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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.
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China, India and the US to Dominate the Global Digital Fintech Platform Economy; Much of Europe Lags Behind

19 Sep

Majority of Businesses and Economies Are Not Ready for Digital Platforms, Accenture Research Shows

By Robert Hoskins

New York, New York – Research released by Accenture (NYSE:ACN) reveals that despite the potential for small and traditional businesses to become successful digital fintech platform companies, as few as 10 percent of new start-ups focused on digital platform business models will become profitable independent entities in the coming years. The analysis also reveals that China, India and the U.S. will dominate the platform economy by 2020, and that the gulf between countries will increase. To help bridge this gap, the report outlines five critical steps businesses and governments can take to succeed.

Five Factors for a Successful Digital Fintech Platform Ecosystem

Five Factors for a Successful Digital Fintech Platform Ecosystem

Accenture’s report Five Ways to Win with Digital Platforms, published in collaboration with the G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance, assesses the ability of 16 G20 economies to support the flourishing of digital platforms. It shows that the UK and Germany join China, India and the U.S. at the top of the Accenture Platform Readiness Index, but other emerging markets and European economies are predicted to lag behind, lacking sufficient business and socio-economic enabling conditions.

“When you think of digital platforms, think of China and India as much as the U.S. These economies are using the power of platforms to create large scale markets very rapidly,” said Paul Daugherty, Accenture’s Chief Technology Officer. “Many European economies are in danger of missing out in the platform economy. Multi-stakeholder cooperation is required to address the fragmented digital markets and to support the greater levels of digital enterprise and consumption that successful platform businesses need.”

Accenture’s analysis shows $20bn was invested in digital platforms between 2010 and 2015 in 1,053 publicly announced deals. More than half of this investment took place between 2014 and 2015. It also shows that rankings on the Platform Readiness Index strongly correlate to the levels of digital platform activity and investment in G20 countries.

The report recommends that governments engage with businesses leaders to advance a range of policies that can create a rich enabling environment for digital platforms including the following actions:

1.

Prioritize data protection standards and rules: Drive the harmonization of data privacy and data security legislation. Smooth cross-border data transfers.

2.

Design regulations with digital platforms in mind: Experiment with regulations alongside new technologies and business models. For instance, the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority’s “regulatory sandbox” allows start-ups to test ideas without immediately incurring all the normal regulatory consequences.

3.

Encourage cross-border electronic trade. Harmonize taxes and standards, consumer protection, contract laws and logistics infrastructure. The eWorld Trade Platform (eWTP), initiated by B20 China, aims to accelerate international policy collaboration to support SMEs.1

4.

Invest in digital infrastructure: For example, the E.U.’s Payment Services Directive (PSD2) will empower start-ups to expand customer reach and encourage innovative business models.

5.

Think small, act big: Educate SMEs on alternative funding, such as crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending; and on data privacy and consumer protection. Support SMEs with digital economic zones to support e-commerce.

Five ways to succeed

Accenture notes that only 15 percent of Fortune 100 companies have developed digital platform business models to date Successful digital platforms will proliferate as small businesses and traditional industries follow the lead set by digital-born platform companies. Accenture identifies five factors critical to sustaining critical mass in digital platforms, which use new technologies to create large scale markets of customers and service providers:

1.

Proposition: Create differentiated platform services that extend beyond the point of transaction; and that support both customers on the demand side and service providers on the supply side.

2.

Personalization: Target customers through tailored experiences across all channels, using customer data to anticipate needs and offer bespoke experiences.

3.

Price: Apply new pricing models, such as pay-as-you-go, ‘freemiums’, and subscription pricing to respond to peak demand.

4.

Protection: Embed trust at the heart of the platform, using both prevention and compensation techniques to attract customers and differentiate the platform.

5.

Partners: Scale the platform rapidly by identifying digital partners – such as app developers and payment service providers – who can enrich the platform experience and fulfill customer needs.

