Most students on USC’s campus have heard of RateMyProfessors. But for many student entrepreneurs, finding the right investor is just as important as finding the right professor. This is something that Anthony Zhang experienced first-hand in his time at USC. As a student, Zhang founded EnvoyNow, a food delivery startup that received over $1.5 million in funding ($100,000 of which came from Mark Cuban) and was later acquired. Now Chief Growth Officer at RateMyInvestor, Zhang is looking to use his experiences to help other entrepreneurs find the right investors.
Zhang joined founders Austin Stofer and Bennett Quintard to launch RateMyInvestor – a platform for founders to rate and discover investors. By providing honest information, RateMyInvestor celebrates ethical investors and helps entrepreneurs avoid those who may be less principled. The team hopes that this will give founders the tools to decide who they should trust with their business.
“My goal is to have RateMyInvestor be top of mind when entrepreneurs are looking for funding and have it be the first place they visit when starting their search,” explains Stofer, CEO. They believe due-diligence should be a two-way street. Quintard, COO, asks, “With so much focus on the investor’s due-diligence process, why aren’t founders doing the same? Performing your own due-diligence on an investor is just as important.”
This is a lesson that Stofer and Quintard learned the hard way, after having “the rug pulled out from under them” while seeking funding for another startup. After hearing similar stories from other founders, they realized the need for entrepreneurs to access honest information about investors. However, the team is quick to clarify that RateMyInvestor is intended to benefit both sides of the table. “This is not a revenge platform, but a place where founders and investors can come together to break down the fundraising barrier,” says Stofer.
The shared passion of using transparency to break the funding barrier is what originally brought Zhang, Stofer, and Quintard together. Zhang founded Know Your VC in the wake of the sexual harassment scandals that shook the VC community in 2017. He soon connected with Stofer and Quintard. All three officially joined forces earlier this year after RateMyInvestor acquired Know Your VC. “It became clear that we were a perfect match and that an acquisition would help both of us achieve our shared mission faster,” explained Zhang.
In the wake of RateMyInvestor’s launch, it seems that Zhang, Stofer, and Quintard are well on their way. Hopefully, student entrepreneurs will now be able to find investors just as easily as they choose professors.
To rate and discover investors, visit www.ratemyinvestor.com
Source: Katy Arkell