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Top 10 Equity Crowdfunding Investment Opportunities for Startups Revealed at 2017 OurCrowd Global Investor Summit in Jerusalem, Israel

27 Feb

OurCrowd Global Investor Summit Reveals Top 10 Trending Equity Crowdfunding Investment Opportunities in Jerusalem for Global Angel, Seed-Stage and Venture Capital Investment Firms 

By Robert Hoskins

OurCrowd Global Investor Summit Reveals Top 10 Trending Equity Crowdfunding Investment Opportunities

OurCrowd Investor Summit Reveals Top 10 Trending Equity Crowdfunding Investment Opportunities

Jerusalem, Israel – OurCrowd made history in the crowdfunding industry and hosted the biggest equity crowdfunding investment summit ever held in Israel called the “Startup Nation.” With more than 6,000 guests from 82 countries attending, including startups, venture capitalists and strategic investors, the event was packed with entertainment, excitement and information to capture a real vision for the future in Israel. Also in attendance were over 200 multinational corporations including Honda, Innogy, GE, Shell, Intuit, Microsoft, and Samsung Ventures.

Click here to watch more videos or Click here to see more event photos!

Over the past 12 months of working with leading ag-tech, auto-tech, bio-tech, drone-tech, fin-tech, high-tech, security-tech, space-tech and virtual-tech startups, OurCrowd has identified its top 10 investment opportunity categories of global startups and entrepreneurs equity crowdfunding that investors should be researching and considering for equity investments during 2017:

Top 10 Equity Investment Opportunities

1. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Go Mainstream
2. Seeing Is Believing: VR and AR Become a Critical Business Tool
3. Obey the Sound of My Voice: Voice-Driven Apps Filter Out the Noise
4. Apples and Oranges: AgTech Disrupts the World’s Oldest Industry
5. Industrial and Agricultural Drones Take Off
6. Is That a Doctor in Your Pocket? Digital Revolutionizes Healthcare
7. Here, There, Everywhere: Blockchain Applications Finally Take Hold
8. Boldly Going Where No Company Has Gone Before: SpaceTech
9. Cybersecurity for Critical Infrastructure Becomes Critical
10. Autonomous Driving Picks Up Speed

1. Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning Go Mainstream

Driven by exponentially faster computing power and cloud computing, “teaching machines” is becoming easier and more scalable, enabling AI to go mainstream across a wide range of industries: including consumer marketing and retail, entertainment, digital health, and newer areas like autonomous driving and advanced robotics.

We are most excited by companies building applications which solve real world problems, applying AI in areas that can truly have an impact on the quality of our lives.

2. VR and AR Become Critical Business Tools

Did you know that in operating rooms across the US, brain surgeons are already using Virtual Reality (VR) to rehearse and simulate surgery in order to be more effective?  VR and Augmented Reality (AR) is not just about show business, entertainment, and 3D gaming, but also about saving lives, industrial solutions, and infrastructure.

In our view, VR and AR are about to go mainstream and will be used across a wide range of sectors from sports analytics to building airplane wings. These are definitely interesting technologies to keep an eye on!

3. Voice-Driven Apps Filter Out Background Noise

Have you ever tried using Siri in a car going over 50 KPH?  Or talking to Alexa with the kids making noise in the background? Good Luck! As we all know it does not work.

However, we believe the era of voice driven computing is coming. In the last 10 years, we have moved from primarily using keyboards to swiping and using touch-screens. OurCrowd believes that in the next five years we will move to talking to our devices as the primary mode of man – machine communication.

Core voice recognition software has become almost perfect at understanding the human voice and getting our words correct. The missing ingredient is its ability to enable our machines to get a clear signal and cancel background noise so that Siri really can HEAR what we are saying.

We are excited about companies finding innovative ways of making this happen.

4. Ag-Tech Disrupts the World’s Oldest Industry – Farming

As we all know, the world oldest industry has not been known for its technological flexibility. However, these days we witness the blooming of Agriculture-related technologies for different reasons.

Traditionally farming is a family owned business and we now see how second generation of farmers are much more techie and open to adopt advanced farming technologies. In addition, the last two years have seen mass consolidation between leading players in AgTech creating deep pockets and a big appetite for acquisitions.

5. Industrial and Agricultural Drones Take Off

Over the past couple of years, we have heard a lot (maybe too much) buzz about Amazon using drones to deliver packages to your doorstep or bring you fast food on demand.

While this is fun, we think the most interesting and profitable uses of drone technologies lie within industrial and agricultural markets.

Drones are already playing critical roles in facility security, mining, oil and gas exploration, crop protection and surveying landmass. Building industrial scale drones, which are robust and reliable is difficult and challenging, but companies that can meet that challenge are where we want to focus.

6. Digital Healthcare Puts a Doctor in Your Pocket

As much as we try not to overuse this term, artificial intelligence is actually a powerful factor in the rapidly growing digital health sector. Letting us crunch old data sets from electronic medical records all the way to data collected from wearables will increase our quality of life and perhaps even prevent deaths.

Similarly, computer vision and machine learning are enabling companies to extract new insights and diagnostics from images.

7. Blockchain Applications Finally Take Hold

Timing is everything! In the buzzword competition of 2016, blockchain was the hands down winner.   Since then there have been fits and starts for this important financial technology. Many VCs have been disappointed with their investments in this sector; however, we think now is the time to take a fresh look, as this technology matures and evolves beyond Bitcoin across multiple applications such as: sharing economy, data security, logistics, and of course, banking and finance.

8. SpaceTech Goes Where No One has Gone Before

We are thrilled to see that a sector dominated by governments and states is now opening up to private ventures. NSLComm is inspiring entrepreneurs to aim high. We now see prestigious VC funds building space portfolios and enabling these ventures to take off.

In term of funding needs, what used to be super-expensive is becoming much more affordable, with standardization of hardware protocols as well as general cost reductions of consumer electronics. Satellites can now be built and launched for less than half a million dollars, creating exciting opportunities to commercialize the technology.

9. Cyber Security for Infrastructure Becomes Critical

Are you worried about your car getting hacked? How about cyber criminals sneaking in through your air conditioner or refrigerator?  Well we are too! Cybersecurity is not new; and in fact, the investing landscape is quite crowded, and the playing field is highly competitive.

But we believe the key shift for investing in the next few years will be a move from protecting IT infrastructure to protecting all infrastructure. We are excited about companies that are designing full-proof solutions to protect everything from automobiles to electric grids and everything in between.

10. Autonomous Driving Picks Up Speed

Did you really think we were going to finish this top-10 list without mentioning the most overhyped tech trend?  We all know that autonomous driving is coming, but the question is when?  Should we still pay for our kids to get drivers licenses?

Thanks to core technology expertise and industry-leading companies such as Waze and Mobileye, Israel has become a global hub of automotive innovation. Now that we have a direct flight to Boston and Silicon Valley; our #1 prediction is that the next one will be direct to Detroit.

OurCrowd is one of the world’s leading global equity crowdfunding platforms for accredited investors. Managed by a team of seasoned investment professionals and led by serial entrepreneur Jon Medved, OurCrowd vets and selects opportunities, invests its own capital, and brings companies to its accredited membership of global investors. OurCrowd provides post-investment support to its portfolio companies, assigns industry experts as mentors, and takes board seats. The OurCrowd community of almost 17,000 investors from over 110 countries has invested over $400M into 110 portfolio companies and funds. OurCrowd already has thirteen exits to date, two IPO’s and eleven acquisitions.

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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.

Is Title IV Reg A+ Equity Crowdfunding the Right Fundraising Tool for Your Growing Business?

21 Sep

A Checklist of Goals for Businesses Considering Raising Money with a Title IV Reg A+ Crowdfunding Campaign

By Robert Hoskins

Is Title IV, Reg. A+ Equity Crowdfunding the Right Fundraising Tool for Your Growing Business?

Is Title IV Reg A+ Equity Crowdfunding the Right Fundraising Tool?

Austin, Texas – Trying to figure out if Title IV Reg A+ Equity Crowdfunding is the right fundraising tool to help your company move to the next level? Most people consider Reg A+ to be one step below issuing an IPO (Initial Public Offering) at a fraction of what it usually costs, thus it is also known as a Mini-IPO.

Most financial analysts consider existing businesses with several years of operations and generating significant revenue from multiple product/service lines to be the best candidates to launch a Reg A+ crowdfunding campaign. Smaller investment bookrunners will argue that even startups and small businesses are good targets to raise money using Reg A+, especially if they have goal of going public in 18-to-24 months based on certain revenue milestones.

Top Title IV Reg A+ Crowdfunding Questions:

  1. Do you have a strong management team?
  2. Do your founders or investors have any “Star Power?”
  3. Do you need to raise more than $1 million?
  4. Have you developed an effective 30-second elevator pitch?
  5. Have you developed a 3-minute crowdfunding pitch video with a strong call-to-action?
  6. Have you developed a “Pitch Book” for investors?
  7. Do you have a lead investor of $25k+ or more?
  8. Have you raised at least $100,000+ or more from prior investments?
  9. Is your business growing at 20% or more month over month?
  10. Have you generated at least $100,000+ of lifetime revenue?
  11. Is your business projecting  2x to 3x year-on-year profit growth?
  12. Can you provide investors with a 3x to 10x ROI over the next 3 to 5 years?
  13. Is your market valuation worth $5 million or more?
  14. Is your market capitalization realistic from a VC’s point of view?
  15. Have you run a successful rewards/perks-based crowdfunding campaign?
  16. Do you have a database of at least 5,000+ customer email accounts?
  17. Do you have a database of at least 1,000+ investor email accounts?
  18. Have you generated at least 3 or more press articles in the trade press?
  19. Do you have a $20,000 or more for a advertising/crowdfunding PR budget?
  20. Do you have a strong LinkedIn resume and a large social media following on Facebook and Twitter?

If you cannot answer “yes” to the majority of these questions, then your business may not be ready to launch a Reg A+ equity crowdfunding campaign. These are many of the milestones that private equity investors and venture capitalists like see in a pitch deck to make your company worth serious consideration for a seed stage or private equity investment. If not, use this list to set some goals and objectives for your business and work hard to achieve them.

Title IV Reg A+ vs. IPO

If you think you are serious about issuing a Reg A+ offering, it would be wise to read through the following white papers on Title IV Reg A+ vs. IPOs. Learning how a bookrunner works with various investment banks, institutional investors, venture capital and private equity firms can provide valuable insight into how Wall Street has been raising money for startups for the past 100 years.

The white papers will also provide key insights into how much money it will cost as well as the actual fundraising process including what it takes to put together a “Pitch Book” and how to market it via “Dog and Pony” investment road shows. The key to raising for a company’s management team to travel from city to city meeting with potential investors to pitch Reg A+ investment opportunities.

Title IV Reg A+ Background

The SEC has previously stated that the primary purpose in adopting Reg A+ was to provide a simple and relatively inexpensive procedure for small business use in raising limited amounts of needed capital. Reg A+ issuers submit a paper-based offering statement to the SEC; this offering statement is essentially an abbreviated version of an IPO prospectus and it must be “qualified,” or cleared, by the SEC and delivered to prospective purchasers.

In addition to SEC review, Reg A+ offerings have traditionally been subject to review under state securities laws (also known as “Blue Sky” laws). In comparison, a traditional registered IPO listed on a national exchange is exempt from Blue Sky requirements. Securities sold in a Reg A+ offering are freely transferable in the secondary market, though Reg A+ issuers are not subject to Exchange Act reporting requirements.

Title IV Reg A+ as Outlined by 2012 JOBS Act

Title IV of the 2012 JOBS Act directed the SEC to expand Reg A to exempt offerings of up to $50 million in equity, debt or convertible securities. The law mandated that issuers relying on this new exemption would be required to file audited financial statements with the SEC on an annual basis.

However, without infrastructure currently in place for A+ securities to trade on national exchanges, lawmakers left it within the purview of the SEC to settle the state jurisdiction question by establishing the definition for “qualified purchaser” in the rulemaking process.

The 2nd Tier of Title IV Reg A+ Offerings

The SEC’s final rule was adopted on March 25, 2015, and became effective during the summer of 2015. In the rule, the SEC expanded Regulation A into two tiers: Tier 1 for offerings of up to $20 million and Tier 2 for offerings up to $50 million.

By removing key procedural obstacles and introducing common-sense investor protections, this new Reg A+ framework creates a viable capital-raising alternative for issuers that want to remain independent and innovative. Below are some of the key provisions included in the SEC’s Reg A+ rule:

  • Testing the waters: Issuers may solicit interest in a potential offering with the general public, either before or after the filing of the offering statement.
  • Blue Sky: Offerings made under Tier 2 are generally exempt from state securities law registration and qualification requirements. And while Tier 1 offerings would still be subject to state Blue Sky regulations, the states’ new Coordinated Review process has dramatically reduced the burdens associated with this process.
  • Offering Circular: Issuers can confidentially file statements for SEC qualification. Offering circular must include audited financial statements and balance sheets for the two most recently completed fiscal year ends. The Offering Circular format is narrative disclosure, similar to what is required from smaller reporting companies in a prospectus, but more limited in certain respects.
  • Proceeds: For Tier 2 offerings, there is an annual offering limit of up to $50 million in equity, debt or convertible securities, including no more than $15 million from selling security holders. For Tier 1 offerings, the annual limit is $20 million, with not more than $6 million from selling security holders preceded or accompanied by a preliminary offering circular.
  • Transferability/Liquidity for Investors: Securities sold in these offerings are not “restricted securities” under the Securities Act, and thus are freely tradable in the secondary market.
  • Ongoing Reporting: Issuers that conduct a Tier 2 offering must electronically file annual and semiannual reports with the SEC, but those who conduct Tier 1 offerings generally have no ongoing reporting obligations.

Are Title IV Reg A+ Shares More Liquid?

Securities offered under Reg A+ are freely tradable, which makes them more valuable to employees, investors and founders.  This is beneficial for investors but also for issuer constituents, who may be early investors or insiders, seeking liquidity.  The issuers’ choice of venue is mostly to do with the size of the offering and the company’s market capitalization.

Need Help Preparing a Title IV Reg A+ Offering?

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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 on a regular basis 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.
In addition, due to the overwhelming demand from the general public for information on crowdfunding, he empowers entrepreneurs, startups and existing businesses with the internet’s most affordable crowdfunding training classes, which provide insight to startups around the world on a 24 x 7 basis.

TriFan 600’s Equity Crowdfunding Campaign Raises $4 Million to Fund New Six-Seater Heli-Corporate Jet

16 Sep

New business plane resembles a drone with three rotor blades that takes off like a helicopter, but looks like a corporate jet

By Robert Hoskins

Denver, Colorado – XTI Aircraft Company (XTI) is pioneering the first use of crowdfunding for commercial airplane development, and at the same time continuing its engineering work on the TriFan 600. In just two weeks, equity crowdfunders have reserved shares for more than $4 million to support the development of an airplane with the speed, range, and comfort of a business jet and the ability to take off and land like a helicopter.

The TriFan 600 will be the world's first commercially certified airplane with vertical takeoff and landing capability

TriFan 600 allows pilots a vertical takeoff and landing capabilities

“The response to our announcement of the equity crowdfunding plan and to this revolutionary aircraft itself has been overwhelming,” said XTI Vice Chairman Jeff Pino. “People are captivated and excited by the world of possibilities this aircraft presents. They recognize that this could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and want to get involved early as stakeholders.”

“We are connecting aspiring investors with the progressive companies of tomorrow,” said StartEngine Chief Executive Officer Ron Miller. “Investor response to XTI Aircraft has been extraordinary. The company is clearly on course to change the future of flight.”

XTI is currently gauging potential shareholder interest under the terms of Regulation A, popularly referred to as Reg A+, of the JOBS Act, and will decide later this year whether to file an application for a financing to be qualified by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).  If qualified, XTI will then open the door to official share purchases on the StartEngine website to begin as soon as year-end. The equity crowdfunding “Reservation of Shares” and actual investment in XTI (upon SEC approval) is also available to foreign investors outside the U.S., subject to applicable laws of their country.

XTI is also raising funds through venture capital, private equity and accredited investors, while finalizing diligence on its technical solution and starting discussions with vendors that will lead to building a prototype. The general public’s opportunity to become shareholders is time-limited. Learn more about how to”Reserve Shares” with investment amounts ranging from $250 to over $200,000 at startengine.com/startup/xti,

In development for over two years, the six-seat TriFan 600 will be the world’s first commercially certified vertical takeoff airplane and will provide true door-to-door travel, with speed, range and comfort comparable to that of a business jet.

XTI is backed by highly accomplished aviation industry all-stars, including founder and chairman David Brody. “We couldn’t be more appreciative of, or committed to, our future shareholders,” Brody said. “We thank each one of you for joining us on this journey.”

 

# # #

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.

Crowdcube’s Spain Equity Crowdfunding Site Surpasses €1 Million for Six Startups

30 Mar

A Barcelona-based drone company,HEMAV, broke the record for the largest equity crowdfunding round in Spain raising €450,000 in just six days

By Robert Hoskins

Spain – Crowdcube opened its Spanish operation just nine months ago. Since it launched, over €1 million has been raised by its investor base who can invest anything from €10. The largest investment to date has been €112,000 and the average investment €3,290. The finance raised has funded six businesses operating in a range of sectors including food and beverage, finance and business services.

Crowdcube enables anyone to invest alongside professional investors in start-up early stage and growth businesses

Crowdcube.com enables anyone to invest alongside professional investors in start-up early stage and growth businesses through equity, debt and investment fund options

One of the businesses to raise finance on the platform was HEMAV, a Barcelona-based drone company, which broke the record for the largest equity crowdfunding round in Spain. The company raised €450,000 in just six days after attracting investment from more than 70 people.

The most recent business to successfully raise investments on the site was Zank, a peer-to-peer lending platform, which raised €245,000 from over 70 investors. As part of the round, the company also received funds from ESADE Ban, the business angel network of the ESADE business school . Zank was the first lending platform in Spain to secure funding through crowdfunding.

Crowdcube Spain has also raised investment for, Iberic Box, a company that sells traditional Spanish food; Eureka Startup Experts, a marketplace that connects entrepreneurs with advisors and industry experts; FoodintheBox, a subscription box service for cooking ingredients; Seedbox, a subscription box for growing vegetables at home.

Managing director of Crowdcube Spain, Pepe Borrell, commented, “There is a real gap in funding for start-ups and early stage businesses in Spain so I’m pleased that we’ve already been able to fund six businesses and that Spanish investors are embracing crowdfunding. The alternative finance sector has grown at a rapid pace in the UK and we’re now seeing the same trends emerge in Spain. There’s a huge potential market for crowdfunding in Spain so we’re excited about the future of Crowdcube Spain.”

Darren Westlake, CEO and co-founder of Crowdcube added, “Having a strong presence at a local level is key to the success of our overseas operation, and to ensuring Crowdcube’s remains the world’s leading investment crowdfunding platform; so it’s great to see Spain achieve these milestones at such an early stage.”

There are currently eight businesses on Crowdcube Spain pitching for a total investment of €995,000.

Crowdcube Spain is one of seven partnerships in Crowdcube’s overseas operation, the company now has platforms in Brazil, Sweden, Dubai, Poland, Italy, Spain and New Zealand.

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