Advertisements
Archive | MicroVentures RSS feed for this section

Top 100 Crowdfunding Sites in the United States, Europe, Asia, South America, Africa and other Global Markets in 2016

1 May

Seeking the Top 100 Crowdfunding Sites
in the United States or the Rest of the World? See Our Updated 2016 Rankings!

Crowdfunding PR’s 2016 Top 100 Global Crowdfunding Sites

Crowdfunding PR’s 2016 Top 100 Global Crowdfunding Sites

 By Robert Hoskins

[Click Here to Tweet this Top 100 List to Your Business Colleagues]

United States – We have updated our List of the Top 100 Global Crowdfunding Sites for 2016 in the United States, Europe, Asia, South America, Africa and other global markets.  

Clicking on the website traffic ranking links below will take readers to one of the most insightful resources of information that details each website’s traffic ranking; the number of unique visitors per month; the average time spent on each site per visit; and the number of pages viewed per each visit.

Of more interest to crowdfunding campaign managers will be the precise ratio of social media, content marketing, search engine marketing, email marketing and display advertising that is being utilized by each crowdfunding site’s marketing campaigns to drive readers and investors to their crowdfunding profiles.

GoFundMe vs Kickstarter SimilarWeb Stats

GoFundMe vs Kickstarter SimilarWeb Stats

Even though these numbers reflect the aggregation of all of a given portal’s crowdfunding campaigns marketing efforts, they offer direct evidence of what is working and what is not.  Note the difference on how much social media and display advertising is being used by the Top 10 Crowdfunding Sites compared the lower 90 crowdfunding sites. 

This information can be used by crowdfunding sites as well as their crowdfunders to get a thorough understanding on how to plan future marketing campaigns that will have a higher than average success rate.

Want to know how Kickstarter has just retaken GoFundMe as the world’s #1 crowdfunding platform? Click on the Global Rank number links below and then use the comparison tool to show side-by-side comparisons of SEO keywords, link referrals, and social media usage. See the bottom of the page for more crowdfunding marketing tips.

[Click Here to Tweet this Top 100 List of Crowdfunding Sites]

  2016 Rank © Front Page PR   Global Rank
#1 (2015: #2) www.kickstarter.com        692
#2 (2015: #1) www.gofundme.com      1,805
#3 (2015: #4) www.indiegogo.com      2,126
#4 (2015: #3) www.angel.co      4,550
#5 (2015: #5) www.lendingclub.com      9,781
#6 (2015: #6) www.justgiving.com    10,950
#7 (2015: #9) www.ulule.com     15,943
#8 (2015: #7) www.youcaring.com     22,315
#9 (2015: #8) www.kiva.org     24,366
#10 (2015: #12) www.crowdrise.com      24,617
#11 (2015: #10) www.donorschoose.org      33,737
#12 (2015: #16) www.fundingcircle.com      37,717
#13 (2015: #11) www.pledgemusic.com     42,380
#14 (2015: #13) www.tilt.com      51,509
#15 (2015: #50) www.seedandspark.com     64,606
#16 (2015: #22) www.circleup.com     68,095
#17 (2015: #24) www.kickante.com.br     69,483
#18 (2015: #15) www.crowdcube.com     73,968
#19 (2015: new) www.seedrs.com     90,162
#20 (2015: #28) www.gogetfunding.com     97,023
#21 (2015: #29) www.fundrise.com    117,386
#22 (2015: #20) www.firstgiving.com     117,598
#23 (2015: #17) www.razoo.com    126,920
#24 (2015: #14) www.giveforward.com     126,939
#25 (2015: #38) www.seedinvest.com     135,275
#26 (2015: #18) www.fundly.com    140,609
#27 (2015: #27) www.zeczec.com     151,454
#28 (2015: #25) www.crowdfunder.com    158,984
#29 (2015: #23) www.fundable.com    185,100
#30 (2015: #19) www.pozible.com    189,422
#31 (2015: new) www.companisto.com    201,708
#32 (2015: new) www.wiseed.com    211,628
#33 (2015: #21) www.fundrazr.com    214,382
#34 (2015: #31) www.experiment.com    217,304
#35 (2015: #53) www.peerform.com    222,324
#36 (2015: #53) www.startengine.com    227,165
#37 (2015: new) www.seedmatch.de    227,277
#38 (2015: #86) www.bnktothefuture.com    279,553
#39 (2015: new) www.fundersclub.com    284,743
#40 (2015: #45) www.ourcrowd.com   286,808
#41 (2015: #26) www.equitynet.com   293,867
#42 (2015: new) www.syndicateroom.com   293,940
#43 (2015: #32) www.realtymogul.com   332,585
#44 (2015: #42) www.pledgie.com   351,524
#45 (2015: #39) www.slated.com   354,964
#46 (2015: #44) www.fundanything.com   361,785
#47 (2015: #40) www.patchofland.com   364,803
#48 (2015: #33) www.geldvoorelkaar.nl   367,546
#48 (2015: new) www.anaxago.com   392,914
#49 (2015: #48) www.ppl.com.pt   407,009
#50 (2015: #30) www.fundedbyme.com   410,994
#51 (2015: #41) www.givezooks.com   443,766
#52 (2015: #76) www.joinmosaic.com   472,517
#53 (2015: #43) www.microventures.com  504,408
#54 (2015: #new) www.invesdor.com  520,978
#55 (2015: #37) www.offbeatr.com   526,705
#56 (2015: #36) www.wefunder.com   586,450
#57 (2015: #57) www.plumfund.com   603,093
#58 (2015: #65) www.crowdstreet.com   616,566
#59 (2015: #49) www.dragoninnovation.com   635,079
#60 (2015: #52) www.opportunity.org   669,915
#61 (2015: #61) www.flashfunders.com   693,854
#62 (2015: #58) www.fundraise.com   744,583
#63 (2015: #46) www.pave.com    748,172
#64 (2015: #64) www.symbid.com   884,303
#65 (2015: #68) pitchfunder.asufoundation.org 1,072,918
#66 (2015: #34) www.onevest.com 1,098,541
#67 (2015: #66) www.assetavenue.com 1,124,447
#68 (2015: #69) www.artistshare.com 1,135,924
#69 (2015: #70) www.nextseed.com 1,138,179
#70 (2015: #63) www.piggybackr.com 1,162,479
#71 (2015: #62) www.trucrowd.com 1,246,018
#72 (2015: #60) www.barnraiser.us 1,288,466
#73 (2015: #54) www.bolstr.com 1,477,216
#74 (2015: #59) www.earlyshares.com 1,585,544
#75 (2015: #80) www.pledgecents.com 1,597,425
#76 (2015: #82) www.crowd2fund.com 1,776,210
#77 (2015: #47) www.growvc.com 1,791,220
#78 (2015: #87) www.acquirerealestate.com 1,989,566
#79 (2015: #71) www.appsfunder.com 2,649,175
#80 (2015: #78) www.dreamfunded.com 2,760,699
#81 (2015: #72) www.assob.com.au 2,767,540
#82 (2015: #90) www.massivemov.com 3,234,838
#83 (2015: #55) www.investx.com 3,486,195
#84 (2015: #75) www.faithlauncher.com 3,605,295
#85 (2015: #75) www.crudefunders.com 3,792,211
#86 (2015: #84) www.texasenetworks.com 3,923,796
#87 (2015: #51) www.pubslush.com 4,078,981
#88 (2015: #73) www.foodstart.com 4,358,969
#89 (2015: #56) www.uinvest.com.ua 4,483,866
#90 (2015: #79) www.propellr.com 4,516,046
#91 (2015: #85) www.icrowd.com 4,629,191
#92 (2015: #67) www.microgiving.com 4,757,890
#93 (2015: #81) www.massventure.com 5,544,974
#94 (2015: New) www.offerboard.com 5,968,517
#95 (2015: #99) www.cMEcompete.com 6,363,051
#96 (2015: #83) www.ipledg.com 6,460,243
#97 (2015: #93) www.funderhut.com 6,764,561
#98 (2015: #97) www.crowdfundingbank.com 7,068,480
#99 (2015: #77) www.crowdfundingpays.com 7,667,040
#100 (2015: #88) www.sterlingfunder.com 7,951,827

