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Archive | October, 2014

Front Page PR Seeks Entrepreneurs, Small Businesses and Franchises that Want to Take Advantage of the New Texas Crowdfunding Rules to Market Equity Investment Opportunities

29 Oct

Top 50 cities in Texas are home to 13.3 million residents that will soon be able to invest up to $5,000 per year in private equity investment opportunities

By Robert Hoskins

Austin, Texas Front Page PR (www.crowdfundingPRcampaigns.com), one of America’s leading crowdfunding PR and marketing firms, announced that the firm is now seeking new startups and entrepreneurs that want to take advantage of the new Intrastate Texas Crowdfunding Exemption rules that allows companies to raise up to $1 million from non-accredited investors.

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

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

On December 1, 2014, for the first time in 80 years, Texas-based startups and entrepreneurs will be able to sell private equity shares to all residents living Texas. In addition, all parties will be able to use mass marketing to advertise and publicize their equity investment opportunities using media outlets that focus on Texas Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), which are home to more than 26 million potential customers.

Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) Population
Houston – The Woodlands – Sugar Land 6,484,279
Dallas – Plano – Richardson – Irving 4,627,393
Fort Worth – Arlington – HEB 2,358,186
San Antonio – New Braunfels 2,334,363
Austin-Round Rock 1,938,858
McAllen-Edinburg-Mission 862,768
El Paso 862,638
Killeen-Temple 445,356
Corpus Christi 443,351
Brownsville-Harlingen 439,437
Beaumont-Port Arthur 413,982
Lubbock 304,682
Laredo 275,686
Amarillo 265,821
Waco 260,728
College Station-Bryan 246,910
Longview 226,407
Tyler 222,781
Abilene 170,164
Wichita Falls 152,426
Midland 150,721
Odessa 145,960
Sherman-Denison 125,901
San Angelo 113,969
Victoria 96,883
Texarkana 93,457
Total:   24,063,107

Approximately 20 million of these customers are over the age of 18 and will be able to invest up to $5,000 per year in private equity placements. Once the state educates its residents and new investors become Internet savvy investors, Texas will represent a $100 billion per year pool of venture capital that small businesses and entrepreneurs can use to raise start up funding.

This will prove to be a boon for the large majority of ideas and business plans that are currently being rejected or ignored by the states 70+ business accelerators and incubators.

Any business that has received the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) rubber stamp to be pre-approved for SBA loans should strongly consider opening a business in Texas. Franchisors and franchises are the perfect business model to help franchisees raise money using the new Texas crowdfunding rules. Unlike many startups that will have an unproven track record, franchises with 5 or more profitable locations should be able to provide investors with a better than average chance of success.

Rural areas are a prime target for economic development in Texas where the demand is present for new restaurants, movie theaters, shopping malls, trampoline parks, entertainment venues, but until now have not had access to traditional venture capital due to their location.

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Contact:
Robert Hoskins
Front Page PR
(512) 627-6622
rhoskins@frontpagepr.com

 

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Texas Crowdfunding Rules Pass Unanimously 4-0 in Austin; Texas Becomes Largest Equity Crowdfunding Market in the United States

22 Oct

More than 20 million unaccredited investors in Texas will soon be able to invest $5,000 per year in equity investments for small businesses raising under $1 million

By Robert Hoskins

Austin, Texas – Texas, the 2nd largest state by population in America, formally approved an  Intrastate Texas Crowdfunding Exemption Rule, on October 22, 2014, in Austin, Texas with a resounding 4-0 unanimous vote.  Why? Texas has been an economic engine because our state government officials have always understood how to provide an environment where businesses can make money, even during tough economic times.

Texas Approves Equity Crowdfunding Exemption for Non-Accredited Investors

Texas Approves Intrastate Equity Crowdfunding Exemption for Non-Accredited Investors in Texas

Even though the Texas State Securities Board doesn’t like tout this fact, Texas has around 26 to 29 million people living here, with around 20 million residents over the age of 18. The fact that the new Texas Equity Crowdfunding Rule allows these people to invest up to $5,000 per year in private equity investments is significant.

