MicroVentures Opens “500 Startups Fund III” Equity Investment Opportunity to Fund 4-Month Startup Accelerator Programs

27 Feb

Equity Crowdfunding Site Now Seeking Investors to Invest up to $10,000 in Multiple e-commerce, cloud services, mobile, education, digital health, payments and Internet startup companies

By Robert Hoskins

Austin, Texas – MicroVentures, an online equity crowdfunding portal based in Mountain View, California and offices in Austin, Mexico City and San Francisco, announced the launch of a new equity crowdfunding investment fund called “500 Startups Fund III,” which is seeking to sign up accredited equity investors to invest a minimum of $10,000 or more in early stage capital investments. The 500 Startups Fund III makes investments across multiple industry verticals, including e-commerce, cloud services, mobile, education, digital health, payments and Internet among others.

MicroVentures Equity Investment Network of 25,000 Global Investors to Date Have Invested $125 Million in Approximately 900 Startup Companies

MicroVentures Equity Investment Network Has Invested   $125 Million in Approximately 900 Startup Companies

Founded by Bill Clark in 2009, MicroVentures recruited Tim Sullivan, Garrett Paul and Jaclyn Strife from SharesPost in 2012, which is renowned for taking Facebook through its Initial Public Offering (IPO) and went on to found Oceanic Partners. The firm runs something commonly referred to an investment syndicate, where accredited investors who are new to the Angel and Venture Capital investment process follow seasoned, experienced lead investors.

“Over the years, MicroVentures has built a platform that gives investors the ability to diversify investments in early to late stage opportunities. Our level of due diligence and customer support are unique resources angel investors previously did not have access to,” stated Bill Clark, Founder and CEO of MicroVentures. “Investors are increasingly seeking diversification and international exposure. MicroVentures through the 500 Startups Fund III provides both, while reinforcing its long-standing commitment of supporting investor demand for diversified opportunities.”

Using this growth strategy MicroVentures had amassed more than 4,000 investors by the end of 2012 and over the past three years it has grown 625% to a very large pool of more than 25,000 global investors who have invested approximately $125 million in 900 companies.

Unlike typical broker dealers, which only solicit investments ranging from $50,000 to $100,000 and up, the MicroVenture site allows accredited as well as non-accredited investors to invest in a wide variety of funds that range from investments of $1,000, $3,000, and $10,000 and up. This allows investors to diversify their portfolio and spread their eggs across multiple startup baskets, which reduces risk and increases the chance of being able to discover and participate in the next Facebook, Oculus, or Pebble Time Watch at a very early stage.

The 500 Startups runs a four-month Accelerator Program for Startups that culminates in a private, invite-only Demo Day where each startup presents to a group of select investors in an effort to attract additional seed funding. About 30 companies participate in each four-month program offered at its various locations.  Batch 12 began January 2015 in San Francisco.

In addition to investing through its accelerator program, 500 Startups invests globally in early-stage companies through various seed-stage investment funds.

Across numerous funds, 500 Startups has committed approximately $125 million to over 900 portfolio companies.

The inaugural investment fund, Fund I, was formed in July 2010 and achieved an ultimate fund size of $29 million. As of September 30, 2014, the internal rate of return for Fund I stood at 18% with investment exits worth approximately $13 million.

Fund II was formed in April 2012 raising almost $45 million. Fund II has achieved $2 million in exits and a net internal rate of return of 27% as of September 30, 2014.

While Fund I and Fund II are closed to new investments, the 500 Startups is the fundraising process for four other funds: Fund III, Annex Fund, 500 Luchadores and 500 Durians.

Under its status as a FINRA-registered broker-dealer, MicroVentures offers both primary and secondary investment opportunities through their user-friendly, online equity crowdfunding platform. Series 7 licensed brokers develop personal relationships with Accredited and Sophisticated Investors to provide high-touch customer service, and support investment in startups with confidence.

The crowdfunding portal provides access to a flow of curated, vetted startup investment opportunities and allows novice investors to review due diligence, disclosures and speak with experienced licensed financial professionals prior to making an investment.

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GridShare.com Opens New Clean-Tech Equity Crowdfunding Site in San Francisco to Fund Renewable Energy Startups and Community Solar Projects

26 Feb

Potential investors can peruse investment opportunities in a variety of renewable energy sectors, including: solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, and small hydropower

By Robert Hoskins

San Francisco, CA – GridShare.com announced the launch of its clean technology crowdfunding platform to help renewable energy and solar projects and clean-tech companies raise capital. By creating an online platform where investors can independently engage with project owners seeking funding, GridShare is positioned to be the leading force in crowdfunding for the alternative energy industry.