Source: Feb 2016 SimilarWeb Website Statistics

Crowdfunding PR’s goal is simple. We want to make it possible for crowdfunders to shop for  crowdfunding platforms in a similar manner to the way media planners/buyers used to analyze ABC and BPA audit statements to buy advertisements in the business-to-business trade publication industry, where important media buying decisions were based on straight mathematics, not popularity or random guessing.

For example, would you rather run a crowdfunding campaign on a site where visitors are looking at 2-3 pages in around 3 minute’s time or a site where buyers are spending 6 to 11 minutes reviewing 6 to 10 pages?

This is the difference between shoppers who are visiting a site to see a particular crowdfunding campaign based on a marketing campaign versus people who are visiting a site to explore and actually shop around to find good deals to buy or invest their money.

This is why launching a campaign on Kickstarter or GoFundMe does not guarantee success. While Kickstarter, GoFundMe or Indiegogo may be the largest sites in the world, people are only spending enough time to shop through more than 2 to 3 crowdfunding profiles before they exit. While other sites like Razoo.com, DonorsChoose.org, and FundingCircle.com have visitors that stay more than 6 to 11 minutes and view 6 to 10 pages.

When researching, planning and executing successful marketing programs for both crowdfunding platforms as well as their individual crowdfunding customer profiles, it is extremely important to see what is driving the most traffic to any given crowdfunding site.  Success is usually determined not only by what site the crowdfunding campaign is being hosted on, but also the marketing programs being harnessed to drive potential donors/investors to a specific crowdfunding profile.

Clicking on each link above will allow media planners/buyers to understand what role direct traffic (content marketing), search engines (SEO, PPC Advertising), social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Reddit, Quora), email marketing and display advertising (Google Display, Outbrain, AppNexus) are having on the success of crowdfunding campaigns.

For example, when planning a social media strategy, one of the most popular questions we get asked is – what social media networks are driving the most visitor traffic? Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Quora, Reddit, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram? The links above will make this answer crystal clear.

Not satisfied with your position on the list? Front Page PR’s team of crowdfunding PR, social media and marketing experts can help crowdfunding sites and crowdfunding campaigns plan the perfect mix of integrated marketing programs to significantly improve the amount of website traffic being driven to any given fundraising campaign or crowdfunding platform.

Feel free to call (512) 627-6622 with questions or request help to improve your website statistics before June.

More Top 100 Crowdfunding Site Lists:

# # #

If you’d like to add your site to the Top 100 list, please fill out the form below.

Advertisements

MicroVentures Opens “500 Startups Fund III” Equity Investment Opportunity to Fund 4-Month Startup Accelerator Programs

27 Feb

Equity Crowdfunding Site Now Seeking Investors to Invest up to $10,000 in Multiple e-commerce, cloud services, mobile, education, digital health, payments and Internet startup companies

By Robert Hoskins

Austin, Texas – MicroVentures, an online equity crowdfunding portal based in Mountain View, California and offices in Austin, Mexico City and San Francisco, announced the launch of a new equity crowdfunding investment fund called “500 Startups Fund III,” which is seeking to sign up accredited equity investors to invest a minimum of $10,000 or more in early stage capital investments. The 500 Startups Fund III makes investments across multiple industry verticals, including e-commerce, cloud services, mobile, education, digital health, payments and Internet among others.

MicroVentures Equity Investment Network of 25,000 Global Investors to Date Have Invested $125 Million in Approximately 900 Startup Companies

MicroVentures Equity Investment Network Has Invested   $125 Million in Approximately 900 Startup Companies

Founded by Bill Clark in 2009, MicroVentures recruited Tim Sullivan, Garrett Paul and Jaclyn Strife from SharesPost in 2012, which is renowned for taking Facebook through its Initial Public Offering (IPO) and went on to found Oceanic Partners. The firm runs something commonly referred to an investment syndicate, where accredited investors who are new to the Angel and Venture Capital investment process follow seasoned, experienced lead investors.

“Over the years, MicroVentures has built a platform that gives investors the ability to diversify investments in early to late stage opportunities. Our level of due diligence and customer support are unique resources angel investors previously did not have access to,” stated Bill Clark, Founder and CEO of MicroVentures. “Investors are increasingly seeking diversification and international exposure. MicroVentures through the 500 Startups Fund III provides both, while reinforcing its long-standing commitment of supporting investor demand for diversified opportunities.”

Using this growth strategy MicroVentures had amassed more than 4,000 investors by the end of 2012 and over the past three years it has grown 625% to a very large pool of more than 25,000 global investors who have invested approximately $125 million in 900 companies.

Unlike typical broker dealers, which only solicit investments ranging from $50,000 to $100,000 and up, the MicroVenture site allows accredited as well as non-accredited investors to invest in a wide variety of funds that range from investments of $1,000, $3,000, and $10,000 and up. This allows investors to diversify their portfolio and spread their eggs across multiple startup baskets, which reduces risk and increases the chance of being able to discover and participate in the next Facebook, Oculus, or Pebble Time Watch at a very early stage.

The 500 Startups runs a four-month Accelerator Program for Startups that culminates in a private, invite-only Demo Day where each startup presents to a group of select investors in an effort to attract additional seed funding. About 30 companies participate in each four-month program offered at its various locations.  Batch 12 began January 2015 in San Francisco.

In addition to investing through its accelerator program, 500 Startups invests globally in early-stage companies through various seed-stage investment funds.

Across numerous funds, 500 Startups has committed approximately $125 million to over 900 portfolio companies.

The inaugural investment fund, Fund I, was formed in July 2010 and achieved an ultimate fund size of $29 million. As of September 30, 2014, the internal rate of return for Fund I stood at 18% with investment exits worth approximately $13 million.

Fund II was formed in April 2012 raising almost $45 million. Fund II has achieved $2 million in exits and a net internal rate of return of 27% as of September 30, 2014.

While Fund I and Fund II are closed to new investments, the 500 Startups is the fundraising process for four other funds: Fund III, Annex Fund, 500 Luchadores and 500 Durians.

Under its status as a FINRA-registered broker-dealer, MicroVentures offers both primary and secondary investment opportunities through their user-friendly, online equity crowdfunding platform. Series 7 licensed brokers develop personal relationships with Accredited and Sophisticated Investors to provide high-touch customer service, and support investment in startups with confidence.

The crowdfunding portal provides access to a flow of curated, vetted startup investment opportunities and allows novice investors to review due diligence, disclosures and speak with experienced licensed financial professionals prior to making an investment.

