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SoftBank Vision Fund Raises $93 Billion of $100 Billion Goal from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s PIF, the SoftBank Group and the UAE’s Mubadala Investment Company

22 May

The Vision Fund is expected to be active across a wide range of technology sectors, including: IoT, artificial intelligence, robotics, mobile apps, computing, communications infrastructure, telecoms, computational biology and other data-driven business models, cloud technologies and software, consumer internet businesses and fin-tech

By Robert Hoskins

St. Helier, Jersey –  The SoftBank Vision Fund announced its first major close with over U.S.$93 billion of committed capital. In addition to SoftBank Group Corp (SBG) and the Public Investment Fund of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (PIF) as previously announced, investors in the Fund also include the Mubadala Investment Company of the United Arab Emirates (Mubadala), Apple Inc. (Apple), Foxconn Technology Group (Foxconn), Qualcomm Incorporated (Qualcomm) and Sharp Corporation (Sharp).

The Fund is targeting a total of U.S.$100 billion of committed capital, with a final close within six months.

SoftBank Vision Fund announced its first major close with over $93 billion of committed capital

SoftBank Vision Fund announced its first major close with over $93 billion of committed capital

SBG created the SoftBank Vision Fund as a result of its strongly held belief that the next stage of the Information Revolution is underway, and building the businesses that will make this possible will require unprecedented large scale long-term investment. Additionally, the Fund’s portfolio companies are expected to significantly benefit from SBG’s global scale and operational expertise, as well as its ecosystem of group portfolio companies (including Sprint and Yahoo Japan); this will thereby help them to accelerate their own growth profile.

The Fund will be SBG’s primary vehicle to realise its SoftBank 2.0 vision, with preferred access to investments of U.S. $100 million or more that meet the Fund’s investment strategy.

Masayoshi Son, Chairman & CEO of SoftBank Group Corp. said, “Technology has the potential to address the biggest challenges and risks facing humanity today. The businesses working to solve these problems will require patient long-term capital and visionary strategic investment partners with the resources to nurture their success. SoftBank has long made bold investments in transformative technologies and supported disruptive entrepreneurs. The SoftBank Vision Fund is consistent with this strategy and will help build and grow businesses creating the foundational platforms of the next stage of the Information Revolution.”

H.E. Yasir Al Rumayyan, Managing Director of the Public Investment Fund of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, added, “Our investment in the SoftBank Vision Fund alongside other sovereign and corporate investors is an important part of our overall investment strategy. We are building a portfolio that is diversified across sectors, asset classes and geographies, and expect the Vision Fund to act as a platform to access a range of exciting, emerging opportunities in the technology sector. We expect that this will, in turn, help enable the Public Investment Fund’s role in supporting the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 strategy to develop a diversified, knowledge-based economy.”

Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Group CEO of Mubadala Investment Company, said, “Our participation in the SoftBank Vision Fund perfectly complements Mubadala’s strategy as a long-term global investor and partner to the technology sector’s high-growth companies. Technology and innovation are central to the UAE’s economic diversification strategy, and we believe the Vision Fund has the scale to deploy significant capital into these disruptive industries that are shaping the future.”

Investment Strategy

The Fund will target meaningful, long-term investments in companies and foundational platform businesses that seek to enable the next age of innovation.

The Fund will seek to acquire minority and majority interests in both private and public companies, from emerging technology businesses to established, multi-billion dollar companies requiring substantial growth funding.

The Fund is expected to be active across a wide range of technology sectors, including but not limited to: IoT, artificial intelligence, robotics, mobile applications and computing, communications infrastructure and telecoms, computational biology and other data-driven business models, cloud technologies and software, consumer internet businesses and financial technology.

The Fund will have the right to acquire certain investments already acquired (or agreed to be acquired) by the SoftBank Group, including 24.99% of its holding in ARM, and investments in Guardant Health, Intelsat, NVIDIA, OneWeb and SoFi.

Key Leadership

The Fund will be advised by wholly-owned subsidiaries of SBG, known collectively as “SB Investment Advisers.”

Rajeev Misra will serve as the CEO of SB Investment Advisers and will be a member of the Investment Committee. He will play a key role in all Fund transactions, supported by a highly-experienced global team across offices in London, San Carlos, and Tokyo.

Nizar Al-Bassam and Dalinc Ariburnu of newly formed Centricus, who advised on structuring and fund raising efforts for the Vision Fund, will continue their roles as advisers.

