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US$1.7 Trillion In ‘Dry Powder’ Available for Global Real Estate Equity Crowdfunding Investment Opportunities in 2017, CBRE Survey Finds

24 Mar

North America is Preferred Region for Global Real Estate Investors | London, Los Angeles and Sydney Most Popular Regional City Targets

By Robert Hoskins

Los Angeles, California – Stronger economic growth, the availability of debt capital, and a more positive outlook from investors is expected to drive global capital flows in 2017, with $1.7 trillion of ‘dry powder’ available to deploy in real estate this year, according to the CBRE Global Investor Intentions Survey 2017.

US$1.7 Trillion In Dry Powder Available for Global Real Estate Equity Crowdfunding Investments in 2017, CBRE Survey Finds

US$1.7 Trillion In Dry Powder Available for Global Real Estate Equity Crowdfunding Investments in 2017, CBRE Survey Finds

The CBRE 2017 global survey reveals that investors have ample capital and a strong motivation to invest in real estate because of its relatively high income yield. North America is the preferred region for investors, with London, Los Angeles and Sydney the most popular cities in each of the major regions. Office is the most popular asset sector, with logistics up strongly in 2017 and a very close second.

The survey results reveal that the sum total of planned capital expenditure in real estate by investors is $1.7 trillion. The majority of investors indicate that their buying activity will increase or remain the same compared to 2016. Those investors planning to spend more (40%) outweigh those planning to spend less (16%) by a margin, indicating a continuing positive attitude to real estate as an asset class.

Despite a volatile global political environment and key European elections set to take place in France and Germany, investors are relatively unconcerned about global or local politics. Investors’ main concerns are: an undefined ‘global economic shock’ (22%) and ‘faster than expected rises in interest rates’ (21 percent). The latter concern is felt much more strongly this year and is the biggest change from 2016.

“This time last year, investors were reeling from the volatility in world stock markets, now they are seeing equities reach record highs and economic sentiment is positive. Although there is uncertainty about the direction that economic policy will take, there is also a growing anticipation that changes will unlock growth. While there are some clouds on the horizon–emerging market debt looks problematic as does Greece’s financial situation–economic momentum, alongside the yield advantages of property as an asset class, should ensure another year of substantial capital flows into global real estate,” said Chris Ludeman, Global President, Capital Markets, CBRE.

In last year’s survey, investors had shifted decisively in favor of core assets and away from secondary and value-added risk classes. That trend has partially reversed in 2017 with a fall in demand for core assets and an increased interest in core-plus and opportunistic assets. Nearly half of investors (48%) cite the high price of real estate as the main obstacle to deploying capital. This increased interest in core-plus and opportunistic reflects that issue, but it also shows that investors are slightly more ‘risk on’ than they were last year.

In the Americas, Los Angeles is the stand-out preference for investors. Dallas/Fort Worth has moved into second place. Washington, D.C. is the biggest mover, entering the top six at fourth position, having not featured last year. Atlanta moves up one place and Seattle is in seventh position, having not made the top tier last year.

Within EMEA, London remains the most attractive city for investors. Berlin has moved up two places to become the second most preferred destination. While there is some concern about European elections, so far this does not seem to have dampened appetite for real estate. The survey shows that, despite the uncertainty over Brexit, investors are increasingly interested in the UK.

In APAC, Sydney is once again the top destination, with Tokyo second by some distance. Australia’s cities remain highly popular with APAC investors because of their liquidity, transparency and positive long-term prospects. Seoul has dropped out of the top six and Hong Kong has moved in.

Office is the preferred sector for investors (26%), with multifamily (21%) and logistics (22%) also highly popular. The preference for retail has dropped sharply from last year (21% to 12%). Americas-based investors have a strong preference for logistics and multifamily; two sectors that have performed extremely well this cycle due to changes in technology and demographics. EMEA and APAC investors have relatively more interest in the offices and retail sectors.

The responses were spread across a range of investor types. The most numerous were fund/asset managers, who accounted for 34% of survey participants. Insurance companies, pension funds and sovereign wealth funds were responsible for 10%. The other most numerous respondents were private property companies (11%), private equity companies (9%), listed property companies (incl. REITS) (8%) and developers (8%).

CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBG), headquartered in Los Angeles, is the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm (based on 2016 revenue).  The company has more than 75,000 employees (excluding affiliates), and serves real estate investors and occupiers through approximately 450 offices (excluding affiliates) worldwide.
CBRE offers a broad range of integrated services, including facilities, transaction and project management; property management; investment management; appraisal and valuation; property leasing; strategic consulting; property sales; mortgage services and development services.
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Robert Hoskins, a seasoned Front Page PR veteran provides more than twenty-five years of external communications, media relations, digital social media and SEO skills to Front Page PR’s crowdfunding PR and media relations service portfolio.
Robert Hoskins
(512) 627-6622
@Crowdfunding_PR


Mr. Robert Hoskins is a seasoned marketing veteran with a proven track record of helping entrepreneurs, startups, small businesses as well as Fortune 500 corporations launch successful marketing communications campaigns to gain market traction for a wide variety of products and services.
On a regular basis, Mr. Hoskins consults with crowdfunding campaign managers as well as crowdfunding sites, portals and platforms to deliver successful crowdfunding marketing campaigns.
Google search “Robert Hoskins Crowdfunding” to see why Mr. Hoskins is considered one of the industry’s foremost crowdfunding experts that has amassed a huge social media following, which is dedicated to supporting donation-, rewards- and equity-based crowdfunding campaigns.

