Atlanta-based tech entrepreneur Isaac Hayes III recently made history by becoming the first Black entrepreneur to raise $10 million in crowdfunding.
Hayes is the founder of the tech start-up Fanbase which is a social media platform that allows users to connect through video, audio, and photos. The subscription-based platform also allows users to generate funding for content.
He announced that his platform crossed the $4.5 million threshold in its latest equity campaign boosting its overall capitol to $10 million.
“I am the first Black person to raise $10 million in Reg CF equity crowdfunding,” Hayes announced on an Instagram post.
The company was able to secure much of its funding by taking advantage of “The JOBS Act” created by the Obama administration.
The legislation allows small businesses and high-growth enterprises to raise capital from retail citizen investors more efficiently. This gives small businesses across the country the power to grow and hire faster and it gives citizens the opportunity to invest in small startups. In turn, customers can become owners through investments.
Hayes, the son of legendary singer Isaac Hayes, began his career as a music producer, standing out with multiple rap and R&B hits. Making songs for artists such as Redman, Lil Scrappy and Ruff Ryders.
But he pivoted away from music and went to tech in 2019, starting Fanbase after realizing that users that went viral were not initially compensated for their content. He wanted a way for users to be able to monetize their content directly.
There’s also the issue of algorithms that often prevent social media users from pushing their content to all of their followers without paying for ads. Fanbase allows content to reach more users per post.
Hayes started to raise funds through micro-investing, gaining initial funding from prominent figures such as Snoop, Kandi Burruss, and Charlamagne Tha God.
“Equity crowdfunding is our way of inviting the Fanbase community to own a piece of the platform they believe in. We’re not just building a product; we’re growing a community- driven ecosystem where every voice, every creator, and every supporter shares in our collective success,” Hayes said.