Terrafugia Turns to ‘Crowd Investor’ Site for Funding

** Terrafugia Transition**

Terrafugia, developer of the Transition roadable aircraft project, has posted an appeal for funding on the Wefunder "crowd investor" website similar to the better known site, Kickstarter. Federal investor rules have changed recently, allowing the company to post on the site in September.

On the Wefunder site, Terrafugia CEO Carl Dietrich described how the investment opportunity works, answering the question, how much equity does a $1,000 investment get you based on current funding? "Wefunder investors purchase a convertible note that converts at a discount to the price of the next round [of financing]. Since we do not know what the price of the next round will be, and we do not know the size of the next round or how many investors will purchase the note, it is not possible to give…an exact answer."

To date, Terrafugia has sold four series of preferred stock. The largest of 80 listed investors holds less than 15 percent of the company, said Dietrich. Before the rule change and the Wefunder initiative, there was a usual low-end limit of at least $50,000 for investors. On the Wefunder site, investors can come on board for as little as $1,000.

The posted base price for the Transition LSA-category roadable airplane is $279,000. Terrafugia publicly flew the current conforming prototype for the first time at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh last summer.


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Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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