Kenyan e-commerce firm MarketForce is seeking to raise up to $1 million (Sh143.9 million) through the crowdfunding service WeFunder which connects start-ups and investors online.
In a statement, MarketForce said the move is intended to bring on board common people into the ownership of the firm alongside institutional investors who pumped $40 million (Sh5.8 billion in current exchange rates) in February last year.
Crowdfunding refers to the practice of funding a project or a venture by raising money from a large number of people who each contribute a relatively small amount, typically via the Internet.
“Since our public launch in 2020, one of the most popular requests we have received is the ability for people who love what we are building to invest in MarketForce alongside institutional investors,” the statement read.
The firm added that after raising the last round explorations around the idea continued but it increasingly proved difficult to include people who were not accredited investors.
“We are excited to launch this small community funding round with a maximum raise of $1 million so that our community, including avid supporters, partners and customers can invest in the company and become part owners early in our journey,” the company says.
The firm said it will accept investments starting from $1,000 but quickly noted that it could not guarantee that everybody would receive their desired investment amount.
Though not very common in Kenya, the crowdfunding practice is extensively used in advanced economies such as in the US and in European countries.