Archive | January, 2014

Indiegogo Amasses a $40 Million Dollar War Chest to Compete with Kickstarter

28 Jan

Promoting Crowdfunding Innovation and Worldwide Domination, Indiegogo Raises $40 million from Institutional Venture Partners and Klieiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

 By Robert Hoskins

Indiegogo announced that it has raised $40 million in Series B funding led by Institutional Venture Partners and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. The financing will be used to continue making key hires, expand globally and improve the user experience with a focus on mobile, personalization and trust. Additional funding was provided by existing investors Insight Venture Partners, MHS Capital, Metamorphic Ventures and ff Venture Capital.

ndiegogo Crowdfunding Platform Logo

Indiegogo Crowdfunding Platform Now Armed and Ready to Compete Globally

As one of the world’s largest crowdfunding platform, Indiegogo has hosted more than 190,000 campaigns from nearly 190 countries. In the past two years, funds raised on Indiegogo have grown by 1,000% and the company has expanded to 85 employees, opening its new headquarters in the South of Market neighborhood of San Francisco last year. With this financing, the company will be growing its team in San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles, as well as expanding internationally. Indiegogo’s online platform supports contributions in five currencies (U.S. dollar, Canadian dollar, euro, pound sterling and Australian dollar) and four languages (English, German, French and Spanish).

“We’re committed to making Indiegogo the world’s funding engine and giving people access to capital worldwide. With IVP and KPCB’s support, we can rapidly take critical steps to help more and more people fund what matters to them,” said Slava Rubin, founder and CEO of Indiegogo.

“Indiegogo is playing a central role in the transformation of the global economy,” said John Doerr, general partner at KPCB. “We are excited to partner with Indiegogo to help support the dreams and aspirations of the Indiegogo community and continue establishing Indiegogo as the leading international platform for funding new ideas and innovation.”

“Indiegogo’s flexible funding model and open platform are helping it become the market leader in the rapidly growing crowdfunding space. The company is the Android of crowdfunding—easily accessible and open to all,” said Jules Maltz, general partner at IVP.

Indiegogo is democratizing access to funding by allowing anyone, anywhere to raise money. As a result of this commitment to empowerment and diversity, Indiegogo has featured some of the most innovative and influential crowdfunding campaigns including the following:

Indiegogo empowers people around the world to fund what matters to them. As the largest global crowdfunding platform, campaigns have launched from almost every country around the world with millions of dollars being distributed every week due to contributions made by the Indiegogo community. At its core, Indiegogo is an open platform dedicated to democratizing the way people raise funds for any project – creative, entrepreneurial or cause-related.

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Crowdfunding Experts Gather in New York to Educate Entrepreneurs, Small Businesses and Startups on How to Launch Successful Crowdfunding Campaigns

22 Jan

Reality Crowd TV’s Host Manolis Sfinarolakis will be interviewing crowdfunding advocates and subject matter experts on their visions for crowdfunding developments in 2014

By Robert Hoskins

The NYC Crowdfunding Meetup Group will be hosting a free Crowdfunding Networking Event on January 28, 2014 at 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm at EVR located at 54 West 39th Street in Midtown West Manhattan to promote the benefits of the crowdfunding industry for entrepreneurs, startups, small businesses and equity investors.

Alex Feldman, the NYC Crowdfunding Networking Meetup Organizer, has put together this networking event to allow interaction between crowdfunding advocates and seven subject matter experts who will provide short introductions to their areas of expertise.

Reality Crowd TV Crowdfunding Series

Reality Crowd TV Crowdfunding Series

The event will provide subject matter experts on equity crowdfunding, social good crowdfunding, crowdfunding for publishing projects and crowdfunding consultants.

In addition, the Reality Crowd TV crew and Host Manolis Sfinarolakis will be filming three-minute pitches from crowdfunding advocates that would like to share their personal interests in the crowdfunding industry as well as their predictions of where the crowdfunding industry is headed in 2014.

Featured Speakers:

Event Sponsor:

The event is being sponsored by Minda Aguhob, Love Performs’ CEO/Founder. Love Performs’ mission is to raise the level of love in action in the world by empowering passionate people with a purpose via crowdfunding campaigns. Minda has personally risen over $30,000 for Leukemia and Lymphoma research through crowdfunding campaigns.

Reservations:

Seating is limited. To RSVP for the free crowdfunding event, please visit: http://www.meetup.com/NYC-CrowdFunding-Networking/events/157334982/.

To RSVP for a free three-minute crowdfunding pitch to Reality Crowd TV program,
please visit: http://www.meetup.com/realitycrowdtv/events/159958102/.

Or send an email to rhoskins@frontpagepr.com to be placed on press list for interviews.

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British Solar Panel Firm Becomes the Latest Successful Campaign on Equity Crowdfunding Platform, Crowdcube, Smashing £100,000 Goal in Less Than 10 Days

17 Jan

Solar becomes the latest industry to turn to crowdfunding

By , Editor, Tech City News

We’ve covered crowdfunding extensively over the past year, with some predicting the industry could raise up to £15bn of funding for growing businesses over the next 3 years.