# # #

SEC Lifts Ban on General Solicitation; Implements First Phase of JOBS Act for Reg. D, Title II Accredited Investors

22 Sep

SEC Lifts 80-Year Ban on the General Solicitation of Private Placement Equity Investments


By 
Robert Hoskins

Today, the United States finally inched its way toward the full implementation of the JOBS Act passed in April 2012, required by federal law to be in place by January 2013, but still not fully realized as intended by President Obama and the both houses of the U.S. Congress.

SEC Crowdfunding Call for Comments on November 15, 2013

SEC Crowdfunding Call for Comments on November 15, 2013

“We want this new market and the private markets in general to thrive in a safe and efficient manner, and these rules we adopted and proposed are designed to facilitate that objective,” said Mary Jo White, Chairwoman of the SEC. “As we fulfill our mission to facilitate capital formation and maintain fair and efficient markets, the Commission must always focus on strong investor protections.”

Until the general solicitation ban was lifted, hedge funds, VCs, and startups had to quietly raise that money, soliciting by word of mouth and other forms of private communication. Now companies can buy ads, launch PR campaigns, leverage social media and openly announce that they’re seeking investors.

The addition of general solicitation is expected to fuel a new cottage industry of investor matching-making websites that aim to broaden the investment pool to financial stalwarts outside the stanchly protected investment circles of Silicon Valley.

“With general solicitation it will be much easier for investors to find companies they are passionate about supporting,” said Mike Norman of crowdfunding website, WeFunder. The new rule will hopefully open up the capital-starved startup market to the majority of investors. According to WeFunder’s website, only 3% of the US’s 8 million accredited investors are active in the tech startup space.

For example, leading startup investing platform, RockThePost, announced last week that its equity crowdfunding website will provide the following equity crowdfunding investment services:

  1. Prominent featuring of startups publicly announcing investment rounds
  2. Investor verification system that shifts the burden off startups
  3. Secure transactions where Escrow accounts act as a safe haven for early committed investors
  4. Full transparency – third party identity checks and legal business verification, crowdsourced due diligence, bank-level security
  5. Smart matching of investors to startup investments that match their preferences

Equity crowdfunding sites such as AngelistCircleup, CrowdfunderFundersClubRockThePost and Wefunder are important the nascent industry because according to the Center for Venture Research, only 258,000 investors have made an angel investment out of the 8.7 million accredited investor households eligible to invest in the U.S.

The general solicitation ban lift will allow startups to publicly fundraise via methods such as equity crowdfunding, harnessing the power of the internet and social media to reach potential investors in all corners of the country.

According to a Forbes article, many states have decided not to wait on the SEC. Kansas, the first state to enact laws requiring the registration of sales of securities to the general public 100 years ago, turned out to be the first in the U.S. to enact an “intrastate” Invest Kansas Exemption law. The state of Georgia passed the Invest Georgia Exemption that provides even more freedom for crowdfunding than the Kansas exemption. North Carolina’s House passed a crowdfunding bill that is expected to move to the full legislature in an updated form and be signed into law next year. The state of Washington is currently teeing up crowdfunding legislation and other states will likely follow suit.

Tanya Prive, a co-founder of RockthePost, points out that “One of the other issues I’ve seen is that there are plenty of startups with a large customer base that they cannot tap into for capital support under existing regulations. These people are the biggest fans and evangelists of the brand, who might be first in line to invest. Once the user base is able to engage with their beloved company in fundraising mode via an investment crowdfunding platform, the company will be able to capitalize on the crowd’s interest in their success and accelerate the fundraising process by converting customers into investors.”

“So although there are strings attached to the ruling, lifting the ban on general solicitation – an 80-year-old rule – will help investors connect with entrepreneurs, and vice versa. The decision also weighs in the favor of entrepreneurs and investors who live outside places like Silicon Valley, where old-school networking and personal connections are how financing deals typically happen,” said Eric Markowitz, crowdfunding reporter for Inc. Magazine. “By lifting the ban, entrepreneurs living outside traditional tech hubs may find it easier to connect with investors, raise money, and grow their start-ups without having to necessarily relocate.”

Although large players like private equity firms Bain Capital and Blackstone Group LP could take advantage of the chance to use television ad campaigns, many lawyers and regulators close to the industry have said that they expect smaller funds with fewer resources to test the new rule first.

“By allowing issuers to solicit to a broader group of potential investors, the SEC has showed its commitment to democratizing the investing process and putting an end to yesterday’s ‘old boy’ investor networks,” said Barry Silbert, founder and chief executive of SecondMarket Inc., a marketplace for private shares.

The next important date to watch for is October 31, 2013, when the 2nd wave of SEC crowdfunding guidelines are expected to be issued for Title III investors that will allow unaccredited investors to participate in private placement investments.

# # #

More News on the SEC’s New General Solicitation Rules:

  1. SEC Lifts Ban On General Solicitation, Allowing Startups

  2. SEC Approves JOBS Act Requirement to Lift General Solicitation Ban

  3. Starting Today, Startups Can Broadcast Their Fundraising From the Rooftops

  4. The General Solicitation Ban Lift Can Change Startup Investing Forever

  5. Crowdfunding Will Flourish Regardless Of What The SEC Does

  6. Game Changer: SEC Lifts General Solicitation Ban

  7. Boon for Start-ups: SEC Lifts Ban on General Solicitation

  8. SEC lifts longtime advertising ban for hedge funds, others

  9. SEC Lifts Ban on General Solicitation in Certain Private Placements

  10. S.E.C. Lifts Advertising Ban on Private Investments

  11. SEC Votes to Ease 80-Year-Old Ban on Private-Investment Ads

  12. SEC Lifts Ban on Hedge Fund Ads

  13. SEC Lifts 80-year-Old Ban on Advertisements for Private Investors

  14. SEC lifts advertising ban on private investments: How it affects you

  15. SEC Votes to Lift Ban on Hedge Fund Advertising

RockthePost Predicts Legalization of General Solicitation Will Change Startup Investing Forever

21 Sep

The SEC general solicitation rule change washes away some limitations on promotion of fundraising campaigns that have been in place for 80 years

By Robert Hoskins

Many changes are going to take place in the startup investment industry as the SEC lifts its ban on general solicitation on Monday, September 23.  With this implementation, the startup ecosystem will see an 80-year-old securities law modified for modern times, allowing private companies – startups in particular – to publicly advertise that they are seeking investments.

Alejandro Cremades launches crowdfunding project as a solution to help save the U.S. economy.

Alejandro Cremades launches crowdfunding project as a solution to help save the U.S. economy.

Among the exciting developments, leading startup investing platform RockThePost will unveil the following, in conjunction with Title II of the JOBS Act taking effect on Monday:

  1. Prominent featuring of startups publicly announcing investment rounds
  2. Investor verification system that shifts the burden off startups
  3. Secure transactions where Escrow accounts act as a safe haven for early committed investors
  4. Full transparency – third party identity checks and legal business verification, crowdsourced due diligence, bank-level security
  5. Smart matching of investors to startup investments that match their preferences

RockThePost CEO, Alejandro Cremades, notes that “our startups have had mixed feelings on general solicitation, but the ones who are planning to take advantage of it are really excited about the exponential exposure from which they can benefit tremendously.”

