Gerome Sapp and Rares Show How Equity Crowdfunding Provides Opportunity to Minority Entrepreneurs
Among the celebrated honorees at the recent 2022 Equity Crowdfunding Awards was Gerome Sapp and his sneaker investment platform Rares, which was recognized as the industry’s Fractional Platform of the Year.
Rares is a social investing platform that allows users to invest in rare and high-quality sneakers by buying and trading shares in them. Fractionalized asset offerings—like shares in the sneakers offered by Rares—are a form of equity crowdfunding permitted under the securities laws. Instead of offering shares in a company or an entire business, fractionalized series offerors like Rares offer individual valuable assets, one after another, each in its own corporate structure. This allows investors to buy (and trade) a piece of a valuable asset rather than the whole thing.
After world famous rapper Eminem collaborated with the Carhartt brand to release a limited run of Air Jordan 4s, for example, Rares purchased a pair for $22,000 and enabled its users to invest for just $8 per share.
Sapp’s story and his rise to prominence in the equity crowdfunding world is an impressive tale of determination, commitment, and perseverance. Sapp is a former college and professional football star who studied at the Harvard Business School during the NFL offseason. He developed the idea of a sneaker investment marketplace that he knew would be of interest to sports fans, sneaker enthusiasts, and rising investors.
But he had a hard time attracting investment capital to fund his business. He then heard about equity crowdfunding under the Regulation A+ exemption, an approach that allows issuers to raise up to $75 million per year, and decided to pursue that approach to funding his business.
To help him navigate the complex legalities and logistics of fractionalized asset offerings, and to guide him through the process, Sapp turned to Dalmore Group —one of the nation’s leading broker dealers in the equity crowdfunding space. What emerged is Rares, a national leader in equity crowdfunding and a pioneer in the fractionalized sale of valuable assets.
Sapp’s rise was not without difficulty. His pitch for Rares was initially rejected by 87 different investors before he turned to Dalmore and equity crowdfunding.
“Many minorities and women never get the opportunity to pitch their amazing ideas, because they either don’t have the network or the network investors don’t take them seriously,” Sapp explained. “Equity crowdfunding helps solve those problems by creating a new investor network and directing investor focus on the business concept of an entrepreneur rather than on the entrepreneur’s race or gender.”
Throughout the crowdfunding process, Sapp relied heavily on Dalmore.
“Dalmore’s broker-dealer business has been the backbone of every investment and every move we have made on the Rares platform,” Sapp said. “Just as important, [Dalmore Chairman] Etan Butler has always made himself available to answer our questions and to give us guidance on industry concepts and trends.”
Sapp also credits fractional investing with creating an environment of equality that had evaded him in earlier investor efforts.
“Equity crowdfunding powered by Dalmore Group has allowed me to go back to the communities I grew up in and speak about investing and financial opportunity in a new and engaging way. Investing is no longer looked at as something for the rich man. We can all do it now—one share at a time.”
Dalmore Group is equally complimentary of Sapp: “Rares’ win at the Equity Crowdfunding Awards was satisfying on so many levels,” said Butler. “First, it is a credit to Gerome’s talent, passion, perseverance, and hard work. Second, it sends a message to every entrepreneur and business dreamer that good ideas and hard work will be recognized and rewarded. And third, it is a perfect example of how equity crowdfunding helps open doors for all, irrespective of race or gender. We at Dalmore are so proud and honored to support Gerome and many other hard-working entrepreneurs as they power their dreams with Reg A+ offerings.”
Rares is a social investing platform that lets users invest in rare and high value sneakers by buying and trading shares in them. Dreamed up in Texas, headquartered in Nevada, and represented nationally, Rares is the brainchild of former Notre Dame football standout and retired NFL athlete Gerome Sapp, who has long thought about ways to increase access and empower people to benefit economically based on cultures they create. Learn more about unique investment opportunities at rares.io.
ABOUT DALMORE GROUP
Dalmore Group specializes in helping companies raise capital online at scale through Regulations A+, CF, and D and has onboarded more than 280 Regulation A+ issuers and covered over 1 million Regulation A+ investments since 2019. Learn more about how Dalmore Group is leading the way for primary issuance and secondary market trading of private securities at dalmorefg.com and keep up to date on the latest company news and information through Dalmore’s LinkedIn.
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