what is startengine

What Is StartEngine? The Best Platform for Launch Your Startup

Elena Hudgens
By Elena Hudgens 16 Min Read

StartEngine is an excellent resource for anybody interested in establishing a business. It provides everything you need to get your business off the ground, from knowing the process to getting started. This guide is for you whether you are a startup founder wanting to learn about the best ways to start your firm or an experienced entrepreneur trying to enhance your startup strategy. This guide includes “What is StartEngine” and the important aspects to it.


What is StartEngine?

StartEngine was launched in 2015 to allow individual investors to purchase shares in StartUp firms at various stages of development. It was made feasible by the JOBS Act of 2012, which, I think, came into force in 2016, allowing individual investors to lawfully purchase shares in start-ups.

StartEngine allows regular people to invest in and buy stock in startups and early-stage companies.

It also enables entrepreneurs to obtain money from sources other than banks and venture capitalists. It is one of several firms on the market, the others being: Wefunder (the largest in the industry, although StartEngine is rapidly gaining) -SeedInvest -Republic

They are each adopting their strategy, but in the end, I believe StartEngine is the best and certainly the fastest growing. While Wefunder appears to be static and losing market share, StartEngine is quickly expanding. There are several data points, but the most important is “Capital Raised.” Wefunder narrowly beat out StartEngine, but they’re hard on their heels.

Why is StartEngine used?

Now that you all know “What is StartEngine” let’s move on to why StartEngine is used. There are a few KEY components that set StartEngine apart from the competitors, and they make a significant difference:

They have their own “start-up” stock exchange. They are the only ones on the market with this feature, and because they are one of the largest, they are the only ones with enough clientele and a strong enough position to do so. This is a Legal stock market, and they are a licenced, registered broker with the SEC and FINRA. So everything is legal. This stock market is only a few months old, so it’s still in its infancy, and it presently only enables the trade of their stock. As it expands, so will its features (Which is already in the works, and ill get to more later).

They now have four firms active in the process of getting added, to eventually add more and more every day.

This Market is so important because let’s face it, retail prefers liquidity. It’s far more reassuring to know, “I can cash out at any moment,” rather than, “Let’s hope they go public in three years.” While not critical to their bull thesis, it will undoubtedly put them far ahead of their competitors.

Being one of the largest in a place is also a Big Deal. People come to this site to either acquire firms or borrow money from others. If firms routinely receive full funding from your site but not from others, chances are you’ll attract more visitors. Furthermore, because there are more startups on your site, more people will visit it.

What types of startups StartEngine is seeking?

For digital entrepreneurs, “What is StartEngine”. StartEngine is the ideal online startup accelerator. We provide a diverse selection of startups, from start-ups to large organizations. Whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur trying to expand your firm or a first-time entrepreneur just getting started, StartEngine is the place to be.

What are the advantages of launching a business with us?

StartEngine is a free online startup accelerator that helps entrepreneurs expand their businesses. StartEngine is the ideal destination for you if you need more funds or are just starting your entrepreneurial career.

We provide a diverse selection of companies, from start-ups to businesses of all sizes, ensuring that there is something for everyone.

StartEngine provides entrepreneurs with several advantages that they may not find at other online accelerators:

– 5x the amount of investors as typical accelerators – The possibility to propose your concept and work directly with investors – our platform does all the work – Lower investment minimums – we provide alternatives ranging from $25K to $1M.

Is StartEngine a genuine company?

Yes, StartEngine is “legit” in the sense that it is a real, licenced corporation that offers a lawful investment opportunity to everyone over the age of 18.

StartEngine is one of a rising number of crowdfunding and online alternative investment platforms, most of which have emerged in the aftermath of the 2012 JOBS Act.

In the second half of 2017, StartEngine began significantly increasing the number of new offers, and by early 2018, it had surpassed Wefunder in terms of total new Reg CF products. In 2018, the firm announced an income of more than $4.9 million, with more than $80 million invested in the platform from 180,000 registered members.

How Does StartEngine Work?

There are two forms of equity crowdfunding available on the site. One example is Regulation Crowdfunding. This is where a corporation can raise up to $1.07 million per year from any investor.

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A firm can provide many sorts of stock. Common and preferred shares (which have additional investor protections) are examples, as are financial instruments such as convertible notes.

The SAFEs (Simple Agreement for Future Stock) instrument is one of the most prevalent, and it may be converted into equity depending on a trigger event such as an IPO (Initial Public Offering) or acquisition.

The Regulation A offering comes next. A corporation may raise up to $50 million per year using this method. However, the rules are more stringent. Because there is a qualifying procedure with the Securities and Exchange Commission, a Regulation A offering is commonly referred to as a “small IPO” (SEC). In some situations, a company’s shares may be listed on an exchange or the over-the-counter market.

StartEngine holds the distinction of being the first to launch a Regulation A offering (based on the law that made crowdfunding legal). It was for Elio Motors’ $17 million capital round.

The Traction

Those considering investing in StartEngine will find it heartening that the trend has persisted, despite the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. Based on unaudited financials, the firm reported $5.4 million in sales for the first half of this year, a 186 per cent increase year over year. During this time, there was a net loss of $1.9 million.

Consider that around 48 per cent of the install base is made up of recurring investors. Furthermore, the site has enabled approximately $150 million in fundings since its debut.

There are a few additional developments to take into account:

As a strategic advisor, Kevin O’Leary has joined StartEngine. He has a big following on social media platforms such as Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) and Twitter as a serial entrepreneur and one of the hosts of the Shark Tank television show (NYSE: TWTR). In other words, his involvement should help to enhance user numbers and deal flow. 

Secondary Trading: Liquidity is one of the issues with equity crowdfunding. StartEngine, on the other hand, has set out to remedy this issue by creating an ATS (alternative trading system) that allows stockholders to sell their shares.

How does StartEngine generate revenue?

Some entrepreneurs still wonder about “what is StartEngine ” and how does StartEngine generate revenue. Investors do not charge any fees. Companies that raise funds on StartEngine pay a fee of 6-8 percent of the amount raised. However, issuers can offset these expenses by charging investors a 2.5 per cent processing fee on top of the share price.

  1. Cash Flow and potential returns

StartEngine investments are high-risk investments in startups and growing firms. There are no interest or dividend payments, and the investment must be kept for at least 12 months, with little hope of a market return after that time. The vast majority of startup investments lose part or all of their value.

  1. StartEngine’s breadth of products

StartEngine has a large number of investments accessible (over 60 as of mid-2019), however as discussed below, StartEngine does not curate its products in any way. Consequently, whilst some other platforms (such as SeedInvest and MicroVentures) promote that only a tiny number of firms applying are ever able to meet with investors, StartEngine takes the opposite strategy (similar to Wefunder). Services encompass a variety of industries and sorts of businesses, including apparel, movies – and even a lice clinic – that are unlikely to spring to mind when thinking of “startups,” yet may be able to gather enthusiastic consumer bases to engage in their offerings.

  1. Expectations for the regulatory framework and due diligence

While some platforms emphasize their curatorial approach to reviewing companies seeking to raise capital (for example, SeedInvest advertises that less than 1% of companies that apply are approved for listing), StartEngine takes a different approach, performing only the minimum due diligence required to screen out “bad actors” and ensure SEC filing compliance.

That method implies that there are many investment possibilities available on StartEngine, but there is a substantial variation in an approach that prospective investors should be aware of when picking investments and completing due diligence.

Should you Invest in StartEngine?

The startup has raised $12.5 million at a $221 million value. The sale has attracted approximately 8,700 investors. The financing, however, will expire in eight days.

Should you then invest in StartEngine? There are, without a doubt, several dangers. Equity crowdfunding is still in its early phases, and there aren’t many of them. If the economy continues to deteriorate for an extended length of time, this might have a negative impact. This would undoubtedly have an impact on the performance of the assets.

StartEngine, on the other hand, is a market leader that has been improving its platform and rapidly expanding. There is also the advantage of diversity because the organization participates in a wide range of offerings.

Overall, taking into account the benefits and negatives, investing in StartEngine appears to be a decent approach to gain exposure to the crowdfunding sector.

How does StartEngine stack up?

Equity crowdfunding for companies and investment possibilities are available through StartEngine, SeedInvest, and Wefunder. The key distinctions are the minimums, costs, features, and investment listings offered by each platform.

Wefunder and SeedInvest, for example, both charge a 2 per cent transaction fee (3.5 percent if you use a credit card), but Wefunder’s minimums start at $100, whereas SeedInvest vary from $500 to $10,000 per firm.

Unlike StartEngine and Wefunder, SeedInvest, on the other hand, provides auto-invest accounts that handle the investing procedure for you. The minimums for StartEngine range from $100 to $1,000, but you have access to incentives such as owner’s bonuses for shares.

Is StartEngine reliable?

The Better Business Bureau has assigned StartEngine a B- rating. BBB grades vary from A+ to F, indicating that the investing platform performs above average in terms of client relations.

According to the agency, StartEngine received a B- grade because it failed to react to one consumer complaint. The BBB’s ratings, on the other hand, take into account the sort of business, the time of business, licensing and government activities, and advertising difficulties.

How can StartEngine assist startups in achieving their objectives?

StartEngine assists companies in achieving their objectives by offering resources, mentorship, and a friendly atmosphere. It also fosters a collaborative environment in which the startup community may thrive.

StartEngine has assisted firms such as Pizza Hut and Hootsuite in growing from a concept to a billion-dollar enterprise.

Consider how much more successful you might be if you have experienced entrepreneurs, mentors, tools, and a supportive community on your side!

The StartEngine environment is critical for startup success. Most entrepreneurs have ideas, but they lack the funding, mentoring, and network to take their ideas from concept to reality. This environment is provided by StartEngine for the growth of startups.

StartEngine provides funding, contacts, and access to the right people to help you launch your business. On-site courses, boot camps, and mentorships are also available.

StartEngine is ideal for a startup looking to grow an incredible business with the help of seasoned entrepreneurs and mentors.


StartEngine is a venture-backed business accelerator and crowdfunding platform searching for the finest and brightest entrepreneurs to join our next accelerator class.

Here we have talked about StartEngine and the basics of it. 

Please keep an eye out for our future story. We appreciate you taking the time to read our article. I’m hoping to see you there!

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Posted by Elena Hudgens
Elena Hudgens is an entrepreneur with 10+ years of experience. She started her journey by building her own e-commerce website on Shopify and turned her $1000 savings to millions in just 2 years. Soon she started different ventures in which she failed and succeeded. And now, she's on a mission to help other entrepreneurs with her life and business lessons.

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