Leading Crowdfunding Research Industry Analyst Firm Forecasts $34.4 Billion Global Industry Growth in 2015

31 Mar

Massolution crowdfunding research reports that crowdfunding portals raised $16.2 billion in 2014, a 167% increase over the $6.1 billion raised in 2013

 By Robert Hoskins

Los Angeles, California – Crowdfunding is accelerating at an unprecedented rate and impacting government policy, informing enterprise innovation, and changing the role of financial institutions around the world. Massolution, the leading research firm in world that specializes in reporting on the growing crowdfunding industry, released its annual 2015CF – Crowdfunding Industry Report

2015 Crowdfunding Industry Report Covering the United States Europe Asia, South America and Africa

2015 Crowdfunding Industry Report Covering the United States, Europe, Asia, South America, Oceania and Africa

After collecting data on 1,250 active crowdfunding platforms (CFPs) worldwide and undertaking significant further research, the results reveal that CFPs raised $16.2 billion in 2014, a 167% increase over the $6.1 billion raised in 2013.

North America still accounts for the largest market but 2014 saw Asia overtake Europe, by a small margin. With exponential growth in Asia, Massolution forecasts this lead will increase significantly in 2015 with the delta between Asia and Europe increasing to over $4 Billion.

The report predicts that Europe’s 20.1% of market share in 2014 will decline slightly in 2015 when Europe will account for 18.8% of the worldwide market.

“In April 2013 we predicted that total crowdfunding volume by the end of 2013 would nearly double from 2012’s $2.7 billion but in fact the market reached $6.1 billion, largely due to faster growth than anticipated in Asia. Acceleration continued in 2014 achieving an impressive $16.2 billion in funding volume and we are forecasting that worldwide crowdfunding volumes will more than double again in 2015, to reach $34.4,” said Carl Esposti, Massolution’s CEO.  “Surprises materializing from this year’s research included GoFundMe topping Kickstarter as the largest donation/reward based CFP and astounding growth in the P2P lending market in Asia, stemming largely from the Chinese market. Further, the top 5 CFPs in North America increased wallet share during the period 2011-14 while in Europe the top 5 lost 30% of their market share, indicating that the markets in North America and Europe are shaping up very differently.”

Growth Rates By Region in 2014
North America retained its market lead in 2014 but Asia topped Europe to become the second largest region by funding volume.

  • North America: crowdfunding volumes grew 145% to $9.46 billion
  • Asia: crowdfunding volumes grew 320% to $3.4 billion
  • Europe: crowdfunding volumes grew 141% to $3.26 billion
  • South America, Oceania and Africa grew 167%, 59% and 101%, respectively

Growth Rates By Models in 2014
The growth in funding volumes continued to be primarily driven by lending-based crowdfunding, but significant annual growth in equity-based crowdfunding and increased adoption of newer hybrid and royalty-based models indicates that the allocation of funding volume across different models will be more highly distributed over the coming years.

  • Lending-based crowdfunding grew 223% to $11.08 billion
  • Equity-based crowdfunding grew 182% to $1.1 billion
  • Hybrid-based crowdfunding grew 290% to $487 million
  • Royalty-based crowdfunding grew 336% to $273 million
  • Donation- and Reward-based crowdfunding grew 45% and 84% respectively

Most Active Categories in 2014
Crowdfunding’s popularity as a way to fund creative, philanthropic, and social endeavors still prevails but crowdfunding’s application for entrepreneurial ventures began to gain significant traction over the last few years. Business and Entrepreneurship had become the lead category by 2012 at 27.4% of total crowdfunding volume and in 2014 had increased in importance, accounting for over 40% of worldwide funding volume. In 2014, the lead categories share of funding volume was:

  • Business & Entrepreneurship at 41.3% / $6.7bn
  • Social Causes 18.9% / $3.06bn
  • Films & Performing Arts 12.13% / $1.97bn
  • Real Estate 6.25% / $1.01bn
  • Music and Recording Arts 4.54%/ $736m

Further insights in the 2015 Crowdfunding Research Report include:

