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Real Estate Lender Zeus CrowdFunding Offers the Crowdlending Industry’s First Customer Loyalty Program

11 May

The Zeus CrowdFunding offers loans for property acquisition, refinancing, discounted home buying, renovation projects, transitional properties, non-traditional borrowers, fix-and-flip projects, fix-and-hold projects, transactional financing, gap financing, and time-sensitive transactions

 By Robert Hoskins

Houston, TexasZeus CrowdFunding, the fastest real estate crowdlending site in America, will offer borrowers a new incentive unmatched in the rapidly growing financial sector: the real estate crowdfunding industry’s first loyalty program. Repeat borrowers with the company can borrow up to 80 percent of a property’s after-repair value (ARV).

The ZeusCrowdFunding.com platform offers borrowers the flexibility to structure custom-tailored financing options that address a variety of unique transactions involving property acquisition, refinancing, discounted home buying, renovation projects, transitional properties, non-traditional borrowers, fix-and-flip projects, fix-and-hold projects, transactional financing, gap financing, and transactions requiring time-sensitive funding.

The ZeusCrowdFunding offers loans for property acquisition, refinancing, discounted home buying, renovation projects, transitional properties, non-traditional borrowers, fix-and-flip projects, fix-and-hold projects, transactional financing, gap financing, and time-sensitive transactions

The program is called LoyaltyZ, and its mechanics are simple. On a borrower’s first loan with Zeus CrowdFunding, they’re eligible to receive up to 75 percent loan-to-value (LTV) of his or her approved project’s ARV. With each loan that they finish paying back to Zeus CrowdFunding, the borrower will receive one more point on their LTV on their next loan—up to 80 percent of the ARV.

On a borrower’s second loan from Zeus CrowdFunding, for example, he or she is eligible to borrow up to 76 percent of the ARV; on his or her third loan, up to 77 percent, and so on. Beginning with his or her sixth loan, a repeat borrower can borrow up to 80 percent of the ARV on every loan.

Zeus CrowdFunding Founder and Chief Acceleration Officer Steven Kaufman says that LoyaltyZ was designed for real estate borrowers interested in completing multiple projects as quickly as possible. No additional sign-up or commitment is required of them.

“Simply put, we devised the real estate crowdfunding industry’s only loyalty rewards program because we value repeat business more than our competitors do,” Mr. Kaufman said. “We find it’s a valuable differentiator in an increasingly crowded marketplace that our customers love. It helps Zeus CrowdFunding to build ongoing relationships with real estate investors in our homebase of Texas and across the United States.

“Best of all, borrowers who pay off more than one loan with us are eligible to receive their funding in as little as three days,” he added.

For more information about Zeus CrowdFunding and the real estate crowdfunding industry’s only loyalty program, please visit AskZeus.com. The platform specializes in lending opportunities up to $2 million, secured by first lien and personal guarantees. New borrowers can receive real estate financing in as little as four days.

Zeus Mortgage Bank is a Texas-based mortgage lender providing the right loan at the right time at the right price for our clients. We pride ourselves on being the fastest mortgage lender in America, and our clients love our Lifetime Mortgage Warranty.

Zeus CrowdFunding is an online real estate crowdfunding platform that was launched by Zeus Trust Company in 2016. The ZeusCrowdFunding.com platform offers borrowers the flexibility to structure custom-tailored financing options that address a variety of unique transactions involving property acquisition, refinancing, discounted home buying, renovation projects, transitional properties, non-traditional borrowers, fix-and-flip projects, fix-and-hold projects, transactional financing, gap financing, and transactions requiring time-sensitive funding.

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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.

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.

Crowdfunding PR Seeks Equity-based and Rewards-based Crowdfunding Sites to Add to Its Top 100 Crowdfunding List

29 Apr

Add Your Site to Our 2016 Top 100 List

Do you know of a new crowdfunding site that has been launched in the last 12 to 24 months? If so, we want to know the company name and what URL we should review for our Top 100 Crowdfunding Sites list.

