Tell us about Virtuix
Virtuix is the developer the Virtuix Omni, a virtual reality motion platform that enables mobility in virtual worlds and games. The user can walk around and jump in 360-degrees, freely and naturally inside a video game or other virtual reality application.
Why did you choose to raise capital online?
Our company was founded on the enthusiasm and the support of our community. We launched our Kickstarter campaign in 2013 and have since built a strong community of supporters. In the last few years, we have frequently gotten inquiries from supporters, fans, and customers asking how they could buy shares in Virtuix. Traditionally, we always had to turn them. Now with Regulation A, we soon may be able to say to our customers, fans, and supporters “yes, you can invest in Virtuix.” It’s part of our DNA, it’s part of our company culture, and now we’re gearing up for our Series A.
We believe Reg A is a good avenue for us to enable our community to potentially invest in Virtuix. We’ve raised $8 million to date mainly from VCs. This Reg A enables our community to potentially invest alongside those same VCs and become part of our company. We believe enabling customers to buy shares in a company is a great way to turn them from customers into true brand advocates (even more so than they are today). Using equity crowdfunding, we can create a community of people that have ownership in what we do and we believe that’s very powerful.
What’s been the hardest part about the process so far?
The toughest part has been the audit and filing process. We’ve been through several rounds of comments with the SEC but they’ve been fairly balanced. I used to be an investment banker and comparing this to an IPO process, it is not as involved. That being said, it still requires time and effort. The filing and audit certainly took the time but we now feel ready for our Reg A offering.
What have you done to promote your testing of waters campaign?
Our testing the waters strategy has been similar to a Kickstarter campaign. You want to have as much press coverage as you can, because your own community and your own network is only so big. We first outreached to the journalists in our network to drum up excitement. Next, we combined our testing the waters campaign with our CES presence early this year. At CES, we had a lot of press who were excited to see our product and used that press attention to promote our testing the waters campaign.
We also had a banner on our website which has proven a very valuable source of indications of interest. From the banner, people could click through to our SeedInvest testing the waters campaign page. It’s really been a matter of trying to get as many people as possible to the SeedInvest page by reaching as many people as possible through press, personal outreach, and social media.
What has surprised you the most about the process so far?
The success. It’s remarkable that our testing the waters campaign has reached more than $23 million of indications in interest. Those are numbers that people don’t expect. Even I didn’t expect such a groundswell of support going into this whole process. Just the sheer volume of people and interest that seem to be within reach through equity crowdfunding is remarkable and very promising.
What advice would you give to entrepreneurs considering raising capital from their customers?
You have to do everything right in advance. You need a roadmap for getting the word out, the messaging around it, how to create interest, how to make your deal appealing, and creating a video. It’s very similar to a Kickstarter campaign. The success of a Kickstarter campaign depends on all the work you do before the campaign. You have to put in a lot of time and effort to get everything lined up correctly and create enough interest. It’s a lot of work, there’s no shortcut to fundraising.
Is there anything that you’d do differently looking back now?
No, I think so far what we’ve done is exactly what we planned to do. It has turned out to be a success so far.
Virtuix Holdings, Inc. (“Virtuix”) is “testing the waters” to gauge market demand from potential investors for an Offering under Tier II of Regulation A. No money or other consideration is being solicited, and if sent in response, it will not be accepted. No sales of securities will be made or commitment to purchase accepted until qualification of the offering statement by the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”) and approval of any other required government or regulatory agency. An indication of interest made by a prospective investor is non-binding and involves no obligation or commitment of any kind. No offer to buy securities can be accepted and no part of the purchase price can be received without an Offering Statement that has been qualified by the Commission. A Preliminary Offering Circular that forms a part of the Offering Statement has been filed with the Commission, a copy of which may be obtained from www.seedinvest.com/virtuix.
This post was written by Peter Thomson on September 6, 2016
Behind the Scenes Interview with Jan Goetgeluk, CEO of Virtuix