SEC Issues Progress Report on United States Title III Equity Crowdfunding Growth Rate

15 Mar

Approximately 163 separate offerings were filed by 156 issuers, seeking a total of approximately $18 million

By Robert Hoskins

Washington, DC – The SEC just released a white paper entitled, U.S. securities-based crowdfunding under Title III of the JOBS Act, which analyzes crowdfunded offerings during the first six months following May 16, 2016 when Title III, Regulation Crowdfunding become official. The SEC’s white paper, which was prepared for Scott Bauguess, the Acting Chief Economist and Acting Director of the Division of Economic and Risk Analysis (DERA), noted that the majority equity crowdfunding offerings to date have not utilized Regulation D as much as predicted.

Top 20 Title III Equity Crowdfunding Sites in U.S.

The white paper does go into great detail about five largest Title III crowdfunding portals based on the number of offerings, which accounted for 71% of the offerings launched during 2016.  The five largest Title III crowdfunding sites  also accounted for 64% of the total amount of funds raised. And while more 20 crowdfunding sites were listed, most of the offering activity was limited to 25% of active platforms in the Title III crowdfunding marketplace. And, if you ran the numbers for completed offerings, you would see that the top five largest intermediaries accounted for more than 90% of the market share.

The table below low shows the list of the Top Performing Title III Crowdfunding Portals sorted on the number of initiated offerings and then by the target amounts of the initiated offerings, excluding offerings withdrawn as of December 31, 2016.

Top 20 Title III Equity Crowdfunding Sites Ranked by Number of Offerings

Top 20 Title III Equity Crowdfunding Sites Ranked by Number of Offerings

 

Most Successful Types of Title III Equity Crowdfunding Campaigns

Many people want to know what the types of Title III crowdfunding campaigns were the most successful. Preferred Equity led the pack at 36%, followed bySimple Agreements for Future Equity at 26%, Debt at 20%, Units at 7%, Convertible Notes at 6% and Miscellaneous accounted for the remaining 5%, which included Revenue Sharing and Membership / LLC Interests.

Distribution of Title III Equity Crowdfunding Offerings

Distribution of Title III Equity Crowdfunding Offerings

 

Top States for Launching Title III Equity Crowdfunding Campaigns

Another interesting way to look at growing crowdfunding industry is to examine what states launched the most successful Title III Equity Crowdfunding Campaigns.  In the table below you can see that California/Silicon Valley launched the most Title III crowdfunding campaigns, followed closely by Texas/Silicon Hills at 19%, New York at 14%, Massachusetts and Illinois tying at 9%, Delaware, Florida, New Jersey, Oregon, and Pennsylvania bringing up the back to the pack, all with 5%.

Geographic Distribution of Title III Equity Crowdfunding

States with the Most Title III Equity Crowdfunding Campaigns

 

How Many Reg. D and Title IV, Reg. A+ Crowdfunding Offerings Result?

Because many industry experts have stated their concerns that the SEC’s decision to severely restrict the general solicitation guidelines with regards to advertising their crowdfunding deals to the masses of non-accredited investors, the white paper also took a close look at how many Title III Regulation Crowdfunding Campaigns had previously or subsequently conducted an offering under Regulation D or Regulation A.

As shown in the table below, as of January 15, 2017, approximately 15% of offerings initiated during 2016 (excluding withdrawn offerings) were by issuers that have also reported offerings under Regulation D either before or after the initial crowdfunding filing. And, approximately 3% of issuers have issued Regulation A+ filings as of January 15, 2017.

Among crowdfunding issuers, approximately 12.9% of offerings were by issuers that had filed the first Form D notice prior to the first crowdfunding filing and approximately 2.5% of offerings involved issuers that had filed a Form D notice after the first crowdfunding filing. For about 8.6% of offerings, excluding withdrawn crowdfunding offerings, a Form D filing was made within one calendar year before or after the initial crowdfunding filing. Consistent with their young age, the SEC determined that the majority of the crowdfunding issuers were more likely to be new startups rather than “fallen angels.”

Overall, these results suggest that crowdfunding is attracting issuers that have not extensively used other private offering exemptions, such as Regulation D, which is otherwise a very popular private offering exemption among similarly sized issuers as those initially availing themselves of the Crowdfunding market. The initial evidence is points to the fact that Title III, Regulation Crowdfunding is indeed providing a new source of capital for entrepreneurial and small businesses that may not otherwise have had access to capital through alternative capital raising channels.

Form D and Title IV, Reg A+ Equity Crowdfunding Offerings

Form D and Title IV, Reg A+ Equity Crowdfunding Offerings

 

The white paper also made a point of covering the following facts and figures.:

  • There were 163 separate offerings by 156 issuers, seeking a total of approximately $18 million, excluding withdrawn offerings. The median offering amount was $53,000 and the average offering amount was approximately $110,000. However, almost all of the offerings accepted over-subscriptions up to a higher amount (typically close to $1 million) for a total amount of approximately $101 million.
  • As of January 15, 2017, approximately $10 million in proceeds was raised in 33 offerings by issuers filing a Form C-U. The median amount raised in these offerings was $171,000 and the average amount raised was approximately $303,000.
  • For offerings initiated in 2016, were withdrawn by issuers or associated with an intermediary whose FINRA membership was terminated and funding portal registration withdrawn. These offerings sought a total of approximately $2.3 million (approximately $19.5 million if over-subscriptions are included).
  • Most of the offerings solicited in all states.
  • The most popular type of security was equity, followed by “simple agreements for future equity” and debt.
  • The most popular state of incorporation for issuers was Delaware and the most popular principal place of business for issuers was California.
  • The median issuer had under $50,000 in assets, under $5,000 in cash, $10,000 in debt, no revenues, and three employees. Approximately 40% of the issuers reported positive revenue and approximately 9% of the issuers reported a net profit in the most recent fiscal year. Among the issuers that reported non-zero assets in the prior fiscal year, the median growth rate was approximately 15%.
  • 21 intermediaries, including 13 funding portals and 8 broker-dealers, were involved in the offerings. As of December 31, 2016, funding portals have registered with the SEC and FINRA and one funding portal had its FINRA membership terminated and withdrew its SEC registration. The median intermediary percentage fee was 5%, and intermediaries took a financial interest in the issuer in approximately 16% of the offerings.