According to the Center for Venture Research, only 258,000 investors have made an angel investment out of the 8.7 million accredited investor households eligible to invest in the U.S. The general solicitation ban lift will allow startups to publicly fundraise via methods such as equity crowdfunding, harnessing the power of the internet and social media to reach potential investors in all corners of the country. We expect a large jump in angel activity in the coming years as individual investors seek higher returns on investment and feel more comfortable investing in startups.

The nature of startup investing is risky, but to grow the nest egg, investor money has to be put to work. With a financial shift underway in which low yields and high interest rates are prevalent, investors are forced to look beyond traditional investment avenues to reach their financial goals.

A 2013 UBS report, Investment Strategy Guide, recommends that 7 to 11% of any given investment portfolio be allocated to new alternative investments, which includes buying equity in early stage companies (note that only accredited investors may participate in private offerings).

Startup investing involves high risk. However, investing early in startups has the potential of yielding high returns as seen below.

  • $1,000 in Facebook in 2005 = $624,500 today
  • $1,000 in Airbnb in 2009 = $589,667 today
  • $1,000 in Dropbox in 2008 = $391,500 today

RockThePost does believe that openly fundraising in the startup investing world could significantly help startups gain access to capital in an economic environment in which investors are more readily looking for high-return investments.

General solicitation will potentially increase the number of transactions happening between investors and startups. RockThePost expects these changes to drive the U.S. economy as small businesses have created almost 65% of the net new jobs for the past 17 years.

By democratizing access to startup capital for entrepreneurs and bringing startup investment opportunities to a new investor demographic, RockThePost aims to be the go-to destination for both startups and investors.

# # #

More News on the SEC 80-Year Ban on General Solicitation:

Front Page PR Offers Broker Dealers General Solicitation Campaigns to Market the Oncoming Wave of Equity Crowdfunding Investment Opportunities to the Next Generation of U.S. Accredited Investors

15 Jul

SEC legalizes Crowdfunding marketing, PR and social media campaigns to solicit investments from Reg. D accredited investors, which include, in general, people with a net worth (excluding their residence) of $1 million, income of $200,000 a year (or $300,000 with their spouse), officers and directors of the issuer and various institutions that have more than $5 million in assets

By Robert Hoskins, Front Page Public Relations

Front Page PR announced new turnkey Crowdfunding marketing programs for FINRA-registered broker dealers that want to begin planning advertising, marketing, media relations, PR and social media campaigns to reach a target audience of accredited investors that have remained allusive for the past 30 years due to securities laws.  On July 10, 2013, the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) voted to lift rules that strictly prohibited the use of mass marketing strategies to promote investment opportunities to potential investors.

Beginning September 2013, leading broker dealers that want to make a big push into one of the most promising financial opportunities in the last eighty years can now begin working with Front Page PR’s team of marketing experts to start planning targeted marketing campaigns to reach this lucrative new audience of prospective accredited investors.


July 10, 2013 SEC Guidelines passed for Crowdfunding and Title II of the 2012 JOBS Act:


“Aggressive broker dealers are already partnering with popular equity crowdfunding sites such as Circleup.com and MicroVentures.com in order to begin marketing to investment early adopters who are joining popular crowdfunding sites in droves,” said Robert Hoskins, Front Page PR’s Director of Media Relations.  “Adding to the crowdfunding marketing opportunity is the pent-up demand that has been building over the past five years as entrepreneurs and small businesses that have been rejected over and over when seeking traditional bank and small business loans.”

“On the flip side of the crowdfunding market opportunity are millions of qualified investors in the U.S who meet the official SEC guidelines to become accredited investors, which can participate in new equity crowdfunding opportunities, but are unaware of their unique credentials,” Hoskins continued.  “These potential investors have large sums of money sitting in their bank accounts, savings plans and 401k retirement accounts because they simply cannot find attractive deals that will provide a decent return on their investment.”

On September 2, 2013, broker dealers will be able to put together marketing campaigns to educate new investors on the potential to invest in lucrative crowdfunding investment opportunities as well as the best strategies on how to find and evaluate good deals that have serious potential as well as time proven strategies on how to identify red flags and eliminate deals that do not.

Front Page PR encourages broker dealers and equity crowdfunding platforms to contact the firm to begin planning marketing campaigns prior to September 2, 2013, the date when the race begins to build new relationships with millions of new accredited investors via mass marketing communication strategies.

# # #

CrowdCheck Offers Crowdfunding Compliance Management for New Reg. D and Accredited Investor Marketing Programs

12 Jul
CrowdCheck CEO Sarah Hanks

CrowdCheck CEO Sarah Hanks

By Sarah Hanks, CrowdCheck’s CEO

Adoption of New Rule 506(c): General Solicitation in Regulation D Offerings

From the CEO’s Desktop:  On July 10 the SEC complied with a mandate in the JOBS Act of 2012 to permit “general solicitation” in private securities offerings. In doing so, the SEC created an entirely new type of securities offering not required to be registered under the Securities Act of 1933. The SEC also adopted rules preventing “bad actors” from participating in private offerings, and proposed for public comment changes to Regulation D and Form D under the Securities Act that are intended to increase investor protection.

Offerings of securities in the United States must be registered with the SEC under the Securities Act or made in compliance with an exemption from registration. Rule 506, part of Regulation D under the Securities Act, is the most used exemption from registration of securities in the United States. The SEC estimates that in 2012 $899 billion was raised in transactions claiming the Rule 506 exemption. New Rule 506(c) Adopted The SEC voted to adopt amendments to Regulation D under the Securities Act to add new Rule 506(c).  Rule 506(c) offerings are technically private placements, made only to “accredited” investors.[1] In the past this has meant not just that accredited investors only could buy the securities, but also that the issuer could offer them to accredited investors only. Under the new rule, small companies and private investment funds and their intermediaries will be able to use “general solicitation” to reach accredited investors, which means they may advertise or publicize an offering on television, in newspapers, and most importantly over the internet. They may talk about the offering on talk shows and webinars, and they may promote the offering on social media. In doing so, however, they will be subject to the anti-fraud provisions of the federal securities laws, which prohibit misleading statements. If the proposals discussed below are adopted, the materials used in general solicitation (which is a very broadly defined concept, including most attempts to condition market interest in an offering) will also be subject to legending requirements. The JOBS Act required the SEC to remove the prohibition on “general solicitation or general advertising,” which has been part of Regulation D since its adoption in 1982, so long as the purchasers in an offering were all accredited.  The way the SEC has implemented this legislative mandate means that there will now be two different types of offering under Regulation D’s Rule 506:

  • Traditional Rule 506(b) offerings, which cannot use general solicitation, but in which up to 35 non-accredited investors can participate so long as they are provided with extensive information about the issuer of the securities, usually in the form of a private placement memorandum or PPM; and
  • New Rule 506(c) offerings, which can use general solicitation, but must be sold to accredited investors only, in which the market will let investors dictate the type of information that they need in order to make informed investment decisions.

The JOBS Act directed the SEC to lift the prohibition on general solicitation provided that all purchasers of the securities were accredited investors and the issuer took “reasonable steps to verify” that the purchasers were accredited, “using such methods as determined by the Commission.”  In its initial proposal the SEC declined to specify even a non-exclusive list of such methods, on the grounds that this would inhibit flexibility in the markets.  However, in the final rule the SEC provided more clarity and established a principles-based method of verification that expects issuers to look at, among other things:

  • The nature of the purchaser and the type of accredited investors the purchaser claims to be;
  • The amount and type of information the issuer has about the purchaser; and
  • The nature of the offering, including the manner in which the purchaser was solicited to participate and the terms of the offering, such as the minimum investment amount.

