Adding to its array of successful crowdfunding efforts, Mycroft AI recently launched an online public offering that’s generating significant financial support for the startup.
Thanks to 2016 changes to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s equity crowdfunding regulations, the Kansas City-based tech startup’s OPO has already amassed more than $173,000 of its $1.07 million funding goal.
The aim of the campaign is to not only raise capital to accelerate the growth of Mycroft but also to generate buy-in among its constituencies, said Mycroft co-founder and CEO Joshua Montgomery.
“We want to give our community a chance to participate financially from their collaboration with the company,” said Montgomery. “We also want to give the community a voice, a real voice, in how Mycroft the company operates. … It gives our community a sense of ownership. It gives them the power to hold the company’s moral compass true north and it gives them the chance to participate financially in an early stage technology company, a privilege that has historically been reserved for institutional venture capital and accredited investors.”
Mycroft builds open-source hardware and software that’s similar to Amazon Echo or Google’s smart speaker. Mycroft’s tech uses natural language processing technology to enable its everyday use in a consumer’s home. With an open-source, open-hardware approach, Mycroft allows users across the globe to develop software and hardware add-ons that can be used in a variety of industries.
Mycroft — which in 2017 announced a partnership with Jaguar Land Rover — raised $1.75 million in an oversubscribed round in January.
The startup has on multiple occasions shown a prowess for crowdfunding. Most recently, Mycroft raised more than $462,000 in February for its Mark II voice assistant, which it expects to begin shipping later in 2018. The company raised more than $193,000 via its first IndieGoGo campaign in 2016.
The company’s leadership is confident the crowdfunding effort will rally a new crop of highly-supportive backers, Montgomery said.
“We want to build the widest group of stakeholders possible. Though we have financial goals, our primary objective it to give our community the opportunity to have a financial stake in the future of the business,” he said. “The best possible outcome would be a fully funded OPO with hundreds or thousands of backers who are interested in supporting our mission. The creation of an open source voice assistant that protects privacy and promotes both user agency and open standards.”
Mycroft AI was selected as a 2018 Top Startup to Watch by Startland, in part thanks to its ability to scale rapidly and compete with major industry players like Amazon and Google in an array of industries.
To learn more about the OPO, check out the video below.