# # #

Robert Hoskins, a seasoned Front Page PR veteran provides more than twenty-five years of external communications, media relations, digital social media and SEO skills to Front Page PR’s crowdfunding PR and media relations service portfolio.
Robert Hoskins
(512) 627-6622
@Crowdfunding_PR


Mr. Robert Hoskins is a seasoned marketing veteran with a proven track record of helping entrepreneurs, startups, small businesses as well as Fortune 500 corporations launch successful marketing communications campaigns to gain market traction for a wide variety of products and services.
On a regular basis, Mr. Hoskins consults with crowdfunding campaign managers as well as crowdfunding sites, portals and platforms to deliver successful crowdfunding marketing campaigns.
Google search “Robert Hoskins Crowdfunding” to see why Mr. Hoskins is considered one of the industry’s foremost crowdfunding experts that has amassed a huge social media following, which is dedicated to supporting donation-, rewards- and equity-based crowdfunding campaigns.

New SEC Rules Allow Companies to Raise Up to $5 Million for Businesses Incorporated Out of State as well as from Investors Who Live Out of State

28 Oct

SEC Adopts New Securities Act Rule 147A and Changes to Reg D Rule 504 to Facilitate Intrastate and Regional Securities Offerings

Washington, D.C. – The Securities and Exchange Commission today adopted final rules that modernize how companies can raise money to fund their businesses through intrastate and small offerings while maintaining investor protections.“These final rules, while continuing to provide investor protections, update and expand the capital raising avenues for smaller companies, allowing them to more fully take advantage of changes in technology and business practices,” said SEC Chair Mary Jo White.

“These final rules, while continuing to provide investor protections, update and expand the capital raising avenues for smaller companies, allowing them to more fully take advantage of changes in technology and business practices,” said SEC Chair Mary Jo White.

“These final rules, while continuing to provide investor protections, update and expand the capital raising avenues for smaller companies, allowing them to more fully take advantage of changes in technology and business practices,” said SEC Chair Mary Jo White.

The final rules amend Securities Act Rule 147 to modernize the safe harbor under Section 3(a)(11) of the Securities Act, so issuers may continue to use state law exemptions that are conditioned upon compliance with both Section 3(a)(11) and Rule 147.  The final rules also establish a new intrastate offering exemption, Securities Act Rule 147A, that further accommodates offers accessible to out-of-state residents and companies that are incorporated or organized out-of-state.

To facilitate capital formation through regional offerings, the final rules amend Rule 504 of Regulation D under the Securities Act to increase the aggregate amount of securities that may be offered and sold from $1 million to $5 million.  The rules also apply bad actor disqualifications to Rule 504 offerings to provide additional investor protection, consistent with other rules in Regulation D.  In light of the changes to Rule 504, the final rules repeal Rule 505 of Regulation D.

Amended Rule 147 and new Rule 147A will be effective 150 days after publication in the Federal Register.  Amended Rule 504 will be effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.  The repeal of Rule 505 will be effective 180 days after publication in the Federal Register.

 

Highlights of the SEC Final Rules

New Rule 147A and Amendments to Rule 147

The adoption of new Rule 147A and the amendments to Securities Act Rule 147 would update and modernize the existing intrastate offering framework that permits companies to raise money from investors within their state without concurrently registering the offers and sales at the federal level.

Amended Rule 147 would remain a safe harbor under Section 3(a)(11) of the Securities Act, so that issuers may continue to use the rule for securities offerings relying on current state law exemptions.  New Rule 147A would be substantially identical to Rule 147 except that it would allow offers to be accessible to out-of-state residents and for companies to be incorporated or organized out-of-state.

Both new Rule 147A and amended Rule 147 would include the following provisions:

  • A requirement that the issuer has its “principal place of business” in-state and satisfies at least one “doing business” requirement that would demonstrate the in-state nature of the issuer’s business
  • A new “reasonable belief” standard for issuers to rely on in determining the residence of the purchaser at the time of the sale of securities
  • A requirement that issuers obtain a written representation from each purchaser as to residency
  • A limit on resales to persons residing within the state or territory of the offering for a period of six months from the date of the sale by the issuer to the purchaser
  • An integration safe harbor that would include any prior offers or sales of securities by the issuer made under another provision, as well as certain subsequent offers or sales of securities by the issuer occurring after the completion of the offering
  • Legend requirements to offerees and purchasers about the limits on resales

Amendments to Rule 504 and Repeal of Rule 505

Rule 504 of Regulation D is an exemption from registration under the Securities Act for offers and sales of up to $1 million of securities in a 12-month period, provided that the issuer is not an Exchange Act reporting company, investment company, or blank check company.  The rule also imposes certain conditions on the offers and sales, with limited exceptions made for offers and sales made in accordance with specified types of state registration provisions and exemptions.  The amendments to Rule 504 would retain the existing framework, while increasing the aggregate amount of securities that may be offered and sold under Rule 504 in any 12-month period from $1 million to $5 million and disqualifying certain bad actors from participation in Rule 504 offerings.  The final rules also would repeal Rule 505, which permits offerings of up to $5 million annually that must be sold solely to accredited investors or no more than 35 non-accredited investors.