The SEC makes clear that the issuer should look to the facts and circumstances surrounding the offer and the issuer’s relationship with the investor, and that what will be required to constitute “reasonable steps” will change based on the circumstances. For example, offerings with high minimum cash investments might require less additional investigation than offerings with lower minimums, provided there are no facts to indicate that a third party is financing the purchase. The SEC also provided a non-exclusive list of methods the issuer could use to verify that a natural person meets the accredited investor requirements of 506(c). These methods are:

  • If verifying whether a purchaser qualifies on the basis of income, the issuer may use IRS records that report income (e.g., a Form W-2, Form 1099, etc.) for the purchaser for the two most recent years, along with written representation from the purchaser that they have a reasonable expectation that they will meet the income requirement this year as well.
  • If verifying whether a purchaser qualifies on the basis of net worth, the issuer may use bank statements, brokerage statements, other statements of security holdings, certificates of deposit, tax assessments and appraisals provided by independent third parties, provided the records are no more than three months old. The issuer must also use a credit report to assess the purchaser’s liabilities. The issuer must also get written representation from the purchaser that all liabilities necessary to make a net worth determination have been disclosed.
  • The issuer may rely on written confirmation from a third party that the third party has taken reasonable steps to verify the purchaser’s accredited status. The SEC specifically named broker-dealers, CPAs, attorneys, and SEC-registered investment advisers as acceptable third parties, but also stipulated that other third parties could be acceptable provided they take reasonable steps to verify that purchasers are accredited and the issuer has a reasonable basis to rely on that verification.
  • Finally, purchasers who invested in the issuer in a previous 506(b) offering as an accredited investor and remains an investor in the issuer’s 506(c) raise is deemed to satisfy the verification requirements if the issuer obtains certification from the purchaser that they qualify as an accredited investor at the time of sale.

While the SEC provided these four methods as a non-exclusive safe-harbor, the Commission was clear that these methods would not satisfy the verification requirement if the issuer or its agent has knowledge that the purchaser is not an accredited investor. Proponents of Rule 506(c) offerings believe that they will increase transparency, make it easier for small companies to raise capital and decrease companies’ administrative costs. Opponents argue that Regulation D was already a successful capital-raising mechanism (a recent study by the SEC showed a vibrant Regulation D market raising up to a trillion dollars in over 15,000 offerings a year, mostly in offering sizes under $1 million). They also worry that, in the words of Commissioner Aguilar at the meeting at which the new rules were first proposed, removal of the prohibition on general solicitation would be “a boon to boiler room operators, Ponzi schemers, bucket shops, and garden variety fraudsters, by enabling them to cast a wider net, and making securities law enforcement much more difficult.” Rule 506(c) presents opportunities and threats. Contacting a broader range of investors will become easier, and thus more offerings can be made and more investors can enter the market.  This will combine with the opportunities already presented by the internet to present investment opportunities on a more cost-effective basis, without using an extensive (and expensive) PPM. More intermediaries may enter the market.  But as the SEC pointed out in the release proposing the rules: . . . eliminating the prohibition against general solicitation could make it easier for promoters of fraudulent schemes to reach potential investors through public solicitation and other methods not previously allowed. This could result in an increase in the level of due diligence conducted by investors in assessing proposed Rule 506(c) offerings and, in the event of fraud, would likely lead to costly lawsuits . . . This increased awareness of potential fraud may mean that companies need to do more to establish their legitimacy and that intermediaries will seek to provide meaningful due diligence to distinguish themselves from their competitors. Moreover, liability under the securities laws for misstatements, both for issuers and their intermediaries, has not changed. Any person who makes an untrue statement of a material fact, or omits to state a material fact necessary in order to make the statements that are made not misleading, violates the anti-fraud provisions of securities law. This is true whether the statement is intentional or made recklessly. It is easy to imagine how an entrepreneur might make a thoughtless or overoptimistic statement with respect to his or her company in the informal context of social media. Space-constrained media like Twitter will pose particular challenges to presenting a balanced picture of the investment opportunity. Will the rule change mean that we see hedge funds advertising on late-night TV or Twitter campaigns for investments in startups? The impact of the new rule is likely to be more limited in that respect than some have predicted. Public registered mutual funds do advertise, but those advertisements tend to be staid and contain lots of “fine print” disclaimers prescribed by law; private funds will likely be just as constrained. Broker-dealers putting together Regulation D deals are already subject to FINRA rules with respect to their advertising and social media use, and these requirements have not changed. The anti-fraud laws discussed above should have a tempering effect on any overly-exuberant publicity attempts in either paid or social media. And the SEC will be watching. The SEC has established a “Rule 506(c) Work Plan” involving staff from all across the SEC, who will monitor the new Rule 506(c) market for fraud and compliance and to coordinate with state regulators. The effective date for the new rule will be in mid-September, 2013.[2] Rule 506(c) offerings will only be legal after that effective date.  The SEC views “gun-jumping” very harshly. Proposed Changes to Regulation D, Form D and Rule 156 In the interests of investor protection, the SEC proposed the following changes:

  • Requiring the filing of a Form D in Rule 506(c) offerings at least 15 days before the issuer engages in general solicitation (an Advance Form D). Form D is currently filed no more than 15 days after the first sale of securities in a Regulation D offering.
  • Requiring a closing amendment to Form D within 30 days after the termination (final sale or abandonment) of any Rule 506 offering.
  • Expanding the content of Form D to include website address, information about controlling persons of the issuer, the issuer’s type of business, issuer size, whether the filing is an Advance Form D or a closing amendment, securities identifier, information about the type of investor, and use of proceeds. New items would be added to the form to cover number and types of accredited investor, trading venue, whether a broker-dealer filed general solicitation materials with FINRA, identity of investment adviser (for pooled investment vehicles), the types of general solicitation to be used in 506(c) offerings, and the methods to be used for determining accredited status in 506(c) offerings.
  • Requiring written general solicitation material used in Rule 506(c) offerings to include specified legends and other disclosures. Private investment funds would need to use a special legend disclosing that the investors are not provided the protection of the Investment Company Act of 1940. Failure to use the proposed legends would lead to a disqualification from future Rule 506 offerings.
  • On a temporary basis, requiring issuers to submit written general solicitation materials used in Rule 506(c) offerings to the SEC for the SEC to monitor what sort of communications are being used. The SEC will not make a formal review of these materials, and submission is not a condition to the validity of the offering but non-compliance might lead to unavailability of Rule 506 for future offerings. The materials are not formally “filed” with the SEC and will not be available to the public. Submission would be via an “intake page” on the SEC website.
  • Disqualifying an issuer from relying on Rule 506 for one year if it has not complied, within the last five years, with the Form D filing requirements in a Rule 506 offering.
  • Amending Rule 156, which interprets the anti-fraud provisions of the securities laws in connection with sales communications used by investment companies, to apply to private funds and to mandate additional manner and content restrictions on general solicitation materials used by private funds. The SEC states that private funds “should now be considering the principles underlying Rule 156 to avoid making fraudulent statements in their sales literature” and that private funds are just as much subject to the anti-fraud provisions of the law as investment companies are.