  • Historical comparison of crowdfunding’s growth 2011 through 2014
  • Breakdown of Regional funding volume by model and model by region
  • Top 11 performing crowdfunding categories
  • Average deal size for each crowdfunding model
  • Crowdfunding outlook trends: 15 major developments
  • CFP leaderboards worldwide, by region and by model
  • Growth in CFP numbers and worldwide distribution
  • Market predictions for 2015 by region and model

Research Methodology
The 2015 – Crowdfunding Industry Report is a research report that provides a unique and in-depth analysis of crowdfunding market size, composition, trends and composition. The Crowdfunding Industry Survey, to which Massolution received 463 high-quality responses, was conducted during late 2014 and early 2015 and resulted in the most comprehensive data collection on the worldwide crowdfunding market to date. Massolution has conducted significant follow-up research via other reliable channels to complete the profiling of the global crowdfunding industry.

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New Equity Crowdfunding Platform iAngels.co Raises $2.25 Million Seed Round from Accredited Investors Who Want to Invest Alongside the Experts

30 Mar

iAngels became the 15th company to successfully raise funds through the iAngels equity crowdfunding site, raising $1.25 million from some of Israel’s most successful super angel investors

By Robert Hoskins

Tel Aviv, Israel - iAngels is a leading equity crowdfunding platform that enables private investors to co-invest with Startup Nation’s leading angels and gain access to exclusive early-stage opportunities. The iAngels site recently announced that it has raised a $2.25 million Seed Round led by Roman Abramovich’s fund, Millhouse Capital.

iAngels is a leading equity crowdfunding platform that enables private investors to coinvest with Startup Nation's leading angels and gain access to exclusive early-stage opportunities

iAngels is a leading equity crowdfunding platform that enables private investors to co-invest with Startup Nation’s leading angels and gain access to exclusive early-stage opportunities

iAngels became the 15th company to successfully raise funds through the iAngels online platform, raising $1.25 million from some of Israel’s most successful angels, and an additional $1 million from its global community of investors within two days.

“We are very confident in the elite angels we’ve identified and their ability to spot the winners,” said Shelly Hod Moyal, Founding Partner at iAngels. “In fact, we’ve structured our business model to take the same risk that investors take when they invest in Israeli startups through the iAngels platform.”

“With iAngels, gone are the days when the crowdfunding platform could make money without the angels themselves succeeding,” added Mor Assia, Founding Partner at iAngels. “High-Net-Worth Individuals are choosing to co-invest with leading Israeli angels through the iAngels platform because they appreciate our unique ability to find and engage Israel’s top performing angels and analyze their investment opportunities to make sound recommendations to our angel community.”

Israel’s elite angels and Roman Abramovich’s fund, Millhouse Capital, subscribe to Assia and Hod Moyal’s rationale. Angel Investors who participated in the Seed Round led by Millhouse Capital include Marc Lasry, Boaz Weinstein, Alex Waislitz, Drew Schaefer, Gigi Levy, David Assia, Daniel Recanati, Yanki Margalit and Marcy Simon.

“iAngels provides unparalleled access to Israel’s best deal flow,” noted Gigi Levy Weiss, iAngels Advisor and one of Israel’s most successful angel investors. “The company’s unique model of investing alongside Israel’s top angels guarantees the quality of the selected companies and helps accredited investors worldwide beat the odds and make money from this coveted asset class.”

The year-old iAngels has already connected its investor community to a robust pipeline of high potential Israeli companies. In 2014, 15 Israeli companies successfully raised capital through the platform, led by the conviction of Israel’s top Angel investors and validated by the wisdom of the iAngels crowd. The iAngels investment portfolio includes promising companies such as TravelersBox, Hello Doctor, Webyclip, NanorepDrippler and Biscience.

“We cherry pick only the most promising Israeli startups, selecting only 5% of the investment opportunities we evaluate, said Assia. “Private investors around the world benefit from the due diligence performed by both iAngels and Israel’s top performing angel investors. We expect significant growth in 2015.”

iAngels is an angel investing equity crowdfunding platform that provides accredited investors around the world access to exclusive deals backed by Israel’s top performing early-stage investors under the terms they negotiated.

iAngels founders Mor Assia and Shelly Hod Moyal leverage analytics, visibility and relationships with angels and entrepreneurs to open a closed network of professional investors to the investing public.

