Dawn Dickson, CEO and founder of PopCom, a smart vending retail company, isn’t new to historic funding feats. In 2019, she became the first female founder to raise over $1 million in crowdfunding (CF) investments, an amount that eventually reached the $1.07 million CF maximum.
Recently, Dickson’s PopCom is on the verge of raising the max yet again. Over 2,000 Start Engine investors have invested in PopCom, and with 4 days left in the funding round, the company has already raised $1.05 million.
Yesssss! I’m the first female founder – not just Black 💁🏽♀️ https://t.co/a64tdfjqo9
— Dawn Dickson-Akpoghene (@THEDawnDickson) July 2, 2020
PopCom specializes in equipping entrepreneurs and brands with high-IQ automated retail options. Its smart vending kiosks allow brands to engage with customers, understand sales metrics, and sell more products.
During the pandemic, Dickson believes smart vending kiosks are an essential tool for businesses adhering to social distancing regulations.
“Although the timing is sensitive due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we must continue to look towards the future and build products for our customers,” said Dickson, according to Black Enterprise. “While some industries are hurting, the requirement for social distancing validates the need for vending and retail automation. We believe that the market will continue to move towards self-service and contactless retail. Vending machines and convenience services are becoming more essential, and retailers are looking for more ways to deliver their products direct-to-customer with less human friction. We are excited about what is to come.”
Dickson’s historic funding rounds were made possible by providing investors with Regulation CF secure token offering (STO), an offering that allowed PopCom to secure investments from both accredited and non-accredited investors.
“It was important to me to be able to raise capital this way to build and encourage intergenerational wealth in often overlooked communities,” said Dickson. “I aim to bridge the gap between venture capital and everyday people.”
In addition, according to a press release, Dickson’s PopCom recently acquired female-led Wyzerr. The tech company, founded by Natasia Malaihollo, creates game-like surveys for businesses interested in better understanding their target audience. Wyzerr surveys have been used by PayPal, McDonald’s, Walmart, Google, and Facebook.
Click here to follow PopCom’s crowdfunding journey.
Editorial Note: This piece has been updated since it was initially published.