Gold Darr Hood is a different kind of founder, and Ads4Earth is a very different kind of company. Why not then have a very different kind of raise? Harvard Business Review recently cited that 2.8% of funding went to female-led startups, and in 2020, the percentage fell to 2.3%. Gold decided that the conventional route was unsuitable for her vision. Ads4Earth is a social benefit corporation with an audacious mission: to save the world by making a platform where millions of people and companies who need to be a part of the solution have an easy path to make a difference. To attain this mission, she is leveraging her experience as an educator, investment strategist, engineer, and global nomad to build an app that solves the Social Dilemma while redirecting 80% of ad revenue toward environmental impact work.
That’s the sort of project that might get funded on a traditional route, especially in this market timing, but it would never keep its social purpose intact. Pressure to switch to more profitable means of creating wealth from “users” or to sell to a major tech company instead of creating a real market alternative would be overwhelming from investors hungry for an exit. With female founders already facing an uphill fight in most boardrooms, Gold took a very different vector.
She’s raising revenue share/royalty-based financing and went straight for scale and sales. Admittedly, this was the reason she chose a software social media platform as a base. The monetization potential wasn’t an accident or late game discovery, it was instead the intentional vehicle that could support global impact and provide sufficient data to make a real difference to the environment and how companies reach customers. All the same, both raising this way and vesting her leadership team in this approach allows Ads4Earth’s founder to expand aggressively without compromising mission or vision.
“I want to show that this can be tremendously successful both socially and in rewarding investors because it’s a better approach, especially for minority founders and social entrepreneurs.” Said Gold.
Gold’s current investment round gives investors back 10X their initial investment, and she has specifically opened it to the public as well as larger investors via WeFunder, since she believes wealth creation shouldn’t be limited to those with a lot of capital.
As for the investment approach, Gold says it’s a little difficult to communicate to some investors, but most end up really liking it, since it’s hard to beat a ROI where returns start the same year! So for female and minority founders who are sick of fighting boards (especially for impact-driven companies or those addressing underserved markets), Gold advocates that they go for it. “We don’t change the world by doing things the same way they’ve been done before.”
Gold Hood, CEO Ads4Earth
534 West Myrtle Avenue
Disclaimer: The views, suggestions, and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Sahyadri Times journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.