Two points that might not be evident to non-securities lawyers:

  • “Written communications” under the securities law include videos, TV appearances, webcasts, website content, Tweets, Facebook posts and recorded songs about the offering. Anything digital or broadcast. (Rule 405 under the Securities Act.)
  • “General solicitation” is very broad concept and includes any attempt to create a market for the securities being offered.

The SEC stated that it needed further consideration following experience with offerings under the new rule before imposing any content restrictions on general solicitation materials, which several commentators had urged the SEC to adopt. The additional filing requirements are not particularly burdensome, and the legending requirements would reflect best practices even if they were not proposed to be compulsory. Likewise, the changes to Rule 156 reflect the SEC’s interpretation of the law as it stands now. The temporary requirement to submit general solicitation materials could fast become unwieldy both for issuers and for the SEC itself. Current practice in online Rule 506 offerings is to use various media in presenting an investment opportunity to investors, including videos, slide decks, graphic-heavy offering memoranda, due diligence reports and other supporting data. These items are prepared in many different formats. Add to these social media postings and other solicitation items (and it is not clear in what format these are to be submitted) and the opportunity for chaos is limitless. Unless the ”intake page” uses a robust document-handling system able to handle many extremely large files in every format in which it is possible to create documents (and the intake page feeds documents to an equally robust database), failed uploads, long loading wait times and garbled data files are inevitable. The intake page is apparently going to be available for voluntary submissions by the time Rule 506(c) is effective. It is quite possible that the SEC’s experience with voluntary submissions will cause it to rethink this proposal. One striking issue in light of the combination of rules that are adopted and rules that are merely proposed is that in September, companies and funds will be able to generally solicit with fewer restrictions, and then additional restrictions (legends, slightly stricter Form D filing requirements and information submission requirements) will kick in after the proposed rule changes are adopted. The SEC also asks whether the definition of accredited investor should be changed when the SEC is permitted to make such changes, which would not be until July 2014. The proposed changes are now open for a period of public comment, which ends in mid-September. “Bad Actor” Rules Adopted The SEC also adopted its final rules disqualifying “felons and other ‘bad actors'” from taking part in securities offerings made in reliance on Rule 506. The new rules were required by the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, and the SEC first proposed these rules in May 2011. Prior to this rulemaking, Rule 506 did not impose any bad actor disqualification requirements. In contrast, the bad actor disqualification provisions under Rule 262 of the Regulation A exemption from registration has existed for decades. The new rules are based on the established Rule 262 bad actor disqualification provisions, modified to account for the statutory requirements of Section 926 of the Dodd-Frank Act and how the Rule 506 exemption differs from the Regulation A exemption in practice. The SEC’s new rules are set out in new paragraph (d) of Rule 506. The rules state that the Rule 506 exemption — including both “traditional” Rule 506(b) and new Rule 506(c) offerings — will not be available if the “covered persons” in an offering have triggered a disqualifying event. The new rules apply to a range of people (the “covered persons”) in an exempt offering made under Rule 506(b) or 506(c). On the issuer side, the covered persons under the rules include:

  • The issuer itself, its predecessors, and affiliated issuers;
  • Any director, executive officer, or other officer participating in the sale of securities (or the counterparts for such persons if the issuer is a partnership or LLC);
  • Any beneficial owner of twenty percent or more of outstanding voting equity securities; and
  • Any promoter connected to the issuer company at the time of sale.

With regard to intermediaries, the rule applies to:

  • Any investment manager of a pooled investment fund;
  • Any person who has been or will be paid remuneration for solicitation of investors; and
  • Any director and executive officer (along with the partnership and LLC counterparts) of the investment manager or solicitor.

The “disqualifying events” that will prevent a person from being involved in offerings made in reliance on Rule 506(b) or Rule 506(c) include:

  • Any felony or misdemeanor convictions, within the past ten years (five years for the issuer), in connection with the purchase or sale of any security, involving making a false filing with the SEC, or arising out actions as an intermediary, advisor, or solicitor. The felony or misdemeanor convictions must relate to prior involvement with the offer or sale of a security, interactions with the SEC, or conduct as a securities intermediary. The disqualifying convictions do not include all criminal convictions involving fraud or deceit.
  • Any court order, within the past five years,  which, at the time of the sale of securities under Rule 506(b) or Rule 506(c), restrains or enjoins a person from  engaging in practices in connection with a securities transactions, making false filings with the SEC, or acting as an intermediary, advisor, or solicitor. For disqualification under this item, the person must be subject to the court order; that is, specifically named in the order. Other people who may come under the scope of an order, but are not specifically named, will not trigger the disqualification.
  • Any final order of a federal or state financial regulator that, at the time of the sale of securities, bars the person engaging in the business, or associating with an entity, regulated by that regulator. Additionally, the disqualification is triggered by a final order, within the past ten years, based on a violation of any law or regulation that prohibits fraudulent, manipulative, or deceptive conduct. The applicable financial regulators include a state securities commission, state banking or thrift regulator, state insurance commission, federal banking regulator, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and the National Credit Union Administration.
  •  Any SEC disciplinary order suspending or limiting the activities of a person at the time of the sale of securities. These could be suspensions or revocations of a person’s registration as a broker, dealer, or investment advisor, or limitation on those activities, or a bar from being associated with the offering of penny stock.
  • Any SEC cease-and-desist order, within the past five years, that at the time of the sale orders a person to cease and desist from committing, or committing in the future, a violation of federal securities laws. These cease-and-desist orders arise out of the commission of securities fraud (i.e., knowingly misrepresenting a fact or omitting a fact necessary to make a previous statement not misleading) or making an unregistered, non-exempt offer of securities in violation of Section 5 of the Securities Act.
  • Any suspension or expulsion from a securities self-regulatory organization for any act or omission to act that constitutes conduct inconsistent with just and equitable principles of trade. Securities self-regulatory organizations include registered national securities exchanges, and national securities associations. The rules do not make clear whether a suspension results in a permanent disqualification or only operates during the period of the suspension.
  • Any order to stop or suspend a registration statement or Regulation A offering statement within the past five years. The disqualification applies to any filer or named underwriter, and extends to parties that are under investigation by the commission at the time of the Rule 506(b) or Rule 506(c) securities offering.
  • Any Postal Service false representation order within the past five years, or temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction at the time of the sale of securities.

