When we started Rasa back in 2015, we couldn’t imagine it would be the business it has become today. Lopa founded it out of her kitchen, grinding herbs in a blender.
Well, as we know, it worked— and Rasa took off! We officially launched in 2018, and have been growing ever since. And through it all, the core values of our business were steadfast: our commitment towards obsessively sustainable sourcing of herbs, our commitment to herbalist-driven formulas that taste damn good and actually work, and our dedication to being a business that benefits humans (and more than humans!) in every aspect of what we do. We are also dedicated to changing our customers’ lives, building a benchmark sustainable supply chain, and pioneering compostable packaging. We aim to drive cultural change.
So when we hit an inflection point in the past year when we needed more cash, we asked "what would Rasa do?" The answer wasn't accepting venture capital that was being offered to us— we weren't into that top-down approach, which may have potentially sacrificed our core values or pushed us in a direction that satisfied our investors, but pulled us away from our core mission. We jokingly call VC “the coffee of money”—extractive short-term gains which often compromise long-term sustainability.
We realized that we had built a rad community of people who love Rasa— the product and the brand— and stand for the same values as we do (hey, that's you! thanks so much!). First we took the legal step to commit to our values through becoming a Public Benefit Corporation (which is our legal status as a corporation).
Then we decided to practice what we preach and let you—the community, customers, and fans; the people who have helped us get to where we are now—become officially part of the Rasa company by opening up our investment round via crowdfunding.
We are crowdfunding because we love how it democratizes investing—giving everyday people (who love and believe in the things we do, and our products!) the opportunity to make money off of money. And it paves the way for a new model of business: community-owned. When we do well, our most important stakeholders do well: YOU, our beloved customers who make it all possible!
We’re not going to lie—it was a bit of a question mark to take this approach. We don’t see many CPG brands going in this direction (but hey, it’s kind of like us to take the road less traveled, no?) and we weren’t sure how it was going to go.
So now the update... you’ve blown us away! 🤯
In just one month of crowdfunding, we’ve raised (as of writing) $1,792,955 from 923 investors. Can we repeat those numbers? $1,792,955 from 923 investors. And of Rasa’s investors, an estimated 71% are woman, who have invested an estimated $868,930.
Women and women-identifying folk make up only 22% of angel investors and 5% of partners in VC firms, so Rasa has far more women investors than average, another fact we’re pretty excited about. This is democratizing business in action, and we are so humbled and honored that so many believe in us enough to not only buy our products but also to invest in our future.
This crowdfunding round means more than just the money we raise—though we intend to put that money to good use to continue to grow our operations and staff, secure an office space, hire a PR agency, start clinical trials, and focus on our future—it means that we are collectively building this together. Reading through reviews on our crowdfunding page, all 448 of them (as of writing), shows us that you “get it.” That our commitment to our values and creating the highest quality products, even though those commitments often meant a more challenging path—created a brand that folks truly believe in.
We’re not crying you’re crying. (And when we’re not crying, we’re trying to answer your questions on IG too). Seriously though, you should see our company’s Slack. Reading reviews and seeing updates on how enthusiastic people are about this campaign and the brand is blowing our minds, and there have definitely been tears shed along the way. We are so honored!
Well, that’s the short of it. Our crowdfunding round is still open for a little bit longer if you’d like to join in. And regardless of if you invested or not, if you are reading this, you’ve helped us get to where we are today. We are so grateful for your support, and we’re eager to see what unfolds next..