GridShare Enables Everyday People to Invest in Renewable Energy Projects in the Clean-Tech and Solar Companies around the World

GridShare Enables Everyday People to Invest in Renewable Energy, Solar, Wind, GeoThermal, and HydroPower Projects in the Clean-Tech Industry around the World

GridShare is a unique online platform where renewable energy project developers and clean-tech companies from around the world post their funding needs. Potential investors can peruse investment opportunities in a variety of renewable energy sectors, including: solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, and small hydropower. GridShare also intends to host funding opportunities for energy efficiency initiatives and early-stage clean technology ventures.

“Raising money has been a huge impediment to the growth of the capital-intensive renewable energy industry,” said Jack Jacobs, CEO and Co-Founder, GridShare. “Now, with GridShare’s help, a project developer or cleantech venture can tap into a new funding channel and, ultimately, spend less time fundraising and more time focusing on their core business.”

There are three different types of investment opportunities that a company may offer through GridShare: debt, equity, and donations. High net-worth individuals, or “accredited investors,” can browse projects online, read pertinent information about the venture, and then pledge funding in exchange for equity or interest. Non-accredited investors can donate funds to a project or company that offers this option. As soon as the JOBS Act crowdfunding rules are finalized, all users will be able to invest freely for equity online.

Posting a project on GridShare is free and easy. Once the GridShare team approves the project, it will be published online. Investors will then have the opportunity to review the project details, and pledge their financial support online. The offeror then contacts the investor to arrange payment and finalize investment terms.

“For too long, large banks have controlled which solar projects can be financed. Finally, project developers like Samba Energy can rely on GridShare to offer high quality solar investments to investors nationwide,” said Michael Hidary, Managing Partner, Samba Energy, a national provider of software and services for clean energy and commercial building energy efficiency. “Samba Energy can now complete more installations and private investors can gain strong, predictable returns from solar power projects.”

GridShare earns a commission from the offeror only if its funding goal is fully achieved. GridShare also offers optional services for users that prefer to sell securities through a registered broker/dealer, conduct legal transactions under the guidance of an experienced law firm, and/or develop their materials with the help of a marketing professional.

GridShare enables everyday people to invest in renewable energy projects and cleantech companies around the world. GridShare is an independent online crowdfunding platform for renewable energy projects and clean-tech companies seeking funding.  

Investors can engage directly and independently with owners and developers through the platform. By significantly expanding the funding options available to business owners and project developers, GridShare opens up the renewable energy industry to a much wider audience of investors.

The platform is clean technology agnostic, posting investment opportunities from all types of renewable energy projects and clean-tech companies.

GridShare allows renewable energy projects and clean technology companies to raise debt, equity and/or donations from investors. By diversifying the available investment opportunities, GridShare offers a more inclusive environment for non-accredited and accredited investors alike. 

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MichiganFunders.com Launches 1st Equity Crowdfunding Site in Detroit for Non-Accredited Investors and Entrepreneurs

25 Feb

Under the Michigan Invests Locally Exemption (MILE) Act, New Rule Allows Non-Accredited Investors to Invest Alongside Angel Investors for 1st Time in 80 Years

By Robert Hoskins

Detroit, MI MichiganFunders.com announced that it launched the 1st equity crowdfunding site in Detroit to connect Michigan-resident investors and Michigan-based businesses that are seeking growth funding. The equity crowdfunding site is  the first portal based in Michigan to allow investors to participate in private equity investments in exciting local startups, expanding businesses, and real estate. All investors, regardless of income, are able to participate in funding the future. Investing in exciting local Michigan businesses has never been easier. 

MichiganFunders Equity Crowdfunding Site for Non-Accredited and Angel Investors

MichiganFunders Equity Crowdfunding Site for Non-Accredited and Angel Investors

Following the passage of Public Act 264, co-founders David Tessler, local attorney Jeffery Freeman, and Niles Heron partnered to build the platform, which will for the first time, open up investment opportunities to Michigan-based non-accredited investors. The site launched in February 2015 and will be open to both prospective investors and entrepreneurs. 

According to a leading research report, How Accelerators Kickstart Startup Ecosystems by TechCocktail, “In 2013, over $120 million in venture capital was invested in 40 Michigan companies, the most deals done in a single year in the past decade. The state now boasts 33 venture capital firms (50% more than 2008), $1.6 billion of capital under management, and over 90 investors (84% more than 2008). Its Q2 investments in 2014 landed it #11 among US states.”

In 2014, Google recognized the huge potential for growth in Detroit and launched Grand Circus Tech Hub located inside M@dison Block to provide financial support and resources for entrepreneurs.  The investment is a sign that even Internet Moguls do not forget their roots. Google co-founder Larry Page was born in East Lansing, less than 100 miles from Detroit, and graduated from the University of Michigan.

Equity Crowdfunding will augment Michigan’s ability to provide additional seed investment capital to their growing network of entrepreneur and startups organizations such as:

Michigan is the 10th most populated state in America, and growing yearly, with almost 10 Million residents. The state contribute’s in excess of $400 billion to the national GDP, which is more than Thailand, Austria, and a host of other countries produce for themselves yearly. Detroit was recently ranked a top-city for entrepreneurship and startups by Forbes.