Either follow us on Twitter @Crowdfunding_PR or connect with us on Linkedin at https://www.linkedin.com/in/roberthoskins and then share the information you’d like to add to any of our lists.

Is your crowdfunding site listed?

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Wells Fargo Announces Four-Point Plan to Expand Credit Coaching Programs and Offer $75 Million in Investments, Grants and Micro-Lending for Small Businesses in the U.S.

21 May

To help business owners learn how to obtain credit, as well as better understand the reasons for a decline and learn how to prepare to reapply, Wells Fargo has launched a new Credit Coaching program

  By Robert Hoskins

San Francisco, California – To gain more insight into the experiences of diverse business owners in the areas of lending and operating their businesses, Wells Fargo commissioned Gallup to conduct a national study of small business owners. Today, as Gallup releases the findings (on Gallup.com), Wells Fargo is announcing a four-point plan to address needs identified in the study. The plan will help more diverse small businesses become credit-ready and gain access to credit. The Gallup survey included findings of business owners in six segments – African American, Asian American, Hispanic, LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender), military veteran, and women.

Please click on this banner to vote yes for Crowdfunding PR's business plan to open up Crowdfunding Training Facilities Nationwide

Please click on this banner to vote yes for Crowdfunding PR’s business plan to open up Crowdfunding Training Facilities nationwide in tandem with co-working spaces, incubators and accelerators

“Serving diverse communities has long been a focus area and priority for Wells Fargo, yet we know there’s more work to be done, and it starts with gaining a deeper understanding of the experiences of diverse small business owners working with financial institutions,” said Lisa Stevens, head of Small Business for Wells Fargo. “For this reason, we commissioned the Gallup study, which gave us new insight into the perceptions and experiences of diverse business owners working with banks, and how we can improve as a company and as an industry.”

Overall, the national study revealed there are more similarities than differences between small business owners in all diverse segments and those in the general population. It also shows specific areas in which the financial services industry can provide more support for diverse business owners.

Credit Coaching Program

In the Gallup survey, diverse-owned small businesses were more likely to respond that they have been declined for business credit – about one in five African American, Asian and Hispanic business owners said they faced a credit decline in the past (14 percent of general market respondents said they faced a decline). After being declined, a higher percentage of African American business owners (64 percent) said they did not apply for credit again than their peers in the general small business population (47 percent). African American (14 percent) and LGBT (15 percent) business owners also reported greater personal credit challenges than the general market (5 percent).

To help business owners learn how to obtain credit, as well as better understand the reasons for a decline and learn how to prepare to reapply, Wells Fargo has launched an enhanced Credit Coaching program. It offers expanded support to business owners who have been declined business credit. The phone-based program has been rolled out to small business owners who apply for Wells Fargo Business Direct credit products (primarily credit products under $100,000 sold through its retail banking stores). Business owners who use the program will be connected with a credit specialist who will review the business’ credit profile, explain why the business was declined credit, and share resources that can help the business strengthen its credit profile and improve the likelihood of being approved for business credit in the future.

In addition, while the majority of business owners surveyed across all segments said they did not feel a perception of discrimination from a financial institution impacted their chances of obtaining business credit, 22 percent of African American and 11 percent of LGBT business owners reported that perceived discrimination impacted their chances of obtaining credit for their business, compared to 5 percent of the general small business owner population. The Credit Coaching initiative will be one way Wells Fargo will further increase transparency of credit decisions and facilitate conversations that build trust with all customers.

“We take pride in the fact that diversity and inclusion has long been one of our core values in every aspect of our business, and at every level of our organization,” said Stevens. “We want to make sure all customers feel welcome, respected, understood, valued and appreciated. The actions we’re introducing today are the next steps for Wells Fargo to better serve and connect with diverse-segment business owners.”

Community Development Financial Institutions Investments, Grants

Another key finding in the Gallup study is that African American, Asian and Hispanic small business owners are more likely to be in the start-up and growing stages of their business, compared to the small business population in general, and as a result may not qualify for many conventional bank loan products. In addition, 49 percent of African American-, 47 percent of women- and 45 percent of LGBT-owned businesses in the survey reported annual business revenue of less than $50,000, compared to 36 percent of small business owners in general.

