Boxabl is an American housing construction technology company based in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was founded in 2017 by Paolo Tiramani, Galiano Tiramani and Kyle Denman to supply accessory dwelling units (ADUs). It is among the most successful companies to have benefited from regulated investment crowdfunding having raised over $160 million. This interview was conducted with Galiano Tiramani.
CfPA: Can you tell us a little bit about your company? What does your company do and at what stage is it?
GALIANO: Boxabl operates factories that produce a new kind of housing. We have technology that we believe will allow us to mass produce housing on a scale and for a cost that was never before possible. Our goal is to dramatically lower housing costs for the world.
CfPA: What's the market in which you see your company operating?
GALIANO: Our initial product is a small studio apartments. After that we will roll out a system of room modules that stack and connect to create apartments single family residential and more.
CfPA: Do you think Boxabl has benefited from the growing interest in tiny homes across the US?
GALIANO: Boxabl is not a tiny house company, our plan is to produce a building system where different rooms are stacked and connected to create many different buildings. But our first product is the Casita, and that definitely helped us gather interest! Tiny houses are super popular and that was part of the reason people got pumped about Boxabl.
CfPA: Does the demand for your housing product vary from state to state across the US?
GALIANO: We have massive interest from every state in the USA. I would say that California is our biggest state and that might be because the opened up the rules surrounding ADUs.
CfPA: Your company completed a regulated investment crowdfunding campaign. Can you tell us some info about your crowd-raise (timing, amount, number of investors, was it a success?)
GALIANO: We have raised over $160m through crowdfunding from over 40,000 investors. I think we are one of the most successful in history.
CfPA: What made you decide to pursue investment crowdfunding?
GALIANO: We wanted to control our own destiny and really it has no downside for the type of company we are. We now have an army of cheerleaders and the marketing pays off in many areas.
CfPA: On which platform did you raise?
GALIANO: Mainly we self hosted it on our own website. We have also appeared on Wefunder, Republic and StartEngine in the past.
CfPA: Can you speak to your experience raising on those platforms? What sort of advice would you give to other issuers considering any of those platforms?
GALIANO: I suggest issuers to host directly on their own website, the traffic needs to come from your own marketing and you cant rely on a platform. It is better to self host so you can manage your own sales funnel and have complete control.
CfPA: It sounds like you're a big fan of self-hosting but that you did so after using some of the other Reg CF platforms and after you already had some traction. If that's true, do you think earlier stage companies could be candidates for self-hosted crowdfunding raises as well?
GALIANO: When it comes to crowdfunding, a platform like StartEngine or Wefunder will provide you with some traffic from the platforms audience, but I wouldn’t count on that. An issuer must bring their own audience and investors. They will get far more from social media and general interest in their company than from a platform. If I had to pick a platform or self-host and couldn’t do both, I would say self-host.
CfPA: How did you get the word out about your company during the crowd-raise? How did you go about your marketing?
GALIANO: Our main tactic was to use influencer marketing. We found people on social media who had big followings with a relevant audience and got them to do videos about us. That drove high quality traffic.
CfPA: What do you feel was your biggest challenge during your crowd- raise?
GALIANO: Regulatory! Took us 18 months to get through the SEC qualification process and this was a huge risk for our company that could have killed us.
CfPA: Were there any surprises, good or bad, that you encountered during the fundraising process?
GALIANO: I was shocked at how well it worked and how people responded so well to our offering!
CfPA: What advice would you offer any other companies considering regulation crowdfunding?
GALIANO: Don’t give up, work harder than everyone else, and pull every lever you can to adjust things in your favor!
CfPA: Thank you Galiano for participating in the CfPA Issuer Interview Series.
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