“Digital platforms are not just the preserve of digital born companies, like Airbnb and Alibaba, but are now becoming a default business model in most industry sectors, both B2B and B2C,” said Francis Hintermann, managing director, Accenture Research. “To enjoy efficiencies and high rates of growth, companies will need to transform everything from the way they co-create goods and services with third parties, tailor their offerings to customers, and price them dynamically. Crucially, they will only sustain critical mass by working with digital partners who can deliver the range of functional services that complete the customer experience.”

# # #

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. 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.
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.
Mr. 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.

Digitzs Shatters Glass Ceiling and Hits #1 Spot On CNBC’s Top 50 Crowdfinance Index

15 Sep

Digitzs Crowdfunding Round Closes Soon On Crowdfunder; Female Founded Fintech Company Disrupts Payments and Equity Crowdfunding

By Robert Hoskins

Santa Monica, California – Digitzs reached the coveted number one spot on the CNBC Crowdfinance 50 Index with over $7 Million in commitments for the niche payment processing startup. Digitzs is the first female founded company to reach the number one position since the index launched on CNBC in early 2015 and holds the number one position for the largest capital raise by a female founded company since Title II of the JOBS Act came into effect in the fall of 2013.

The CNBC Index tracks real time capital commitments received by the top 50 private U.S. companies via securities-based crowdfunding sites. Digitzs is currently fundraising on leading equity crowdfunding site Crowdfunder, and has raised more money than any female founder in Crowdfunder’s history.

According to Bloomberg, women-led technology companies are more capital-efficient, achieving 35 percent higher return on investment. “Digitzs CEO and Founder, Laura Wagner, is an innovative leader with grit, hustle and intellect,” noted Crowdfunder President, Steven McClurg. “She is driven to deliver near-term value for her investors, customers and co-founders.”

Wagner, a successful entrepreneur with 20-years in the payments space, has compiled a founding team of leaders in the space, including PayPal’s first CFO, David Jaques; former Head of Worldwide Payments for Apple, Edward Katzin and Visa’s Linda Perry (named Most Influential Women in Payments three years in a row); Ben Way, a world-renowned startup technologist, and Stacey Moore, an award winning technologist, strategist and entrepreneur.

“As the former head of Acquiring at Visa for 17 years, I am familiar with virtually every payment processor in the U.S., from small to large and everything in between. Digitzs has the most disruptive platform and business model I’ve seen to date,” notes Co-Founder Linda Perry.

“Virtually 100% of Digitzs’ startup funding thus far has come from team members, family, friends and the crowd,” noted Digitzs CEO & Founder, Laura Wagner. “As we bring this round to a successful close, we look forward to delivering unprecedented value back to our customers, investors and team.”

Digitzs makes payments painless for white label platforms that process ticket payments for events, donation payments for nonprofits and rent payments for property managers. Though viewed as the “Invisible Internet” by most consumers and end users, Accenture says niche cloud-based business management software platforms are a top-five 2016 trend. Digitzs’ team comes from PayPal, Visa and Apple and the company has amassed $1 billion in potential processing interest from potential platform customers.

Crowdfunder is one of the leading equity crowdfunding platforms for sourcing and funding early stage ventures with a network of over 130,000 entrepreneurs and investors. Crowdfunder provides the opportunity for direct online investment into single ventures. Companies listing on Crowdfunder are typically early-stage startups, many of which are backed by leading Venture Capital firms and private investors.

# # #

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. 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.
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.
Mr. 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.

iFunding Raises $1,950,000 for Preferred Equity Investment for University of Florida

25 Aug

iFunding, a leading commercial real estate crowdfunding platform, raises $1,950,000 for a student housing apartment community in Gainesville, Florida

By Robert Hoskins

New York, New York – iFunding has raised $1,950,000 of preferred equity for a best-in-class student housing community in Gainesville, FL. The Sponsor is an innovative developer with a diverse US property portfolio. For this development, they secured a prime location proximate to both the University of Florida and the region’s leading retail center. 

iFunding has raised $1,950,000 of preferred equity for a best-in-class student housing community in Gainesville FL

iFunding has raised $1,950,000 of preferred equity for a best-in-class student housing community

The preferred equity investment is being made simultaneous with the property’s transition from construction to occupancy. This 600+ bed community outperformed lease-up expectations and was 99.2% pre-leased.

iFunding’s preferred equity is a participation with an institutional investor that has completed over $1 billion of transactions since 2010.

