Sign up to receive 5 free days of our daily summary for tech news.

Crowdfunded “Mini IPOs” on Rise, Even as Questions Persist

Cable news watchers may have noticed a flurry of recent commercials offering the chance to invest in the IPO of tech company YayYo. John O’Hurley, an actor best known for playing J. Peterman on “Seinfeld,” urges viewers of programs on Fox News and MSNBC to buy shares in a public offering for the company, which offers a price comparison tool for ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft.

YayYo is one of a growing number of tech companies trying to raise money from the public by selling shares through what’s called a “mini IPO,” a form of online crowdfunding introduced in 2015. Securities rules allow anyone to invest in a mini IPO, including “unaccredited investors”—people who aren’t wealthy and are usually not allowed to invest in private tech companies. Stocks sold in mini IPOs don’t trade on any stock exchanges, although companies can list on an exchange afterward and investors are free to sell shares regardless.

What Is The Information?

Notes bb3aa5069205d702dda37fc71dc6f1c59df2310c4379304e9f1199f052af4884

Exclusive Articles

We broke it first. Receive original reporting you won't read anywhere else from the largest newsroom in tech.

Notebook b5103017ee163370a1667c9ce59ab0ef023875a17888105d26c185cadf31bb69

Daily news analysis

Every weeknight, we'll send you our reporters’ views on the day’s top tech news—distilled into one email.

Conference calls c9e664e8b96ee347d3e92b8309938f268422b9db98cfabca5c826fbb75054b23

Conference calls

Get access to our reporters and other top executives with monthly deep-dive calls into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles.

Events 499acedd16cffc41445edd76bfd302b2836c2a27419890f17130a6b10e2aa3df

Special Events

For no extra fee, get access to more than a dozen events yearly, from intimate dinners to larger gatherings with marquee speakers.

What else is included in my subscription?

Become a contributor

Share your views and find other subscribers by completing your profile. You’ll be listed in our contributor directory.

Slack community

Discuss topics and current events with our subscriber-only Slack group and share news about your company with other subscribers.

Annual Subscriber only benefits:

Org Charts

Access the only collection of tech company org charts. Our expanding database includes companies like Amazon, Snap, and Uber.

Crypto Newsletter

Our experts investigate the latest in the crypto world to keep you in-the-know about the movements of digital currencies.

Stay up to date on Silicon Valley

Sign up for Jessica Lessin’s (The Information’s CEO & Founder) free Saturday newsletter and also receive a complimentary week of our daily afternoon tech commentary email.

Already a subscriber? Log in here

Recent Articles

Enterprise

Cisco In Talks to Buy Cybersecurity Startup Signal Sciences

By Kevin McLaughlin

Startups E-commerce

As Fashion Marketplaces Soar, a Bumpy Road for Tradesy

By Priya Anand

Startups

Collaboration App Notion Labs Hits $800 Million Valuation in New Funding

By Amir Efrati

Many companies raising money this way demand valuations that are astronomical even in the context of the speculatory world of startup investing.