By combining the proven experience of professional angel investors with due diligence and analysis, iAngels offers investors the most attractive early-stage investment opportunities in “Startup Nation.” 

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Crowdcube’s Spain Equity Crowdfunding Site Surpasses €1 Million for Six Startups

30 Mar

A Barcelona-based drone company,HEMAV, broke the record for the largest equity crowdfunding round in Spain raising €450,000 in just six days

By Robert Hoskins

Spain – Crowdcube opened its Spanish operation just nine months ago. Since it launched, over €1 million has been raised by its investor base who can invest anything from €10. The largest investment to date has been €112,000 and the average investment €3,290. The finance raised has funded six businesses operating in a range of sectors including food and beverage, finance and business services.

Crowdcube enables anyone to invest alongside professional investors in start-up early stage and growth businesses

Crowdcube.com enables anyone to invest alongside professional investors in start-up early stage and growth businesses through equity, debt and investment fund options

One of the businesses to raise finance on the platform was HEMAV, a Barcelona-based drone company, which broke the record for the largest equity crowdfunding round in Spain. The company raised €450,000 in just six days after attracting investment from more than 70 people.

The most recent business to successfully raise investments on the site was Zank, a peer-to-peer lending platform, which raised €245,000 from over 70 investors. As part of the round, the company also received funds from ESADE Ban, the business angel network of the ESADE business school . Zank was the first lending platform in Spain to secure funding through crowdfunding.

Crowdcube Spain has also raised investment for, Iberic Box, a company that sells traditional Spanish food; Eureka Startup Experts, a marketplace that connects entrepreneurs with advisors and industry experts; FoodintheBox, a subscription box service for cooking ingredients; Seedbox, a subscription box for growing vegetables at home.

Managing director of Crowdcube Spain, Pepe Borrell, commented, “There is a real gap in funding for start-ups and early stage businesses in Spain so I’m pleased that we’ve already been able to fund six businesses and that Spanish investors are embracing crowdfunding. The alternative finance sector has grown at a rapid pace in the UK and we’re now seeing the same trends emerge in Spain. There’s a huge potential market for crowdfunding in Spain so we’re excited about the future of Crowdcube Spain.”

Darren Westlake, CEO and co-founder of Crowdcube added, “Having a strong presence at a local level is key to the success of our overseas operation, and to ensuring Crowdcube’s remains the world’s leading investment crowdfunding platform; so it’s great to see Spain achieve these milestones at such an early stage.”

There are currently eight businesses on Crowdcube Spain pitching for a total investment of €995,000.

Crowdcube Spain is one of seven partnerships in Crowdcube’s overseas operation, the company now has platforms in Brazil, Sweden, Dubai, Poland, Italy, Spain and New Zealand.

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Manta Research Reports that Most Small Businesses are Still Unaware of Crowdfunding as an Alternative Finance Option

29 Mar

Most notably, 23 percent have funded a business project using an alternative lender, other than a traditional bank, but only two percent report having ever used a crowdfunding platform

By Robert Hoskins

Columbus, Ohio – Even though the alternative financing market is expanding at an exponential rate, a new Manta business survey reveals that two-thirds of small business owners still do not think enough funding options are available. Additionally, 69 percent feel the funding environment has not improved in the past 12 months.

Small businesses slow to jump on the alternative financing bandwagon, but interest growing
Alternative funding opportunities, including crowdfunding, are growing at a rapid rate, but the survey showcases a cautious approach by small business owners. Most notably, 23 percent have funded a business project using an alternative lender (other than a traditional bank), but only two percent report having ever used a crowdfunding platform. Lack of awareness and persistent misconceptions may be the cause.

Manta Research Reports that Most Small Businesses are Still Unaware of Crowdfunding as an Alternative Finance Option

Manta Research Reports that Most Small Businesses are Still Unaware of Crowdfunding

The majority of small business owners who have obtained traditional loans note uncertainty regarding crowdfunding and alternative lending options. Thirty percent of respondents are unsure of the risks, another 20 percent don’t understand the technology associated with these alternative sources and 14 percent report they simply do not trust them. A small number believe crowdfunding sites and alternative lenders are too complicated, while others fear business failure with less traditional financing methods (seven percent and six percent, respectively).

Traditional financing options still most popular with business owners
Manta’s survey revealed that, despite a diversifying lending environment, small business owners overwhelmingly prefer traditional financing options. More than 70 percent of respondents have sought traditional bank loans, savings, credit cards, or help from friends and family to finance their business, while less than a quarter have utilized an alternative lender (other than a bank).

“Small business owners have more diverse options today than ever before when it comes to funding their business,” said John Swanciger, CEO, Manta. “However, we’re seeing a gap between what’s available and the perception among small businesses that the lending environment has not improved. Even though traditional bank loans are difficult to secure, small businesses are still apt to rely on them.”

Of the small business owners who financed their business through alternative lenders, 38 percent did so because they did not qualify for traditional bank financing. Nearly 20 percent sought alternative lending because they needed a small short-term loan, while nine percent recognized the fast access and convenience associated with alternative lending options, and seven percent wanted ongoing access to a credit line.

The survey results also showed that when small business owners received alternative financing, the amounts they borrowed varied greatly. Most (40 percent) borrowed $10,000 or less. Others aimed higher, with 27 percent borrowing $50,000 or more. Remaining respondents were split — 17 percent borrowed $10,000 – $20,000 and another 17 percent borrowed $20,000 – $50,000.

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SEC Approves Regulation A+ Rules under Title IV of the JOBS Act that Pre-empts State Law and Paves the Way for Selling Up to $50 Million of Equity Crowdfunding Securities to Unaccredited Investors

25 Mar

There are no general solicitation restrictions so companies can freely advertise, market and publicize offerings at demo days, trade shows, mass media and via social media networks

 By Robert Hoskins

Washington, D.C. – The Securities and Exchange Commission adopted final rules unanimously to facilitate smaller companies’ access to capital.  The new rules provide investors with more investment choices.The new rules update and expand Title IV Regulation A+, an existing exemption from registration for smaller issuers of securities.

SEC Approves Regulation A+ Rules under Title IV of the JOBS Act

SEC Approves Regulation A+ Rules under Title IV of the JOBS Act

The rules are mandated by Title IV of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act.The updated exemption will enable smaller companies to offer and sell up to $50 million of securities in a 12-month period, subject to eligibility, disclosure and reporting requirements.

“These new rules provide an effective, workable path to raising capital that also provides strong investor protections,” said SEC Chair Mary Jo White.  “It is important for the Commission to continue to look for ways that our rules can facilitate capital-raising by smaller companies.”

The final rules, often referred to as Regulation A+, provide for two tiers of equity crowdfunding securities offerings:

  • Tier 1:  Offerings of securities of up to $20 million in a 12-month period, with not more than $6 million in offers by selling security-holders that are affiliates of the issuer; and
  • Tier 2: Offerings of securities of up to $50 million in a 12-month period, with not more than $15 million in offers by selling security-holders that are affiliates of the issuer.

Both Tiers are subject to certain basic requirements while Tier 2 offerings are also subject to additional disclosure and ongoing reporting requirements.

The final rules also provide for the preemption of state securities law registration and qualification requirements for securities offered or sold to “qualified purchasers” in Tier 2 offerings.

Tier 1 offerings will be subject to federal and state registration and qualification requirements, and issuers may take advantage of the coordinated review program developed by the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA).

The rules will be effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

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BidOkee Adds Auctions, Draws, Referral Competitions and Traditional Gamification Services for Do It Yourself (DIY) Crowdfunding Campaigns

20 Mar

Elements of points, badges, leaderboards (PBLs)  engages and motivates people to achieve goals and enhances acquisition, retention and monetization of backers

 By Robert Hoskins

Vancouver, B.C. – BidOkee has launched a beta version of what will be a do-it-yourself crowdfunding platform based on a cooperative model the company is calling “Crowdfunding for Crowdfunding.”  With BidOkee customers own their own crowdfunding site and their crowdfunders information from the start, and there isn’t a time limit on crowdfunding campaigns.