The Commission adopted Rule 147 in 1974 as a safe harbor to a statutory intrastate exemption, Section 3(a)(11), which was included in the Securities Act upon its adoption in 1933.  Commenters, market participants and state regulators have indicated that the combined effect of the statutory limitation on offers to persons residing in the same state or territory as the issuer and the prescriptive eligibility requirements of Rule 147 limit the availability of the exemption for companies that would otherwise conduct intrastate offerings.

The $1 million aggregate offering limit in Rule 504 has been in place since 1988.

Effective Date

Amended Rule 147 and new Rule 147A would become effective 150 days after publication in the Federal Register.  Amended Rule 504 would become effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.  The repeal of Rule 505 would become effective 180 days after publication in the Federal Register.

# # #

Robert Hoskins, a seasoned Front Page PR veteran provides more than twenty-five years of external communications, media relations, digital social media and SEO skills to Front Page PR’s crowdfunding PR and media relations service portfolio.
Robert Hoskins
(512) 627-6622
@Crowdfunding_PR


Mr. Robert Hoskins is a seasoned marketing veteran with a proven track record of helping entrepreneurs, startups, small businesses as well as Fortune 500 corporations launch successful marketing communications campaigns to gain market traction for a wide variety of products and services.
On a regular basis, Mr. Hoskins consults with crowdfunding campaign managers as well as crowdfunding sites, portals and platforms to deliver successful crowdfunding marketing campaigns.
Google search “Robert Hoskins Crowdfunding” to see why Mr. Hoskins is considered one of the industry’s foremost crowdfunding experts that has amassed a huge social media following, which is dedicated to supporting donation-, rewards- and equity-based crowdfunding campaigns.

420FundMe.com Launches Equity Crowdfunding Site to Tap $100 Billion Marijuana, Weed & Cannabis Industry

25 Aug

Aimed at cannabis related ancillary companies, which are not directly involved in the actual growing or selling of cannabis, 420fundme focuses on individuals that are bringing unique new products to the industry

By Robert Hoskins

San Francisco, California – The IPAmediagroup announced the official launch date of www.420fundme.com, a highly anticipated crowdfunding platform to crowdfunding for cannabis, marijuana and weed related projects. The site launch is set for September 15th and will enable individuals, groups and businesses to fund a project or venture by raising monetary contributions from individuals online.

420FundMe.com Launched a highly anticipated platform for crowdfunding cannabis, marijuana, and weed-related projects, startups and business expansion

420FundMe.com Launched a highly anticipated platform for crowdfunding cannabis, marijuana, and weed-related projects, startups and business expansion

Aimed at cannabis related ancillary companies, which are not directly involved in the actual growing or selling of cannabis, 420fundme focuses on individuals that are bringing unique new products to the industry. Working within a potential $100 billion industry, according to Economist.com, since August 1st the site prelaunch has allowed registration for new projects to be listed on launch day.

“We have beat all expectations and are already seeing a large influx of highly exceptional new products that are simply going to change the industry,” Jon Greene, 420FundMe’s Chief Operating Officer confirms.  “From lighting, security, paraphernalia, and grow products to research, genetics, publications and even real estate services as well as a number of artists, websites, glassblowers, and even filmmakers we can already see we created a necessary platform that is going to be well used.”

Centered on making certain each and every campaign is a success, 420fundme has implemented a number of unique solutions that are not only new to the cannabis industry but also new to crowdfunding and alternative financing. This includes facilitating inline promotional abilities and applying third-party partnerships directly through the platform.

With uninterrupted connections from the project page any campaign has direct access to high quality third-party marketing, publicity, advertising, and media services as well as packaging and branding services and solutions.

“It is a seamless partnership that will enable every campaign to create success at the same time providing our partners and advertisers a huge new market,” Greene added.

Visit 420FundMe.com to pre-register your project and to find out more about how to utilize crowdfunding to raise money to launch your cannabis, marijuana or weed related business or how to sponsor a campaign, become a partner, and explore advertising opportunities.

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Crowdfunding PR Rolls Out 2-Month Crowdfunding Prep Work Program to Help Startups Learn How to Launch More Successful Equity & Rewards Crowdfunding Campaigns

29 Oct

The Crowdfunding Prep Work Program Helps Clients Amass a Large Crowd of Followers on Social Media and Utilizes PR to Generate Hundreds of Articles on Leading Edge News Outlets and Blogs

By Robert Hoskins

Austin, Texas – Want to learn how to launch a successful Title III equity crowdfunding campaign? To help crowdfunders achieve this elusive goal, today Crowdfunding PR announced a special two-month Crowdfunding Prep Work Program that will significantly improve a crowdfunding campaign’s success rate by amplifying its founder’s social media profiles and by utilizing an effective crowdfunding PR campaign to generate hundreds of stories in the electronic news media prior to the crowdfunding campaign’s launch.

Tips on How to Plan a Successful Title III Equity-based Crowdfunding Campaign Using Cost-Effective PR/Marketing Campaigns

Learn How to Plan a Successful Title III Equity-based Crowdfunding Campaign Using Cost-Effective PR, Marketing and Social Media Campaigns

Crowdfunding Social Media Campaigns

One of the biggest challenges that most crowdfunding campaigns face are weak social media credentials and the lack of a large group of social media followers that are needed to support crowdfunding campaigns with donations and/or investments. Building strong, professional Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter profiles and amassing the largest possible group of followers on social media networks is crucial to conducting a successful crowdfunding campaign.

Crowdfunding PR Campaigns

The second biggest task is generating stories on electronic news media outlets and blogs prior to launching a crowdfunding campaign. Not only can a well-orchestrated crowdfunding PR campaign generate hundreds of free, positive trade press articles to support the fundraising effort, but the same targeted, search-engine-optimized press releases will continue to drive new investors, potential customers and sales/distribution partners to the business long after the crowdfunding campaign ends.

“What many entrepreneurs and startups need to recognize is how important social media is in the world of crowdfunding,” said Robert Hoskins, Crowdfunding PR’s Director of Crowdfunding Campaigns. “The very first thing that an investor/donor does when they read through a crowdfunding profile they like is to look up the company and its team on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to check out their credentials. Having a strong resume on LinkedIn, lots of likes on Facebook and an army of followers on Twitter is crucial to determining the strength of the team and the likelihood that they have the tenacity and skill set to deliver on their crowdfunding campaign’s promises.”

“Next, most investors/donors will do a Google search to see what they can find online for both the company and its team members,” Hoskins continued. “With a two-month crowdfunding prep work campaign there will be several pages of search engine results that link to the client’s website pages, their social media posts/profiles and the crowdfunding campaign’s temporary landing page until the GoFundMe.com, Indiegogo.com,Kickstarter.com or Title III equity crowdfunding campaign goes live.”

Crowdfunding PR Campaign Consulting

If you would like to speak with a crowdfunding PR, social media and/or marketing expert regarding your crowdfunding campaign please call Robert Hoskins at (512) 627-6622 or fill out the contact form at: https://crowdfundingpr.wordpress.com/about-crowdfunding-pr-campaigns/ to setup a telephone consultation appointment.

# # #

Robert Hoskins, a seasoned Front Page PR veteran provides more than twenty-five years of external communications, media relations, digital social media and SEO skills to Front Page PR’s crowdfunding PR and media relations service portfolio.
(512) 627-6622
@Crowdfunding_PR


Mr. Hoskins is a seasoned marketing veteran with a proven track record of helping entrepreneurs, startups, small businesses as well as Fortune 500 corporations launch successful marketing communications campaigns to gain market traction for a wide variety of products and services.
Hoskins is one of the crowdfunding industry’s foremost crowdfunding advocates and has amassed a huge social media following that is dedicated to supporting donation-, rewards- and equity-based crowdfunding campaigns. Due to the overwhelming demand from the general public for crowdfunding information, he empowers entrepreneurs with some of the internet’s most affordable ($20) online crowdfunding training classes, which provide insight to startups around the world on a 24 x 7 basis.
Hoskins adamantly believes that the crowdfunding industry will empower everyone in the United States to rediscover the possibility of living the American dream with a little hard work, a great business idea and the dedication to researching, planning and launching a well-thought-out crowdfunding campaign. He consults on a regular basis with crowdfunding campaign managers as well as crowdfunding sites, portals and platforms to deliver successful crowdfunding marketing campaigns.

SEC to Vote on Final Rules for Title III Crowdfunding this Friday, October 30, 2015!

27 Oct

Title III Crowdfunding is over 3 1/2 years late, but the United States now sits on the cusp of what Pres. Obama called a “Game Changer” for entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses!

By Robert Hoskins

Washington, DC – According to Sherwood Neisss, Crowdfund Capital Advisors, “the SEC plans to vote this Friday, October 30th, on the final  Title III Crowdfunding Rules!

SEC to Vote on Final Rules for Title III Crowdfunding this Friday, October 30, 2015!

SEC to Vote on Final Rules for Title III Crowdfunding this Friday, October 30, 2015!

Woodie, Zak and I will never forget sitting in the Rose Garden of the White House and seeing President Obama sign the JOBS Act into law on April 5, 2012. There are many in our industry and in the traditional financial and legal communities that have said “Title III is dead” or “This will never happen.”

We have always believed in the inevitability of this day … and now it has arrived. On Friday, the SEC will prove them wrong. While we have at times been vocal critics of the slow speed of this process, we have always believed that this vote would happen and that crowdfunding for everyone would become law in the United States.

Friday will be a special day for us for 2 reasons. In January, 2011 we began our journey in Washington DC to do what everyone told us was impossible: to modernize 80-year-old securities laws about how private capital could be raised so that we could use the Web and social media to offer debt and equity securities to Americans.

5 years later, starting in early 2016, business owners in Eugene Oregon, Alexandria, Louisiana, Tarrytown, New York, Miami Florida or any other city or town in the United States will have the ability to raise capital from their families, customers and communities. Will all be successful in raising this money? No. But like in so many other things they will have a real opportunity to do so. That is all anyone asks for. A fair shot at their dream.

Thank you so much to ALL the people that were part of this massive effort in Washington DC (including Democrats, Republicans and Independents), across the United States and around the world for believing that this was a worthy cause and for working so hard to make it happen. The industry has been formed here in the United States and is ready to work responsibly with innovators and investors to create a transparent and efficient market.

This will also bring a great deal of curiosity by traditional investors, to a new sector of the global FinTech innovation that we have been curating and helping to build globally for the last 3 years. Asia, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East are all poised to embrace this new form of finance and we will continue investing and working in these regions to advance the global crowdfunding agenda.

Please let us know what you are working on and if there are ways for us to support your technology solutions, policy needs or connectivity to this fast moving market.”

Onward,

Jason and Woodie
Crowdfund Capital Advisors

# # #

Robert Hoskins, a seasoned Front Page PR veteran provides more than twenty-five years of external communications, media relations, digital social media and SEO skills to Front Page PR’s crowdfunding PR and media relations service portfolio.
(512) 627-6622
@Crowdfunding_PR


Mr. Hoskins is a seasoned marketing veteran with a proven track record of helping entrepreneurs, startups, small businesses as well as Fortune 500 corporations launch successful marketing communications campaigns to gain market traction for a wide variety of products and services.
Hoskins is one of the crowdfunding industry’s foremost crowdfunding advocates and has amassed a huge social media following that is dedicated to supporting donation-, rewards- and equity-based crowdfunding campaigns. Due to the overwhelming demand from the general public for crowdfunding information, he empowers entrepreneurs with some of the internet’s most affordable ($20) online crowdfunding training classes, which provide insight to startups around the world on a 24 x 7 basis.
Hoskins adamantly believes that the crowdfunding industry will empower everyone in the United States to rediscover the possibility of living the American dream with a little hard work, a great business idea and the dedication to researching, planning and launching a well-thought-out crowdfunding campaign. He consults on a regular basis with crowdfunding campaign managers as well as crowdfunding sites, portals and platforms to deliver successful crowdfunding marketing campaigns.

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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What is Crowdfunding?

14 Mar

Crowdfunding sites and platforms are a great way for Universities and Colleges to generate extra revenue and market their school’s brand name on a global basis

By Robert Hoskins

What is Crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is not a new concept. It has been used for thousands of years to collect small sums of money from the masses to pay for some of the most well known works in the world such as the Statue of Liberty.

The JOBS Act made it legal to use e-commerce sites to build crowdfunding profiles to collect money online from investors and utilize general solicitation  (advertising/marketing/PR) to raise money from the masses for the first time in 80 years. Funding that can be used provide seed investment capital to startups and help existing businesses expand their operations.

What States Have Legalized Equity Crowdfunding?

At the federal level, the final Title III equity crowdfunding rules guidelines have been stalled by the SEC, but at the state level Texas, Michigan, Georgia and 13 other states have passed Intrastate Crowdfunding Exemption rules that allow startups and businesses to raise money by selling equity shares online to raise seed investment capital. Other large states including CaliforniaIllinois, and Pennsylvania have proposed legislation, which is working its way through the legislative process.

Map of U.S. States that approved Intrastate Equity Crowdfunding Exemptions

Map of U.S. States that have approved Intrastate Equity Crowdfunding Exemptions

                                                Source: CrowdfundingLegalHub.com

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Front Page PR Unveils Top 10 Marketing Strategies to Boost 2015 Crowdfunding Campaigns on Angel List, GoFundMe, IndieGoGo and Kickstarter

22 Dec

Does Your Angel List, GoFundMe, IndieGoGo, LendingClub or Kickstarter Crowdfunding Campaign Need a Major Advertising, Marketing, PR or Social Media Boost to Sell More Perks, Rewards or Equity Shares?

By Robert Hoskins

Austin, TexasFrontPagePR.com announced a new Top 10 List of Marketing Strategies to Boost Crowdfunding Campaigns on AngelList.comGoFundme.comIndieGoGo.comLendingclub.com, Kickstarter.com and other top crowdfunding sites in the United States. These time-tested, proven marketing strategies will help crowdfunders generate a significant amount of marketplace awareness, which in turn will provide a higher number of click-through visits and better conversion rates when pre-selling popular perks, attractive rewards or selling equity crowdfunding shares.  

Texas Crowdfunding Portals, Issuers and Service Providers

Top 10 Texas Crowdfunding Portals and Service Providers Serving the Largest Crowdfunding Marketplace in the United States

Using this Top 1o List of Crowdfunding Marketing Strategies, Front Page PR shares valuable marketing methodologies with crowdfunding campaign managers to give them a sense of direction on how to research, plan and launch very cost-effective marketing campaigns with little or no budget for a small consulting fee.  This allows bootstrapped crowdfunders to receive professional consulting services at an affordable price so that they can learn how to generate a significant boost for their crowdfunding profiles traffic before and during their fundraising campaigns.

For serious crowdfunding campaigns that have larger, well-thought out budgets and a real business plan, Front Page PR can maximize their crowdfunding marketing programs to achieve maximum reach and frequency by harnessing a combination of advertising, email marketing, event marketing, media relations, public relations, and social media to gain widespread publicity, earn organic search engine traction and accelerate that growth with paid advertising and sponsored content marketing. 

Front Page PR has a 25-year track record of using successful marketing, PR and social media campaigns to launch products and services, grow businesses, build sales/distribution channels and locate customers with the highest propensity to buy a company’s products and services.

For the past 2 years, Front Page PR  has been employing these same time proven marketing skills to help clients produce successful crowdfunding campaigns.

If your company needs help planning an upcoming crowdfunding campaign, please give Front Page PR a call at (512) 627-6622 or contact the firm via the social media networks listed at the top righthand side of this page. 

Top 10 Advertising, Email Marketing, Media Relations, PR & Social Media Tools to Boost Crowdfunding Campaigns

Front Page PR offers the following marketing programs for crowdfunding portals as well as their crowdfunding campaign managers.  And while crowdfunding is the buzzword for 2015, these marketing strategies will serve any entrepreneur, startup or business that wants to launch a product or service in any B2B or B2C vertical business segment. If need some help figuring out your marketing and/or crowdfunding strategies, please fill the business lead form at the bottom of this page.

1. Press Releases – A professionally written press release issued on one of the top 3 news wire services is probably one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies on the planet. Depending on the press release’s subject matter and SEO keywords, press releases will be picked up by hundreds of electronic media news outlets in the United States and around the world.

A typical press release generates around 50,000,000 gross impressions and hundreds of click-throughs to a website or crowdfunding campaign.  If you email well-written crowdfunding press releases to bloggers like me (rhoskins [at] frontpagepr.com), we may take your press release, turn it into a story and then publish it on our blog that is followed by a global network of media outlets and crowdfunding readers. All stories require a picture, graphic or logo to be accepted.

2. Writing Effective Press Releases One of the hardest things to do in the marketing world is find a great copy writer to generate quality and relevant content. There are a number of companies that troll new Kickstarter and IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaigns offering to write press releases and put them on a wire service for a very cheap price. Front Page PR receives lots of phone calls that lost several hundred dollars and didn’t even get a press release written. The main problem with cheap PR companies is that they do not have the English language mastered. All of Front Page PR writers were born and raised in the United States, speak English as their native language and write content in Associated Press (AP) style, which is what all media outlets require.

The other consideration is how much time and effort a PR firm invests in the researching and writing of a press release. This means doing a competitive analysis of similar products and services on crowdfunding sites as well as researching top competitors via Google searches.  This process is important to be able to effectively position your company successfully against the competition.

In addition, a PR firm should spend many hours researching the editorial environments and only target media outlets that contain the highest composition of client’s correct target audience, which will need to have a high propensity to buy the products and services being offered as perks/rewards during the crowdfunding campaign.

Excellent writing requires time, effort and cannot been done effectively for less than $800 to a $1,000 per release depending on the complexity of the subject matter. More importantly, the same prep work that is done to write the press release is also critical when writing highly tailored media pitches that are sent via email and social media to entice reporters to cover a story.

For example, if you are trying to sell triangles, the PR account executive will need to research and find triangle magazines to see what type of stories are being written for their readers. The problem is that most low-priced firms do not put in the time to understand what types of stories will be accepted and which ones will be rejected. Sending a triangle story to a circle or a square magazine will never work.

And, even if by pure luck you convinced a circle reporter to write a triangle story, it would be pointless because circle readers only read circle magazines to learn about circle related products and services. They have zero interest in buying anything but circle products and services.  This sounds like a simple concept, but ask any reporter how many pitches that they receive on a daily basis that do not fit their editorial environment and they will tell you they hit the delete button in less than two seconds.

Thus, hiring a PR firm that can build a precise database of only triangle media outlets and sending only carefully crafted triangle media pitches is essential to generating positive news coverage and feature articles.

3. Social Media Networks – The second most important thing after using PR to generate positive publicity is to build a large social media network so that you’ll have a massive group of people with which to share your news and marketing materials.  

If you have network of 5,000 contacts that each have following of 5,000 contacts, you can use social media networks to reach a potential audience of 25 million people for free.  

It is very important to build social media profiles on Facebook, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Tumblr, Twitter, WordPress and YouTube.  Have social media accounts?  Please follow us and we’ll return the favor.

Don’t have any social media accounts setup?  Need help getting started?  No problem, Front Page PR can get 10 or more social media accounts setup for you is less than a week.

It would be wise to shoot for a goal of 2,500 Friends/Likes on Facebook, 2,500 connections on LinkedIn and at least 5,000 to 10,000 real followers on Twitter. This may take several months, but needs to be done before trying to launch a successful crowdfunding campaign.

4. Sponsored Social Media Posts – If you are new to social media, it won’t take you very long to realize that building a solid base of qualified social media contacts takes a lot of time and effort.  It can sometimes be disheartening to follow several hundred people in a day only to receive a 25% response rate from people that return the favor.

The good news is that Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter all have a wide variety of digital advertising, sponsored posts and content marketing options that can significantly speed up the process of gaining likes, followers, shares and retweets.

There are so many different advertising options that it can be very confusing to know what to try first, what options work best and what kind of budget will be needed to achieve the desired response rates. Hiring an experienced social media team like Front Page PR is the best way to achieve short-term success.

 5. Content Marketing – One of the best ways to build awareness for your products and services is to utilize a content marketing strategy to distribute your company’s press releases, blog posts, photos and videos.  A very cost-effective way to start this process is to setup a free WordPress website.

A WordPress site is great for generating content and then sharing it with all of your social media accounts via its Real Simple Syndication (RSS) feed. Every time you post a new blog, a news story, photos, videos and/or URLs links, the WordPress site will automatically push the new content to all of your social media profiles at the same time with the push of one button.

6. Media Databases – The foundation for every good PR campaign is a highly targeted media database. Front Page PR uses very expensive PR database tools such as Cision, Meltwater and Vocus to do sorts on every media outlet in the United States to find reporters based on  keywords in their news coverage bios and the last several articles they have written. These services cost $3,000 to $5,000 per year, but are a critical tool is creating targeted PR campaigns. 

These tools make it very easy to do a sort and generate a list of several hundred reporters that cover a subject matter, but it is a very time consuming process to clean the list and purge reporters that do not fit the right profile. This is why high-end PR firms charge more money for our services. It is also why our success rate is significantly higher than cheaper PR firms that want to sell you their services online with a credit card without ever having the chance to talk to a live person.

If you would like save some and do the hard work yourself, Front Page PR will build PR databases for clients at $1 per contact. This will be the initial sort that contains 300 to 500 reporters based on the keywords in their writer bios. The problem is that these databases still need to be cleaned to weed out reporters that may have the right keywords in their bio, but haven’t written about the subject matter in many months or perhaps they have a negative tendency. You’ll have to Google search every single reporter on the list to find out who the best reporters are to contact.

7. Media Pitches – Conducting good research on a reporter’s beat, their last three stories and the media outlet’s editorial environment is the key to writing a persuasive media pitch. Media pitches can be sent via email and/or through social media networks based on the reporter’s preferences.  

The best strategy is to send each reporter their own personalized pitch based on what they have written over the past six weeks. Imagine how much time it takes to read the last three stories that a reporter has written and then sending each reporter a personalized media pitch for a list of 300 reporters. It requires a lot of time and effort, but the payoff is well worth the effort.

8. Media Relations – Once a PR database has been built, good PR firms like Front Page PR have very experienced media relations experts that work with the press to build relationships between their client’s executives and reporters. These relationships require a lot of time and effort to build, but will lead to many successful media interviews.

This process also involves media training executives and teaching them how to share the right kind of information with reporters. Providing reporters with news they can use is the best way to generate interviews that lead to feature articles and a long lasting relationship with each reporter. Reporters will return to their reliable sources over and over to write numerous stories once a relationship has been built. 

A good media relations pro will spend anywhere from 20 to 40 hours a week pitching reporters via email and twitter. Most junior PR people make at least $25 to $50 an hour.  This is another good example of why anyone that offers to do a press release for $300 simply cannot afford to do a good job.  Working a list of 300 reporters takes many, many hours of work.  Sometimes it takes several hours of emailing, checking schedules and making phone calls just to get one interview setup. 

9. Event Marketing –  Event marketing is a great tool to use during the bottom of the “U” also know as the “Lull” during the middle of a campaign. When planning a crowdfunding campaign’s launch date, scheduling the crowdfunding campaign so that a major trade show like CES, Cebit or Interop falls right in the middle of the campaign is an excellent strategy.  

This allows a client to generate lots of publicity for the campaign’s launch, more news at the major trade show event (where all industry reporters and industry analysts congregate), and then even more news as the campaign exceeds its fundraising goal and/or stretch goals toward the end of the campaign.

10. Email Marketing – Email marketing isn’t used as much during crowdfunding campaigns as PR and social media, but it is the most successful type of marketing that can be used to deliver paying customers to successful crowdfunding campaigns.

Most startups have a new website, but most haven’t had time to build up a good database of customers. Front Page PR can help clients build double opt-in email databases of interested customers by offering them an opportunity to learn more about a product/service, downloading a free white paper, requesting early bird discounts/coupons, subscribing to newsletters, etc.

A database of qualified customer emails is very useful for pre-selling perks and rewards and building a customer loyalty network. A large database of prospects is also an extremely useful tool when trying to build large social media networks.

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Want to talk a crowdfunding PR professional about consulting services or hiring a PR firm? Fill out this form to get started:

Crowdfunding Mergers Continue; CoFoundersLab and RockThePost Join Forces to Form New Equity Crowd-funding Site in the United States

16 Jul

New Equity Crowdfunding Platform, Onevest, Creates One-Stop Shop for Investors Seeking Startups in the United States

By Robert Hoskins

New York, NY – From early stage venture capital firms to family offices, high-net-worth individuals and non-accredited individuals, investors will find Onevest the perfect place to get a first look at the world’s most dynamic startups. Onevest has a diversified network of over 35,000 startup founders and over 15,000 investors. Onevest’s partner network, ranging from Techstars and Founder Institute to leading universities such as HarvardCornell and the University of Michigan, will continue to expand the investor base and deal flow.

New Equity Crowdfunding Platform, OneVest, Creates One-Stop Shop for Investors Seeking Startups in the United States

New Equity Crowdfunding Platform, OneVest, Creates One-Stop Shop for Investors Seeking Startups

OneVest was formed  to provide Investors seeking early stage startups with a one-stop online shop to simplify their search and due diligence process. RockThePost brought the online investing platform to the table, which connected startups with accredited investors, while CoFoundersLab was offering investors and small businesses an in-person matchmaking network that scientifically builds startup teams.  The two business were a perfect match and should streamline the entire equity fundraising process and will have offices in New YorkWashington, D.C., and San Francisco.

The upcoming implementation of Title III of the JOBS Act means over 250 million American investors will have access to equity crowdfunding platforms, as opposed to the 8 million using them today. As the investor pool grows, Onevest will make it easier to connect with qualified startups.

RockThePost was founded in 2010 by Alejandro Cremades and Tanya Prive, who will be CEO and COO of Onevest; Drew Butler will be CTO. TIME named RockThePost one of the world’s best crowdfunding platforms, Forbes dubbed it a top digital tool for entrepreneurs and Business Insider spotlighted it as a hot startup.

CoFoundersLab’s team-building platform uses proprietary tools to match entrepreneurs with core founding team members with complementary skills and compatible goals and values. The site makes over 5,000 introductions monthly and has over 35,000 founder members worldwide, with a strong presence in over 35 U.S. markets. CoFoundersLab was founded in 2011 by CEO Shahab Kavianiwho will be Onevest’s CMO. Erick Brimen, CoFoundersLab’s COO & VP of Finance serve as Onevest’s CFO.

Onevest captures companies at the formation stage, capturing the best deal flow before the transactional stage, and reduces investment risks arising from founder issues, since members are scientifically matched to create startup teams. “Knowing the teams intimately will be a key driver for investor confidence, setting Onevest apart from other platforms,” Cremades stated.

Onevest’s combined value was not disclosed. Investors from RockThePost and CoFoundersLab will join Onevest as shareholders. This includes investor affiliations from SOL Ventures, Militello Capital, Fortify Ventures, Maryland Venture Fund, Talent Equity Ventures, and members of Robin Hood Ventures and Mid-Atlantic Angel Group. Onevest has raised $3.3 million to date.

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