Marcel Benson—the founder of The Benson Watch Co.—announced that his company raised over $1M on an investment crowdfunding site called Republic, according to BlackNews.com.
Republic allows “community investors” to get involved with supporting startups. The Benson Watch Co. came to life because Benson is pretty fond of timepieces.
“I started my company sheerly out of my passion for watches. My vision was to create a brand that inspired people to move in the direction of their passions, hence our slogan “Time Should Be Spent Doing What You Love,” Benson wrote on Facebook in 2020.
Colorful, high-quality-looking steel watches are prominently featured on the Benson Watch Co.’s website. In an exclusive interview with BLACK ENTERPRISE, Benson shares why he took a leap of faith and left his job to start a watch company. A Morehouse College alumnus who was working in the finance and consulting industry before starting his watch company, he experienced an awakening.
“There are so many people that have so many gifts and talents to offer the world,” Benson said, mentioning that they should be utilized. “I took the risk. I left my job, and then I came up with the slogan “Time Should Be Spent Doing What You Love,” so that’s the theme around the brand. All of the products have some sort of metaphorical meaning, but it’s all contributing to the mission of freeing people. Getting people to understand that they have the ability to get out there and do what they want to do with their life.”
Gaining traction and garnering support
Benson stated that a team of four currently works along with him. The Benson Watch Co. has been around for a few years and is within the top two Black watch companies. Although it is on track to do $1 million in revenue this year, capital must be raised to enable infrastructure to be built for a Black-owned watch alternative. Thus, the entrepreneur opted to take the crowdfunding route to push forward. Benson shared that the barrier for supporters to get involved in the company is also very low.
“A person can invest $250 and get involved in the race, and that number can go all the way up to $100,000 per investor,” Benson told BLACK ENTERPRISE on Friday.
Money that is being raised will be used for strategic hires, diversifying product offerings, and meeting marketing needs. One of Benson’s long-term goals is to help his company’s investors to build wealth. If a larger investor buys them out, this is one way to accomplish it. Benson is also open to his watch company being acquired by a larger watch brand, although it could still be “Black run.”
“So the strategy we’re taking to make people who invest in us money is the acquisition route,” Benson said.