BidOkee provides backers with reward points to compete with in auctions and contests. If a crowdfunding campaign manager’s contacts can’t afford to donate, they can still earn loyalty points for referring people, which makes it possible to grow a crowdfunding campaign’s social network. 

BidOkee’s CEO, Eyal Lichtmann, contends that a major problem with crowdfunding is that small campaigns are being pushed aside as big corporations look to dominate the industry.  

Dr. Richard Swart, the director of research on crowdfinance at UC Berkeley, recently said that “that there are 10 to 20 Fortune 100 companies participating in Berkeley’s new Crowdfinance program that are thinking about launching a corporate crowdfunding campaign.”

Bidokee DIY Crowdfunding for Crowdfunding Business Model

BidOkee DIY Crowdfunding for Crowdfunding Business Model

Approximately one million crowdfunding campaigns are launched annually. Over $20 billion in crowdfunding transactions will occur this year – a 100% increase over last year – according to Equitynet. Another research report from the World Bank estimates that, by 2025, this number will spike to $300 billion annually, while others estimate as high as $500 billion that will contribute up to $3.2 trillion in economic development activity.

Entrepreneur.com reports how difficult it is for start-ups to get funding despite the proliferation of crowdfunding worldwide. Currently 90% of the world’s online population has access to crowdfunding and $1,400 is raised in donations every minute. Still, only 3% of all start-up funding comes from crowdfunding.

And E-commerce Times reports that Fortune 500 firms are actively experimenting with crowdfunding as a product launch and testing platform, potentially pushing out the small players. UC Berkeley is actually looking into providing courses for corporate executives wanting to launch crowdfunding campaigns. In addition, many charities, NGOs and scientific and health research projects are also looking to crowdfund their projects.

“As a result, traditional crowdfunding platforms, and the industry as a whole, are becoming very crowded,” Lichtmann says. “With more and more competition, including consultants and corporate campaigns, the bar is getting higher for small businesses. The cost and effort to successfully execute large campaigns is becoming prohibitive for many small firms and entrepreneurs. As crowdfunding platforms get bigger, start-ups are getting pushed out.”

“Breaking through the barriers is an uphill battle,” Lichtmann continues, “especially now, as small start-ups are being eclipsed by hundreds or thousands of campaigns launched by deep-pocketed Fortune 500 companies and established organizations. The biggest advertising and marketing firms, scientists and crowdfunding consultants are taking over. The bigger the crowdfunding site, the less a small start-up can compete.”

Dr. Richard Swart, the director of research on crowdfinance at UC Berkeley, indicated there are Fortune 100 companies that are thinking about launching a crowdfunding campaign.

Corporations have enormous resources to launch and build support for their crowdfunding campaigns and that is driving the cost of crowdfunding services higher for the little guy. Companies such as Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Dodge and DC Comics are using crowdfunding for marketing purposes, with the deleterious effect of marginalizing smaller players seeking to raise funds on the same platforms while at the same time driving up marketing, PR, consultancy and production costs within the industry.

“Crowdfunding was intended to enhance the start-up experience and bypass the onerous process of finding traditional investors to launch an idea or product,” says Lichtmann. “It was not intended as a marketing platform for established or already successful companies.”

An example, he says, is the Pebble watch, which already had sufficient cash on hand for their project but wanted the additional exposure Kickstarter offered.

“And now the biggest consumer companies in the world are moving into crowdfunding as a platform to market-test and pay for their product launches,” says Lichtmann. “This is counter to the whole notion of crowdfunding, which was supposed to assist start-ups penetrating the vast expanse of the marketplace.”

Some activist-commentators are calling out the commandeering of crowdfunding by multinational behemoths, though not everyone agrees, and a healthy debate is beginning.

“The survival of crowdfunding requires a true cooperative model that has the best interest of the small player in mind,” he says.

Lichtmann’s company, BidOkee, has launched a beta version of what will be a do-it-yourself crowdfunding platform based on a cooperative model.

