GoFundMe stock is not publicly traded. Learn about who owns GoFundMe today, the business model, and its charitable arm.
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What is GoFundMe?
GoFundMe Inc. is a private, for-profit company based in Redwood City, California.
The company runs one of the largest charitable crowdfunding online platforms, empowering people and organizations to raise money for personal causes, particularly in times of severe need.
Charitable crowdfunding platforms typically leverage technology, social media, and personal networks to encourage large numbers of people to make small donations toward a particular cause. Several small donations can add up to a lot, helping those in need.
Common individual fundraising examples on the GoFundMe platform include raising money for a family faced with a surprise medical condition, emergency, or unexpected memorial services.
The platform also makes it easy to raise funds via campaigns for established charities.
Andrew Ballester and Brad Damphousse founded GoFundMe in 2010.
Here’s an interesting conversation with the former CEO and current Director of the Board of Directors, Rob Solomon.
He describes GoFundMe’s global impact and how the company is a rare profitable business in Silicon Valley.
Is GoFundMe Publicly Traded?
No. GoFundMe is a private company. There is no GoFundMe stock yet.
Who Owns GoFundMe?
GoFundMe is a venture-backed private company. Its investors include the original founders and multiple venture capital firms.
In June 2015, founders Brad Damphousse and Andy Ballester agreed to sell a majority stake in the company to an investor group that included:
- Accel Partners
- Technology Crossover Ventures
- Greylock Partners
- Iconiq Capital
- Meritech Capital Partners, and
- Stripes Group
The two founders stepped down from day-to-day operations but remained on the Board of Directors.
The 2015 deal valued the company at $600-$650 million. But an accurate GoFundMe valuation is difficult to estimate today because its financials are private.
GoFundMe, Inc. Vs. GoFundMe.org
GoFundMe Inc. is a for-profit company owned by venture capital and private equity firms.
Venture capital and private equity firms aim to make money for their clients. GoFundMe, Inc. is not a charity.
GoFundMe.org works closely with GoFundMe, Inc. but is an independent registered 501(c)(3) public charity with a mission to provide fast and effective relief to disaster victims and to fund education and other charitable initiatives.
Will GoFundMe become a Public Company?
Probably not. Here are three reasons why.
1. Profitable Low-Risk Private Asset
Though financials are not public, GoFundMe’s lack of fundraising since 2015 and statements by leadership confirm it is a profitable company.
The private owners can therefore sit on their investment while it appreciates in value and produces cash flow for other growth investments.
Since there are no public filings or Wall Street scrutiny, the company can operate with somewhat lowered overhead costs.
GoFundMe is a goose laying golden eggs. Why share that asset with the public if it doesn’t need to raise additional funds?
Donations, and therefore revenue, are typically driven by charitable giving. Often, giving goes to people who are down on their luck, either by accident, death, or other calamities.
GoFundMe calls itself a platform for when people who need help. As a public entity, it could be misconstrued as profiteering off of the pain of others.
In reality, to serve the people in need, it needs to be a healthy and profitable entity to attract talent and operate efficiently.
Even though the company is for-profit, being a private company offers a shield to conceal just how profitable it is. If the company were to disclose its profitability, it may become a target for activists who would advocate for lower fees.
3. Low Growth Prospects
As an electronic fundraising platform, GoFundMe is a technology company. However, its growth prospects are limited because the business model relies on charitable giving, which is not a growth industry.
Few expect further innovation, disruption, or fast growth in the space.
Wall Street investors want to invest in growth companies. GoFundMe has likely already passed its growth phase to become the leader in online charitable giving and now produces reliable cash flow.
How does GoFundMe Make Money? – GoFundMe Fees
It is free to start a fundraiser, and there is no fee to donate to causes.
However, GoFundMe charges the fundraising recipient a 2.9% transaction fee per donation. Plus, $0.30 per donation.