William Skelley, Founder & CEO of iFunding, observed, “As the iFunding community continues to expand its investor universe, we are thrilled to provide offerings that meet our investors preferences: multifamily assets with attractive yield and short-term duration. This capital raise not only meets those preferences, it’s a participation with an established commercial real estate family office.”

Innovational Funding LLC (“iFunding”) is one of the leading commercial real estate crowdfunding platform aggregating investor capital to provide equity and debt financing to owners, developers, and fund managers by leveraging relationships, technology and a full-service online platform. Accredited investors and institutions can register on our website to review our curated online investment marketplace, which includes investment positions in all asset classes and throughout the capital stack.

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RealCapInvest.com Offers First Equity Crowdfunding Opportunity Providing 10-15% Target Returns for Real Estate Accredited Investors

24 Aug

New real estate crowdfunding company announces first investment offering for the Self Storage Opportunity Fund

By Robert Hoskins

Santa Monica, California – RealCap, a new real estate crowdfunding company based out of Santa Monica, California, announced the launch of their first investment offering, the Self Storage Opportunity Fund. RealCap will be raising $10 million from accredited investors for the project in order to acquire value-add, self-storage properties nationwide. Providing 10-15% target returns for investors, the passive investment will be open with a minimum investment of $10,000 per investor.

RealCap Crowdfunding Platform Offers Self Storage Opportunity Fund

RealCap Crowdfunding Platform Offers Self Storage Opportunity Fund

“The real estate investment world for individual investors has historically been deeply flawed,” stated Matt Schuberg, co-founder and CEO of RealCap. “High fees, low returns, and high minimums are not a good combination for investors. We launched RealCap to resolve these issues by cutting out the middlemen and migrating the entire transaction process online,” Schuberg added.

Self-Storage is one of the strongest sectors in the real estate industry. Rents have consistently been rising, occupancy remains high and there is a limited supply of new construction which has prevented an oversupply crises. One of the reasons why supply remains in check is that building new units can take years to obtain local approvals. Currently, the Self-Storage sector is a $30+ billion industry with nearly 55,000 units comprising over 2.5 billion square feet of rentable space.

Matt Schuberg further commented, “The goal with our first Fund is to provide investors with potential double-digit returns by acquiring under-performing Self-Storage properties and improving management inefficiencies. We take a fundamental approach to evaluate the property and how additional sources of income can be added to improve the quality of the asset, including solar ports for RV & boat storage, energy buy-back agreements, and cell towers,” continued Schuberg.

The founding members of the RealCap team have been successfully investing in real estate for over 20 years. The core philosophy of RealCap is to provide investors with the opportunity to leverage the Founder’s experience and expertise in order to take advantage of the benefits of owning and investing in real estate.

RealCap is a real estate crowdfunding company that raises capital to invest in high-end real estate, an investment that was previously only available to ultra-high net worth individuals. Our mission is to provide the opportunity to passively invest in high quality, cash-flowing real estate and self-storage properties without requiring large sums of capital. Our experience and industry knowledge enables our investors to reap the benefits of investing in real estate, with none of the hassle.

To learn more about this opportunity, the company, or how to invest, contact Matt Schuberg at matt@realcapinvest.com, or visit www.RealCapInvest.com.

# # #

LoanDepot Announces Closing of $150M Crowdlending Fund to Further Fuel Its Record-breaking Performance with Investments in Technology and Product Development Projects

24 Aug

As a national marketplace lender, the loanDepot platform is disrupting finance by dissolving the lines between mortgage and non-mortgage credit

By Robert Hoskins

Irvine, California LoanDepot announced the closing of $150 million in term debt financing and intends to use the proceeds to further fuel its record-breaking performance with continued investments in technology and product development, and to leverage its balance sheet to hold certain loan assets.

loanDepot, America's lender, matches borrowers through technology and high-touch customer care with the credit they need to fuel their lives

loanDepot matches borrowers through technology and high-touch customer care with the credit they need to fuel their lives

“Capital investment in consumer lending and in the mortgage industry is very tight and highly selective,” says Anthony Hsieh, chairman and chief executive officer at loanDepot. “Investors are interested in category leaders with scale who succeed in all credit cycles. This deal confirms the strength of our business model and the positive momentum of our brand. It also signals the competitive advantage loanDepot has in accessing capital in today’s market as we pursue our long-term growth strategy.”

