Los Angeles-based Ember Fund, the developer of an artificial intelligence (AI)-enhanced digital asset portfolio app, is planning to raise as much as $1 million through a fundraiser that has been approved by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Established in August 2018, Ember Fund’s management announced their plans via a filing with the SEC, which notes that the company’s sale of “Crowd SAFE” securities will be carried out through the end of January next year on online startup fundraising platform Republic.
SAFE (simple agreement for future equity) is essentially a binding investment contract that entitles its holders to equity in the event that Ember Fund decides to go public or is acquired by another commercial entity. In order to participate in the offer, investors are required to contribute a $100 minimum buy-in.
Ember Fund has been marketed as an app-based version of a digital currency hedge fund, which comes with an automated AI system that helps to strategically re-balance investors’ cryptocurrency portfolios. However, Ember, the company, is not actually a hedge fund.
The firm operates as a non-custodial service, under the name Ember Fund. The company says it never has custody of users’ crypto assets, which reside on the clients’ smartphones during and after transactions have been completed.
Earlier this year, Ember Fund CEO Alex Wang revealed that the company’s services handled almost $2 million in transactions during April 2019.
The company’s current financial performance has not yet been announced as its public reporting is only available for the end of 2018 period. Ember Fund is operated only by four individuals.
The company noted in its filing with the SEC that its treasury only had $2,557.00 in cash on hand as of December 31, 2018. The firm’s reported loss for 2018 stands at $24,523.00. Wang confirmed that the company began handling customer transactions in November of last year.
The company says its target fund numbers are fairly low. Ember Fund’s minimum target sale is $25,000, with a maximum of $1,070,000. However, Wang said the latest investment round, –which is intended for “friends and family,” has been kept relatively small.
“Our hope is really to raise as little money as possible.”
He added that he wants to maintain full control of the firm he established along with its other founding partners Guillaume Torche and Mario Lazaro.
Wang further noted that his partners have figured out user acquisition costs and their value, which has helped the company formulate a business strategy for its ongoing growth and development.
Wang says Ember Fund will not be rushing into anything, which is quite different from most other California startups that are eager to trade their equity for capital.
“A lot of companies go out and raise a ton of money without having a business model. We took the other approach: let’s have a business model and then scale it up.”
According to a transcript of a promotional video for Ember Fund that was shared with the SEC, the company is planning to use Ember Fund to further expand its operations. The video’s narrator, company CTO Guillaume Torche noted:
“We have already processed about $10 million to the platform without any marketing budget. We’re at a point where we’re ready to scale.”