According to its website:
Safe and secure fundraising is our top priority. That’s why we partner with industry-leading payment processors like PayPal to accept and deliver your donations. The transaction fee is automatically deducted from each donation. It covers the costs of credit and debit charges, safely delivering donations, and helps us offer more ways to donate—through credit, debit, PayPal, Apple Pay, or Google Pay. This is the only fee deducted on GoFundMe to cover all your fundraising needs.
The fee not only covers transaction costs with the payment partners, it likely covers the cost to operate the business plus a profit.
The payment processors charge varying fees for different vendors. Since GoFundMe is one of the largest fundraising companies in the world and operates to serve those in need, it has likely negotiated favorable terms with the payment processors.
Those donating are offered the chance to “tip” the GoFundMe platform.
Tips are optional. Inadvertent tips will be refunded.
By leaving a voluntary tip, you’re helping us do more good in the world. Your generosity helps us provide a safe and secure experience for you and others in our community.
In other words, tips help to keep the company running with enough employees to serve its customers. As a for-profit company, many of the tips likely go to the bottom line.
That is expected because GoFundMe, Inc. is a for-profit company.
Is GoFundMe Tax Deductible? Are GoFundMe Donations Tax Deductible
Donations made to individual fundraisers are considered gifts and are generally not tax deductible.
Donations made to GoFundMe charity fundraisers are tax deductible. Only donations made to GoFundMe charity fundraisers are:
…guaranteed to be tax-deductible and will receive tax receipts automatically from our charity partner, PayPal Giving Fund. Donations to these fundraisers are collected by PayPal Giving Fund, a non-profit organization, and distributed to the designated charity.
Read more about GoFundMe tax information here.
Contact a tax professional for your personal situation.
Is GoFundMe Charity?
GoFundMe, Inc. is a for-profit company that enables seamless charitable giving to individuals, families, and organizations.
GoFundme, Inc. is not a charity.
Giving to individual causes is not considered charitable giving. Donations are considered gifts.
When is the GoFundMe IPO Date?
The GoFundMe IPO date is currently unknown. The author believes an IPO is an unlikely event.
Monitor our list of upcoming IPOs for the latest IPO pipeline.
What is the GoFundMe Stock Symbol? GoFundMe Ticker?
GoFundMe is still a private company, so there is no GoFundMe stock symbol yet.
Here is a suggested GoFundMe ticker in the event of an IPO that appears to be available in the U.S.:
What is the GoFundMe Stock Price?
There is no GoFundMe stock price. The company is private.
Can You Buy GoFundMe Stock on Pre-IPO Marketplaces?
The author has yet to see evidence of GoFundMe stock availability on prominent pre-IPO investing platforms based in the U.S.
It’s possible that shares may become available if early investors, employees, or venture capital investors want to cash out.
However, a private transaction with another institutional investor is more likely in this case.
At this stage, the company appears to be self-sufficient and does not need another funding round.
The SEC requires pre-IPO investors to be accredited, meaning a net worth above $1 million (not including primary residence) or an income above $200,000 (or $300,000 with a spouse).
Check out our list of top pre-IPO investing platforms for current share availability.
How to Invest in GoFundMe Stock Today
The author does not see any opportunities for investment today or in the future. If that status changes, we’ll update this page with suggestions.
Where can I find the GoFundMe IPO S-1 Filing?
GoFundMe has not yet submitted an S-1 filing to the SEC. If and when the company does, we’ll share it here.
In the meantime, you can check out the most recent S-1 filings in our S-1 filings feed.
Investors get excited when they identify companies riding extraordinary macroeconomic trends (online giving).
However, owning private companies can be challenging for retail investors.
Though pre-IPO investing platforms have opened more opportunities, private equity investing is still primarily reserved for the ultra-wealthy, requiring millions to invest in seed and early funding rounds for disruptive companies.
In GoFundMe’s case, it’s unlikely we’ll see a pre-IPO investing opportunity or an IPO. So if GoFundMe stock is on your radar, don’t be surprised if you’re waiting indefinitely.
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