“The DIY model we are building allows people the freedom to share, cooperate, assist, collaborate and utilize more human resources through cross-pollination of projects and ideas to yield infinitely more unique possibilities,” he says.

Scott Steinberg, author of The Crowdfunding Bible, featured BidOkee on NewsWatch TV. He declared: “This could change crowdfunding as we know it.”

Combining DIY with a cooperative model may sound contradictory, Lichtmann acknowledges.

“But a do-it-yourself model is about being wholly independent,” he says. “And the cooperative model is about relying on the goodwill and assistance of others. And that is the exact formula BidOkee is looking to propagate.”

BidOkee is establishing a cooperative model through which networks, resources, wisdom, advice, connections and best practices are shared between campaigns.

“If we reach our goals, we hope to share over $100 million annually back with campaigns,” he says. “But that number can grow higher. In addition, we are looking at cross-pollination opportunities that allow one successful start-up crowdfunding campaign to assist another start-up campaign with backers, users and other resources. Also, with the integration of loyalty rewards through a gamified system, campaigns can have access to tens of thousands of additional leads for their campaigns. We want to change 60% failure rates to 80% success rates. That is what we are striving for.”

As Darryl Burma, CEO of Crowdmapped.com says, “BidOkee will definitely disrupt the industry. It is doing something we have not seen before and is a game-changer.”

BidOkee is currently developing the beta platform into a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, which will give anyone the opportunity to launch their own independent, self-directed crowdfunding campaign with tools and features no other platform offers.

“We are now crowdfunding for crowdfunding and hope people will support our campaign to get this model to market” says Lichtmann. “We think this is the future – a future that realizes crowdfunding’s original potential.”

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InvestUP.co Adds New Sites to Crowdfunding Supermarket for Total of Thirteen P2B Different Equity Crowdfunding Services

20 Mar

The new portfolio includes Property Moose, Invest & Fund, Assetz Capital, Ablrate and AngelList crowdfunding platforms; allows investors to search for the best deals from all their favorite crowdfunding sites

 By Robert Hoskins

Wells, United KingdominvestUP.co partners with five new equity and Peer-to-Business (P2B) crowdfunding sites, joining the eight crowdfunding sites already on the investUP platform. The new portfolio including Property Moose, Invest & Fund, Assetz Capital, Ablrate and AngelList crowdfunding platforms allows investors to search for the best deals from all their favorite crowdfunding sites, uniquely invest in these without leaving the site and then keep track of their investments

As crowdfunding continues to grow rapidly, UP will help its partner crowdfunding sites develop by focusing on marketing the deals, in effect enabling the crowdfunding partners to concentrate on getting more and better deals on to their platforms. In turn, investors will benefit from access to a superior choice and quality of potential investments via their centralized UP portfolio.

The crowdfunding sites joining the UP platform are:

  • Property Moose – hassle free property investment
  • Invest & Fund – solving investment problems and providing funding solutions for high quality deals
  • Assetz Capital – one of the UK’s largest P2B lending sites
  • Ablrate – asset backed lending focusing on aeronautics
  • AngelList – one of the largest equity crowdfunding sites in the US, having just launched in the UK

James Tuckett, Managing Director at investUP, said, “We live in an age where crowdfunders are demanding more and more deals, yet are faced with a myriad of crowdfunding site choices. Looking for a single crowdfunding site to start a portfolio can be difficult and time consuming. We take the view that, as the crowdfunding supermarket, crowdfunders using our platform should be able to lend and invest in deals from all the key players across the entire market. We are very excited to introduce our five newest partners and look forward to delivering the highest quality of investments to our current and future users.”

UP brings the P2B crowdfunding market together in one place, enabling users to invest via one centralized portfolio (Peer-to-Peer and equity coming soon). It allows investors to search for deals from all their favorite crowdfunding sites, uniquely invest in these without leaving the site and then keep track of their investments. UP is completely free, with no hidden costs. It revolutionizes the market by bringing simplicity and increasing choice for users, in a simple, elegant and straightforward way.

