MentalHappy Launches Equity Crowdfunding Campaign to Empower Women and Minorities to Invest

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Only 3% of Americans qualify to invest in startups that don’t offer crowdfunding -- fewer than 23% are women, less than 4 percent are black or hispanic and only 8 percent are 40 years old or younger

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I decided to raise capital for MentalHappy through equity crowdfunding because it’s the only option available to founders like me who want to empower women, minorities and young people to take control of their wealth by giving them access to investment opportunities.

MentalHappy, a social network designed to help people improve their emotional wellbeing through positive peer support, announced today its equity crowdfunding campaign on StartEngine. MentalHappy, a startup backed by Y Combinator – one of the most respected startup accelerators in the U.S. – provides people with a safe and secure platform to talk about the challenges they face in their daily lives, receive support from peers who understand these stressors, and learn practical tips and techniques to help members heal and improve their emotional fitness each day.

“I chose to raise funding for MentalHappy through equity crowdfunding for one reason: inclusion,” said Tamar Blue, founder and CEO of MentalHappy. “I built our social network on the foundation of inclusion because we believe happiness and mental clarity are a right, not a privilege and that no one should be denied access to emotional wellness support because of high costs, limited access or because they feel uncomfortable talking about the tough issues with the people around them. This same principle applies when deciding who we allow to invest in our startup.”

Founders who don’t raise money through crowdfunding severely limit who can invest in their company. They are only able to accept investments from institutional investors, like venture capital firms, and from angel investors. Angel investors are individuals who are deemed as accredited, meaning they make $200,000 a year as an individual ($300,000 as a couple) or have a net worth over $1 million. Most angel investors are white men, with only a small percentage of women and minorities falling into that category. In fact, a study conducted by the Angel Capital Association and Wharton Entrepreneurship, shows that angel investors are 78 percent male, 87 percent white and their average age is 58. Only 22 percent of angel investors are women, less than 4 percent are black or hispanic and only 8 percent are 40 years old or younger.

Equity Crowdfunding: The Basics and SEC Requirements

With equity-based crowdfunding, members of the crowd become part-owners of the company that is raising funds. In other words, the company sells some or all of its shares to the members of the crowd. As equity owners of the company, the crowd realizes a return on its investment and receives a share of the profits in the form of a dividend or distribution. Prior to 2016, only three percent of Americans were legally allowed to invest in startups. Traditionally, investors were required to have a net worth of $1 million or earn $200K per year and the investment minimums started in the 5 or 6 figures. People who meet these requirements are known as “qualified investors.” Equity crowdfunding makes it possible for anyone to invest.

Unlike popular crowdfunding platforms used by individuals to secure donations, startups raising money through regulation crowdfunding (Reg CF) must undergo thorough vetting and meet stringent requirements from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

These requirements include:

  • Registering the company with the SEC
  • Thorough background checks on all officers of the company as part of the SEC’s anti-fraud regulations
  • Third-party fact checking of all data and claims made on the crowdfunding campaign page
  • Review of all financials by outside Certified Public Accountants (CPAs)
  • Regular reporting on how the company is allocating funding, which enables investors to have a clear view into how their dollars are being spent. Companies must also provide investors with products/service updates.
  • Providing investors with educational information on the investment risks

“In my mind, crowdfunding wasn’t optional,” said Blue. “Lack of inclusion is a leading cause of stress, anxiety and feelings of hopelessness -- all of which MentalHappy is dedicated to helping people overcome,” said Blue. “I am part of the solution and cannot be part of the problem. I decided to raise capital for MentalHappy through equity crowdfunding because it’s the only option available to founders like me who want to empower women, minorities and young people to take control of their wealth by giving them access to investment opportunities.”

For more information on MentalHappy and its equity crowdfunding campaign, please visit: https://startengine.mentalhappy.com/prw.

About MentalHappy
MentalHappy is a social media network designed to help people improve their emotional wellbeing through positive peer support. This Y-Combinator-backed startup provides a safe and secure platform empowering people to talk about the challenges they face in their daily lives, receive support from peers who understand these stressors, and learn practical tips and techniques from licensed professionals. MentalHappy supports its members throughout every stage of their journey to emotional wellness:
1. Emotional Healing from difficult life events – from loss and injury to breakups and financial hardship.
2. Emotional Fitness aimed at reducing stress and developing inner strength.
3. Emotional Resilience helping you to be ready to respond to difficult moments in life.

For more information about MentalHappy, please check out our StartEngine campaign page and website, as well as connect with us on social media.

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/mentalhappy
Facebook: facebook.com/MentalHappyHumans
Twitter: twitter.com/MentalHappy
Instagram: instagram.com/MentalHappyLife

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Morgan Sanders
MentalHappy
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since: 08/2015
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