New Mexico tech firm crowdfunding for Wi-Fi space project
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The founder of a Santa Fe-based tech firm that wants to bring commercial Wi-Fi to space is offering a stake in the company.
Solstar Space Co. founder and CEO M. Brian Barnett filed an offering statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission seeking approval to raise investment capital through the online crowdfunding platform Wefunder.com, the Santa Fe New Mexican reports . He filed the offering statement last week.
Barnett said he is looking to raise $1 million in equity funding through the site. The campaign is soliciting investments, not donations, he said, adding: “There are perks.”
In addition to a stake in the privately held company, a $10,000 investor qualifies for a visit to the Texas launch site where Solstar plans a second test of its equipment aboard a Blue Origin rocket. Blue Origin is the commercial space-flight company founded by Jeff Bezos, also the founder of Amazon.com and the owner of the Washington Post.
An investment of $100,000 is worth a “backstage pass” to the Solstar launch preparations, Barnett said
Solstar Space is working to create reliable internet connections in space for everyone, starting in the orbital realm. The first customers for internet in space will likely be passengers aboard commercial spacecraft flown by Blue Origin, SpaceX or Virgin Galactic.
Solstar was founded in March 2017 and now has 11 full- and part-time employees. The SEC filing showed that like many startups, the company is running on a shoestring budget: It ended the year with assets of $6,917 and short-term debt of about $14,700, according to the filing.
Starting in May 2016, the SEC opened the way for “regulation crowdfunding,” which basically allows individuals other than accredited investors to invest in private companies. The SEC limits the amount a company can raise this way to $1,080,000. The amount individuals may invest is limited, too, and based on their net worth.
“We feel like Wefunder was good for us,” Barnett said. “People like it; people understand it.”
Information from: The Santa Fe New Mexican, http://www.santafenewmexican.com