Is StartEngine Legit? The Truth Behind the Investment Platform

Searching for a secure investment platform? StartEngine could be the one. Is it real though? This article will explain the facts of StartEngine to help you make an educated choice.

Quick facts: Is Startengine Legit

  • StartEngine has crowdfunded over $400 million – StartEngine
  • StartEngine is an SEC and FINRA regulated platform – StartEngine
  • StartEngine has hosted over 300 companies – StartEngine
  • StartEngine is the largest equity crowdfunding platform in the United States – Crowdfund Insider
  • StartEngine saw a record-breaking month in October 2020, raising over $120 million – StartEngine
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    Overview of StartEngine

    StartEngine is a crowd investing and securities compliance tech provider based in Los Angeles. It enables issuers to offer tokenized equity investments to investors across the world via a compliant funding portal.

    Since 2016, StartEngine has raised over $250 million for private companies, plus offers for accredited investors from 150,000+ registered users. It hosts hundreds of company offers that transition from Reg CF (Crowdfunding) to Reg D (private placement) rounds. It’s a designated SIPC member and FINRA registered broker-dealer.

    Moreover, StartEngine provides legal services like filing Form C’s and necessary documents for state intrastate offerings. This protects investors from scams and complies with local laws. All this makes StartEngine a safe and reliable way to invest in private companies offering tokenized shares or equity stakes.

    What is StartEngine?

    StartEngine is an online investment platform that enables everyday people to invest in private companies. It gives over 10,000 investors access to different finance options. This includes investing in early-stage businesses and venture capital funds.

    The platform was founded in 2016 by Howard Marks. He wanted to give investors the chance to invest in high-growth startups with a minimum investment of $99. StartEngine lets accredited and non-accredited investors buy shares from a selection of promising startups. Unlike public equity markets, StartEngine follows Regulation A+ crowdfunding exemption. This means it isn’t registered with the SEC but still follows regulations and provides better investor protection than other equity crowdfunding methods like Regulation Crowdfunding.

    What types of investments are available?

    StartEngine is an investment platform that lets people invest in private companies. You can start with as little as $100! You can purchase preferred stock and other securities, similar to what venture capital firms do.

    StartEngine has a variety of investment options. For example:

    • Equity Investing – Buy shares and become a part-owner of a company.
    • Secured Bonds – Investment backed by collateral to reduce risk.
    • Unsecured Notes – IOUs from the company to the investor.

    With StartEngine, you have access to various investments. They could have great returns, but also come with risks.

    Legitimacy of StartEngine

    StartEngine is a legitimate investment platform. It gives investors a chance to invest in early-stage companies. These companies are usually not available in the public marketplace. StartEngine is registered with the SEC and regulated by FINRA. This ensures that investments are done properly and with accurate disclosures.

    StartEngine also takes investor funds safety into consideration. It has an exclusive securities escrow account for new issuances. It prevents hacking or any mismanagement of funds. StartEngine follows cyber security protocols approved by the SEC. This protects investors from any potential cyber threats or misconducts that may come from investing.

    Is StartEngine SEC-compliant?

    StartEngine is a crowdfunding platform that allows investors to purchase equity in companies. It is regulated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC requires transactions to be conducted through a registered intermediary, such as a broker-dealer. StartEngine has been registered with the SEC since 2014, and follows all applicable regulations.

    In addition, it follows FINRA rules relating to customer protection. This includes:

    • Safekeeping customer funds
    • Disclosing available investments
    • Reporting trades
    • Settling trades quickly
    • Supervising personnel
    • Complying with rules

    StartEngine also keeps customers informed about their investments and potential risks.

    Are StartEngine investments insured?

    StartEngine makes sure its investors are safe. They offer up to $500,000 protection through a partnership with the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). This covers against fraud or theft of investments.

    There are also safeguards on the platform. If a company doesn’t follow through on a promise, StartEngine will step in and provide extra security for investors.

    Fees and Costs

    Fees and costs are essential when investing with StartEngine. They offer a subscription-based service with no annual fee. However, commissions apply to different investments.

    For securities investments, StartEngine charges a 5% flat commission on the total amount invested (including principal and interest). For instance, if you invest $10,000, the total cost will be $10,500 ($10,000 + 5% = $10,500).

    Apart from the flat fee charged on securities investments, fees related to redemptions of securities also apply. If you redeem your security within 3 years of purchase, they will add an extra 1% redemption fee plus other customary fees. So, it is vital to understand all the fees associated with investing through StartEngine before committing.

    What fees are associated with StartEngine?

    StartEngine is a legit investment platform that’s easy to use. You can see investment opportunities and manage your investments in one place. You can invest as little as $100 in more than 1,500 private companies worldwide.

