For inexperienced investors looking to back private companies, a business they already patronize as customers can be an attractive target.
Pearachute, the Chicago-based kids' activity booking platform launched last year by GiveForward founder Desiree Vargas Wrigley ⇒, found parents who use the service raising their hands to invest after the company used a portal called Republic to launch an equity crowdfunding campaign.
Equity crowdfunding allows startups to raise cash from nonprofessional investors who get a stake in the company. It's a step beyond earlier crowdfunding models,...
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