ARM group

  • SBG’s commitment to invest U.S. $28 billion in the Fund will be partially satisfied through the in-kind contribution of approximately 24.99% of the shares in ARM Holdings plc, at a value of approximately U.S.$8.2 billion.
  • ARM will continue to be a consolidated subsidiary of SBG. SBG will continue to control (directly and indirectly) 100% of the voting rights of ARM, through its retained ownership of approximately 75.01% of the shares and its ownership of the entities managing and advising the Fund.
  • In the course of discussions with certain investors in the Fund, a portion of ARM was requested to be transferred into the Fund based on the shared vision on the huge growth potential of ARM
  • There will be no change to the Board, governance structure or operations of ARM as a result of the transfer.
  • The investors in the Fund will not gain any special commercial benefits from ARM’s operating business.

Relationship to SoftBank Group Corp.

  • The Fund’s general partner is a wholly-owned subsidiary of SBG, as are each of the SB Investment Advisers, including the Fund’s primary investment adviser, SB Investment Advisers (UK) Limited.
  • SBG has subscribed for commitments of U.S. $28 billion to the Fund to be contributed through a combination of equity in ARM and cash on hand. The Fund will be consolidated by SBG for accounting purposes.
  • While the Fund will be the primary investment vehicle for investments in excess of U.S.$100 million consistent with the Fund’s investment strategy, SBG (and its subsidiaries) may continue to make certain investments outside of the Fund, including (but not limited to) investments in early stage VC, strategic investments done at the operating company level, and/or other investments which do not fall within the Fund’s investment strategy and criteria.

# # #

Robert Hoskins, a seasoned Front Page PR veteran provides more than twenty-eight 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 crowdfunding campaigns.

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.

# # #

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.

IBM, Indiegogo and Arrow Electronics Partner to Fuel the Next Generation of Internet of Things with Crowdfunding

20 Feb

Entrepreneurs to Get Free Access to IBM’s Watson IoT Platform and Discounts on Cloud Services

By Robert Hoskins

Munich, Germany – IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced a partnership with Indiegogo and Arrow Electronics (NYSE: ARW) to help bring new Internet of Things (IoT) ideas to life. This collaboration brings IBM’s Watson IoT platform and cloud services together with ideation to production services from Arrow Electronics and Indiegogo – the world’s largest crowd sourced funding platform with more than $1.1 billion raised.

IBM, Indiegogo and Arrow Electronics Partner to Fuel the Next Generation of Internet of Things Startups

IBM, Indiegogo and Arrow Electronics Partner to Fuel the Next Generation of Internet of Things Startups

Now, qualified Indiegogo entrepreneurs will have no-charge access to IBM Watson IoT Platform via Bluemix for an unlimited amount of time, giving them access to more than 160 industry-leading cloud services to incorporate ready-to-use capabilities, such as artificial intelligence, Blockchain, advanced data analytics and cyber security into their latest IoT inventions. In addition, qualified startups will have access to IBM’s global network of technical and industry expertise, education, mentoring and enterprise customers and business partners, all of which can help to bring new and innovative IoT products to market quickly.

“We’re very excited to be partnering with Arrow and IBM to help entrepreneurs bring their wildest IoT dreams to life,” said David Mandelbrot, CEO of Indiegogo. “We know that fundraising is only one piece of the entrepreneurial puzzle, and by working together with IBM and Arrow we’ll be able to continue making it easier for entrepreneurs to bring their ideas all the way from concept to market.”

Experts predict that by 2022, the IoT landscape will be worth $14.2 trillion.1 A critical driver to this growth will be entrepreneurs and early-stage businesses which, while armed with ideas, lack the resources and skills to develop these next-generation IoT innovations and bring them to market.

Early examples of Arrow Certified Indiegogo IoT startup projects include:

  • Fitly, which created Smart Plate, the first intelligent nutrition platform that instantly analyzes and tracks what you eat. An industry first, Smart Plate was developed with support from Arrow and IBM Cloud, and was successfully funded on Indiegogo.
  • PlayDate, a startup that launched on Indiegogo, created the first smart ball for pets that lets owners interact with their dogs and cats from anywhere in the world. The PlayDate team ran the highest grossing pet tech crowdfunding campaign to date, but used Indiegogo for much more than just funding. They were one of the first campaigns to get Arrow-certified, a badge of approval on their manufacturing plans, and they received $100,000 in flash funding as well as engineering design support. “Arrow and Indiegogo’s support was incredibly valuable,” said Kevin Li, CEO at PlayDate. “Our campaign with Indiegogo opened doors with partners and acted as market validation for investors. Indiegogo and Arrow partnering with IBM will be a huge benefit for entrepreneurs using the platform.”

