Year in review 2021: A Letter from our Founder
As a founder of a company, I always feel that last year’s accomplishments felt good but this year seems impossibly difficult to achieve. I do not know why. Maybe it is because running a fast-growing company requires vision and hard work. 2021 was one of those years. We finished the year with a big bang, and we are looking at 2022 as trying to climb the Yosemite North face.
We are the only equity crowdfunding company that releases its yearly revenues and now quarterly. In 2021, we achieved $28,841,227 in revenue (unaudited) compared to $12,574,218 in 2020. This is a staggering growth of 129%. Our gross margins improved from 73% to 81%. We had a loss of $991,073 (unaudited) compared to a loss of $2,584,360 in 2020.
How did we achieve this?
We have a formidable team of 100+ people who work tirelessly to help entrepreneurs raise capital, and help investors gain access to investment opportunities. I think the people were the most important factor.
We are proud to say that a great many of our entrepreneurs were either minorities or women. This is in itself a great achievement. I have said many times that when you remove the barrier to accessing capital, unappreciated minorities and women will come.
We raised $252,353,971 in capital for companies listed on our platform in 2021.
This is enormous growth compared to $142,305,018 in 2020. Unlike our competitors, we do not add any capital invested in these companies from VCs or third parties of our platform. If we did, the numbers would go through the roof, but frankly, it is hot air and we prefer to keep our feet on the ground.
We introduced StartEngine Collectibles
…and sold out five wine offerings and a Marylin Monroe lithograph by Andy Warhol. We are launching new collectibles every week, and we hope to offer them on our Secondary trading platform after we get all the right paperwork in place. We believe that investments in collectibles are a new asset class that should be offered to main street investors. In the past, it has been mostly reserved for the very few and we all know why.
We introduced the StartEngine REIT,
which is a real estate fund to allow our investor community access to one of the most popular investment classes. SE REIT has the potential to appreciate in value while providing regular income. This asset class has a long-term investment profile when sold as private partnerships. However, with our fund, it will also be available on StartEngine Secondary sometime in the future without any guarantee of liquidity, but at least better than waiting 5 to 7 years, which is typical in these kinds of investments.
In 2021 we were fortunate to get the approval to create our own financial system and offer StartEngine accounts to our investment community. What does this mean? This is big because when we release it this year, our investors will have one account hosted at StartEngine that will carry the cash and securities all in one place. Think how Charles Schwab and E*trade operate. This is a real upgrade and gives us the ability to improve the speed of transactions and reduce our costs. Amazing.
We launched our fourth OWN campaign that raised over $29M from our investor community.
This was the largest raise on StartEngine regardless of companies and our largest offering ever. The enthusiasm was amazing.
Our relationship with Kevin O’Leary (Mr. Wonderful) has been extended for 3 additional years, thus cementing our commitment to growing our investor community with his frank and easy-to-digest investment commentary as well as giving us a voice of reason and leadership in the equity crowdfunding marketplace.
We ended 2021 being the #1 platform in the United States in money raised and revenue.
How do we know this? Look at KingsCrowd, the independent rating platform that scrapes all the platforms including us. I am so proud of this achievement.
As you may know, we do not offer projections on how our business will perform in 2022 and beyond, but I can say this: 2021 was a great year and I can’t wait to get 2022 started and hit the ground running.
*These results are based on unaudited financial statements and may be subject to change.
We cannot say thank you enough to investors using our platform, as well as those who are invested in StartEngine. We’re not done yet! There are very exciting things to come.