As the nation’s second-largest nonbank consumer lender, loanDepot heads into the second half of 2016 with second-quarter fundings reaching nearly $10 billion in home, personal and home equity loans. Total fundings for the first half of 2016 are up 16 percent compared to the same time last year. The number of loans funded by loanDepot in the first six months of 2016 increased by 33 percent compared to the same period last year, further demonstrating the value of the company’s personal loan platform and cross-selling opportunities between loan products.

“Working capital and liquidity are essential for today’s nonbank lender, and only available if you have scale, a solid track record and a great reputation,” says Hsieh. “loanDepot is a strong and stable company responsible to our customers, employees and shareholders. We’ll continue reinvesting back into our platform in a variety of ways, including technology, the customer experience and product development. We believe this approach strengthens our position as the leading modern lender as the industry heads into the next generation of lending.”

In November 2015, the company postponed its initial public offering. This capital debt financing is the continuation of its capital strategy and commitment to pursue long- term growth plans.

Launched in 2010, loanDepot has achieved 80 percent year-over-year average annual growth from 2010 to 2015. The company continues to make significant reinvestments into its proprietary technology and marketing platform, credit and risk models, and product delivery systems.  The company operates from eight business centers and 150+ loan stores across the nation. loanDepot was the first nonbank consumer lender to offer home, personal and home equity loan products nationwide.

loanDepot matches borrowers through technology and high-touch customer care with the credit they need to fuel their lives. As a fast-growing national marketplace lender, the loanDepot platform is disrupting finance by dissolving the lines between mortgage and non-mortgage credit.

The company has funded over $70 billion in loans since inception. loanDepot is passionate about emerging financial technology and dynamic product delivery supported by excellent customer service to empower consumers.

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iDisclose Launches a Free “SEC Document Scrubber” for Filing Clean Reg. CF Equity Crowdfunding Documentation

18 Aug

iDisclose is an online application that helps entrepreneurs prepare their own legal crowdfunding documents significantly reducing the amount of money paid to attorneys and law firms

 By Robert Hoskins

New York, NY – iDisclose announced that it is now offering a free online service to help issuers and their counsel submit the required crowdfunding documents to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

“We noticed that a lot of people have been having trouble uploading the required documents to the SEC’s online system known as EDGAR,”stated iDisclose’s CEO Georgia Quinn. “This is due to the finicky nature of the system and somewhat archaic technology it uses. Several issuers’ uploads were getting bounced and the error messages were indecipherable.”

iDisclose Launches a Free "SEC Scrubber" Tool for Filing Reg. CF Crowdfunding Issuer Documentation

iDisclose Launches a Free “SEC Scrubber” Tool for Filing Reg. CF Issuer Discloser Documents

Many times, documents are bounced when people attempt to upload them to the SEC’s Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval system or “EDGAR” system because the actual file does not meet certain technical specifications or contains certain “tags” that EDGAR rejects. iDisclose’s new SEC Scrubber “cleans,” so to speak, the documents of any tags or unacceptable formatting without altering any of the content, so they are able to be filed.

When asked why iDisclose is offering this service for free, Quinn stated, “We are doing this because we believe in the power of crowdfunding and we want to see this industry succeed. This has been a silly stumbling block for hard-working and well prepared issuers, and we want to remove it.”

A beta-version of the SEC Scrubber is being released to the public today and iDisclose is taking comments and feedback to improve the tool in its next release.

iDisclose is an online application that helps entrepreneurs prepare their own legal crowdfunding documents significantly reducing the amount of money paid to attorneys and law firms. iDisclose puts the job of disclosure back into the hands of the entrepreneur, eliminating the inefficiencies of the traditional method, substantially reducing time to comply with the rules and saving thousands of dollars.

