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.

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