Through this partnership, IBM, Indiegogo and Arrow are removing key barriers and providing the expertise, resources and funding that entrepreneurs need to develop innovative new connected products and quickly and cost-effectively bring them to market. Combining IBM’s powerful cognitive capabilities with Indiegogo’s entrepreneur platform and Arrow’s end-to-end technology design and production expertise will rapidly increase the volume and quality of IoT devices in market and help fuel a new generation of entrepreneurs.

“Entrepreneurs and startups play a vital role in creating the next generation of businesses – their drive, innovation and passion for bringing new ideas to life is particularly important in building the IoT,” said Harriet Green, General Manager Watson IoT. “We are thrilled to partner with Indiegogo and Arrow Electronics to accelerate IoT innovation and development around the world working hand in hand with some of the best and brightest entrepreneurs, developers and startups to build an even better IoT.”

In addition to IBM’s benefits, Arrow provides qualified Indiegogo campaigns with up to $500,000 in benefits, such as component parts, online product design and prototyping tools, comprehensive technical reviews with Arrow engineers, manufacturing and supply chain services and sustainable recycling. As the only global technology company capable of providing comprehensive, sensor-to-sensor, full IoT product lifecycle solutions, Arrow is uniquely positioned to guide the biggest names in technology, and startups and makers alike, along their IoT production journey.

“IBM will take our groundbreaking collaboration with Indiegogo to a whole new level, helping us reach more entrepreneurs and get their innovative products to market quickly and cost-effectively,” said Arrow’s Chief Digital Officer Matt Anderson. “As one of the world’s largest providers of electronic and IT products and services in the world, Arrow has the breadth of resources and depth of expertise to successfully shepherd promising entrepreneurs along their path to market. Arrow engineers around the world are eager to collaborate with Indiegogo entrepreneurs on cutting-edge tech designs that incorporate the best that IBM’s Watson IoT and cloud services have to offer.”

IBM made the announcement at its first-ever Genius of Things Summit at the company’s Watson IoT headquarters in Munich, where customers, partners and influencers gathered to examine how Watson clients are implementing IoT solutions that drive exceptional outcomes. Around the globe, IBM is working with more than 6,000 clients, across industries, to help them truly realize the benefits of IoT. For more information, please visit:on IBM Watson IoT

Originally launched as a crowdfunding platform, Indiegogo is the place for entrepreneurs to move their ideas quickly from concept to market. Entrepreneurs on Indiegogo are able to showcase their ideas directly to users, take orders for products early in their lifecycle and ultimately build direct relationships with their first customers. Indiegogo is the platform of choice for early stage entrepreneurs and the creative teams of some of the most successful consumer product companies in the world. The company was launched in 2008 and is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in Los Angeles and New York.

# # #

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.

Chinese Entrepreneurship Global Study Shows Staggering Increase in Shenzhen and Hong Kong Entrepreneur Activities Compared to 64 Competitive Countries Worldwide

16 Feb

Experts advocate the two cities join force in formation of complementary advantages to foster international competitiveness for entrepreneurship

By Robert Hoskins

Hong Kong, China – New research released by the professors of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) Business School’s Center for Entrepreneurship (CfE) and Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU)’s School of Business shows that entrepreneurship in Hong Kong and Shenzhen is on the rise.

A collaborative effort by CUHK CfE, HKBU School of Business, the University of Hong Kong’s Faculty of Business and Economics, Shenzhen Academy of Social Science and Savantas Policy Research Institute, the research titled “Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Hong Kong and Shenzhen Report 2016-17” provides a detailed analysis of the current status of entrepreneurship in Hong Kong and Shenzhen.

The GEM Study Compares the Results with Past Indicators for Ecosystems and Provides an International Benchmark with 65 Economies Worldwide

The GEM Study Compares the Results with Past Indicators for Ecosystems and Provides an International Benchmark with 64 Other Economies Worldwide

The study compares the results with past indicators for both ecosystems and provides an international benchmark with 65 economies worldwide. It is part of the global initiative, 180-page Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Research Report, the world’s foremost comparative entrepreneurship study and a trusted resource on entrepreneurship for key international organizations such as the United Nations, World Economic Forum, World Bank and more.

In the recent few years, Hong Kong and Shenzhen have experienced an explosive growth in the start-up support ecosystem. The GEM Hong Kong and Shenzhen Report 2016-17 shows that the start-up rates recorded a staggering increase in Hong Kong and Shenzhen from 2009 to 2016. In mid-2016, the early-stage entrepreneurial activity among the adult population was estimated at 9.44 percent (3.64 percent in 2009) in Hong Kong and 16.04 percent (4.8 percent in 2009) in Shenzhen.

The growth has been driven by a rapid increase in Shenzhen’s new (+284 percent) and Hong Kong’s growth in nascent businesses (+206 percent) in comparison with 2009 statistics. The prevalence rates of established businesses recorded an increase as well: +389 percent for Shenzhen and +109 percent for Hong Kong. It is worth noting that while entrepreneurship rates are on the rise in Hong Kong and Shenzhen, they are declining in other places in China. Both cities have developed a separate start-up culture and entrepreneurial ecosystem that operate independently from the rest of the Mainland.

The positive changes were not limited to early entrepreneurship rates only. The research team also observed a major shift in attitudes and entrepreneurial intentions. In particular, 56.8 percent of the adult population perceives start-up opportunities in Hong Kong. In Shenzhen, the same proportion of individuals who declared they possessed necessary skills and knowledge to start a new business (35.8 percent), also reported their intention to start a business in the next two years (36 percent).

Comparing to 2009, the population with entrepreneurial intentions in Hong Kong grew from 7.3 percent to 19.7 percent in 2016, representing an impressive increase of +170 percent. Similarly, in Shenzhen the intentions grew from 17.6 percent to 36 percent, an increase of +105 percent. According to the study, cultural conditioning and attitudes towards entrepreneurship, perception of own skills, and exposure to entrepreneurship practices all had a positive impact on intentions to start businesses. Successful entrepreneurs are also regaining their high status and are promoted by local media in Shenzhen and Hong Kong.

In terms of financial support, Hong Kong early-stage firms have lower capital requirements than that of their Shenzhen counterparts, which may be related to the lower technological intensity of Hong Kong firms. 92 percent of nascent entrepreneurs in the two cities declared that their principal source of financial support was their own savings. The role of the family in financing new ventures is still significant in Shenzhen, but not so much in Hong Kong.

Banks are also more supportive of startups in Shenzhen than in Hong Kong and so are venture capitalists, which could be explained by a higher prevalence of start-ups with profound market impact. In Hong Kong, on the other hand, crowdfunding is more prevalent as the source of capital for early-stage businesses, a sign of a more established product innovation.

Aligned with higher entrepreneurship rates, the research team also found a growing culture of informal investors developing in both cities. Shenzhen observed a much higher informal investment prevalence rate (20.5 percent) than Hong Kong (6.5 percent) of the adult population. In fact, Hong Kong and Shenzhen informal investors were two of the most generous among all economies in the study with a contribution of US$70,565 and US$76,112 respectively.

The study has also recorded a dramatic change in investment patterns for Shenzhen. While in 2009 individuals were rather investing in family members, in 2016, friends and neighbors had been the first choice which was aligned with that of Hong Kong.

In addition, the research team interviewed 39 Hong Kong and 37 Shenzhen experts in the field of entrepreneurship about their opinions on how the cooperation between Hong Kong and Shenzhen that would increase the cities’ international competitiveness. The most frequent recommendation was to leverage the natural industry compatibilities between Hong Kong and Shenzhen. Other recommendations include:

  • Joint development of industries such as Internet-of-Things, Smart City, Health Tech, Edu Tech, Fintech or E-commerce
  • Joint R&D initiatives aiming at cross-border innovation, sharing of talents and intensification of knowledge exchange
  • Introduction of joint or cross-border education to develop a shared cultural understanding of each other through opening more world-class academic institutions catering to students from both sides of the border
  • Coordinating government policies for entrepreneurship between the two economies, e.g. joint visas for entrepreneurs that would facilitate cross-border operations of many start-ups

“If Hong Kong and Shenzhen join forces in the formation of complementary advantages on entrepreneurship, it would strengthen the international and Mainland competitiveness for both,” said Prof. Kevin Au, Associate Director of CUHK CfE and Associate Professor of the Department of Management at CUHK Business School. “This can be the first step towards the development of the Hong Kong-Shenzhen megalopolis.”

“Hong Kong and Shenzhen are facing a fantastic opportunity: that of being in the perfect position to build a highly unique and internationally competitive start-up hub with an unparalleled ecosystem compatibility between the two cities and a supportive informal investment culture,” said Dr. Marta K. Dowejko, Research Assistant Professor in Entrepreneurship of the Department of Management at HKBU School of Business. “While Shenzhen’s start-ups are well geared to deliver innovative ideas with high growth potential, Hong Kong’s entrepreneurs possess the know-how in taking ideas to the next level and ensuring their long-term sustainability. The results from this year’s GEM report give testament to this unique setup that no other place in the world has.”

# # #

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.

 

Crowdfunding PR Offers Startups New Service to Build Investor Databases for Title III and Title IV Reg. A+ Mini IPO Crowdfunding Campaigns to Target Precise Lists of Angel, Venture Capital and Private Equity Investors

3 Oct

Investor relations teams can now search through over 175,000 angel, equity and venture capital investors, analyze 575,000 of their prior investments and then target a very precise list of potential investors

By Robert Hoskins

Crowdfunding PR Shows Startups How to Build Investor Databases for Title III and Title IV, Reg. A+ Crowdfunding Campaigns to Target Precise Lists of Angel, Private Equity and VC Investors

Crowdfunding PR Shows Startups How to Build Investor Databases for Title III and Title IV, Reg. A+ Crowdfunding Campaigns to Target Precise Lists of Angel, Private Equity and VC Investors

New York City, New York – Crowdfunding PR’s new investor marketing database service allows equity crowdfunding campaign managers to drill down inside private equity and venture capital firms to find highly-qualified principals, partners, portfolio managers and family offices with the highest propensity to invest in their type of product/service and do sorts by vertical business segments, by geographical locations and by types of deals such as seed capital, private equity, series A/B, late-stage funding rounds and many, many other searchable financial database sorting characteristics, variables and demographics.

“The greatest challenge for startups, entrepreneurs and growing small businesses is finding potential angel investors, private equity investors and/or building out their own private investment syndicate of investors with a high propensity to invest in similar types deals as the one they want to pitch to investors,” said Robert Hoskins, Crowdfunding PR’s Director of Investor Relations. “The same need is present for the hundreds of new equity crowdfunding platforms that have launched new equity crowdfunding platforms in the past twelve months. Crowdfunding PR can utilize the investor database to market any deal on any equity crowdfunding platform to a very wide, but yet very precise and carefully selected list of angel, private equity and VC investors.”

The new investor database provides private investment information on the end-to-end fundraising process. From initial exits to fund returns, it offers the best information available for the complete lifecycle of private investing. This includes Limited Partner (LP) commitments, fundraising, remaining dry powder in funds, deals, company evaluations and fund performance as well as the service providers, executives, and lead partners behind the deals.

The private investor database provides clients with access to stats to build pitch books, contacts to setup road tours, run private and public comps, source co-investors, model cash flows, conduct competitive analysis, follow the entire venture capital (VC) marketplace, build and expand investor networks, target deal makers and identify private equity (PE) and VC firms actively doing deals. The quality of work that can be turned around on a compressed timeline is nothing short of amazing and will be 10 times more efficient and 3 times to 5 times more accurate than other types of private investment information that can be found online via Google and LinkedIn.

If your startup or existing business needs help building and an investor database, creating an effective pitch deck, building a direct email marketing program and/or scheduling an investor “dog and pony” roadshow, please call Robert Hoskins at (512) 627-6622 or contact him via @Crowdfunding_PR on Twitter.

