How this Techstars alum used a new crowdfunding law to raise nearly $1M for remote work platform – GeekWire
With a mission to bring its remote career platform to more people, Arc is also bringing the chance to invest in the startup to more people, raising almost $1 million in an equity crowdfunding campaign on Wefunder.
GeekWire first reported on Arc almost eight years ago when the company was Codementor, a participant in Techstars Seattle. Since then, founder and CEO Weiting Liu has been carving out a unique path, creating a globally distributed team that has released multiple products, is profitable and has raised $3 million.
With its campaign on Wefunder, Arc is taking advantage of Securities and Exchange Commission rule changes which just went into effect last month. One such law has been tweaked to allow companies to raise more funding from the crowd — $5 million per year instead of $1 million. Liu called that leap in the democratization of venture capital in line with Arc’s vision to democratize access to opportunities via remote work.
“The new law change can really help companies with sizable communities,” Liu said. “For Arc, this is an opportunity for us to become a community-owned platform. If we can enable both customers and developers (especially developers) in our network to be investors, a crowdfunding event can help us seed thousands of ambassadors and evangelists all over the world.”
Arc was previously an exclusive platform that connected only pre-vetted Arc network developers with organizations seeking to hire them. On Wednesday, the startup announced the addition of global job search functionality where users can aggregate more than 54,000 developer jobs from more than 13,000 companies hiring remotely around the web.
Arc identifies opportunities most relevant to each developer, offers support through a community forum for career questions and experiences, and provides optional profile verification to quickly connect developers to Arc’s employer partners.
The startup has attracted a network of more than 750,000 developers.
Arc’s own team of 47 employees is distributed across four continents. Liu called remote work, and the opening of that door to more workers, a silver lining of the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether you choose to live in Seattle, Calgary, or Buenos Aires, Liu said he believes the world would be a better place with more remote work.
“Many organizations have realized the benefits of working remotely, and many forward-thinking companies such as Coinbase, Twitter, Shopify, and Reddit have become fully digital for the indefinite future,” Liu said. “The ability to build strong global teams that are location agnostic is a competitive advantage for startups and scaleups.”
A Y Combinator grad who previously sold his first startup SocialPicks in 2009, Liu said he’s proud of what he considers a “real worldwide impact” he’s been able to make since Techstars Seattle, and he believes there are alternative paths to what he calls “typical Silicon Valley trajectories where VCs would push entrepreneurs to grow at all costs and blitz scale.”
“Passion is critical in building startups,” Liu said. “Are you tap dancing to work every day? Think about the kind of legacy you’d want to leave behind. Other than the dollars generated and the valuations you’ve created, do you feel proud of what your startup has built?”