SMBX And Degrees Plato Announce New Small Business Bond Offering

The first small business capital marketplace allows small businesses to offer bonds directly to the public, empowering communities to invest locally

OAKLAND, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–SMBX, a marketplace for buying and selling small-business bonds, and Degrees Plato, an Oakland owned-and-operated taproom, bottleshop and Mexican kitchen, announced the launch of Degrees Plato’s (PLTO) Small Business Bond™ offering. The offering enables the community to invest in the business directly with as little as $10, providing the business a faster, local pathway to capital.

SMBX is ushering in a new model of finance that allows small businesses to offer bonds directly to the public, bypassing banks and standard regulatory fees. The company facilitates secure financial exchanges between individuals, reducing transaction costs and empowering the public to invest in local businesses.

Degrees Plato owners Rich Allen and Mercedes Sperling founded the independent taproom in 2017 with aims of sharing quality food and making craft beer approachable in a family-friendly neighborhood hub. Located in Oakland’s Laurel District and dedicated to supporting the community, the pub’s 40 plus taps exclusively feature independent breweries, with an emphasis on local beer. Degrees Plato will use the funds to build an outdoor space, which is set to launch this spring.

“We believe that people want power over their money, that people would rather directly invest in businesses in their communities and share in the profits than keep their money in a zero-interest bank account,” said SMBX CEO Benjamin James. “The Small Business Bond gives them this opportunity.”

“Community is part and parcel to everything we do,” said co-owner Rich Allen. “We employ people from the neighborhood, and most of the brewers we work with are people we know. Partnering with SMBX allows an incredible opportunity for this community to invest in their own space and funnel capital back into their neighborhood.”

Through the SMBX mobile app or website, individuals can bid to invest for free, become a lender with as little as $10, and receive monthly payouts. SMBX completes and files all necessary paperwork for participating companies, markets the fixed-interest bonds, and hosts bond auctions. After each auction closes, companies receive their capital and pay investors principal plus interest. SMBX does not collect unless the company reaches its investment goal, at which point a 3.5% service fee is applied to the total of raised funds.

About SMBX

SMBX is the first small business capital marketplace for issuing and buying small business bonds. Founded in 2016 in San Francisco, Calif., SMBX is ushering in a new model of finance by cutting out the middle man and enabling small businesses to offer bonds directly to the public without banks and standard regulatory fees.

About Degrees Plato

Degrees Plato is an independent taproom, bottleshop and kitchen in Oakland, Calif. Founded in 2017 by Rich Allen and Mercedes Sperling, Degrees Plato serves craft beer, wine, cider and delicious Mexican inspired cuisine in a family-friendly neighborhood hub in the Laurel District. Inspired by breweries around the world, Degrees Plato’s bottle shop and 40 plus taps feature local independent brewers.


Chelsea Murillo

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