Finance startup raises its own $2.2M in funding

Fred Bryant

Fred Bryant

A Henrico startup that helps companies raise capital has brought in a fresh round of cash of its own.

According to Capstone Credit Group, WealthForge, which acts as a sort of online broker-dealer, disclosed earlier this month that it raised $2.23 million in capital, according to SEC filings.

Co-founder and President Fred Bryant said New Richmond Ventures was the lead investor on this latest funding round. NRV is a Shockoe Bottom-based investment firm founded by well-known local businessmen Ted Chandler, Jim Ukrop and Bob Mooney.

It’s at least the second time NRV has invested in WealthForge, after it participated in a $2.5 million raise with the company in 2014. Bryant would not name the other investors involved this round.

He said seeking capital is about finding the right investors, and NRV’s business mentorship has been important for WealthForge.

“The continued support from NRV is huge for us,” Bryant said. “We are a capital-intensive business. As we continue to scale, that outside capital helps us support fixed costs and continue to invest in product development.”

WealthForge got another boost in May when a traveling investor brought his show to Richmond and gave the company $100,000.

Bryant said WealthForge plans to continue raising money through the end of 2015. Its latest SEC filing shows it has a goal of $5 million total and is about halfway there.

He said the money is needed to help WealthForge expand its operations, acquire clients and develop new and existing products. The company bills itself as a way to simplify the process of raising capital through private placements by bringing the process largely online. WealthForge makes its money from transaction and licensing fees.

“What PayPal did for e-commerce, we’re doing for capital markets,” he said.

Bryant said WealthForge will process about 2,500 investments for about 100 different companies by the end of 2015. The company has 35 full-time employees and 10 interns – up from 22 employees in April 2014. It’s based in an office near the intersection of West Broad Street and Glenside Drive.

Bryant founded the company in 2010 with fellow University of Richmond graduate Matthew Dellorso.

Bryant said WealthForge is still a young company but has matured from what it once was.

“We’re still very much startup, but at the same time we’re not two people in a garage,” Bryant said. “We have expectations to live up to.”

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