Crowdfunding PR’s
Investor Marketing Database

Access a Huge Database of Potential Investors

  • Angels
  • VCs
  • Portfolio Managers
  • Lead Partners
  • Deal Details
  • Partners

Drill Down to Develop Precise Investor Targets

  • Deal experience
  • Board seats
  • Biography
  • Education
  • LinkedIn profiles
  • LinkedIn connections
  • Phone and email contact information

Analyze Investor’s Past/Current Deals

  • Angel & seed
  • Venture
  • Buyouts
  • Secondary transactions
  • Mergers & acquisitions
  • Debt financings
  • Initial Public Offerings (IPOs)
  • Valuations, terms & multiples
  • Cap tables
  • Participants
  • Deal history
  • Exits & IPOs

Perform Competitive Analysis of Funded Companies/Deal Structures

  • Startup and angel-backed companies
  • Venture capital-backed companies
  • Private equity-backed companies
  • Mature private companies
  • Public companies
  • Strategic acquirers
  • Key private company financials
  • Full public company fundamentals

Gather In-depth Competitor News & Big Data Analytics

  • News stories
  • Quarterly reports
  • Data visualization
  • Custom analytics

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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.

Arrow Electronics Brings Technology and Design Hardware to Life with Up to $1 Million for Indiegogo Crowdfunding Campaigns 

1 Sep

Arrow Electronics and Indiegogo launches groundbreaking crowdfund-to-production service aimed at accelerating the pace of innovation for technology entrepreneurs

San Francisco, California – Arrow Electronics, Inc. (NYSE:ARW) and Indiegogo launched their groundbreaking crowdfund-to-production service, which is aimed at accelerating the pace of innovation for technology and internet of things (IoT) entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurs can apply for Arrow certification on the Indiegogo platform. Arrow Electronics’ engineers will then analyze the design and manufacturability of each application. Projects deemed “ready for manufacturing” will be denoted with official “Arrow Certified” badges on their Indiegogo campaign site to let potential backers know the project is ready for production."Arrow

Every “Arrow Certified” campaign on Indiegogo that meets certain eligibility criteria can compete to receive a share of $1 million in flash-funding that Arrow will give away to 20-50 campaigns during the next 12 to 15 months. Click here for full funding details and rules.

Arrow Certified” campaigns on Indiegogo will also lock-in up to $50,000 in benefits that help entrepreneurs succeed in prototyping and manufacturing their innovative products, which include some or all of the following:

  • Direct, online access to the prototyping tools available through Arrow.com and Silicon Expert, one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive database for technology component design
  • Comprehensive technical reviews of the raw materials, sub-assemblies, intermediate assemblies, sub-components, parts and the quantities of each needed to manufacture a product
  • Professional design-for-manufacturing product reviews and certification
  • Up to $1,000 in materials for prototype development
  • Free access to the Arrow Testdrive program to try out the latest innovations from leading semiconductor manufacturers with no up-front investment
  • Customized marketing and promotional support on Arrow.com and through Arrow’s extensive technology-focused media network
  • 10 percent off and free shipping on millions of products available through Arrow.com that will help accelerate prototyping and bringing innovations to market

In addition, a handful of “Arrow Certified” campaigns that Arrow experts deem truly technologically exceptional will qualify as “Arrow Innovator” campaigns and receive additional support, which includes some or all of the following:

  • Supply chain services and contract manufacturing support worth up to $500,000
  • Up to $10,000 in materials for prototype development
  • A dedicated local Arrow technical concierge available for on-call or on-site support
  • Perk protection that guarantees campaign backers will get their money back if for some reason the product is never manufactured—providing current and future campaign backers with increased confidence
  • A fast-tracked review with Arrow’s in-house financing team to help fund the cost of getting production up and running

Arrow and Indiegogo formalized an alliance in May after Indiegogo entrepreneurs had been increasingly turning to Arrow to help transition innovative ideas into successful commercial products. Arrow is now a key component of Indiegogo’s efforts to support the entire product lifecycle for entrepreneurs on the platform.

Current and new Indiegogo technology or design campaign entrepreneurs interested in applying to become “Arrow Certified” should visit www.arrow.com/indiegogo.

“This groundbreaking crowdfund-to-production program will help so many tech entrepreneurs and startups accelerate their path to market and revenue. Halo Smart Labs didn’t have access to a formal production program like this when we were successfully crowdfunded on Indiegogo. However, we did have the good fortune of getting introduced to Arrow experts early on who helped us refine designs, source the right components, tackle first runs and scale to full production,” said Ben Stagg, Halo Smart Labs’ CEO. “Without the crowdfunding support we received on Indiegogo and without the go-to-market support we received from Arrow, we wouldn’t be preparing for the first Halo and Halo+ smart fire alarms to hit the shelves of major retailers this fall.”

“Arrow is leading IoT design and production for many of the world’s largest companies. We are broadening these capabilities to support the rising wave of innovation coming from crowdfunding,” added Arrow’s Chief Digital Officer, Matt Anderson. “The comprehensive design, manufacturing and go-to-market support that Arrow will provide Indiegogo campaigns will help IoT and technology innovators succeed in even greater numbers, making Indiegogo the only game in town when it comes to launching an IoT or technology idea.”

Indiegogo CEO’s David Mandlebrot commented, “This collaboration improves the experience for both entrepreneurs and backers on Indiegogo. Supporting the entire lifecycle for technology entrepreneurs—from idea, to funding, to manufacturing and ultimately retail selling—is a priority for Indiegogo and this collaboration with Arrow allows us to build on those efforts in an incredibly impactful way. At the same time, this alliance will enable backers to have greater confidence that they will ultimately receive their perks.”

Arrow Electronics is a global provider of products, services and solutions to industrial and commercial users of electronic components and enterprise computing solutions. Arrow serves as a supply channel partner for more than 100,000 original equipment manufacturers, contract manufacturers and commercial customers through a global network of more than 460 locations serving over 85 countries.

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Crowdfunding PR Rolls Out Title IV, Reg. A+ 2-Month Crowdfunding Prep Work Program to Help Startups and Existing Businesses Learn How to Launch More Successful Crowdfunding Campaigns

29 Aug

The Crowdfunding Prep Work Program Helps Campaign Managers Amass a Large Crowd of Followers on Social Media and Utilize PR to Generate Hundreds of News Articles on Leading Media Outlets

By Robert Hoskins

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

How to Plan a Successful Crowdfunding PR Campaign by Following this Secret Step-by-Step Process

How to Plan a Successful Crowdfunding PR Campaign by Following this Secret Step-by-Step Process

Social Media Campaigns
Conducting a strong social media marketing campaign is one of the biggest challenges that many Title IV, Reg. A+ Crowdfunding Campaigns will face. Improving weak social media credentials for companies is critical to crowdfunding success. What many entrepreneurs and startups need to recognize is how important social media is in the world of crowdfunding.

“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 members on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to check out their credentials,” said Robert Hoskins, Crowdfunding PR’s Director of Crowdfunding Campaigns. “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 marketing skill set to deliver on their crowdfunding campaign’s promises.”

Public Relations/Publicity 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 (SEO) press releases will continue to drive new investors, potential customers as well as sales/distribution partners to the business long after the crowdfunding campaign ends.

“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 they launch an equity crowdfunding campaign on SeedInvest.comStartEngine.com, Republic.co, WeFunder.com or any other Title IV, Reg. A+ equity crowdfunding sites.

Contact Crowdfunding PR
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.

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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. 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.

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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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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SEC’s Proposed Amendments to Approve Nationwide Intrastate Crowdfunding and Raise Limit to $5 Million for Small Business

31 Oct

SEC’s Proposed Amendments to Rule 147 and 504 to Facilitate New Intrastate Crowdfunding and the Sale of Regional Securities Offerings

SEC Staff Proposes Amendments to Rules 147 and Reg. D.,504

SEC Staff Proposes Amendments to Securities Rules 147 and Reg. D. 504

 By Robert Hoskins

 SEC’s Proposed Actions for Title III Crowdfunding

The Securities and Exchange Commission is considering whether to propose amendments to Securities Act Rule 147 and Rule 504 of Regulation D.  The proposed amendments would be part of the Commission’s efforts to assist smaller companies with capital formation consistent with its investor protection mission.

Proposed Title III Crowdfunding Amendments

Proposed Amendments to Rule 147

The proposed amendments would modernize Rule 147 to permit companies to raise money from investors within their state without concurrently registering the offers and sales at the federal level.  The proposed amendments to Rule 147 would, among other things:

  • Eliminate the restriction on offers, while continuing to require that sales be made only to residents of the issuer’s state or territory.
  • Refine what it means to be an intrastate offering and ease some of the issuer eligibility requirements in the current rule.
  • Limit the availability of the exemption to offerings that are registered in-state or conducted under an exemption from state law registration that limits the amount of securities an issuer may sell to no more than $5 million in a 12-month period and imposes an investment limitation on investors.

Proposed Amendments to Rule 504

The proposed amendments to Rule 504 of Regulation D would increase 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 disqualify certain bad actors from participation in Rule 504 offerings.  The proposed rules would facilitate capital formation and increase investor protection in such offerings.

 

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