Solar panels, but not as you’ve seen them before

Solar panels, but not as you’ve seen them before

In 2013, we’ve seen campaigns for investigative journalisma startup incubator on a London bus and even Gorilla conservation  as an alternative way to raise funds.

Now a British solar panel firm has become the latest to run a campaign on Crowdcube, an equity crowdfunding platform, smashing their £100,000 goal in less than 10 days.

Solarmass’ pitch has received pledges from 96 investors, offering out 11.96% equity. Investments in the company are also eligible for EIS and SEIS tax relief.

Click here to read the full story.

Feedback Wanted: Creating a National Crowdfunding Campaign Rating System

14 Jan

Crowdfunding platforms need to add crowdfunding campaign rating systems, portfolios of crowdfunding service providers and social media network graphing APIs to improve success ratios

By Robert Hoskins

We work with lots of people who want to launch crowdfunding campaigns.  It is surprising how many are completely unaware that they need a startup business plan before considering launching a crowdfunding campaign, especially when the main goal is to raise money to start a new business.  Even project related crowdfunding campaigns would benefit from writing up a business plan to help campaign managers organize and to think logically about what they are trying to accomplish with their fundraising campaign.

Front Page PR is the #1 Crowdfunding PR firm in America

Front Page PR is the #1 Crowdfunding PR firm in America

One of the most popular crowdfunding services that is in demand from crowdfunding campaign managers is quality advice/feedback on their initial efforts to shoot a good crowdfunding video, write up an effective crowdfunding profile and write enticing calls-to-actions for their campaign’s perks, rewards, donations and soon-to-be investment performas.

The biggest reason that crowdfunding campaigns fail right now is because they do a poor job of providing elementary campaign planning requirements such as conducting a thorough competitive analysis, writing a business plan, creating a corporate message map, building an experienced management team, establishing a target audience, planning a marketing budget to reach their target audience, and predicting with some certainty a perks/rewards (sales) forecast complete with a return-on-investment analysis.

It sure would be great to see crowdfunding platforms start requiring campaign managers to fill out both a business plan section as well as the crowdfunding campaign. It may require extra work, but it certainly would improve a platform’s success ratio.

During this campaign planning process, it would be extremely beneficial for campaign managers to be provided with a database of third-party experts to give them professional advice and counseling.   This behind-the-scene step would allow them to seek professional advice from marketing, financial, legal and other pre-qualified crowdfunding service providers in order to evaluate and critique their campaigns before they went live. In addition, they could utilize these same experts to help them build a professional management team that would add credibility to their crowdfunding profiles.

After the campaign goes live, a public rating system would kick in that would allow investors/donors to rate each module of the business plan and the crowdfunding campaign on a scale of 1 to 10 based on their perception of the information provided. Or, perhaps the crowd should be allowed to ask questions or click on a green, yellow or red flag depending on how they felt about each section of the crowdfunding pitch provided. This would be an extremely good way for thousands of people to work together to vet and weed out fraudulent campaigns by raising red flags at the appropriate time.

To keep negative sharks from bashing without compassion, other users could evaluate advisers and ban people that are considered to be trouble makers after a certain number of derogatory comments that are detrimental versus instrumental.  The purpose would be to educate the masses as more and more investors begin logging on to invest in upcoming equity crowdfunding deals.

In addition, all crowdfunding platforms should be required to use the social graphing APIs from Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and other social media networking sites so that everyone can research everyone to see who they are and what their professional credentials are.  This would also encourage crowdfunders to do a lot more work on improving their social media profiles and networks before attempting to launch a fundraising campaign.

Just like media outlet comment sections, people without social media profiles should be banned from creating crowdfunding campaigns as well as critiquing them.  This also might be an easier way to govern who is allowed to invest and what their budget level is on an annual basis based on their status as an accredited or unaccredited investor.

Once a national, standardized crowdfunding rating system is up and running, which may take quite a while, it will be easier for novice investors to search secure crowdfunding platforms for investment opportunities based on their desired crowdfunding rating and risk assessment criteria.

Some basic Crowdfunding Rating Modules to get the conversation started:

Business Plan Rating Modules:

  • Mission Statement
  • Objectives
  • Strategies
  • Management Team
  • Legal Issues
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Target Audience
  • Positioning
  • Pricing
  • Promotion
  • Place (location)
  • Distribution Channels
  • Campaign Goals
  • Campaign Expenses
  • Campaign Revenue
  • Campaign Deliverables
  • Campaign ROI
  • Exit Strategy (even though Mark Cuban says no)

Crowdfunding Campaign Rating Modules:

  • Crowdfunding Goal
  • Campaign Length
  • Pitch Video
  • Pitch Profile
  • Perks/Rewards/ROI%
  • Marketing Budget
  • Industry Growth Predictions
  • Sales Forecast
  • Funds Usage
  • Barriers to Success
  • Fulfillment Milestones
  • Social Impact
  • Post-Campaign Fulfillment Audit