Do the math. What is 20 million times $5,000? To keep it simple, we’ll do the math for you, but we’ll be honest and let you know the number was too big our Smartphone’s calculator.  We had to break out an Excel spreadsheet to make sure this figure was correct.

The pool of potential investment capital that will be available in November 2014 to start new businesses or expand existing ones will be around $100 billion per year.  So over the next 5 years, Texas has pretty much said to the rest of America, we love business so much we have put together an economic development slush fund of $500 billion.

And guess what? It won’t cost taxpayers a single cent. Even better is the amount of small businesses that entrepreneurs will be able to launch during that time frame.

And guess what? It won’t be Wall Street investment bankers that will be controlling or driving the growth of Texas. It will be hard-working ranch hands, oil & gas field workers and blue-collar construction laborers who  understand what the value of a hard-earned dollar is and who will certainly be able to decide what types of products and services they want to see brought to market.

Why is this important?  Ft. Worth is booming. Dallas survived a telecom meltdown. Houston has never been short on energy. Austin is a technology mecca second only to Silicon Valley in California. What do you think $500 billion worth of investment capital will do the Texas economy?

It won’t happen over night, but neither did the oil boom. It was one thing to drill for oil and find it. It was another for the country to figure out what to do with oil and a wasteful substance called gasoline that no one knew what to do with because it was so volatile. But when Henry Ford won the right mass produce affordable Model T’s, Texas benefited from its early risk taking and bold move to start exploring and drilling for oil.

Did a lot of people drill wells that were dry where investors lost a lot of money? Yep. But the industry adjusted quickly on the fly and learned how to harness engineering, technology and sheer will power to weed out bad investments.

The same will be true of Equity Crowdfunding.  The power of the crowd to perform due diligence and the need for all equity investments to be done through a registered crowdfunding platform or portal will make it very hard for the Wolf of Wall Street types to do business. It won’t take the industry long to populate itself with crowdfunding classes, investment training programs and crowd checking services that investors can use to educate themselves and learn quickly how to vet deals.

What kind of deals can Texans expect? Franchises, high-technology, bio technology, clean technology, financial technology, real estate, oil and gas, defense technology, space exploration technology, etc.

Will people always make money? No, but deals like Oculus Rift might become common place.  In 2012, Oculus needed to raise money to bring a new type of 3D virtual reality computer gaming goggles to market. They did so successfully by raising $2.4 million via a Kickstarter campaign by pre-selling goggles for $300 a pair.

In May 2014, Facebook bought Oculus for $2 billion. There was an immediate uproar from Oculus supporters because they didn’t benefit from the buyout because supporters didn’t own any private equity stock.  It was a true crowdfunding dream come true. News stories say that a $300 investment for a pair of 3D goggles and one equity share would have paid return on investment of ~$45,000, but after two years of waiting equity investing is still not legal in the United States for unaccredited investors.

Who was to blame for supporters getting screwed? The bullseye can be pointed nowhere else but squarely on the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), who has been holding America hostage during one of the biggest economic depressions America has ever seen.

The SEC can defy the President of United States and both Houses of Congress, but they are no match for hardworking Americans who are tired of watching the government run our country into the ground.

Honestly, can American’s skip four games of golf or quit buying scratch off lotto tickets for a month to take a wild risk on a crowdfunding investment? We sure can. And with some careful consideration, due diligence and investing in only products/service we understand, a new generation of micro venture capitalists will rise.

Why go to Las Vegas or continue to buy lotto tickets when you can shop for cool products and businesses online that you’d be willing to bet a couple of hundred bucks in order to make a fortune?  Suddenly the American dream will become a reality again.

Maybe not in the rest of America, but in Texas, entrepreneurs and startups will be able to go straight to the public with their investor decks and business plans. Just as Texas oil money, real estate and telecom/computer technology had a heavy influence in the development of the United States, so will the influence of crowdfunded millionaires that are sure follow the same rise to power as risky, gutsy Texas-based entrepreneurs such as Mark Cuban and Michael Dell.

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 Texas Equity Crowdfunding Exemption:

Passed 10/22/2014 – Texas State Securities Boards Approves Texas Crowdfunding Exemption Rules

Texas Crowdfunding News:

10/25/14 – Ft. Worth Star Telegram – Texas sets the stage for crowdfunding

10/23/14 – Austin Business Journal – State Securities Board OKs new Texas crowdfunding rules

10/23/14 – San Antonio Business Journal – Texas greenlights new rules for equity-based crowdfunding

10/23/14 – Silicon Hills – Texas Approves Equity-Based Crowdfunding Rules

10/23/14 – Dallas Morning News – Texas OKs rules allowing small businesses to raise funds online

09/23/14 – San Antonio Express News – Texas Crowdfunding for the little guys

09/16/14 – Times Realty News – Texas Crowdfunding Investments Set for Vote in September

08/12/14 – Ft. Worth Star Telegram – Texas set to allow crowdfunding investments for small businesses

08/27/14 – Houston Chronicle – Texas crowdfunding conference hopes to draw a crowd

07/21/14 – Crowdfunding PR News – Front Page PR Offers Texas Crowdfunding Sites Advertising, PR and Social Media Marketing Campaigns to Market Equity Shares to Potential Investors

List of States with Intrastate Exemption for Equity Crowdfunding:

         State                          Population

  1. Texas                           26,059,203
  2. Michigan                       9,883,360
  3. Georgia                           9,919,945
  4. Washington                   6,897,012
  5. Indiana                           6,537,334
  6. Tennessee                      6,495,978
  7. Maryland                       5,884,563
  8. Wisconsin                      5,726,398
  9. Alabama                         4,822,023
  10. Idaho                                1,595,728
  11. Kansas                             2,885,905
  12. Maine                                1,329,192

If you were a new company planning to launch a business, what state would you pick?

SolarCity Launches First Solar CrowdBonding Campaign to Raise $200 Million Directly from Consumers

22 Oct

Earnings up to 4% on solar bonds to be paid by income received from monthly solar payments made by thousands of homeowners, schools, businesses, and government organizations across the country

By Robert Hoskins

San Mateo, CaliforniaSolarCity (Nasdaq: SCTY) launched the nation’s first registered public offering of solar bonds, creating a simple way for individuals across the United States to earn attractive returns on their investments while also participating in the nation’s transformation to clean energy. The company filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) this morning to issue up to $200 million in solar bonds initially, and launched a new online investment site http://solarbonds.solarcity.com to make them available directly to consumers.

SolarCity Launches First CrowdBonding Campaign Nationwide in United States

SolarCity Launches First CrowdBonding Campaign Nationwide in United States

SolarCity is currently providing more than one out of every three new solar power systems in the U.S. The earnings on its solar bonds are to be paid by income received from monthly solar payments made by thousands of homeowners, schools, businesses, and government organizations across the country.

Solar bonds offer consumers a new alternative to other savings and fixed income investment products—such as savings accounts, CDs, treasury bonds, and municipal bonds—and meet a growing appetite for investment opportunities that are both financially attractive and support important goals such as protecting the environment and creating American jobs.

SolarCity has created funds to finance the installation of approximately $5 billion in renewable energy assets with investments from a number of the world’s leading financial institutions and corporations.

Today’s offering marks the first time that individual investors will be given access through a public solar bond offering; providing a new opportunity to participate in the rapid growth of the U.S. solar industry and the transformation of America’s energy infrastructure to clean power.

Solar bonds will be available online through SolarCity’s investment site to all U.S. investors who are at least 18 years old and meet SolarCity’s eligibility requirements, with no fees for purchase. Investors will be able to purchase solar bonds for as little as $1,000, with maturities ranging from one year to seven years and interest rates of up to 4 percent.