To help newer, smaller and start-up businesses access the appropriate business financing and support they need, Wells Fargo will extend $50 million in investments and $25 million in grants to organizations called Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) that serve small businesses and entrepreneurs. The investments and grants will be directed to CDFIs that help small businesses get started and established by providing flexible capital and technical assistance. Wells Fargo will work with existing and new CDFI customers in diverse communities across the country to deploy this capital and measure its impact.

“We know that in order to address the range of financial needs within all of our communities, we need to support and work with the ecosystem of organizations that serve small businesses,” said Jon Campbell, executive vice president, government and community relations for Wells Fargo. “Through this increased investment and connections with community lending organizations, we are making meaningful strides toward increasing access to capital for small businesses, as well as helping more business owners get the coaching and educational resources they need to succeed financially long-term.”

Nationwide Referral Network

In the Gallup study, more African American, Asian and Hispanic business owners reported they were unable to obtain all the credit they needed in the past year than the general business owner population, yet the majority of small business owners in all diverse segments said they did not need credit in the last year. At the same time, nearly one in four African American, Hispanic and Asian business owners plans to apply for credit in the next 12 months, higher than the general small business owner population planning to pursue credit (15 percent). Businesses in the startup and growing phases in general expressed more intentions to apply for new credit.

To ensure business owners are aware of and accessing the full range of financing options available to them, Wells Fargo recently established referral relationships with more than 20 nonprofits and other lenders in cities across the country that are participating in the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Community Advantage program. Participants in the SBA’s program specialize in providing hands-on guidance to small businesses and offering credit to qualifying businesses in underserved markets. Wells Fargo, the nation’s No. 1 SBA lender 7(a) in dollar volume for six consecutive years (U.S. SBA data, federal fiscal years 2009-2014), established these relationships with the intent of providing small business owners with an additional financing solution that may better meet their lending needs.

Chamber Training Institute

On the topic of business education, the Gallup study showed that African American, Asian and Hispanic business owners were more likely than business owners in the general population to be extremely or very interested in learning how to build a strong business credit application, choose a credit product, and develop a business plan. To meet this demand, Wells Fargo is supporting a Chamber Training Institute that trains leaders of diverse-segment chambers of commerce on key business and leadership topics for their members, such as how to access business credit and craft strong business plans. This cross-chamber initiative builds on Wells Fargo’s strong working relationships with chambers nationwide that specifically serve and represent African American, Hispanic, Asian American and LGBT business owner interests.

“There’s no single answer to the challenges reflected in the study, just as the challenges facing all diverse-owned businesses are broader than any one financial institution can address,” Stevens said. “As America’s leading small business lender, we have a responsibility to do more. We believe the steps we’re taking will make a difference, help us foster more lifelong relationships, and move us closer to our goal of helping every business we serve succeed financially. We want to contribute to a national conversation, involving the public and private sector, industry stakeholders and small business owners, about how to better support small businesses in every community.”

Additional Gallup study findings

Other key findings in Gallup’s industry study included:

  • Only about half of small business owners say they have ever borrowed money for their business, including the general population of small business owners (50 percent), Asian (53 percent) and Hispanic (51 percent) segments, while the percentage of African American business owners who have used credit (42 percent) is somewhat lower.
  • African American (21 percent) and Hispanic (18 percent) business owners were more likely than their counterparts in the general population (10 percent) to be in the startup phase.
  • Nearly half of Asian-owned business owners (49 percent) said they were in the growing phase of their business, a higher percentage than the general population of small business owners (37 percent). Also, 38 percent of Asian-owned businesses reported annual revenue of $250,000 or more, compared to 22 percent of businesses overall.
  • A higher proportion of veteran-owned businesses (24 percent) reported being in the winding down phase – preparing to retire, sell or transition their businesses – than small business owners in general (15 percent).
  • Just 9 percent of women business owners reported plans to apply for new credit in the next 12 months, compared with 20 percent of men surveyed.

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Seedrs Equity Crowdfunding Site Raises over £4.5 Million for Assetz Capital, Trillion Fund, Landbay, CrowdLords, PledgeSports and CrowdCanDo

29 Apr

P2P lending and equity crowdfunding campaigns rapidly gaining investors with “equity crowdfunding done right” approach

 By Robert Hoskins

London, United Kingdom – Seedrs, one of the largest crowdfunding firms in Europe focuses solely on equity investments, announced that peer-to-peer lender Assetz Capital has raised £3,179,750 from 731 investors through the Seedrs platform, the second largest campaign hosted by Seedrs to date.

Seedrs makes it simple to buy into the businesses you believe in and share in their success

Seedrs makes it simple to buy into the businesses you believe in and share in their success

This raise has cemented Seedrs’s position as “crowdfunder to the professionals.” Assetz Capital followed a number of successful campaigns:

  • LandBay, the P2P lending platform for buy-to-let property, raised £569,044 across several fundraising rounds through Seedrs in late 2013 and 2014. LandBay has since gone on to raise a venture capital round from Omni Partners.
  • Trillion Fund, a leading solar, renewable energy and environmental social crowdfunding platform, raised £536,800 through Seedrs in December 2014.
  • CrowdLords, a property crowdfunding platform, raised £150,000 through Seedrs in November 2014
  • PledgeSports, an Irish sport crowdfunding platform, raised €100,000 (£72,000) through Seedrs in April 2015
  • CrowdCanDo, a events crowdfunding platform, raised £22,000 through Seedrs in September 2013

All of these crowdfunding and peer-to-peer  platforms focus on asset classes other than equity, so when raising capital for themselves, they wanted to work with the leader in the equity crowdfunding space,”Jeff Lynn, CEO and Co-Founder of Seedrs. “They chose Seedrs because they understand the importance to them and to their investors of our  ‘equity crowdfunding done properly’ approach.”

The Assetz Capital fundraising, which smashed its initial target of £2 million, was the second largest campaign hosted by Seedrs to date. The largest—which holds the record for the largest equity crowdfunding campaign ever in Europe—was Chapel Down Group’s £3.9 million fundraising through Seedrs in September 2014.

Lynn continued, “We’re proud to have enabled equity crowdfunding and peer-to-peer companies to raise money successfully.  Our peers recognize that our approach, based on simplicity and transparency, consistently delivers results. It’s equity crowdfunding done properly.”

“We chose Seedrs for our crowdfunding round because we know it to be the most professional and respected platform in the equity space,” said Stuart Law, Assetz Capital’s CEO. “Its size and reach were important factors, but so was its focus on helping investee companies grow while protecting investor rights. We were thrilled with the outcome of our campaign and fully understand why Seedrs is the equity platform that other crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending platforms choose.”

The UK alternative finance market is predicted to grow to £4.4 billion in 2015 up from £1.7 billion in 2014 as businesses increasingly look to source more efficient ways to raise capital.

Between 2012 and 2014 the equity crowdfunding sector alone grew by 410%.  Against this backdrop, in the past three years Seedrs has become the most successful equity crowdfunder in Europe, funding 110 deals in 2014.

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Invesdor Granted a MiFID License to Expand Debt and Equity Crowdfunding Services across All 31 European Union and EEA countries.

28 Apr

Invesdor First in Europe to Receive an EU License to Boost Cross-Border Crowdfunding in SME Sector

 By Robert Hoskins

Helsinki, Finland – Invesdor has been granted a Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) license by financial authorities, to expand debt and equity crowdfunding services across all 31 European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) countries.  The fundraising site is the first crowdfunding platform to receive this level of operational license, part of the European Commission’s drive to harmonize financial regulations across Europe.

Invesdor has been granted a MiFID license by financial authorities, to expand debt and equity crowdfunding services across all 31 EU and EEA countries

Invesdor has been granted a MiFID license by financial authorities, to expand debt and equity crowdfunding services across all 31 EU and EEA countries

“Making the fundraising process fair, transparent and standardized for all participants is very important for us,” says Invesdor CEO, Lasse Mäkelä. “We give growth companies an alternative way of fundraising, and now we can scale our business across Europe,” he adds.

Global crowdfunding almost tripled last year, becoming a $16 billion dollar industry, and the new license means that Invesdor will be able to operate freely in Europe, without having to start from scratch in each country, and apply for a new operating license every time. As Invesdor expands into new countries, startups across Europe can apply for funding on the platform.

Even before receiving the new pan-European operating license, Invesdor had established itself as one of the Nordic region’s most innovative, secure and transparent equity crowdfunding platforms, holding a 46% market share in the Nordic region, based on a recent report by the University of Cambridge and E&Y. Invesdor intends to become the dominant cross-border funding platform for new ventures in Europe.

“Through Invesdor, people become part of great stories and diversify their investment portfolios,” explains Tero Weckroth, Chairman of the Board. “We’re not only helping tech and software startups achieve their full potential in a wider market, but other companies in the sports, medical, musical, and hospitality and catering industries are also current clients,” he says.

Over 30 crowdfunding projects have already raised 4.4 million euros of equity-based funding on the Invesdor platform. The largest round received more than 780 investors and the most international round received investments from 27 different countries around the world.

To build its crowdfunding platform, Invesdor itself has raised more than €800,000 through crowdfunding rounds and public grants. The company will open its new equity crowdfunding round to the public on May 5 at 10AM GMT to boost the platform’s international growth, allowing anyone to be part of its growth story.

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Leading Crowdfunding Research Industry Analyst Firm Forecasts $34.4 Billion Global Industry Growth in 2015

31 Mar

Massolution crowdfunding research reports that crowdfunding portals raised $16.2 billion in 2014, a 167% increase over the $6.1 billion raised in 2013

 By Robert Hoskins

Los Angeles, California – Crowdfunding is accelerating at an unprecedented rate and impacting government policy, informing enterprise innovation, and changing the role of financial institutions around the world. Massolution, the leading research firm in world that specializes in reporting on the growing crowdfunding industry, released its annual 2015CF – Crowdfunding Industry Report

2015 Crowdfunding Industry Report Covering the United States Europe Asia, South America and Africa

2015 Crowdfunding Industry Report Covering the United States, Europe, Asia, South America, Oceania and Africa

After collecting data on 1,250 active crowdfunding platforms (CFPs) worldwide and undertaking significant further research, the results reveal that CFPs raised $16.2 billion in 2014, a 167% increase over the $6.1 billion raised in 2013.

North America still accounts for the largest market but 2014 saw Asia overtake Europe, by a small margin. With exponential growth in Asia, Massolution forecasts this lead will increase significantly in 2015 with the delta between Asia and Europe increasing to over $4 Billion.

The report predicts that Europe’s 20.1% of market share in 2014 will decline slightly in 2015 when Europe will account for 18.8% of the worldwide market.

“In April 2013 we predicted that total crowdfunding volume by the end of 2013 would nearly double from 2012’s $2.7 billion but in fact the market reached $6.1 billion, largely due to faster growth than anticipated in Asia. Acceleration continued in 2014 achieving an impressive $16.2 billion in funding volume and we are forecasting that worldwide crowdfunding volumes will more than double again in 2015, to reach $34.4,” said Carl Esposti, Massolution’s CEO.  “Surprises materializing from this year’s research included GoFundMe topping Kickstarter as the largest donation/reward based CFP and astounding growth in the P2P lending market in Asia, stemming largely from the Chinese market. Further, the top 5 CFPs in North America increased wallet share during the period 2011-14 while in Europe the top 5 lost 30% of their market share, indicating that the markets in North America and Europe are shaping up very differently.”

Growth Rates By Region in 2014
North America retained its market lead in 2014 but Asia topped Europe to become the second largest region by funding volume.

