StearClear is a service that enables anyone with a smartphone to summon a driver. That driver will then drive the customer to their destination in the customer’s car. It is the perfect solution for an unexpectedly long night at the bar, or for a ride after a surgical procedure.
The company’s long-term focus is on franchising. They’ve built software infrastructure that allows anyone with an iPad to run their own local driving service. To this point, competitors have been focused on serving urban areas due to logistical concerns. StearClear hopes to be the first service of its kind to make significant inroads into suburban communities.
SeedInvest is opening up angel investing to a much broader group of potential investorsTom Chisholm
StearClear also encourages companies to create corporate accounts. In this way companies can have some peace of mind knowing that their employees have the option to be driven home after a night on the town with clients or friends.
According to co-founder and CEO Craig Sher, StearClear found itself in a unique position that made crowdfunding an attractive way to seek additional capital. “We were looking for a quick and efficient way to raise a relatively small amount of capital. The raise was too big for individual angels and too small for VC, so this medium seemed like a good way to get fresh capital into the company,” he told Crowdfund Insider.
Most beneficial for StearClear may have been the speed with which the round was closed. Capital was raised in just 5 days. That means more time for company leadership to focus on building business and less time spent chasing down potential investors.
Tom Chisholm, successful entrepreneur and angel investor at JumpStart NJ Angel Network, was one of the investors that bought in via SeedInvest. Attracted to the favorable terms and the creativity of the deal, he said “SeedInvest is opening up angel investing to a much broader group of potential investors due to its lower point of entry ($1,000 to $2,000) and mixture of deal types – rather than just straight equity.”
StearClear structured its raise as a convertible note, a type of security with debt- and equity-like features.
SeedInvest co-founder James Han sees this success as vindication of their approach to crowdfunding. “StearClear’s success proves out our business and ability to thoughtfully streamline the due diligence and investment processes,” he said. “Furthermore, and more importantly, it speaks to the support of our extended team and members of the SeedInvest community; they are the reason for our collective success and we are excited to work with many more investors and entrepreneurs in 2013.”
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