Founded in 2012, investUP officially launched into the market at Finovate Europe in London in 2015. It graduated from the inaugural Startupbootcamp FinTech accelerator in London in 2014, and has recently been named as one of The FinTech 50 2015 Hot 10 companies and included in The Sunday Times’ top 25 fintech companies globally.

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Chicago Real Estate Equity Crowdfunding Site Now Accepting $5,000 Investments from Accredited Investors

19 Mar

PeerRealty Opens $1,000,000 Investment Opportunity for Investors to Invest in the Illinois Riverside Plaza Shopping Center

 By Robert Hoskins

Chicago, IllinoisPeerRealty.com announced that it is now accepting investments from accredited investors interested in investing in the Riverside Plaza shopping center in Belvidere, Illinois. The $1 million offering is one of the largest real estate crowdfunding offerings in Illinois history.

PeerRealty Real Estate Equity Crowdfunding Platform in Chicago Illinois

PeerRealty Real Estate Equity Crowdfunding Platform in Chicago

“When I founded PeerRealty last year, I wanted to give ordinary investors the opportunity to participate in the types of large-scale commercial and residential real estate deals that had previously been reserved for institutional investors,” says PeerRealty CEO Jordan Fishfeld. “I also wanted to give Midwest real estate investors the chance to invest close to home, so I’m thrilled that we’re able to bring real estate crowdfunding opportunities to this largely untapped market.”

Investors had previously been able to make non-binding investment reservations while the due diligence process was being completed. Accredited investors now have the opportunity to participate in an equity investment in Riverside Plaza, a 62,538-square ft shopping center located in the heart of downtown Belvidere, Illinois, one hour northwest of Chicago.

The minimum investment in the offering is $5,000. The deal is sponsored by Crosstown Capital Partners, LLC, a Chicago-based real estate investment firm with over 20 years of experience investing in and managing commercial property.

PeerRealty.com is a streamlined, online portal that allows any accredited investor to participate in high-quality real estate deals. A strong team and advisers with institutional backgrounds review and select deals. The founding team has over 10 years of real estate investing experience, and includes M.B.A.’s from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and the University of Miami (FL). Exclusive PeerRealty sponsors include Elmdale Partners, Windy City RE, LLC and Heritage Realty Partners Inc.

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Crowdlending Platform P2Binvestor Announces $50 Million Milestone

19 Mar

P2Bi simplifies lending through technology and provides efficient and competitively priced working capital to growing B2B businesses

 By Robert Hoskins

Denver, ColoradoP2Binvestor (P2Bi) announced that the firm has reached more than $50 million in invoices funded since signing its first direct client in May 2014. To date, P2Bi has financed the growth of companies in technology, natural foods and products, manufacturing, energy, and personnel services with average annual revenues ranging between $500,000 and $25 million.

Crowdlending Platform P2Binvestor Announces $50 Million Milestone

Crowdlending Site P2Binvestor Announces $50 Million Milestone

“Exceeding $50 million in purchased invoices in 10 months is a huge achievement for us. It speaks volumes about the market demand for our product and the hard work of our amazing team,” said Krista Morgan, P2Bi CEO and cofounder. “I am confident our rapid growth will continue in 2015 as we launch new products; I’m especially excited about the first revolving line of credit for SaaS companies and a free-fill loan product for our natural foods customers,” Morgan added.

P2Bi’s crowdsourced funding model reduces its effective cost of capital, creating room for more flexible rates and terms for its clients. A crowd of accredited investors participates in funding each credit line, and investors earn a fair return on the platform in exchange for supporting P2Bi’s clients.

“The last year has been about proving we can underwrite effectively and be a good partner to the great companies we are funding,” said Bruce Morgan, executive vice chairman and cofounder of P2Bi. “Our innovative crowdfunding model has enabled us to achieve in a short amount of time what a traditional alternative finance company would take years to accomplish,” Morgan continued.

P2Bi can provide working capital financing of up to $5 million per client—normally secured by accounts receivable, future contractual revenue flows or other assets. The company’s aim is to improve access to working capital for growing businesses with a new generation of financing products.

