Advertisements
Archive | 12:52 pm

FundersClub Snubs 97% of New Accredited Investors Seeking to Get into the Equity Crowdfunding Investment Business

21 Sep

Surprising regression by FundersClub reverses business model and makes investors jump through hoops to participate in one of America’s biggest financial industry opportunities

By Robert Hoskins

FundersClub, one of the world’s first online venture capital firms, announced that it is changing its membership application process to an invitation-only model. The change will not impact current members, but will require individuals interested in joining FundersClub to be invited by a current member. Alternatively, individuals who are familiar with a FundersClub member, may request a professional courtesy referral to FundersClub. In all cases, individuals must be certified as accredited investors before FundersClub will admit them as a member.

FundersClub is a new type of venture capital platform, built around a unique online marketplace that allows accredited investors to become equity holders in FundersClub-managed venture funds

FundersClub is a new type of venture capital platform, built around a unique online marketplace that allows accredited investors to become equity holders in FundersClub-managed venture funds

“This represents a significant shift in how we intend to grow our community of premier accredited investors,” said Alex Mittal, co-founder and CEO of FundersClub. “At a time when crowdfunding platforms are poised to get loud via solicitation and advertising activity, we as an online venture capital firm are actually heading in the opposite direction, focusing on quality and empowering our members themselves to build a thoughtfully curated community,” added Mittal.

Prior to this change, membership to FundersClub was open to all accredited investors who applied through the company’s website, subject to verification of their accredited investor status. The definition of an accredited investor is an individual who has a net worth, or joint net worth with the individual’s spouse, that exceeds $1 million at the time of the investing, excluding the value of their primary residence, or whose income exceeded $200,000 in each of the two most recent years or joint income with a spouse exceeding $300,000 and has a reasonable expectation of reaching the same income level in the current year.

The new membership process allows current members to invite friends and colleagues whom they know and trust. Individuals that accept the invitation become members of FundersClub once their accredited investor status is verified. Additionally, FundersClub will consider on a case-by-case basis applications for membership.

“We’ve always believed in the value of empowerment. Our invitation-only model underscores that belief and our commitment to providing a safe, reliable and trustworthy environment for our community,” added Mittal.

Alex Mittal and Boris Silver launched FundersClub in July 2012 with one goal in mind — to change the way the world fundraises and invests. Together they had founded five companies, raised more than $20 million in funding and invested as angels in other startups. For FundersClub, the pair raised capital through their own platform and from other top investors including Y Combinator, First Round Capital, Spark Capital, Intel Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Felicis Ventures, and Tim Draper. All FundersClub members with access to investment opportunities have been certified as accredited investors.

# # #

More Crowdfunding articles on FundersClub:

Advertisements

RockthePost Predicts Legalization of General Solicitation Will Change Startup Investing Forever

21 Sep

The SEC general solicitation rule change washes away some limitations on promotion of fundraising campaigns that have been in place for 80 years

By Robert Hoskins

Many changes are going to take place in the startup investment industry as the SEC lifts its ban on general solicitation on Monday, September 23.  With this implementation, the startup ecosystem will see an 80-year-old securities law modified for modern times, allowing private companies – startups in particular – to publicly advertise that they are seeking investments.

Alejandro Cremades launches crowdfunding project as a solution to help save the U.S. economy.

Alejandro Cremades launches crowdfunding project as a solution to help save the U.S. economy.

Among the exciting developments, leading startup investing platform RockThePost will unveil the following, in conjunction with Title II of the JOBS Act taking effect on Monday:

  1. Prominent featuring of startups publicly announcing investment rounds
  2. Investor verification system that shifts the burden off startups
  3. Secure transactions where Escrow accounts act as a safe haven for early committed investors
  4. Full transparency – third party identity checks and legal business verification, crowdsourced due diligence, bank-level security
  5. Smart matching of investors to startup investments that match their preferences

RockThePost CEO, Alejandro Cremades, notes that “our startups have had mixed feelings on general solicitation, but the ones who are planning to take advantage of it are really excited about the exponential exposure from which they can benefit tremendously.”

According to the Center for Venture Research, only 258,000 investors have made an angel investment out of the 8.7 million accredited investor households eligible to invest in the U.S. The general solicitation ban lift will allow startups to publicly fundraise via methods such as equity crowdfunding, harnessing the power of the internet and social media to reach potential investors in all corners of the country. We expect a large jump in angel activity in the coming years as individual investors seek higher returns on investment and feel more comfortable investing in startups.

The nature of startup investing is risky, but to grow the nest egg, investor money has to be put to work. With a financial shift underway in which low yields and high interest rates are prevalent, investors are forced to look beyond traditional investment avenues to reach their financial goals.

A 2013 UBS report, Investment Strategy Guide, recommends that 7 to 11% of any given investment portfolio be allocated to new alternative investments, which includes buying equity in early stage companies (note that only accredited investors may participate in private offerings).

Startup investing involves high risk. However, investing early in startups has the potential of yielding high returns as seen below.

  • $1,000 in Facebook in 2005 = $624,500 today
  • $1,000 in Airbnb in 2009 = $589,667 today
  • $1,000 in Dropbox in 2008 = $391,500 today

RockThePost does believe that openly fundraising in the startup investing world could significantly help startups gain access to capital in an economic environment in which investors are more readily looking for high-return investments.

General solicitation will potentially increase the number of transactions happening between investors and startups. RockThePost expects these changes to drive the U.S. economy as small businesses have created almost 65% of the net new jobs for the past 17 years.

By democratizing access to startup capital for entrepreneurs and bringing startup investment opportunities to a new investor demographic, RockThePost aims to be the go-to destination for both startups and investors.

# # #

More News on the SEC 80-Year Ban on General Solicitation:

%d bloggers like this: