TECHCRUNCH: Alphaworks, the equity crowd-funding platform for startups and their communities, is today re-branding to Quire.com. CEO Erin Glenn said that the company was eager to get a .com domain and that ‘quire’ (a centuries old word that which means ‘folio’ or collection of single pages) was a perfect fit for what the platform represents.
“The imagery of the word is that of individuals coming together to build a community,” said Glenn. “It’s more than the sum of its parts.”
With the focus on community, Quire is also introducing a new set of features that allow people who can’t (yet) invest in startup financing rounds to ‘follow’ startups. Through the follow function, companies on the platform will have access to ultra-dedicated users who can help with beta testing, product feedback, focus groups, etc.
Originally, Alphaworks functioned by letting accredited investors sign up to participate in startup funding rounds, both early and late stage, through general solicitation. Now, accredited investors can participate in these rounds through Quire, and folks who aren’t accredited to invest can follow those startups to learn more about them and be more engaged in their business.
The JOBS Act has paved the way for the Quire platform, not only allowing startups to file for a raise under Reg. A+ (which allows anyone to invest up to 10 percent of their net income), but also allowing for businesses to generally solicit the deals they’re raising to the public under section 506(c).
Glenn says that, as it stands now, there’s no clear benefit to filing under Reg A+ for a ‘mini-IPO’, but that many startups are exploring opportunities under section 506(c) to generally solicit private deals, which is where Quire is putting its focus.
The betaworks-backed platform, then Alphaworks, has already run a number of notable deals including crowd-funding parts of Gimlet Media’s financing as well as Giphy’s Series A round. Glenn says that for every single accredited investor that participated in Gimlet’s round, there were between three and ten people who visited the platform and were unable to invest due to accreditation.
This is what led the company to offer a path separate from investing where future potential investors, founders, and users can keep track of a given company.