Community members, industry pundits, and the Gaingels syndicate join hands to finance the growth of the SPACES App after its successful MVP launch earlier this year.
West Hollywood, Calif., Nov 9, 2022 — Just four months after its incorporation, Queer Spaces, Inc. — incubated and then spun out of Hornet and responsible for building SPACES, the first tech platform for the entire LGBTQ+ community and often dubbed “the Queer Discord” — has officially closed its crowdfunding campaign seeking outside investment from community members and allies. Altogether, more than 100 investors came together to invest $1 Million in the company with the goal of creating much-needed safe digital spaces for queer people.
The campaign hit the $1 million maximum crowdfunding limit under the SEC’s Reg CF and closed two weeks earlier than expected. The opportunity to invest in SPACES started at just $100, giving a broad and diverse range of individuals the opportunity to participate in the upside of this exciting venture. Among SPACES’ high-profile tech industry investors are individuals including Mark Suster (Upfront), Sean Rad (Tinder), Tim Howes (Netscape), Max Burger (APAX), Niklas Lindstrom (Skout, Meet Group, UnitQ) and Sam Altman (YC, OpenAI).
The round was closed out early as Gaingels and Mana VC agreed to participate through their syndicate networks. “Gaingels is proud to be participating in this financing of Queer Spaces, which is perfectly aligned with our mission,” says Lorenzo Thione, Managing Director at Gaingels (gaingels.com), the largest investor network focused on supporting and investing in the best venture-backed companies that embrace and value diverse leadership, including LGBTQ+ leaders. “We’re resolved to help the company grow and scale while strengthening its prospects of success by building a culture that reflects the diversity of its executive teams, staff and customers.”
But many more investments came from members of the LGBTQ+ community — those who understand just how dire the current environment is for queer people on social media, and the need for platforms where their safety and authenticity is a priority. They were clear and concise about their motives for investing into the creation of a community-owned, safe digital space for the entire spectrum of LGBTQ+ people:
“I think we need to change the way social media (and the current internet as a whole) operates, and SPACES seems like just the type of company that is working to do that.” —Christian Lowe, founder of The Green Book Project
“We all know Facebook is NOT LGBTQ-friendly. This truly is an app that this community will embrace. Great success, Queer Spaces, Inc., in your endeavor and God Bless.” —Oscar Torres
“Queer Spaces unite people online in ways that might not yet be possible in IRL for many people, particularly the younger and the vulnerable. It’s a safe space to meet some of the most interesting and diverse people on the planet. I am super excited about the community being built here. Donating to building safe spaces is something we can all get behind. Being able to invest in creating these opportunities feels equally historic.” —Sean Howell, co-founder of BuffaloMarket
“I invested because I believe in the business. Furthermore, we are not a true civilization if we do not provide safe spaces for everyone.” —Marten Mickos, CEO of HackerOne
“Everyone desires to feel accepted and safe. What better way than creating a social community that embraces the LGBTQ+ culture.” —Larry Hawkins
“I recently visited a country where queer people live in constant fear. They are forced into the closet and even the tiniest prospect of being gay — such as wearing shorts — could have them arrested, jailed, or killed. Unfortunately, many countries are just like this one. For me, this makes the work you all are doing with Spaces — to create a vibrant and safe space online for queer people everywhere — even more important.” —Andrew Blum
“I have been using SPACES and love the app. It is a great collaboration tool and a safe place for people to come together. I think it will continue to do great, and look forward to seeing it grow. Excited to invest in a great LGBTQ+ company!” — Matthew Noll
“Queer people have always needed a safe space to be themselves. Now, it’s more important than ever.” —Douglas Atkin, former Global Head of Community, Airbnb
As mentioned in the WeFunder campaign’s launch announcement, investment will go towards accelerating the app’s rapid growth, building an in-demand Android version by year’s end, and kicking off a marketing spend to follow the app’s grassroots launch in March of this year.