Originally published Monday, October 19th, 2015 by Arkansas Business.
RaisetheMoney.com, a national fundraising and payment-processing platform based in Little Rock, is helping raise money for political candidates across the country. It’s signed on 300 campaigns — local, state and federal — over the past 90 days, more than 500 total, and has worked with five Republican presidential candidates.
Little Rock attorney and founder Chris Stewart said he couldn’t name names, but noted that they are “top 10” candidates. In addition to the money, the startup is raising its profile.
RaisetheMoney.com has been approved by the Arkansas Economic Development Commission to offer equity investment credits to potential investors. Through its Equity Investment Tax Credit program, the AEDC can issue up to $6.25 million in tax credits each year.
Stewart said his startup was approved for the program based on its “use and commercialization of emerging technology and the potential for 12 new, high-wage jobs in Arkansas.”
RaisetheMoney.com, founded last year, has signed on 40 political action committees in addition to the numerous campaigns, and its local client list includes Gov. Asa Hutchinson, U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton and U.S. Rep. French Hill.
The startup has been named best political app by Campaigns & Elections magazine, and Stewart was named a “Best Political Campaign Professional 40 under 40” member by the American Association of Political Consultants.
“We are proud to be an Arkansas company and look forward to our continued growth here and nationally,” he said. “Our overall goal is to stay out in front of the curve with regard to online payment processing, and the tax credit program will provide support in allowing us to grow and expand our services without losing our customer-first focus.”
RaisetheMoney.com is nonpartisan; the high-profile GOP clients in Arkansas simply reflect the state’s current “red” political environment.
Stewart believes the AEDC authorization will help the firm attract more investment opportunities. The startup already has received a “significant” investment from the Fund for Arkansas’ Future, he said.
“We were able to grow quickly for two reasons,” he said. “First, we built a cutting-edge software platform in a large niche market where there was no first mover; and second, we had a very aggressive marketing and sales plan to seize the opportunity.”