General StartEngine Stories

StartEngine Is the 10th Fastest-Growing Private Company in California!

February 19, 2020 4 min read


StartEngine Is the 10th Fastest-Growing Private Company in California!

I am thrilled to announce that StartEngine has been ranked #10 in the 2020 Inc. 5000 Series list of the fastest-growing private companies in California!

This list provides a look into one of the most potent startup ecosystems in the world and shows just how diverse small businesses in California are. I am proud to be included among so many other great companies, and it’s an honor to receive this recognition for all the hard work my team has done over the past few years.

Our Mission

Our company mission is to help entrepreneurs achieve their dreams. To accomplish that mission we’ve built a platform that upsets the existing fundraising model and gives control back to the entrepreneurs. But when I first founded StartEngine as a tech accelerator back in 2011, I did not know it would lead here.

For context, after co-founding Activision in the early 90s and guiding the company to become the $37B market cap video game leader, I founded another video game company called Acclaim Games, which I led to an acquisition by The Walt Disney Company. After founding those two businesses, I decided I wanted to try my hand at the other side of the startup ecosystem.

I wanted to invest in 60 companies and help other entrepreneurs develop their ideas. But after I invested in them, I witnessed just how hard it was for them to raise additional capital.

The venture capital model is broken. Less than half of seed-funded companies go on to raise a Series A funding round. 2.2% of VC dollars go to female founders. Biases are rampant, and often the only thing determining whether a business can succeed is the founder’s ability to meet and sell VCs on their business.

Equity crowdfunding is a great equalizer. Through the JOBS Act, any US business can now turn to the crowd for funding on their terms. It doesn’t matter if the business is not in San Francisco where VC meetings are more accessible. It doesn’t matter what the founder’s race or gender is. Any entrepreneur can make their pitch, and the crowd can decide whether it is a good investment opportunity or not.

StartEngine is built upon that ethos.

Our Progress

An early version of the StartEngine website, circa summer 2014

We launched the first ever Regulation A+ offering in 2015. Then in 2016, we launched 10 more offerings. In 2017, over a hundred.

Today, we have helped more than 300 companies raise capital from our community of 225,000+ users. In total, those companies have raised $125M+. In 2019, we also established a broker-dealer subsidiary, StartEngine Primary LLC. All this we’ve done with a team of just 23 employees.

We are also true to our beliefs: we’ve never accepted venture capital. When I founded StartEngine with my business partner Ron Miller, we both invested our own money to start the platform. Since then, we do exactly what we tell other companies to do: raise capital from the crowd.

To date, we’ve raised over $10M via equity crowdfunding and have over 7,000 investors on our cap table.

Our Future

I believe that StartEngine will transform the way businesses grow and that the investment opportunities on StartEngine will become a part of the modern investor’s portfolio. We’ve come a long way since we started, and our inclusion in Inc.’s ranking at #10 highlights that progress. However, I see a much bigger future for StartEngine.

Our goal as a platform is to raise $10B by 2029. Not only do we want to help thousands of entrepreneurs achieve their dreams, but we also want to provide liquidity to investors.

We are hard at work to get regulatory approval to launch an investor trading marketplace where everyday people can invest in startups and then later trade those investments, all without leaving StartEngine. If we are able to launch that trading platform in addition to our core business, I believe we will unlock equity crowdfunding’s potential.

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