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Equity Crowdfunding Platform, MicroVentures, Touts Track Record of Raising More than $50 Million for New Pre-IPO Startup Companies

21 Oct

MicroVentures portfolio includes some of the world’s leading equity investments including Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, Republic Project, LaunchRock and Loom

By Robert Hoskins

Austin, Texas –  Online venture capital platform, MicroVentures, announced that the company has raised more than $50 million directly for its portfolio companies, while generating positive returns for its investors through successful exits, such as the recent acquisition of Space Monkey, a cloud data storage company, by Vivint, on of the the largest home automation services provider in North America.

MicroVentures portfolio includes some of the world's leading investments including Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, Republic Project, LaunchRock and Loom

MicroVentures portfolio includes some of the world’s leading investments including Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, Republic Project, LaunchRock and Loom

Accelerated growth of MicroVentures will be fueled by new investment opportunities that cater to investors’ rising interests, such as late stage pre-IPO companies and real estate. The company’s focus includes investments in internet technology, media and entertainment, software, green technology, mobile, social and gaming.

“We set out five years ago to create the user-friendly platform that connects investors and startups at the seed stage,” said Bill Clark, founder of MicroVentures. “Today MicroVentures not only connects, but leads investment rounds for our portfolio companies – the first equity crowdfunding platform to play this role. This milestone showcases the viability of the equity crowdfunding business and we look forward to continuing to grow alongside our investors and entrepreneurs.”

The more than $50 million raised to date includes investments in successful companies such as Twitter (IPO), Facebook (IPO), Yelp (IPO), Republic Project (acquired), LaunchRock (acquired), and Loom (acquired by Dropbox). Other notable start-ups that are currently part of the MicroVentures’ portfolio include Structured Polymers, Soldsie, Biomeme and Oru Kayak, who was featured in the last season of Shark Tank and is actively raising capital via the MicroVentures platform today.

“MicroVentures gave us the opportunity to pitch in front of over 20,000 global investors,” said Nathan Derrick, CEO of Supplyhog. “This allowed us to spend less time raising capital and more time growing our business.”

Since establishing itself in 2010 as one of the first equity crowdfunding platforms that is a FINRA registered broker-dealer, MicroVentures has grown its investor community from 200 individuals to more than 22,000 individuals. The company has done so through building expertise, security, selectivity, due diligence, personalized customer service and accessibility for both accredited and non-accredited investors. The MicroVentures team is committed to providing confidence for both startups and investors through its dedication to rigorous due diligence and to personal relationships with investors.

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Mosaic Announces $100 Million Investment Facility with PartnerReGlobal

21 Oct

Financial Services Company to Provide Institutional Investment and Support Mosaic’s Rapid Growth in Home Solar Loans

By Robert Hoskins

Oakland, California – Mosaic Solar, a peer-to-peer solar finance company, announced that an affiliate of global reinsurer PartnerRe Ltd. (NYSE:  PRE) will provide up to $100 million in financing for Mosaic’s home solar loan program.

Under the terms of the facility, PartnerRe will finance the purchase of loans originated by Mosaic. The company also expects to continue to grow its successful peer-to-peer lending platform, which has already seen thousands of investors join the Mosaic community.

“Mosaic’s superior loan terms, user-friendly borrowing experience, and recent expansion into several new states throughout the U.S. have resulted in accelerating demand for capital sourcing for our homeowner loans beyond traditional crowdfunding,” said Bruce Ledesma, Mosaic’s Chief Operating Officer.  “We are thrilled to work with an experienced investment team to expand the availability of our lending capacity to solar installers and their customers throughout the country.”

“Mosaic has successfully created innovative loan products and technology-driven origination processes,” said David Moran, President of PartnerRe Principal Finance Inc.  “PartnerRe is impressed with the quality of consumer loans in Mosaic’s portfolio.  We look forward to beginning our financing arrangement and facilitating greater access to capital for the solar market consistent with our investment objectives.”

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