  • North America: crowdfunding volumes grew 145% to $9.46 billion
  • Asia: crowdfunding volumes grew 320% to $3.4 billion
  • Europe: crowdfunding volumes grew 141% to $3.26 billion
  • South America, Oceania and Africa grew 167%, 59% and 101%, respectively

Growth Rates By Models in 2014
The growth in funding volumes continued to be primarily driven by lending-based crowdfunding, but significant annual growth in equity-based crowdfunding and increased adoption of newer hybrid and royalty-based models indicates that the allocation of funding volume across different models will be more highly distributed over the coming years.

  • Lending-based crowdfunding grew 223% to $11.08 billion
  • Equity-based crowdfunding grew 182% to $1.1 billion
  • Hybrid-based crowdfunding grew 290% to $487 million
  • Royalty-based crowdfunding grew 336% to $273 million
  • Donation- and Reward-based crowdfunding grew 45% and 84% respectively

Most Active Categories in 2014
Crowdfunding’s popularity as a way to fund creative, philanthropic, and social endeavors still prevails but crowdfunding’s application for entrepreneurial ventures began to gain significant traction over the last few years. Business and Entrepreneurship had become the lead category by 2012 at 27.4% of total crowdfunding volume and in 2014 had increased in importance, accounting for over 40% of worldwide funding volume. In 2014, the lead categories share of funding volume was:

  • Business & Entrepreneurship at 41.3% / $6.7bn
  • Social Causes 18.9% / $3.06bn
  • Films & Performing Arts 12.13% / $1.97bn
  • Real Estate 6.25% / $1.01bn
  • Music and Recording Arts 4.54%/ $736m

Further insights in the 2015 Crowdfunding Research Report include:

  • Historical comparison of crowdfunding’s growth 2011 through 2014
  • Breakdown of Regional funding volume by model and model by region
  • Top 11 performing crowdfunding categories
  • Average deal size for each crowdfunding model
  • Crowdfunding outlook trends: 15 major developments
  • CFP leaderboards worldwide, by region and by model
  • Growth in CFP numbers and worldwide distribution
  • Market predictions for 2015 by region and model

Research Methodology
The 2015 – Crowdfunding Industry Report is a research report that provides a unique and in-depth analysis of crowdfunding market size, composition, trends and composition. The Crowdfunding Industry Survey, to which Massolution received 463 high-quality responses, was conducted during late 2014 and early 2015 and resulted in the most comprehensive data collection on the worldwide crowdfunding market to date. Massolution has conducted significant follow-up research via other reliable channels to complete the profiling of the global crowdfunding industry.

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

30 Mar

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

By Robert Hoskins

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Manta Research Reports that Most Small Businesses are Still Unaware of Crowdfunding as an Alternative Finance Option

29 Mar

Most notably, 23 percent have funded a business project using an alternative lender, other than a traditional bank, but only two percent report having ever used a crowdfunding platform

By Robert Hoskins

Columbus, Ohio – Even though the alternative financing market is expanding at an exponential rate, a new Manta business survey reveals that two-thirds of small business owners still do not think enough funding options are available. Additionally, 69 percent feel the funding environment has not improved in the past 12 months.

Small businesses slow to jump on the alternative financing bandwagon, but interest growing
Alternative funding opportunities, including crowdfunding, are growing at a rapid rate, but the survey showcases a cautious approach by small business owners. Most notably, 23 percent have funded a business project using an alternative lender (other than a traditional bank), but only two percent report having ever used a crowdfunding platform. Lack of awareness and persistent misconceptions may be the cause.

Manta Research Reports that Most Small Businesses are Still Unaware of Crowdfunding as an Alternative Finance Option

Manta Research Reports that Most Small Businesses are Still Unaware of Crowdfunding

The majority of small business owners who have obtained traditional loans note uncertainty regarding crowdfunding and alternative lending options. Thirty percent of respondents are unsure of the risks, another 20 percent don’t understand the technology associated with these alternative sources and 14 percent report they simply do not trust them. A small number believe crowdfunding sites and alternative lenders are too complicated, while others fear business failure with less traditional financing methods (seven percent and six percent, respectively).