A covered person that is subject to a disqualifying event has the ability to petition the SEC and show good cause as to why the disqualification should not apply. The SEC notes specific situations where this may occur, such as a demonstration that a court order was entered without the person having an opportunity to challenge the order. Additionally, the disqualification event will not apply if the relevant court or regulatory authority indicates that the judgment or order should not bar the person from participating in a Rule 506(b) or Rule 506(c) securities offering. The rules also create a reasonable care exception for the issuer.  Under that exception, the issuer may establish that it did not know, and even in the exercise of reasonable care, could not have known that a covered person triggered a disqualifying event. The standard for reasonable care includes the issuer’s factual inquiry into whether any covered person triggers a disqualifying event. The requirements for a factual inquiry vary according to the issuer’s situation. An issuer with only a few executive officers and directors may be expected to have knowledge of its own covered persons.  Factual inquiries on intermediaries may be done by questionnaires, certifications, and background investigations, accompanied by contractual representations and covenants. The factual inquiry should be done at a time that allows the issuer to have a complete and accurate understanding of the absence of disqualifying events at the time of the securities offering.  As such, the inquiry should be done as close to the offering as possible without being unduly burdensome.  Further, ongoing or long-lived offerings may require additional factual inquiries done on a reasonable basis. The rule is designed to phase in after it becomes effective in mid-September, 2013.  Disqualification will only result from disqualifying events that occur after the effective date of the new rules.  Nevertheless, any disqualifying events triggered by an issuer or covered person that occurred prior to the effective date are subject to mandatory disclosure to potential investors.  It is conceivable that failure to disclose a past disqualifying event could result in the finding of securities fraud, which would then trigger the disqualification from reliance on Rule 506(b) or Rule 506(c) in future securities offerings. These new rules impose substantial requirements on issuers and intermediaries relying on the Rule 506(b) or Rule 506(c) exemptions from registration of securities.  Principally, issuers must establish that they have exercised reasonable care to discover whether any of the parties to a securities offering disqualify the issuer from utilizing the exemptions.  If a covered person triggers a disqualifying event, and the issuer fails to exercise reasonable care, that could lead to further securities law violations, triggering additional disqualifying events for the issuer, and thereby severely limiting access to the capital markets. * *** The following table compares the principal attributes of traditional placements under Rule 506, new Rule 506(c) offerings and offerings made under Rule 506(c)’s cousin, crowdfunding.  The SEC has not yet proposed its rules for crowdfunding, so additional restrictions are likely.

 Rule 506(b) offerings (traditional Regulation D)  New Rule 506(c) offerings  Crowdfunding (when legal)
Solicitation: Marketed directly to known investors without “general solicitation”; no internet solicitation Marketed over the internet; TV, advertisements and solicitation on social media permitted Marketed over the internet, but primary solicitation and disclosure happens on “funding portal”; publicity anywhere else (including social media) is restricted
Eligible issuers: Both SEC-registered and private companies can use exemption Both SEC-registered and private companies can use exemption Only companies not registered with the SEC can issue
Eligible investors: Up to 35 non-accredited investors permitted; no limits on accredited investors Only accredited investors may buy No restrictions on type of investors but they must show they understand their investment and are limited in dollar amount
Ascertaining investors’ status: Accredited investors typically self-certify Issuer may use various methods to “verify” accredited status; non-exclusive list of methods that may be relied on as meeting requirements Proposals to come
Offering size: No dollar limit on offering size No dollar limit on offering size $1m limit on offering size; SEC may decide not to include sales to accredited investors in that limit
Disclosure: Private Placement Memorandum typically used although not required if all investors are accreditedFiling Requirements: Form D (very short form with issuer and intermediary identity and offering description but no substantive disclosure) filed after offering starts Disclosure driven by market demands and liability concernsProposals would require earlier filing of Form D and additional amendment after closing; general solicitation materials proposed to be submitted informally to SEC Disclosure (including reviewed or audited financial statements) mandated by statute; additional disclosure likely to be mandatedFiling required with SEC; form to be determined
Liability: Liability under general Rule 10b-5 anti-fraud provisions for any person making untrue statements Liability under general Rule 10b-5 anti-fraud provisions for any person making untrue statements Rule 10b-5 liability plus Section 12(a)(2)-type liability for issuer, its officers and directors and anyone “selling” (including promoting) the offering
Resales: Securities are “restricted”; cannot be freely resold Securities are “restricted”; cannot be freely resold Very limited resales permitted for one year; may be designated “restricted” by SEC
Intermediaries: Intermediaries not required; any intermediaries used must be registered broker-dealers or entities exempt from B/D registration (such as VC Funds) Intermediaries not required; any used must be registered broker-dealers or exempt Intermediaries are compulsory; can be funding portals or broker-dealers

Need help making sure your Broker/Dealer or Crowdfunding Platform is meeting the new Crowdfunding compliance guidelines, contact CrowdCheck at:

# # #

CrowdCheck provides due diligence and disclosure services for online investments, including Regulation D offerings.  We help platforms and issuers ensure that their offering satisfies legal and industry requirements, including the new “Bad Actor” rules and ensuring that issuer statements are accurate and not misleading.  CrowdCheck also provides investors with the tools they need to avoid fraud and make an informed investment decision.  We combine “hands on” and high tech to create a right-sized yet powerful product that works with the reality of small businesses and needs of investors.  For more information please contact us at info@crowdcheck.com or visit us at www.crowdcheck.com.  The above does not necessarily deal with every important topic or cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not designed to provide legal or other advice.


[1] Accredited investors include, in general, people with a net worth (excluding their residence) of $1 million, income of $200,000 a year (or $300,000 with their spouse), officers and directors of the issuer and various institutions that have more than $5 million in assets. The SEC is considering revising these standards, although it cannot make any revisions until July 2014.
[2] 60 days after publication in the Federal Register, which has not yet occurred.

Mary Jo White, SEC Approves JOBS Act Requirement to Lift General Solicitation Ban on Crowdfunding for Accredited Investors

10 Jul

SEC Eliminates the Prohibition on General Solicitation and General Advertising in Certain Crowdfunding Fundraising Offerings

By Robert Hoskins

The Securities and Exchange Commission today adopted a new rule to implement a JOBS Act requirement to lift the ban on general solicitation or general advertising for certain private securities offerings.

SEC Approves JOBS Act Requirement to Lift General Solicitation Ban

SEC Approves JOBS Act Requirement to Lift General Solicitation Ban

New SEC Rulemaking on Crowdfunding Guidelines for General Solicitation for Accredited Investors

Rule 506

The final rule approved today makes changes to Rule 506 to permit issuers to use general solicitation and general advertising to offer their securities provided that:

  • The issuer takes reasonable steps to verify that the investors are accredited investors.
  • All purchasers of the securities fall within one of the categories of persons who are accredited investors under an existing rule (Rule 501 of Regulation D) or the issuer reasonably believes that the investors fall within one of the categories at the time of the sale of the securities.

Under existing Rule 501, a person qualifies as an accredited investor if he or she has either:

  • An individual net worth or joint net worth with a spouse that exceeds $1 million at the time of the purchase, excluding the value (and any related indebtedness) of a primary residence.
  • An individual annual income that exceeded $200,000 in each of the two most recent years or a joint annual income with a spouse exceeding $300,000 for those years, and a reasonable expectation of the same income level in the current year.

The determination of the reasonableness of the steps taken to verify an accredited investor is an objective assessment by an issuer. An issuer is required to consider the facts and circumstances of each purchaser and the transaction. Nevertheless, in response to commenters’ requests, the final rule provides a non-exclusive list of methods that issuers may use to satisfy the verification requirement for individual investors.

The methods described in the final rule include the following:

  • Reviewing copies of any IRS form that reports the income of the purchaser and obtaining a written representation that the purchaser will likely continue to earn the necessary income in the current year.
  • Receiving a written confirmation from a registered broker-dealer, SEC-registered investment adviser, licensed attorney, or certified public accountant that such entity or person has taken reasonable steps to verify the purchaser’s accredited status.

The existing provisions of Rule 506 as a separate exemption are not affected by the final rule. Issuers conducting Rule 506 offerings without the use of general solicitation or general advertising can continue to conduct securities offerings in the same manner and aren’t subject to the new verification rule.

Rule 144A

Under the final rule, securities sold pursuant to Rule 144A can be offered to persons other than QIBs, including by means of general solicitation, provided that the securities are sold only to persons whom the seller and any person acting on behalf of the seller reasonably believe to be QIBs.