Rather than provide un-contextualized information about a business to a lawyer, and then relying on the lawyer to prepare the first draft, the entrepreneur responds to an online dialogue to draw out the relevant disclosure issues and the platform organizes the information into a legal document. Throughout the entire process, the entrepreneur is able to collaborate with his or her own team and attorney as needed, and to send their attorney their document drafts for final review and sign-off.

iDisclose also generates a Red Flag report of key issues that must be addressed, which can also be shared with an attorney for further advice and counsel. In addition, the platform creates a list of Risks Factors that are seamlessly organized within the document for easy review by investors.

iDisclose helps:

  • Businesses: The platform allows you to create your own legal documents at a reduced time and cost.
  • Investors: iDisclose provides fulsome disclosure in an easy to evaluate format.
  • Fundraising Platforms: iDisclose allows platforms to offer a value-added service to their users and standardizes the disclosure format across the entire platform.
  • Lawyers: It eliminates much of the drafting drudgery required with the disclosure process, and allows lawyers to focus on the true aspects of being a lawyer (offering real legal counsel, guidance and reviews).

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United Overseas Bank Partners with OurCrowd to Offer Equity Crowdfunding Support for Startups Participating in UOB’s Singapore FinLab Accelerator Program and other Cities throughout Asia

17 Aug

With a full Capital Market Services (CMS) license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) OurCrowd is now able to market its equity crowdfunding platform in Singapore and other Asian cities

 By Robert Hoskins

Singapore/Jerusalem – United Overseas Bank (UOB) is deepening its commitment to helping startups grow into sustainable businesses by training its commercial bankers to provide clients with the most up-to-date information on alternative funding channels beyond traditional financing. More than 100 of its bankers have been trained so far.

United Overseas Bank Partners with @OurCrowd to Support Asian Startups and Small to Medium Enterprises Utilizing Equity Crowdfunding for Seed Investment Capital

United Overseas Bank Partners with @OurCrowd to Support Asian Startups and Small to Medium Enterprises Utilizing Equity Crowdfunding for Seed Investment Capital

The training is timely as the Bank’s strategic equity crowdfunding partner, OurCrowd, a leading global equity crowdfunding platform, was awarded a full Capital Market Services (CMS) license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) at the end of July. With the license, OurCrowd is now able to market its equity crowdfunding platform in Singapore. In March this year, UOB announced it had made a US$10 million investment in OurCrowd, which invests in startups with differentiated and highly scalable technology products and services.

“We are proud of the rapid growth of our unique brand of equity crowdfunding and teaming up with UOB to advance the cutting edge of FinTech and the startup ecosystem in the region,” said Jon Medved, OurCrowd’s CEO. “As we work together, innovative Asian companies with differentiated and highly scalable technology products and services will be able to get access to another source of funding from a global investor network to jumpstart their international expansion and business development.”

UOB’s partnership with OurCrowd reinforced the Bank’s commitment in supporting Asian SMEs and startups with end-to-end financing needs. The range of support includes UOB’s accelerator program, The FinLab, to venture debt financing through to investment banking.

Ms. Janet Young, Head of Group Channels and Digitalization, UOB, said, “We understand the ambitions of startups and emerging enterprises and want to help them grow into sustainable businesses. In the last six months, we have trained more than 100 commercial bankers to identify and to understand the type of financing for which startups can qualify. Through our initiatives, we are well-equipped to support the startup ecosystem and help them realize their full potential.”

In addition, accredited investors among UOB’s clients will now have an opportunity to broaden their investments into OurCrowd’s portfolio companies and tap into a quality deal flow across the globe.

Mr. Denes Ban, OurCrowd Partner and Managing Director, Asia, said, “Our latest approval and licence in Singapore is further validation of OurCrowd’s global footprint and it’s exciting to see immediate and impactful results, thanks to our partners at UOB and the Sassoon Investment Corporation (SIC). Singapore-based investors will now have access to our portfolio of world-class startups and tap their growth potential.”

Launched in 2013, OurCrowd has raised more than US$250 million for investment in almost 100 companies, and has already had eight companies in their portfolio either acquired by a multinational or listed publicly. Unlike traditional equity crowdfunding platforms, OurCrowd invests its own capital alongside the crowd investors in each deal as testament to their confidence in the deal. By offering investors the same terms (valuation, liquidation reference and protection) as venture capital funds, it offers accredited investors access to unrivaled investment opportunities. OurCrowd also provides post-investment support to its portfolio companies, assigning industry experts as mentors.