    StartEngine charges an investment fee0-5% – depending on the company and the size of investment.
    It also charges other fees like due diligence fees, transfer fees, and legal fees. These may be charged upon request or automatically.
    Plus, StartEngine takes a 0-3% administrative fee from all investor proceeds for companies listed on its platform.

    Are there any hidden fees?

    Generally speaking, StartEngine does not have any hidden fees. Unlike other platforms, it does not have subscription fees, transaction costs, maintenance fees, or inactivity fees. Also, you don’t need to maintain a minimum account balance.

    However, you are responsible for third-party charges and payment processing fees when making investments with a credit card.

    Pros and Cons

    Introduction -Is StartEngine Legit? The Truth Behind the Investment Platform

    Deciding to invest through StartEngine? Consider the pros and cons:

    • Pros: many companies to invest in; user-friendly platform with guidance; 66,000+ investors; 450+ funded companies; established success.
    • Cons: 7% fees (low compared to others); no fractional shares; customer service can be unresponsive; no tax advice or services.

    Complex investments? Seek help from a qualified accountant or advisor.

    Pros of StartEngine

    StartEngine is a regulated platform by FINRA and the SEC; hence investors trust it. It offers many tech startups to diversify portfolios. Its user interface is simple, so anyone can manage their finances quickly. There’s no minimum investment needed. All investments are open source, giving access to analytics to make wise decisions.

    Cons of StartEngine

    StartEngine is a legit investment platform with perks. But, there’s a drawback. The fees are sky-high compared to others. To invest, you must pay 7.5% of the amount plus legal fees and other charges. You must also be accredited to invest. Regulated securities exchanges offer lower fees than StartEngine.

    Alternatives to StartEngine

    StartEngine has alternatives. Online investment platforms are out there. If you’re after startups and pre-IPO opportunities, Republic is a great fit. They give access to exclusive startup investments plus early access to new Tech IPOs. WeFunder is another option. It offers investors the chance to invest in small businesses and startups. AngelList is useful for accredited investors who want access to sophisticated deals. They connect venture capital professionals with angel investors and startups. Fundable offers crowdfunding for startups and small businesses. SeedInvest specializes in equity crowdfunding for accredited investors.

    Before picking which platform suits you, understand the terms associated with it!


    WeFunder, a crowdfunding platform from StartEngine, makes it easy to get your business up and running. It helps companies raise capital using Reg CF or Reg A+ campaigns. Investors receive an equity percentage based on the amount of money they put in.

    WeFunder sets commission fees between 6 and 7 percent, taken from each investor. Plus a $3 per investor processing fee, to cover legal and admin costs for the issuer. The fees vary with each campaign. For example, campaigns raising $50K-$500K have commission rates near 6 percent, and those with more than $500K have higher rates reaching 7 percent.


    SeedInvest is an equity platform that unites startup companies with individual investors. It belongs to StartEngine, a crowdfunding platform connecting startups with early-stage investments. They’ve raised an astounding $350 million for over 400 companies.

    SeedInvest has various investment possibilities, like purchasing pre-IPO startup shares or investing in their own Security Token Offering (STO). Every startup on the platform is carefully looked at and must meet particular standards before listing. The team also takes time getting to know the founders to make sure they’re being honest about their business and finances. This helps to make sure only top quality investments are offered on SeedInvest.


    Republic is a platform for investors to purchase private company shares. It is backed by StartEngine, a popular U.S. crowdfunding platform. Republic gives access to companies not normally available through public markets. It also offers investors insights on pre-IPO startups.

    But it’s important to consider the risks when investing through StartEngine. These investments are private, with less liquidity and higher risk than public offerings. There may be delays and losses attempting to exit. Most companies on Republic are startups. So, there is no guarantee the shares will be profitable or give returns.

    Investors should take these risks into account when deciding to invest on the platform:

    • Less liquidity than public offerings.
    • Higher risk than public offerings.
    • Delays and losses attempting to exit.
    • No guarantee the shares will be profitable or give returns.

    FAQs about: Is Startengine Legit

    Q: Is StartEngine a legitimate company?

    A: Yes, StartEngine is a legitimate company. It is a US-based crowdfunding platform that has been helping entrepreneurs raise capital since 2014.

    Q: What types of investments does StartEngine offer?

    A: StartEngine offers a variety of investments, including equity crowdfunding, Regulation Crowdfunding, Regulation A+ equity offerings, and direct investments in private companies.

    Q: Are there any fees associated with using StartEngine?

    A: Yes, there are fees associated with using StartEngine. Companies that use StartEngine to raise capital are charged a 5% platform fee, which is taken out of the total funds raised.