Inside INdiana Business has learned Indianapolis-based Localstake says it wants to expand into a new state every month this year. The online crowdfunding platform launched in Indiana and Michigan last year, and Monday is rolling out in Wisconsin. Co-founder Kevin Hitchen says partnerships with local investor networks and state laws easing restrictions on crowdfunding will determine where the company expands next. He says Localstake is already in talks with organizations in states including California, Texas and Oregon.
January 23, 2014
Indianapolis, Ind. — Localstake, an online platform that helps small businesses and real estate developers raise funding from local investors, announced that it is now available to businesses, real estate developers, and investors in Wisconsin. The company has experienced significant growth since launching in Indiana and Michigan in 2013 and is excited to expand to Wisconsin.
The passage of Wisconsin's crowdfunding bill, CASE (crowdfunding and securities exemptions) for JOBS Act, into law by Governor Scott Walker in November 2013 was one of the key factors that prompted Localstake to set its sights on expansion to the state. “Communities in Wisconsin are huge proponents of buying local and eating local,” said Kevin Hitchen, one of the founders of Localstake. “With the passage of the crowdfunding bill, and our expansion into Wisconsin, small businesses and real estate developers will now be able to raise funds more efficiently from investors in Wisconsin. We hope our efforts will help encourage innovation, create jobs, and better communities in the state.”
In conjunction with its expansion to Wisconsin, the company is also announcing a partnership with the Wisconsin-based local investor network, Fund Milwaukee. Started in 2010, the approximately 80 members of Fund Milwaukee have invested more than $1 million in 11 Milwaukee businesses. As a result of the partnership, Fund Milwaukee will be utilizing the Localstake platform to manage its local investment efforts.
“We are excited to partner with Localstake,” said one of Fund Milwaukee’s Founders, Juli Kaufmann. Ms. Kaufmann added, “With the recent passage of the investment crowdfunding law and the growing interest in investing in local companies, we welcome Localstake to Wisconsin as another key player in helping more local businesses access funding.”
To further promote investment crowdfunding and help small businesses access investment crowdfunding, Localstake and Fund Milwaukee have committed to a joint goal of helping at least one Wisconsin-based small business per month raise funding this year. “In addition to forming a partnership, both of our organizations wanted to really show that we are committed to changing how small businesses access funding,” said Kevin Hitchen. “Our solution was to make a commitment to help at least one small business each month,” said Kaufmann.
Investors, small businesses, and real estate developers interested in learning more about Localstake or Fund Milwaukee can visit their websites at http://www.localstake.com or http://www.fundmilwaukee.com.
Localstake (http://www.localstake.com) is an investment crowdfunding platform that small businesses and real estate developers use to raise funding from investors in their community. Its mission is to help small businesses and real estate developers more efficiently and effectively connect with capital in their community. With investment minimums as low as $250, Localstake provides investors of all wealth backgrounds the ability to invest in what they know best: small businesses and real estate properties in their community. Since launching in 2013, Localstake has been seen in such national publications as Entrepreneur, CNBC, and Investopedia.
About Fund Milwaukee
Fund Milwaukee (http://www.fundmilwaukee.com) is a local network of approximately 80 friends and family that have invested more than $1 million in 11 Milwaukee businesses over the past two years. The network has a focus on local businesses that provide a triple bottom line: economic, ecological and social. Examples of local businesses that have received funding from Fund Milwaukee members include Purple Door Ice Cream, Bolzano Artisan Meats, Central Greens, and Outpost Natural Foods.