Traditional financing options still most popular with business owners
Manta’s survey revealed that, despite a diversifying lending environment, small business owners overwhelmingly prefer traditional financing options. More than 70 percent of respondents have sought traditional bank loans, savings, credit cards, or help from friends and family to finance their business, while less than a quarter have utilized an alternative lender (other than a bank).

“Small business owners have more diverse options today than ever before when it comes to funding their business,” said John Swanciger, CEO, Manta. “However, we’re seeing a gap between what’s available and the perception among small businesses that the lending environment has not improved. Even though traditional bank loans are difficult to secure, small businesses are still apt to rely on them.”

Of the small business owners who financed their business through alternative lenders, 38 percent did so because they did not qualify for traditional bank financing. Nearly 20 percent sought alternative lending because they needed a small short-term loan, while nine percent recognized the fast access and convenience associated with alternative lending options, and seven percent wanted ongoing access to a credit line.

The survey results also showed that when small business owners received alternative financing, the amounts they borrowed varied greatly. Most (40 percent) borrowed $10,000 or less. Others aimed higher, with 27 percent borrowing $50,000 or more. Remaining respondents were split — 17 percent borrowed $10,000 – $20,000 and another 17 percent borrowed $20,000 – $50,000.

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Symbid Launches New Crowdfunding Network with 30,000 Investors for Providing Traditional and Alternative Finance to Start-ups and Small Businesses in Europe

9 Mar

The Funding Network is one of the first comprehensive online platforms for SME finance, providing entrepreneurs with direct access to equity and loan crowdfunding, bank loans, venture capital, angel investors and investment funds

By Robert Hoskins

Rotterdam, The NetherlandsSymbid, a go-to equity crowdfunding platform connecting small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to all types of funding, traditional and alternative, announced the launch of The Funding Network, which represents the next phase in the evolution of the peer-to-peer fundraising model in the European financial industry.

The Funding Network is one of the first comprehensive online platforms for SME finance

Symbid’s The Funding Network is one of the first comprehensive online platforms for SME finance

All over the world people are becoming better connected, creating cheaper, faster and easier access to products and services. Entire industries are being concentrated into single online destinations – termed ‘go-to’ platforms – disrupting as well as simplifying the way we live our lives.

The Funding Network is the first comprehensive online platform for SME finance, providing entrepreneurs with direct access to equity and loan crowdfunding, bank loans, venture capital, angel investors and investment funds. Built around user-friendly investing, monitoring and data tools that enable everyone to track the performance of companies 24/7, The Funding Network bridges the information gap between crowdfunding and traditional investment methods through standardized data protocols.

“Our mission at Symbid is to simplify the way small businesses are funded through technology that enables a more transparent and efficient way of doing business. The launch of The Funding Network in the home of the world’s first stock market is a step towards a more democratic financial future for us all,” said Korstiaan Zandvliet, CEO and co-founder of Symbid Corp. “As an early mover in crowdfunding, we pushed ahead with paradigm-shifting technologies that help to level the financial playing field for investors and entrepreneurs. This is a logical evolution for a financial industry still grounded in a traditional, vertical, offline way of operating. The Funding Network will be the most efficient capital market for private companies.”

The Funding Network gives entrepreneurs access to all forms of finance, while offering (private and institutional) investors full transparency on the potential risks and returns of their portfolio. Every entrepreneur connecting to The Funding Network is guided towards the right type of funding with professional financial advice. Meanwhile, investors can personalize their deal flow according to key business criteria, pinpointing the investment opportunities that matter to them. This produces the most effective capital allocation service possible, underpinned by standardized XBRL data streamed from accountant reporting systems.

With over 40 funding partners already connected including banks, venture capitalists, angel investors, 30,000 private (crowdfunding) investors and affiliate platforms, the launch of The Funding Network™ on March 4 is just the beginning for Symbid. A signed partnership with financial advisory firm Credion means the expected total transaction volume of The Funding Network™ in 2015 is $800 million. “Symbid aims to revolutionize the financial industry in a way that enables more people to connect, fund and grow. We have but one message: let’s invest in each other,” said Korstiaan Zandvliet.

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