a member of FINRA/SIPC.
For now, in keeping with the US regulatory status quo, the investment opportunities displayed on Ingress will be made available only to high net worth individuals and institutional investors.