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Merit Harbor Group’s Boutique Investment Banking Arm offers Startups Crowdfunding Consulting Assistance

19 Feb

Boutique middle-market investment bank offers crowdfunding assistance to late-stage startups and growing companies

Merit Harbor Group's investment bank works directly with startups via crowdfunding

Merit Harbor Group’s investment bank works directly with startups via crowdfunding

“As we get closer to the full implementation of Title III equity crowdfunding, our team is gearing up to assist companies in raising the capital they need,” says company Director, Nate Nead. Title III equity crowdfunding, which allows small businesses to raise a maximum of a million dollars in any given twelve-month period, is on the firm’s radar as another method available for smaller companies seeking access to capital.

Equity crowdfunding, an alternative financing medium for small business, allows companies seeking capital to source it through individual investors on portals built for the purpose of information and promotion. The company maintains its own proprietary list of both accredited and non-accredited investors who have expressed keen interest in seeing available deals from real estate to software. The company also maintains key relationships with other equity crowdfunding portals where companies can syndicate for broader exposure.

“We are excited about the partnerships we have formed with other portals and we are confident these alliances will provide a great benefit to our crowdfunding clients who are seeking to raise capital,” says Nead. While the company acts as a traditional investment bank, advising middle-market clients on merger and acquisition transactions, the firm’s and its principals and investment bankers see the wisdom in marrying crowdfunding with traditional middle market business finance. “We are confident that crowdfunding and traditional business finance are not mutually exclusive. While it may take some time for the two to play well together, we are hoping to be able to assist when that marriage becomes more real,” he says.

Merit Harbor Group is a middle market investment bank with offices in multiple cities across the United States. The company provides merger, acquisition and capital raising assistance to post-revenue startups and growing companies across nearly every market sector. The company assists promising companies in structured growth before a meaningful exit via merger or acquisition. The company’s licensed investment bankers in Seattle, Portland, Las Vegas, Phoenix and Portland.

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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.
(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 Details Rules for Title III Crowdfunding Investors and Crowdfunding Investment Sites

31 Oct

The SEC’s final Title III Crowdfunding Rule (Regulation Crowdfunding) will enable individuals to purchase securities in crowdfunding offerings subject to certain limits, require companies to disclose certain information about their business and securities offering, and create a regulatory framework for the intermediaries facilitating crowdfunding transactions

Chair Mary Jo White Gives an Overview of Title III Crowdfunding Rules

Chair Mary Jo White Gives an Overview of Title III Crowdfunding Rules

By Robert Hoskins

SEC’s Title III of the JOBS Act 

On Friday, October 30, 2015, the SEC passed the final Title III Regulation Crowdfunding Rule that will allow the offer and sale of securities through crowdfunding.  The new rules will give small businesses an additional avenue to raise capital and provide investors with important protections.  If adopted, this would complete the Commission’s major rulemaking mandated under the JOBS Act.

Title III Crowdfunding Investor Rules

The recommended rules would, among other things, enable individuals to purchase securities in crowdfunding offerings subject to certain limits, require companies to disclose certain information about their business and securities offering, and create a regulatory framework for the intermediaries facilitating crowdfunding transactions.  More specifically, the recommended rules would:

  • Permit a company to raise a maximum aggregate amount of $1 million through crowdfunding offerings in a 12-month period;
  • Permit individual investors, over a 12-month period, to invest in the aggregate across all crowdfunding offerings up to:
    • If either their annual income or net worth is less than $100,000, than the greater of:
      • $2,000 or
      • 5 percent of the lesser of their annual income or net worth.
    • If both their annual income and net worth are equal to or more than $100,000, 10 percent of the lesser of their annual income or net worth; and
  • During the 12-month period, the aggregate amount of securities sold to an investor through all crowdfunding offerings may not exceed $100,000.