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Safer, High-Tech Classified Ads from ByOwner.com Launches $1.5 Million Equity Crowdfunding Investment Deal on Angel List

14 Jan

Leading Edge Advertising Portal Provides Investors with Opportunity to Invest in Thriving Online Advertising Industry, which is Expected to Reach US$185.4 Billion in 2017 as Social Media, Mobile and Video Advertising Revenue Rise

 By Robert Hoskins

ByOwner.com announced the very first equity crowdfunding campaign for the online advertising industry.  The company is seeking to raise $1.5 million from equity crowdfunding investors to advance its position as the safest online community to post free classified ads for job listings, cars for sale, for sale by owner real estate, vacation rentals and over ninety other categories of products and services. One of ByOwner.com’s primary product differentiators is the way the company is harnessing advanced security technology to allow buyers and sellers to research each other prior to meeting in public to complete a business transaction.

ByOwner.com eCommerce Portal Fights Crime With New Social Graphing Tool to Build Safer Classified Ads to promote Crowdfunding campaigns

ByOwner.com eCommerce Portal Fights Crime With New Social Graphing Tool to Build Safer Classified Ads to promote Crowdfunding campaigns

The online classified advertising service currently allows more than 1.3 billion Facebook and LinkedIn social media contacts to see each other using the “Friends-of-a-Friend” feature. This will help combat the unprecedented crime wave of murders, rapes, armed robbery, and prostitution occurring every day on popular online advertising sites.

“There is a huge void in the market for an advertising platform that welcomes partner innovation, user safety and does not contain “adult” content,” said Greg Sullivan, ByOwner.com’s President. “We feel that personal ads, massage parlors and escort services should not be available on the same platform as someone selling their home, car or used household items.”

According to Pew Research, internet advertising continues to defy the world’s wider economic problems, growing in terms of both volume and its share of the global advertising pie. Digital advertising is expected to reach US$185.4 billion by 2017.

“As consumers get more comfortable with buying and selling online, so should their satisfaction with the complete online advertising experience. Our platform fulfills the need for higher transparency between buyers and sellers. It’s just not safe to meet someone in a parking lot to buy a $200 phone if you don’t know anything about the person,” Sullivan added.

ByOwner.com is directing accredited equity investors to https://angel.co/byowner-com in order to provide investment capital to help the company continue expanding their market share. Funds will be utilized towards aggressive marketing campaigns, and technology enhancements that will target a wide variety of partners, and publishing houses to fulfill the growing demand of consumer to consumer transactions.

Heavy Demand from Golfers, Hunters and X-Gamers Propels X-Mount Video System for iPhone and Android to 34% of Kickstarter Goal

14 Jan

The X Mount Video Stand Solution Is Small Enough to Fit in an Average-Sized Purse or Backpack and Takes Quick Hands-Free Photos, Filming and Recording Technology to a Whole New Level

ProtoSports X Mount Remote Video Shooting Solution for Golfers, Hunters, X Gamers and other Outdoor Recreation Advocates

ProtoSports X Mount Remote Video Shooting Solution for Golfers, Hunters, X Gamers and other Outdoor Recreation Advocates

In response to ProtoSports X Mount Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign, golfers, hunters, skate boarders, outdoor adventure guides, X gamers and many other types of professional sports enthusiasts have pre-ordered the remote site video mounting system offers a great way to use iPhones, Androids and other Smartphones to shoot remote sites videos to record their trips, tricks, stunts and practice sessions to improve their game.

“Unlike other expensive tripods and bulky video stands, the X Mount provides an affordable, light weight design that allows the entire kit to be rolled up and carried in any average-sized backpack,” said Kyle Stiles, ProtoSports’ CEO. “The portable design makes it easy to carry around and setup when the perfect opportunity presents itself.”

Golfers can use the X Mount in golf carts with the clamp attachment for GPS or videos and use the cross clip backing to turn their alignment rods into a mobile monopod to record swings anywhere on the golf course. Skate boarders can shoot a video from the bottom of a perfect stair rail as they grind their way to perfection. Hunters and anglers can set up the X Mount from a tree stand or on the bow of their boat to document their trophy acquisitions as they happen, even the ones that got away will be caught on video.

In addition to videos, the X Mount can also be utilized by photographers who want to take still shots at group events, weddings, parties and other types of events.

To pre-order an affordable X Mount Smartphone mount via the Kickstarter campaign, please visit: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/667763688/x-mount-not-your-typical-smartphone-mountits-mobil

There are many different Smartphone mounts, but they usually serve a particular purpose. They may be designed for cars, tripods, outdoor video, etc., but the X Mount can do it all. It is designed with a spring loaded body to ensure that phones are safe and secure.

One of the coolest accessories for the X Mount is its bendable attachment arm. The arm is equipped with a clamp at one end that allows you to attach your device to any surface edge. Another option is a spiked rod that can be inserted into ground for remote shots in outdoor environments.

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