Helping customers invest in business – SMBX scores $11m seed round

SMBX, a marketplace for retail investors to invest into small businesses, has raised $11.5m in a seed round.

Group 11 served as the lead investor, with commitments also coming from existing SMBX backers Better Ventures, Impact America Fund (IAF), Unpopular Ventures, Berkeley SkyDeck, and former Vanguard executives Paul Heller and Jim Norris.

Founded in 2016 by Ben Lozano, Bhavish Balhotra and Jackie Chan, SMBX aims to make investing into startups and small businesses easier.

Its marketplace lets small businesses seek funding from retail investors, who can make up to 10% return on their investments. The Small Business Bonds can be bought for $10 each.

SMBX CEO and co-founder Ben Lozano said, of “There’s a new generation of entrepreneurs emerging who want something different from finance. The SMBX provides them the opportunity to become Bond issuers instead of simply loan takers. As issuers, they can connect more deeply with their community of customers and create a virtuous cycle of wealth creation–where profits generated through lending, borrowing, and wealth growth are re-circulated and shared with their community.

“This is what this new generation of entrepreneurs want. And this is what The Small Business Bond provides.”

With the close of the round, the company has secured a total of $15m in funding, to date.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser recently announced a partnership with SMBX called the D.C. Rebuild Bond program, which hopes to fuel $5m into local investment for D.C. businesses. This program focuses on communities neglected by traditional banking.

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