Under the recommended rules, certain companies would not be eligible to use the exemption.  Ineligible companies would include non-U.S. companies, Exchange Act reporting companies, certain investment companies, companies that are subject to disqualification under Regulation Crowdfunding, companies that have failed to comply with the annual reporting requirements under Regulation Crowdfunding during the two years immediately preceding the filing of the offering statement, and companies that have no specific business plan or have indicated that their business plan is to engage in a merger or acquisition with an unidentified company or companies.

Securities purchased in a crowdfunding transaction generally could not be resold for one year.  Holders of these securities would not count toward the threshold that requires a company to register its securities under Exchange Act Section 12(g) if the company is current in its annual reporting obligations, retains the services of a registered transfer agent and has less than $25 million in total assets as of the end of its most recently completed fiscal year.

In addition, all transactions relying on the new rules would be required to take place through an SEC-registered intermediary, either a broker-dealer or a funding portal.

Title III Crowdfunding Company Disclosures 

Companies that rely on the recommended rules to conduct a crowdfunding offering must file certain information with the Commission and provide this information to investors and the intermediary facilitating the offering, including among other things, to disclose:

  • The price to the public of the securities or the method for determining the price, the target offering amount, the deadline to reach the target offering amount, and whether the company will accept investments in excess of the target offering amount;
  • A discussion of the company’s financial condition;
  • Financial statements of the company that, depending on the amount offered and sold during a 12-month period, are accompanied by information from the company’s tax returns, reviewed by an independent public accountant, or audited by an independent auditor.  A company offering more than $500,000 but not more than $1 million of securities relying on these rules for the first time would be permitted to provide reviewed rather than audited financial statements, unless financial statements of the company are available that have been audited by an independent auditor;
  • A description of the business and the use of proceeds from the offering;
  • Information about officers and directors as well as owners of 20 percent or more of the company; and
  • Certain related-party transactions.

In addition, companies relying on the crowdfunding exemption would be required to file an annual report with the Commission and provide it to investors.

Title III Crowdfunding Rules for Portals

A funding portal would be required to register with the Commission on new Form Funding Portal, and become a member of a national securities association (currently, FINRA).  A company relying on the rules would be required to conduct its offering exclusively through one intermediary platform at a time.

The recommended rules would require intermediaries to, among other things:

  • Provide investors with educational materials that explain, among other things, the process for investing on the platform, the types of securities being offered and information a company must provide to investors, resale restrictions, and investment limits;
  • Take certain measures to reduce the risk of fraud, including having a reasonable basis for believing that a company complies with Regulation Crowdfunding and that the company has established means to keep accurate records of securities holders;
  • Make information that a company is required to disclose available to the public on its platform throughout the offering period and for a minimum of 21 days before any security may be sold in the offering;
  • Provide communication channels to permit discussions about offerings on the platform;
  • Provide disclosure to investors about the compensation the intermediary receives;
  • Accept an investment commitment from an investor only after that investor has opened an account;
  • Have a reasonable basis for believing an investor complies with the investment limitations;
  • Provide investors notices once they have made investment commitments and confirmations at or before completion of a transaction;
  • Comply with maintenance and transmission of funds requirements; and
  • Comply with completion, cancellation and reconfirmation of offerings requirements.

The rules also would prohibit intermediaries from engaging in certain activities, such as:

  • Providing access to their platforms to companies that they have a reasonable basis for believing have the potential for fraud or other investor protection concerns;
  • Having a financial interest in a company that is offering or selling securities on its platform unless the intermediary receives the financial interest as compensation for the services, subject to certain conditions; and
  • Compensating any person for providing the intermediary with personally identifiable information of any investor or potential investor.

Regulation Crowdfunding would contain certain rules that are specific to registered funding portals consistent with their more limited activities than that of a registered broker-dealer.  The rules would prohibit funding portals from, among other things: offering investment advice or making recommendations; soliciting purchases, sales or offers to buy securities; compensating promoters and other persons for solicitations or based on the sale of securities; and holding, possessing, or handling investor funds or securities.

The rules would provide a safe harbor under which funding portals could engage in certain activities consistent with these restrictions.  The rules also would require funding portals to maintain certain books and records related to their transactions and business.

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