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Austin Startup Launches Product Marketplace and Crowdfunding Platform to Connect Brands, Charities and Consumers

18 Mar

121Giving was built by the two “philanthropeurs” to help charities find products they need to fulfill their missions, match those needs with supplier brands eager to help causes, and get consumers involved to help fund the product-oriented campaigns

 By Robert Hoskins

Austin, Texas - For donors and consumer givers who want to know that the money they donate to charity is making a tangible impact and serving real needs, Austin-based startup 121Giving.com launched a new product marketplace and crowdfunding platform that enables donors to know where their giving is going every time they support a nonprofit through the site.

121Giving’s Online Giving Tools Enables Nonprofits to Crowdfund Needs, Show Consumers Where Their Giving is Going

121Giving.com Shows Consumers Where Their Donations are Going

Developed by Liz Deering and Mark Courtney, experienced entrepreneurs who have funneled their business-technology passions and nonprofit expertise into a business model that makes philanthropy a successful and transparent online venture, 121Giving was built by the two “philanthropeurs” to help charities find products they need to fulfill their missions, match those needs with supplier brands eager to help causes, and get consumers involved to help fund the product-oriented campaigns.

“We launched 121Giving because we wanted to improve the way that nonprofits, consumers and charity-minded companies can all work together for the collective good,” said Deering, co-founder and chief operating officer, who previously worked for technology companies and Goodwill Industries of Austin before launching the company with Courtney. “We wanted to make the entire giving process more efficient and transparent, both to solve the inefficiencies and costs that nonprofits often face with traditional product procurement and to address consumer skepticism about how their donations are being used.”

Many recent studies have shown that consumers want more details from the companies they patronize about their support of nonprofits and causes and the results of their donations and contributions. In fact, 88% of consumers in North America want companies to inform them about their support of social and environmental causes (Cone Communications, 2013), and 69% of Millennials say they are most likely to donate to a nonprofit that inspires them (Cone Inc., AMP Agency).

“Our online marketplace and crowdfunding platform brings everything to the forefront in a way that delivers measurable results for everyone involved,” says Courtney, a social innovator and enterprise technology expert who is responsible for 121Giving’s technology, platform and business strategy. “Nonprofits get the products they need, donors can see the impact of their giving, companies can make a profit while being good corporate citizens, and communities benefit from campaigns that tackle issues, solve problems and change lives all around them.”

Feeding the Need, Matching Brands and Donors
Through 121Giving, nonprofits can publish their specific needs for products by developing crowdfunding campaigns, consumers can donate money to buy those products and track the campaign’s progress and success, while companies can show they care by making their products available at prices that nonprofits can afford. The unique nonprofit-donor-brand ecosystem delivers the visibility nonprofits need, the crowdsourcing power of donors, and a steady supply chain for merchants to sell products at discounts to charities and still make a profit.

For brands interested in selling their products to nonprofits at 121Giving, visit the site’sCorporate Brand Partnerssection.

After a soft launch at SXSW in Austin this week, 121Giving is already hosting four crowdfunding campaigns that support Central Texas nonprofits. Ongoing and future campaigns will cover a range of products that nonprofits urgently need, including office, medical, cleaning and educational supplies; clothing; computers; furniture; food and hygiene products; electronics; home goods, non-perishable goods and more.

The current campaigns include:

  • Front Steps, an agency that provides services to the homeless, raising money for 250 move-in kits for clients moving from the streets to transitional or permanent housing
  • Color Cancer, a nonprofit serving people with cancer, raising money for cases of high-protein Ensure for 125 people with cancer
  • Project Transitions, an agency for people with HIV/AIDS, raising money for medical, cleaning and comfort supplies for the 30-plus individuals cared for yearly at Doug’s House, the only Central Texas hospice facility for those with HIV/AIDS.
  • Rebuilding Together Austin, an agency dedicated to safe, healthy homes for low-income residents, raising money for home repair tools and volunteer supplies to help 30 families.

“The nonprofit market deserves a no-cost solution that enables them to engage online donors easily in helping them purchase the products they need,” said Courtney. “We’re giving nonprofits access to a single online resource where they can source bulk products consistently and affordably, helping them spend less time on product acquisition and more on the missions they serve so passionately.”

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