The Michigan Invests Locally Exemption (MILE) opens up small business securities investments to all Michigan residents in a way not available nationally, or in the majority of other states. We’re from here, based here, and committed to working with local investors and small businesses to bridge the gaps.

“Michigan Funders firmly believes that the pursuit of dreams is an inalienable right, and should not be denied or deferred because of access or wealth. Within that is our belief that investors should be allowed access to investments, and businesses should be allowed access to capital – both within a truly democratic market,” said Niles Heron, Chief Business Development Officer at Michigan Funders.

Built on the CrowdEngine crowdfunding platform, state residents can now invest up to $10,000 per investment, per year, in startups, existing businesses, and real estate via crowdfunding platforms.

“CrowdEngine is proud to have been part of many crowdfunding ‘firsts’, and this is another key milestone in bringing equity crowdfunding to the world. This is the same technology trusted by investors and entrepreneurs around the world, but now we’re enabling a new investment experience for intrastate crowdfunding portals that is accessible, efficient, and secure,” said Jim Borzilleri, President.

Accelerators and Incubators can use CrowdEngine’s software to launch their own equity crowdfunding site that features:

  • User-Friendly Tools  – That simplify the creation, promotion and securing of new investments for small businesses.
  • Align Investors to Investments – With access to a broader range of locally based investments not limited by federal requirements of existing personal relationships, “accredited” investor status, or other federal compliance requirements.
  • Streamlined due diligence  – A new population of investors and entrepreneurs can focus more on fundraising instead of paperwork, with digitized templates, automation and e-signing during the checkout processes. 
  • Increased Convenience –  Michigan residents can now browse investments anytime, from anywhere, on any device.
  • Investor Management – Once investments are complete, companies and entrepreneurs have one simple tool for investor communication, payouts, dividends, and quarterly updates.

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FlashFunders Launches Leading No Fee Equity Crowdfunding Site to Fund Startups in the United States

24 Feb

No-Fee Platform Helps Connect Accredited Investors to Innovative Entrepreneurs, Startups and Businesses Seeking Investment Capital

By Robert Hoskins

Santa Monica, California FlashFunders announced the launch of its no-fee, online equity funding platform at www.flashfunders.com.  FlashFunders (member FINRA/SIPC) was started by Europlay Capital Advisors, law firm Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, and co-founders Vincent Bradley and Brian Park, and was formed to help startups raise capital efficiently while also opening up access to startup investing for accredited investors.

Vincent Bradley, the co-founder and CEO of FlashFunders, tells us more about equity crowdfunding

Vincent Bradley, the co-founder and CEO of FlashFunders, tells us more about equity crowdfunding

FlashFunders’ platform helps entrepreneurs navigate complex SEC regulations and offsets costly legal fees, while giving accredited investors unprecedented access to startup investment opportunities. FlashFunders provides a turnkey solution for raising capital and a marketplace where entrepreneurs can connect directly with accredited investors across the globe.

FlashFunders ensures all investors are accredited and that all offerings are SEC-compliant and executed using FDIC-insured escrows — which are created and paid for by FlashFunders.

“We worked with FINRA over the past year to expand the scope of our broker-dealer license, allowing FlashFunders to operate an online equity funding platform in a regulated environment,” said Vincent Bradley, the co-founder of FlashFunders. “We felt it was critical to ensure our platform was compliant for both startups and investors. Online equity funding is in its infancy and seeing tremendous growth; by engaging with FINRA, we’re leading the way for how it should be done — creating an industry standard.”

“Approximately 97% of the 8.5 million accredited investors in the United States currently don’t partake in startup investing,” said Mark Dyne, the chairman and founder of Europlay, a seed and early-stage investor in technology companies, as well as former Skype seed investor and board member and founder and CEO of Sega Ozisoft, Virgin Interactive Entertainment, and many others. “This is largely because they don’t have access to early stage companies. Leveraging technology and decades of combined experience in finance, venture investing, securities law and startup operations, FlashFunders provides entrepreneurs and investors a secure, SEC-compliant user experience, with e-Signature technology and document management capabilities backed by a team of FINRA-registered representatives to help ensure successful offerings on the platform.”

“FlashFunders is designed to fundamentally alter the capital-raising process,” said Brian Park, co-founder of FlashFunders. “We provide startups with a compliant, efficient and no-fee online equity funding platform to develop their business plans, publicly market their offerings and collect funding from accredited investors —saving startups thousands of dollars in legal fees. At the same time, investors on FlashFunders can purchase shares directly in startups with no transaction fees or carried interest charges.

FlashFunders creates a safe and intuitive process that allows investors to view startup offerings and execute investments legally and properly in minutes using Flash Seed Preferred documents and e-Signature technology.

FlashFunders has created “Flash Seed Preferred,” a set of safe, balanced and transparent investment documents that have been customized to facilitate fundraising on the platform, further streamlining a process that would otherwise take months of road shows, multiple middlemen and tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees to execute.

“Unlike other equity funding portals, FlashFunders does not curate or try to pick winners, and investments are not made through LLCs or Special Purpose Vehicles,” said Scott Alderton, Managing Partner at Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP. “FlashFunders provides a seamless end-to-end solution for startups raising capital with virtually no external cost, fees or investor carry. FlashFunders receives an ongoing right to invest a limited amount under the same terms as all other investors if a startup is successful in getting funded on the platform.” Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP is one of southern California’s leading business law firms, with deep experience in providing legal services to companies including LinkedIn, Beats by Dre and Skype, among many others.

The announcement is the first phase of FlashFunders’ rollout. Additional enhancements to the user experience will be added over time along with new tools and technologies to increase functionality and scale. Offerings from startups will be incrementally uploaded by the site’s concierge service, which assigns a live team to guide entrepreneurs through the process.

“We are educating a new generation of investors and building a more efficient roadshow for startups,” said Vincent Bradley.

A registered broker-dealer, member FINRA/SIPC, FlashFunders provides a no-fee online equity funding platform for entrepreneurs to publicly market their offerings, collect funding from accredited investors and gain access to SEC-compliant legal documents and escrow accounts to create their offerings.

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Front Page PR Seeks Startups at Texas Incubators Accelerators that Would Like to Try a New Method of Raising Seed Investment Capital via Texas Equity Crowdfunding Sites

23 Feb

Equity crowdfunding campaigns have the ability to help entrepreneurs raise enough seed capital to pay for a co-working space and put together marketing and business development plans to gain market traction

By Robert Hoskins

Austin, Texas – Front Page PR, in tandem with the Texas Crowdfunding Network, is now offering entrepreneurs, startups and businesses in Texas the opportunity to learn how to use top Texas crowdfunding sites to raise enough seed investment capital to get their companies up and running. Anyone interested in a free 30-minute crowdfunding consulting session to learn more about crowdfunding should call Robert Hoskins at (512) 627-6622 or send a tweet to @Crowdfunding_PR.

Front Page PR Helps Startups and Small  Businesses  Plan Successful Texas Equity Crowdfunding Campaigns

Front Page PR Helps Startups and Small Businesses Plan Successful Texas Equity Crowdfunding Campaigns

“Various Texas incubators and accelerators offer attractive deals that promise to provide $50,000 of matching funds and another $50,000 from venture capital partners for any company as long as they can bring their own $50,000 to the table,” said Robert Hoskins, the Texas Crowdfunding Network’s Executive Director. “The problem is that most startups are bootstrapping their companies and do not have enough money to qualify for these types of expensive cash-up-front accelerator programs.”

“Even though incubators/accelerators have the best intentions of helping startups,” Hoskins added. “There are simply too many startups and not enough seed investment capital to go around. According to a leading Austin Accelerator Research Report even the top Texas accelerators rarely invest more than a total of $150,000 per year in startups. At $50k per deal that means only enough funding for three companies per year.”

Recognizing this widespread problem, the Texas State Securities Board created a new source of alternative financing calledEquity Crowdfundingthat provides businesses, including Texas incubators and accelerators, with a new way to raise enough seed investment capital to fund more companies, create more jobs and stimulate more economic development in Texas.

Equity crowdfunding sites now allow businesses to build an online business pitch called a “crowdfunding profile,” which can be viewed by prospective investors 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week. Investors that like deals they find can purchase equity shares via online Texas crowdfunding sites in a similar manner to how Kickstarter and IndieGoGo or ecommerce sites work.

It is completely free to build a crowdfunding profile. And spending as little as $5,000 to $20,000 to produce the necessary pitch deck/video, disclosure documentation and targeted marketing campaigns to drive investors to crowdfunding profiles makes it possible for any Texas business raise up to $1,000,000 of seed investment capital per year.

Every adult in Texas can now invest up to $5,000 per year in equity investment deals they like. At $5,000 each, a small business only needs 200 investors to raise up to $1 million per year. Marketing campaigns with an average 3% response rate have the potential to drive up to 600,000 Texas investors to a company’s crowdfunding profile. And then, it only takes a very small conversion rate of those investors investing anywhere from $500 to $5,000 each to reach the desired crowdfunding goal.

When trying to raise seed capital most angel investors like to see some sort of traction in the marketplace. Smart companies will only try to raise enough money to deliver a finished product/service that can be sold as well as some marketing programs to begin customer acquisition.

After a successful first round, companies that spend their money wisely and build a solid customer base will be able to raise larger secondary and tertiary rounds as they gain momentum in the marketplace.

“Raising multiple rounds of funding to stair step their way into a successful business model is a good strategy to develop a loyal base of customers and crowdfunding investors,” Hoskins commented. “It is also a great way catch the eye of angel investors and venture capitalists who will be watching Texas Crowdfunding sites for rising stars that are still at an early stage, but growing quickly.”

Front Page PR has a 25-year track record of helping small startups launch their businesses and begin rolling out their products and services to local, regional, national and global markets. Using integrated marketing campaigns that harness the power of targeted content marketing, email marketing, PR and social media, Front Page PR can help any small business build a loyal customer base and begin preparing for a successful equity crowdfunding campaign. Front Page PR offers up to a 50% discount on various marketing services for qualified members of Texas-based co-working spaces, incubators and accelerator programs.

If your business would like to learn more about the Texas Equity Crowdfunding industry, please join our free Texas Crowdfunding Network Meetup Group or visit our Texas Equity Crowdfunding Blog to read more about how to setup a Texas Crowdfunding Portal or Issue a Texas Equity Crowdfunding Offering. We can also help setup Equity Crowdfunding Community Outreach Programs and Crowdfunding Training Programs to educate members of chambers of commerce, SBDC offices, economic development councils and large business associations on how to capitalize on equity crowdfunding to fund startups that need access to seed investment capital. 

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Contact:
Robert Hoskins

Front Page PR
(512) 627-6622
@Crowdfunding_PR
www.linkedin.com/in/roberthoskins

Crowdfunding PR Offers Texas Co-Working Space, Incubator and Accelerator Members a 50% Discount on Media Lists, Press Releases, PR and Media Relations Pitching Services

22 Feb

Texas Entrepreneurs and Startups Located Anywhere in Texas are Encouraged to Take Advantage of Front Page PR’s Free 30-Minute Crowdfunding Consultations to Learn How to Raise $1 Million per Year from More than 20 Million Texas Crowdfunding Investors

  By Robert Hoskins

Company Details:

Front Page PR is one of the leading Crowdfunding PR firms in America

Front Page Public Relations

Front Page Public Relations has been helping startups, mid-sized companies and Fortune 500 corporations develop corporate communications programs for more than 25 years. Our fields of expertise include building websites, generating persuasive content, developing corporate message maps, and planning integrated marketing communications programs that include advertising, media relations, PR and social media management.

Nothing is more important than the story you tell investors and your future customers. Gaining traction during startup mode is one of the toughest challenges bootstrapped entrepreneurs need to master.  Front Page PR specializes in helping young startups develop interesting, polished and persuasive marketing communications messages that will convince new customers to buy your products and services and persuade angel investors to invest in your business. 

For most entrepreneurs, removing the fear, uncertainty and doubt from the sales equation is a critical 1st step in the business development process.  Let us help you gain some marketplace momentum and start building a loyal customer base.  

Below are some very cost-effective ways to start generating some positive publicity for your business. A typical press release generates around 100 stories on leading blogs, magazines, TV stations and other types of media outlets, not just in the United States, but on a worldwide basis.

Offer Details:

For entrepreneurs of co-working spaces, incubators and accelerators, Front Page PR will offer a 50% discount on the following services: 

  1. Building Press/Media Contact Lists

Front Page PR will build a targeted list of media contacts in the United States that cover your product or service category. Front Page PR will spend up to 4 hours @ $150 per hour to build and clean a reporter/media contact list. 

Click here to purchase a Press List at the 50% discounted rate of $300.

  1. Writing/Issuing Press Releases

Front Page PR will spend up to 4 hours @ $150 per hour performing a competitive analysis of your top three competitors as well as research how leading publications are covering their stories. Based on this research we will write a 400-word, highly targeted and SEO’ed press release and issue it over Marketwired.com, the #1 news wire service in the United States.

Each release comes with an analytics report that shows how many media outlets picked up the release, how many people read the release as well as the geographical click-through rate for people who visited the company’s website.

This price does not include external wire service costs, which range around $250 for a 400-word release released in Texas that includes one logo. Extra photos and video attachments range from $75 to $125. Large city releases such LA and NY cost around $390.

Click here to purchase a Press Release at the 50% discounted rate of $300.

  1. Media Relations Campaign

Front Page PR will spend up to 25 hours @ $200 per hour each month calling, emailing and texting tailored media pitches to a precise list of the top 50 reporters that cover your companies products. The goal of this program is build relationships between your executive management team and the media. It is a very labor-intensive process for your execs who will need to develop a message with our help and scheduling time to prepare for interviews and then spending time speaking with the press. It is a process that does not happen overnight and will grow slowly over a 12-month period and may involve press tours and travel. This option requires signing a 12-month contract.

Click here to purchase a Media Relations PR Campaign at the 50% discounted rate of $2,500.

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Contact:
Robert Hoskins

Front Page PR
(512) 627-6622
www.linkedin.com/in/roberthoskins
rhoskins[at]frontpagepr.com
@Crowdfunding_PR (fastest response)
@FrontPage_PR
@Crowdfunding TX

 

 

MassVenture.com Opens Real Estate Equity Crowdfunding Site in San Antonio, Texas

19 Feb

All Texas investors can now use real estate crowdfunding portals to build prosperity and financial security utilizing lots of research, due diligence and careful investment strategies

By Robert Hoskins

San Antonio, Texas – MassVenture’s new equity crowdfunding site www.massventure.com allows all Texas investors – accredited and non-accredited – to gain equity in Texas-based ventures. The Texas State Securities Board, which reviews and regulates Texas crowdfunding portals, recently approved MassVenture’s application, making it the first approved fundraising portal of its kind in the state.  The San Antonio-based equity crowdfunding startup allows entrepreneurs and investors to participate in the development and ownership of ventures across the state.

MassVenture Opens Real Estate Equity Crowdfunding Site in San Antonio, Texas

MassVenture Opens Real Estate Equity Crowdfunding Site in San Antonio, Texas for All Texas Investors

MassVenture already has several ventures from seasoned Texas real estate developers being readied for release. Attorney Nathan Roach, MassVenture Co-Founder and CEO, and one of the primary leaders who helped shape the new Texas crowdfunding rules, points out the great impact in the investment community.

“This is unprecedented that all Texas investors, regardless of their financial status, can access direct ownership of local and community based investment,” Roach said. “We are honored and excited to be Texas’ first and only approved equity crowdfunding portal.”

Texas State Securities Board Commissioner John Morgan, whose agency enacted the rules, recently predicted that Texas will become a national leader in crowdfunding investment and growth. The new crowdfunding rules allow Texas-based entrepreneurs to raise up to $1 million per year. Offerings must be carried out through a registered broker-dealer or state-approved portal like MassVenture. Texas-based non-accredited investors may contribute up to $5,000 per offering, with no individual limits for accredited investors.

“We believe equity crowdfunding will catalyze new and wider prosperity, entrepreneurship and job growth in Texas,” Roach said. “With a population of more than 26 million, Texas is a massive market for companies wishing to raise capital through crowdfunding, and MassVenture serves as a great gateway for all Texans to participate in funding growth in their communities and the state at large.”

Spearheaded by experts in the legal, technology, banking and economic development fields, MassVenture has grown fast, with entrepreneurs and investors equally enthusiastic about the platform.

Amir Mirabi, most recently Governor Perry’s Director of Small Business, has joined MassVenture as VP of Business Development and expressed equal excitement about the industry.

“Capital sourcing, cost and readiness have long been challenges for growing Texas businesses,” Mirabi said. “The new [crowdfunding] rules allow portals like MassVenture to level the playing field for skilled entrepreneurs seeking funds, and smart investors seeking returns.”

Mirabi mentioned that MassVenture is designed to deliver a dynamic solution for new real estate projects with the ability for investors to quickly evaluate risk and return opportunity. The platform also provides entrepreneurs a solid platform for exercising statewide capital raises that can often help to leverage additional traditional capital pools like bank loans.

Mirabi added that owning and investing in real estate has long helped build prosperity and financial security for Texans.

Reflecting on the impact and importance of the new rules to Texas, Roach noted that MassVenture’s platform offers all Texans – entrepreneurs, investors, friends and neighbors – a great vehicle to help build the future of Texas communities.

“Traditionally the domain of the wealthy, the recent changes in Texas law open the investment floodgates for all Texans – and that’s a game-changer,” said Roach. “Equity crowdfunding provides a clear and promising new path for capital access and investment in Texas ventures.

“As the first state-approved portal, we encourage all investors and entrepreneurs to engage in this new and exciting opportunity at their earliest convenience,” Roach said.

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Crowdfunding Site, OurCrowd.com, Shows the World that the Equity Crowdfunding Industry is Sailing into the Global Economy Full Steam Ahead

17 Feb

OurCrowd evolves from participating in early seed rounds to a leadership position by successfully pooling tens of millions of dollars from top tier venture capital firms

By Robert Hoskins

Jerusalem, Israel – OurCrowd leads equity crowdfunding deal that reels in $16M in Series E funding round for Borro.com, the UK-NY based, asset-backed online lender. OurCrowd was joined by Rocket Internet AG (RKET), Canaan Partners and Augmentum Capital in this funding round.

OurCrowd alone raised $6M of the capital invested, making this the single largest equity crowdfunding round ever completed and demonstrates how equity crowdfunding can complement and even lead traditional funding sources, such as venture capital.

“In under two years, OurCrowd went from participating in early seed rounds to now successfully  leading a $16M dollar major funding round together with top tier venture capital firms such as Canaan and the renowned internet company, Rocket,” said Jon Medved, OurCrowd’s CEO. “We are delighted to be investing in quality companies like Borro, which is redefining the Fintech industry.”

Launched in the UK in 2009 and in the US in 2012, Borro has defined a new category of online personal asset-based lending. Borro focuses on providing liquidity to individuals, entrepreneurs, and business owners who use luxury personal assets such as watches, jewelry, supercars, fine art, antiques and high-end handbags as collateral for short term loans.

“Seven years ago, I joined the first angel investor group at Lending Club (LC) and witnessed first-hand the exponential growth of online lending,” Medved added.  “Lending Club’s IPO in December of 2014 was a pivotal point in the online lending industry and has shown that there will be multiple winners with eventual multi-billion dollar market caps. ”

Paul Aitken, CEO and Founder of Borro, said: “We are delighted with our collaboration with OurCrowd. Their ability to lead this important funding round has proven that equity crowdfunding has indeed come of age. I was excited by the quality of the investors they have brought to the table and am looking forward to their adding additional value to Borro as we move forward.”

Borro was recently ranked #8 right behind Lending Club (NYSE: LC) #6 and OnDeck #7 (NYSE: ONDK) in KPMG’s 50 Best Fintech Innovators Report. OurCrowd ranked #22 on the list.  Borro is backed by a consortium of high caliber VC investors with significant expertise in online finance.

Investing alongside OurCrowd is Rocket Internet AG, a German internet company based in Berlin that builds online startups and owns share of various internet companies including Foodpanda/Hellofood, Home24, Jabong, Jumia and Lamoda.  Other Borro investors include Canaan Partners (investor in Lending Club) and Augmentum Capital (investor in the UK’s top lending marketplace, Zopa). Borro has recruited notable financial industry veterans to its board of directors who bring a significant amount of experience to the company, including Nigel Morris (co-founder Capital One) as Chairman and Paul Grattan (ex-CEO Egg, First Direct.)

Borro launched in 2009 in the UK, and has gone on to open offices in New York and Los Angeles.  It is the leading online platform for luxury asset-backed lending and has defined a new lending category in a climate where loans to individuals, SMEs and entrepreneurs were few and far between. Borro offers loans from $5,000 – $2,000,000 secured against luxury assets including fine art, antiques, jewelry, luxury watches, fine wine, prestige and classic cars and other high-value assets. Borro investors include: Canaan Partners (Lending Club), Eden Ventures, Augmentum Capital. Borro’s board of directors includes Nigel Morris (co-founder Capital One) as Chairman, and Paul Gratton (ex-CEO Egg, First Direct).

OurCrowd is the leading hybrid venture capital equity crowdfunding platform for accredited investors who wish to invest in Israeli and global early stage companies. Managed by a team of well-known investment professionals and led by serial entrepreneur Jon Medved, OurCrowd selects opportunities, invests its own capital and brings these startups to its accredited membership. Members choose those deals they invest in via OurCrowd-managed partnerships.

OurCrowd investors must meet stringent accreditation criteria and invest a minimum of $10,000 per deal. OurCrowd provides post investment support to its portfolio companies, assigning industry experts as mentors and taking board seats. OurCrowd has raised over $100 million in equity crowdfunding for its 57 portfolio companies which include leading companies, such as: BillGuard, Consumer Physics (SCiO), BioCatch, Abe’s Market and ReWalk, OurCrowd’s first portfolio company to complete a successful IPO on the NASDAQ.

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GoldStar Trust Unveils CrowdPay.com Texas Crowdfunding Escrow and Payment Service APIs for Texas Crowdfunding Portals (TCPs) to Meet Texas State Securities Board Filing Requirements

16 Feb

GoldStar Trust  made the announcement to a packed auditorium at the Round Rock Texas State University full of crowdfunding advocates seeking to raise up to $1 million per year for new startups

By Robert Hoskins

Amarillo, Texas - The new equity crowdfunding rules from the Texas State Securities Board (TSSB) allow online ecommerce sites, also known as Texas crowdfunding portals, to market private placement memorandums (PPMs) from entrepreneurs, startups and existing businesses seeking funds to expand their operations throughout Texas. Instead of raising large sums of cash from a few Angel Investors or Venture Capitalists, any Texas-based business can now raise money utilizing a Texas crowdfunding site to market and sell equity shares to more than 20 million non-accredited Texas investors who are Texas residents.

CrowdPay by GoldStar Trust Company is the only Texas Bank Equity Crowdfunding Escrow Account Service

CrowdPay.com by GoldStar Trust Company is the only Texas Bank Equity Crowdfunding Escrow Account Service

For the first time in 80 years, any Texan 18 years or older can now invest up to $5,000 in multiple companies per year. This means any Texas-based business can now raise up to $1 million per year from hundreds to millions of Texas hobby investors and/or micro venture capitalists as well as traditional accredited investors nationwide.

For example, high-technology companies selling leading-edge wearable gadgets, smart phone apps, video games, social media management, or smart cooking appliances that set a minimum price of $500 per share can sell up to 2,000 private equity shares for a small percentage of the company’s ownership to raise $1 million of startup venture capital.

Unlike well-known, rewards-based crowdfunding sites such as GoFundMe, IndieGoGo or Kickstarter, where Crowdfunders are raising money over long 30-, 45- or 60-day campaigns, equity crowdfunding sites will be able to raise large amounts of money in a matter of hours via email blasts directing investors to online investment profiles.

“When an equity crowdfunding PPM is posted, every investor signed up on the crowdfunding portal via CrowdPay’s automated Application Programming Interface (API) will be able to fund an investment account and invest in the offering,” said Josh Duckworth, GoldStar Trust’s Director of Marketing.  “Similar to the way shares are sold during an Initial Public Offering (IPO), CrowdPay will allow investors to buy online with an electronic transfer or self-directed IRA. This requires a massive amount of processing power, stringent security and the ability to fulfill hundreds, even thousands of financial transactions automatically, which is why we branded it CrowdPay.”

Shifting the power from exclusive groups of Angel Investors and Venture Capitalists that refuse about 95% of the deals they are pitched, equity crowdfunding sites allow Issuers to market their PPMs directly to a potential audience of 20 million investors who can search equity crowdfunding sites or set automated email alerts by subject matter, product category or vertical business segment. Investors, however, must be registered with one or more of the top Texas crowdfunding sites in order to participate and to receive the confidential financial details and disclosure information associated with each PPM deal.

Any Texas-based business can open an equity crowdfunding portal by filing a Texas Crowdfunding Portal application form with the TSSB. Colleges, universities, incubators, accelerators, SBDC, chambers of commerce, magazines, industry trade associations, franchises, solar energy farms, co-operatives or any other large business organization with thousands of members who want to invest in startups and businesses as a crowd to create economic development and stimulate jobs is/are a good candidate to open an online Texas crowdfunding portal.

To setup a crowdfunding portal in Houston, the Woodlands, Sugarland, Dallas, Plano, Richardson, Irving, Fort Worth, Arlington, Hurst, Euless, Bedford, San Antonio, San Marcos, Austin, Round Rock, McAllen, Edinburg, Mission, El Paso, Killeen, Temple, Corpus Christi, Brownsville, Harlingen, Beaumont, Port Arthur, Lubbock, Laredo, Amarillo, Waco, College Station, Bryan, Longview, Tyler, Abilene, Wichita Falls, Midland, Odessa, Sherman, Dennison, San Angelo, Victoria, Texarkana and any other city in Texas, please call CrowdPay at (800) 486-6888.

CrowdPay supports equity crowdfunding portals for accredited investors nationwide and Texas intrastate crowdfunding portals that will open up crowdfunding to unaccredited investors. The system works behind the scenes via an API to open and fund investor accounts as part of the required escrow process; dividend and interest payments will also be paid to these investor accounts when applicable. CrowdPay.com is a site for portals and developers that details the specific crowdfunding process and provides in-depth API documentation. Please click here to check out CrowdPay’s API.

GoldStar Trust is one of the nation’s leading Self-Directed IRA custodians with over twenty years of experience and is the first bank in Texas to provide a working escrow solution approved by the Texas State Security Board for crowdfunding. GoldStar offers unique retirement solutions that allow investors to diversify their IRA portfolio with precious metals and other alternative investments such as equity crowdfunding. GoldStar serves as a paying agent and trustee for issuers of church bonds and municipal bonds in 38 states and serves as a custodian for more than 37,000 IRA accounts with total assets of more than $1.9 billion (as of March 31, 2014). Click here to setup a GoldStar Trust crowdfunding account.

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Contact:
Robert Hoskins
Front Page PR
(512) 627-6622
@Crowdfunding_PR
@FrontPage_PR

1st Texas Equity Crowdfunding Community Outreach Event to Unveil Texas Crowdfunding Portals at Texas St. University

11 Feb

Learn How to Raise Money for Startups and Businesses with Texas Equity Crowdfunding Sites and a Crowd of 20 Million Accredited & Unaccredited Investors


Texas Equity Crowdfunding Event Agenda

Mission: To educate entrepreneurs, startups and any existing Texas-based business on how they can utilize a Texas Crowdfunding Portal (TCP) to market a Private Placement Memorandum (PPM) to over 20 million non-accredited and accredited Texas investors to raise startup venture capital.

Tonight’s guest speakers will cover the following information:

  1. Information on the new Intrastate Texas Crowd Exemption Rules
  2. What information needs to be filed with the Texas State Securities Board
  3. What type of disclosures are required by every Texas crowdfunding platform
  4. What type of marketing can be used to raise awareness for equity investment opportunities
  5. What qualifications need to be met before investing on Texas crowdfunding platforms
  6. What precautions should be taken prior to making any financial investments

Crowdfunding Platforms:

Crowdfunding Escrow Service:

Question & Answer Session:

  • Panel Discussion Q&A

Research Links:

Texas State Securities Board (TSSB) Crowdfunding Rules:
http://www.ssb.state.tx.us/Important_Notice/Texas_Intrastate_Crowdfunding.php

Texas Crowdfunding Network:
http://www.meetup.com/austin-crowdfunding-network

Texas Crowdfunding Blog:
https://crowdfundingpr.wordpress.com

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Contact:
Robert Hoskins

(512) 627-6622
@Crowdfunding_PR

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