Form D

The final rule amends Form D, which is the notice that issuers must file with the SEC when they sell securities under Regulation D. The revised form adds a separate box for issuers to check if they are claiming the new Rule 506 exemption that would permit general solicitation or general advertising.

What’s Next

The rule amendments become effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

# # #

Top 100 Crowdfunding Sites for Equity-based, Rewards-based, Perks-based and Donation-based Fundraising Campaigns

2 Jun

Click Here to Review the 2015 Top 10 Rated Crowdfunding Sites to Help Anyone Launch a Fundraising Campaign to Raise Money to Bring Creative New Business Ideas to Fruition

By Robert Hoskins

Austin, Texas – Thinking about launching a Crowdfunding campaign to raise money to fund your creative business idea and bring it to fruition?  The Crowdfunding Press Center provides regular news reports on new Crowdfunding sites that have opened their doors to help entrepreneurs and small businesses launch fundraising campaigns to help bring their ingenious business ideas to fruition.

Top 10 Crowdfunding Sites for 2014

Top 10 Crowdfunding Sites for 2014

The big question that most crowdfunding campaign managers want to know is what crowdfunding site is the best to launch their fundraising campaign? Kickstarter vs. Indiegogo, which crowdfunding site is better? Or would one of the other crowdfunding sites outlined below be a better match for their precise crowdfunding goals and objectives.

Directory of Recently Launched Crowdfunding Sites: [Click to Tweet]

Directory of the Top Rewards-Based Crowdfunding Sites[Click to Tweet]

Directory of the Top Disaster-Based Crowdfunding Sites[Click to Tweet]

Directory of the Top Non-Profit-Based Crowdfunding Sites[Click to Tweet]

Directory of the Top Music-Based Crowdfunding Sites[Click to Tweet]

Directory of the Top Film-Based Crowdfunding Sites[Click to Tweet]

Directory of the Top Design-Based Crowdfunding Prototyping Sites[Click to Tweet]

Directory of the Top Sports-Based Crowdfunding Sites:

Directory of the Top Publishing-Based Crowdfunding Sites[Click to Tweet]

Directory of the Top Photojournalism-Based Crowdfunding Sites

Directory of the Top Arts & Crafts-Based Crowdfunding Sites:

Directory of the Top International-Based Crowdfunding Sites[Click to Tweet]

Directory of the Top Crowdfunding Accelerators, Boot Camps, and Incubators:

Directory of the Top Lending-Based Crowdfunding Sites[Click to Tweet]

Directory of the Top Donation-Based Crowdfunding Sites[Click to Tweet]

Directory of the Top Equity-Based Crowdfunding Sites[Click to Tweet]

Directory of White-Label Crowdfunding Site Providers[Click to Tweet]

Directory of the Top Securities-Based White-Label Crowdfunding Site Providers: [Click to Tweet]

# # #

Crowdfunding Conference Planned for Berkeley in Northern California, June 9th

27 May

By Robert Hoskins

Last year crowdfunding platforms raised $2.7 billion and successfully funded more than 1 million campaigns, according to California-based research company Massolution. Business executives that want to learn about this crowdfunding phenomenon and to meet leading industry insiders should register to attend the  CrowdFunding California Conference which will be held in Berkeley on June 9th.

California Crowdfunding Conference in Berkeley, CA on June 9, 2013

California Crowdfunding Conference in Berkeley, CA on June 9, 2013

The Crowdfunding West Conference is presenting an unprecedented lineup of experts from crowdfunding platforms, legal firms, investment community and entrepreneurs who have risen (combined) almost $2,000,000 for their projects through crowdfunding.

The morning session will consist of discussions about rewards-based crowdfunding. Special panel is devoted to community programs. The afternoon session will help the entrepreneurs better understand their fundraising options, including equity crowdfunding, peer-2-peer lending, angel investments and rewards based crowdfunding. Opponents of crowdfunding movement will have a chance to present their position at the debate moderated by David Drake, well known New York investment expert and speaker.

Among the speakers are the representatives of the global leader in microcredits, Kiva, crowdfunding platforms WhenYouWish and Realty Mogul from Los Angeles, Upstart from Palo Alto, “Investment bank for startups” MicroVentures, Colorado-based portal Community Funded and CrowdIt from Missouri, world’s largest network for entrepreneurs EFactor, fundraising platform for kids PiggyBackr, investment consulting companies North Capital, Inc. and Cutting Edge Capital, payment services platform BancBox, SaaS portal VentureDocs, well known lawyer and blogger Antone Johnson, CEO of uBiome,  Jessica Richman, the creator of the fifth most successful campaign on Indiegogo Sonny Vu and the founders of  Mothership HackerMoms community from Oakland.

Crowdfunding California Conference is created by Crowdfund Productions, the organizer of investment and crowdfunding events in the USA. Other 2013 conferences will be held in Boston, MA, Charlotte, NC, Seattle, WA and Chicago, IL. On January 6th – 7th, 2014 Crowdfund Productions will be hosting Global Aspen Investment Forum in Aspen, CO.

# # #

Equity Crowdfunding Investments Surpass $16 Million on MicroVentures Broker/Dealer Crowdfunding Platform

18 May

Equity Crowdfunding Investment Milestone Hit as MicroVentures Invests in Graphicly, SupplyHog, Kickfolio and Republic Project

By Robert Hoskins

MicroVentures announced that to date accredited investors have invested $16M in startups on their equity crowdfunding platform. With investments in 34 companies, MicroVentures has now invested more with legal, accredited investors than any other equity based crowdfunding platform. MicroVentures employs a crowd-sourcing process that enables the power of the crowd to decide which startups will receive investments in an effort to provide a higher probability of successful outcomes. Further, MicroVentures has a dedicated due diligence team that screens out companies that may have potential growth inhibiting challenges.

MicroVentures Reaches $16M in Equity Crowdfunding Investments

MicroVentures Reaches $16M in Equity Crowdfunding Investments

“As we patiently wait for the SEC to enact rules around the JOBS Act, we are utilizing traditional securities laws to connect startups with great investors. This is only possible as a result of our being one of the only registered broker dealer in the space. This is the first time ever that accredited investors have had the ability to invest alongside VC’s without taking major stakes and ending up with similarly diversified portfolios. However, we may find that the crowd does an even better job at picking winners,” said Tim Sullivan, CEO of MicroVentures. “We’ve reached a milestone that proves that our platform doesn’t just ‘work’ — but that there is significant demand from smaller investors to take part in this asset class.”

MicroVentures’ platform invests primarily in seed stage startups, but will participate in follow on rounds alongside the VCs throughout the life of a company. For example, visual book publishing platform Graphicly and rich media advertisement platform Republic Project have both received multiple investments from MicroVentures as they have continued to gain traction and required additional capital to accelerate their growth. Other investments include SupplyHog, a Tennessee-based company that operates a platform that streamlines the process for buying building supplies and material online, along with Kickfolio, the first foreign management team, who have created a platform that enables developers to run iOS app demos in a standard web browser.

“Our platform has created the opportunity for our investors to invest in everything from seed stage startups to huge companies such as Twitter and Facebook through secondary transactions. We’re giving investors the chance to participate and the transparency to make decisions in a way they have traditionally never been able to,” said Sullivan.

# # #

%d bloggers like this: