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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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Crowdlending Platform P2Binvestor Announces $50 Million Milestone

19 Mar

P2Bi simplifies lending through technology and provides efficient and competitively priced working capital to growing B2B businesses

 By Robert Hoskins

Denver, ColoradoP2Binvestor (P2Bi) announced that the firm has reached more than $50 million in invoices funded since signing its first direct client in May 2014. To date, P2Bi has financed the growth of companies in technology, natural foods and products, manufacturing, energy, and personnel services with average annual revenues ranging between $500,000 and $25 million.

Crowdlending Platform P2Binvestor Announces $50 Million Milestone

Crowdlending Site P2Binvestor Announces $50 Million Milestone

“Exceeding $50 million in purchased invoices in 10 months is a huge achievement for us. It speaks volumes about the market demand for our product and the hard work of our amazing team,” said Krista Morgan, P2Bi CEO and cofounder. “I am confident our rapid growth will continue in 2015 as we launch new products; I’m especially excited about the first revolving line of credit for SaaS companies and a free-fill loan product for our natural foods customers,” Morgan added.

P2Bi’s crowdsourced funding model reduces its effective cost of capital, creating room for more flexible rates and terms for its clients. A crowd of accredited investors participates in funding each credit line, and investors earn a fair return on the platform in exchange for supporting P2Bi’s clients.

“The last year has been about proving we can underwrite effectively and be a good partner to the great companies we are funding,” said Bruce Morgan, executive vice chairman and cofounder of P2Bi. “Our innovative crowdfunding model has enabled us to achieve in a short amount of time what a traditional alternative finance company would take years to accomplish,” Morgan continued.

P2Bi can provide working capital financing of up to $5 million per client—normally secured by accounts receivable, future contractual revenue flows or other assets. The company’s aim is to improve access to working capital for growing businesses with a new generation of financing products.

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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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Crowdlending Site, Kiva, Launches “Dreams” to Support Equality for All Women

6 Mar

On March 8th, Help Kiva Make a Difference by Backing the Dreams of Women around the World to Honor and Support International Women’s Day

 By Robert Hoskins

San Francisco, CAKiva.org wants millions of people worldwide to celebrate the 104th International Women’s Day on March 8, 2015. While many gains have been made, the dream of women’s equality is still far from reality. The truth. In the year 2015 inequality is still all around us. Opportunity is not equal. Education is not equal. Wealth is not equal.

But dreams… the dreams of all women are created equal. And that’s where you can start.  In honor of International Women’s Day – and the days that follow – Kiva has launched Kiva.org/Dreams to spotlight the power of women to create sustainable change when everyday people lend their support.

Please visit Kiva.org/Dreams to vote on which woman Kiva’s team should pick to lend $25 to enable her dream to come true. There is no cost to you. By choosing her, you help her to follow her dream of starting or growing her business, sending her children to school, and gaining financial independence.

 

Or search through Kiva’s portfolio of women entrepreneurs and select a woman and donate $25 in countries where any amount of money will make a huge difference in her daily life. Supporters will receive great satisfaction in knowing that they made a difference in someone’s life that really needed the money.

Without access to resources to attend school or grow a business, their dreams are far too often out of reach. This affects us all.  Women’s empowerment means economic growth for their families, communities and the world. A case in point: if women farmers had equal access to farming assets and finance, they could increase their crop yields up to 30% and 150 million people who go hungry every day would be able to eat.

By contributing to the success of an entrepreneurial woman who has overcome obstacles most of us cannot even truly imagine, we discover so much more about our own resiliency, possibility, and potential. Each of us has a part to play and together we can make dreams a reality for thousands of women around the world.

So, in honor of International Women’s Day and the power of women to create lasting change, please back a dream at Kiva.org/Dreams.

Kiva.org is the world’s first and largest crowdfunding platform for social good with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Since 2005, more than 1.6 million people turned their dreams into reality because 1.3 million people backed their dream on Kiva. Together, more than $675 million in loans have been crowdfunded, with a 98% repayment rate.

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Crowdfunding Site, OurCrowd.com, Shows the World that the Equity Crowdfunding Industry is Sailing into the Global Economy Full Steam Ahead

17 Feb

OurCrowd evolves from participating in early seed rounds to a leadership position by successfully pooling tens of millions of dollars from top tier venture capital firms

By Robert Hoskins

Jerusalem, Israel – OurCrowd leads equity crowdfunding deal that reels in $16M in Series E funding round for Borro.com, the UK-NY based, asset-backed online lender. OurCrowd was joined by Rocket Internet AG (RKET), Canaan Partners and Augmentum Capital in this funding round.

OurCrowd alone raised $6M of the capital invested, making this the single largest equity crowdfunding round ever completed and demonstrates how equity crowdfunding can complement and even lead traditional funding sources, such as venture capital.

“In under two years, OurCrowd went from participating in early seed rounds to now successfully  leading a $16M dollar major funding round together with top tier venture capital firms such as Canaan and the renowned internet company, Rocket,” said Jon Medved, OurCrowd’s CEO. “We are delighted to be investing in quality companies like Borro, which is redefining the Fintech industry.”

Launched in the UK in 2009 and in the US in 2012, Borro has defined a new category of online personal asset-based lending. Borro focuses on providing liquidity to individuals, entrepreneurs, and business owners who use luxury personal assets such as watches, jewelry, supercars, fine art, antiques and high-end handbags as collateral for short term loans.

“Seven years ago, I joined the first angel investor group at Lending Club (LC) and witnessed first-hand the exponential growth of online lending,” Medved added.  “Lending Club’s IPO in December of 2014 was a pivotal point in the online lending industry and has shown that there will be multiple winners with eventual multi-billion dollar market caps. ”

Paul Aitken, CEO and Founder of Borro, said: “We are delighted with our collaboration with OurCrowd. Their ability to lead this important funding round has proven that equity crowdfunding has indeed come of age. I was excited by the quality of the investors they have brought to the table and am looking forward to their adding additional value to Borro as we move forward.”

Borro was recently ranked #8 right behind Lending Club (NYSE: LC) #6 and OnDeck #7 (NYSE: ONDK) in KPMG’s 50 Best Fintech Innovators Report. OurCrowd ranked #22 on the list.  Borro is backed by a consortium of high caliber VC investors with significant expertise in online finance.

Investing alongside OurCrowd is Rocket Internet AG, a German internet company based in Berlin that builds online startups and owns share of various internet companies including Foodpanda/Hellofood, Home24, Jabong, Jumia and Lamoda.  Other Borro investors include Canaan Partners (investor in Lending Club) and Augmentum Capital (investor in the UK’s top lending marketplace, Zopa). Borro has recruited notable financial industry veterans to its board of directors who bring a significant amount of experience to the company, including Nigel Morris (co-founder Capital One) as Chairman and Paul Grattan (ex-CEO Egg, First Direct.)

Borro launched in 2009 in the UK, and has gone on to open offices in New York and Los Angeles.  It is the leading online platform for luxury asset-backed lending and has defined a new lending category in a climate where loans to individuals, SMEs and entrepreneurs were few and far between. Borro offers loans from $5,000 – $2,000,000 secured against luxury assets including fine art, antiques, jewelry, luxury watches, fine wine, prestige and classic cars and other high-value assets. Borro investors include: Canaan Partners (Lending Club), Eden Ventures, Augmentum Capital. Borro’s board of directors includes Nigel Morris (co-founder Capital One) as Chairman, and Paul Gratton (ex-CEO Egg, First Direct).

OurCrowd is the leading hybrid venture capital equity crowdfunding platform for accredited investors who wish to invest in Israeli and global early stage companies. Managed by a team of well-known investment professionals and led by serial entrepreneur Jon Medved, OurCrowd selects opportunities, invests its own capital and brings these startups to its accredited membership. Members choose those deals they invest in via OurCrowd-managed partnerships.

OurCrowd investors must meet stringent accreditation criteria and invest a minimum of $10,000 per deal. OurCrowd provides post investment support to its portfolio companies, assigning industry experts as mentors and taking board seats. OurCrowd has raised over $100 million in equity crowdfunding for its 57 portfolio companies which include leading companies, such as: BillGuard, Consumer Physics (SCiO), BioCatch, Abe’s Market and ReWalk, OurCrowd’s first portfolio company to complete a successful IPO on the NASDAQ.

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Leading Lending-Based Crowdfunding Site Elects Krista Morgan as New Chief Executive Officer

6 Jan

G. Krista Morgan elected by the P2Bi Board of Directors to become the next CEO of the Denver-based crowdfunding platform for business lending

By Robert Hoskins

Denver, CO – P2Binvestor (P2Bi) announced that cofounder Bruce Morgan stepped down as CEO at the Denver-based financial technology company to take the position of executive vice chairman on its board. Cofounder and former President G. Krista Morgan was elected by the P2Bi Board of Directors to become the next CEO effective January 5, 2015. The father-daughter team cofounded P2Bi in 2012, developed a crowdfunding platform to deliver working capital to growing businesses, and started lending in early 2014.

Krista Morgan Named CEO of Commercial Crowdfunding Company P2Binvestor

Krista Morgan Named CEO of Commercial Crowdlending Company P2Binvestor based in Denver, CO

By combining technology with crowdsourcing, P2Bi simplifies lending and provides efficient and competitively priced growth capital to small and midsize businesses. The company offers receivables financing, an asset-backed line of credit, working capital secured by contractual future revenue (designed especially for SaaS companies), and purchase order financing.

P2Bi has the capacity to consider multi-million dollar credit lines and lends to U.S. companies in various industries including technology, energy, personnel services, natural foods and beverages, manufacturing, and more. P2Bi’s investor crowd is limited to accredited investor participation. Learn more at P2Bi.com.

“The tremendous growth of P2Binvestor is in large part due to Krista’s diligence in building a new and different company with a competitive product, a superior culture, and an inherent focus on customers,” said John Spiers, P2Bi’s chairman. “She is a natural entrepreneur and leader, and her innovative ideas, energy, commitment to transparency, and passion for helping small businesses grow are unparalleled.”

Krista is a proven executive in alternative finance while also being one of the youngest women in a leadership position in the industry. She left an agency career in digital marketing in London to cofound P2Bi in Colorado in 2012. Since signing the company’s first client in May 2014, she has grown P2Bi’s commercial loan portfolio to $12.5 million, representing 30% month-over-month growth. P2Bi uses invoices to secure most credit lines and in just seven months’ time purchased more than $37 million in invoices.

“Over the past three years, Krista has demonstrated her leadership and strategic skills as she created a strong brand and broad market appeal for P2Bi,” said Bruce Morgan, former CEO and now executive vice chairman of P2Bi. “She created a modern crowdfunding approach to working-capital financing that appeals to a diverse generation of entrepreneurs who aren’t typical users of alternative finance.”

Krista was a key driver in establishing P2Bi’s customer-friendly policies, such as eliminating monthly minimums, minimizing transaction costs for clients, and implementing daily clearing of client accounts to improve their cash flow. She also created a rate-guarantee policy that allows clients to cancel their contracts with P2Bi without penalty if they find less-expensive financing. Krista felt policies like the rate guarantee would make it easier for P2Bi to build mutually beneficial alignment with its banking partners while meeting the needs of its fast-growing business clients.

“We view it as a mark of success when our customers are offered a line of credit at a great rate with a bank. Our financing is designed to be a bridge that supports businesses through a high-growth phase on their way to being bankable,” Krista said. “We pride ourselves in giving our clients as much capital as they need to grow at the most competitive rates with the best service. We want to be a great lending partner for as long as it makes sense.”

Under Krista’s operational leadership, P2Bi transformed from a startup into a revenue-producing player in the alternative-lending and crowdfunding industries. With news of the recent Lending Club IPO, P2Bi is attracting more interest from businesses, investors, and others in the industry.

“My goal as CEO is to put our customers—both businesses and investors—at the center of every decision we make and position P2Bi for long-term success. I want to make P2Bi a company that businesses think of first when they need a flexible, affordable source of working capital and one that accredited investors think of first when they want an alternative investment vehicle that offers fair returns and good liquidity,” Krista said. “I’m honored to be leading an incredible team into the next phase of our company’s growth.”

As executive vice chairman, outgoing CEO Bruce Morgan will remain an active part of the management team and will be responsible for managing relationships with fund managers and leading the company’s credit underwriting function.

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Front Page PR Targets New Texas Crowdfunding Portals and Private Placement Issuers with Advertising, Marketing and PR Consulting Services

17 Nov

Offers Texas Crowdfunding Portals (TCPs), Texas Equity Private Placement Issuers & Texas Investors Guidance on the Best Strategies to Launch and Market Successful Crowdfunding Campaigns in Texas

By Robert Hoskins

Austin, Texas – Today a new Texas Crowdfunding Exemption Rule goes into effect that will give the state yet another financial tool to encourage more people with creative ideas to start new businesses in Texas. For the first time in 80 years, businesses will be able to sell equity shares in their business to more than 20 million unaccredited investors who live in Texas via new online Texas crowdfunding portals using general solicitation.

Front Page PR is one of the leading Crowdfunding PR firms in America

Front Page PR is one of the leading Crowdfunding PR firms in America

“Already armed with a zero income tax, low overall tax burden, sensible regulations and low housing costs, Texas is now armed with an even more powerful financial tool, Equity Crowdfunding,” said Robert Hoskins, Front Page PR’s Crowdfunding Director. “This new small business financing tool will be the key to helping businesses, entrepreneurs, and new startups in Texas raise venture capital by selling equity shares in their companies to Texas residents.”

Similar to the way that powerful and exclusive Silicon Valley venture capital firms built their wealth during the 1990s by betting on high-tech startups, every legal resident in Texas can now legally become a micro venture capitalist by investing up to $5,000 per deal in local Texas startups and existing businesses. As crowdfunded deals begin to go public, the wealth and economic development that will be created in Texas will be hard to match.

Texas offer investors a wide variety of industries to choose from including application development, software, mobile apps, communications, information technology, high-tech gadgets, video games, aerospace, aviation, bio-tech, life sciences, clean-tech, energy, oil & gas, real estate, film, entertainment, music and many other promising industries.

Already home to 1.7 million small businesses, gaining access to a market of 20+ million new potential investors combined with the SEC’s legalization of general solicitation will make Texas the best and easiest place in America to start a new business and raise venture capital.

And the seeds for a bumper crop of new Texas Crowdfunding Portals are already being planted. SeedInvest.com/Texas, TexasCrowdfunding.com, TexasEquityShares.com are already in the various stages of building their new crowdfunding portals and filing their applications with the Texas State Securities Board, but soon they will be harvesting their first round of Texas crowdfunded startups.

“SeedInvest has worked primarily with angel, venture capital and other accredited investors to match them up with startups in Texas such as Virtuix, based out of Houston,” said Marc Nathan, SeedInvest’s Managing Director of Texas. “But the Texas crowdfunding exemption will allow us to reach a much wider audience of unaccredited investors.”

“There are many great companies that connect technology startups with sophisticated investors, but we’re focused on working with businesses that want to build and grow with support from investors in their own backyard,” said Amy Forsyth, Texas Crowdfunding’s CEO. “To accomplish this goal we’re taking a different approach than most and plan to focus on featuring local small businesses and early-stage companies that are often overlooked, undervalued and under capitalized.”

“Our crowdfunding portal will be seeking high-tech crowdfunding equity issuers that are focused on Internet technologies, e-commerce, smartphone apps, digital properties and platforms, Software as a Service (SasS), etc.,” said Dusty Brogdon, Texas Equity Shares’ CEO. “We are seeking to serve mid-tier crowdfunding equity issuers with a minimum project value of $200,000+ with a long-term goal of taking the business public within two years.”

“Texas is about to see a dramatic surge in demand for Texas crowdfunding portals, equity private placement issuers and investors. Front Page PR is ready to help these companies bring their products and services to the Texas marketplace,” Hoskins continued. “Armed with the right community outreach programs needed to educate entrepreneurs and investors on the new crowdfunding rules, the possibilities for small business formation and growth in Texas will be limitless.”

Front Page PR provides a portfolio of crowdfunding marketing communications services, which will be instrumental in bringing these new crowdfunding portals to life and helping them launch successful crowdfunding campaigns for their fundraising campaign managers, including:

  • Crowdfunding portal selection
  • Crowdfunding deal structure
  • Crowdfunding disclosure documents
  • Crowdfunding profiles and pitch videos
  • Community outreach strategies
  • Advertising campaigns
  • Email marketing campaigns
  • PR/media relations campaigns
  • Investor education programs

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WeCareCard Crowdfunding Credit Card Delivers a Simple, Seamless and Secure Way to Share the Wealth in Las Vegas

3 Nov

The cause-related fundraising site will offer a prepaid debit card to fundraisers to support them in times of hardships and celebrations

By Robert Hoskins

Las Vegas, Nevada – WeCareCard introduces the first-ever prepaid debit card tied to a crowdfunding platform. The first-of-its-kind patent pending technology will fulfill a crowdfunding campaign’s financial component by loading funds onto a WeCareCard Prepaid MasterCard rather than the traditional fulfillment method of check, bank account deposit or PayPal.

WeCareCard crowdfunding site delivers a simple, seamless and secure way to share stories of hardships or celebrations, connect networks and gather funds for those in need

WeCareCard crowdfunding site delivers a simple, seamless and secure way to share stories of hardships or celebrations, connect networks and gather funds for those in need

The idea of WeCareCard spurred from co-founders Jessica Weiss, a former nurse who consistently witnessed first-hand financial hardships caused by unexpected medical bills and Phillip Qualls, a Technology, Payments and Financial Services executive with more than 20 years of experience in the industry.

“I saw an opportunity to leverage my experience to revolutionize relational giving and gifting by leveraging crowdfunding, prepaid and patent pending technology. Announcing the card at the world’s premier destination for emerging payments and financial services organizations, made perfect sense.” said Qualls.

The Indiana-based cause-related crowdfunding site delivers a simple, seamless and secure way to share stories of hardships or celebrations, connect networks and gather funds for those in need. The WeCareCard Prepaid MasterCard serves as the money- management tool, welcomed at over 25 million MasterCard locations worldwide. The card will be delivered to fundraisers early in their WeCareCard crowdfunding campaign and funds will be loaded throughout the duration of the campaign, helping fundraisers manage the expenses related to their cause directly, quickly and easily.

“After our family suffered hardships associated with long-term illness, I began contemplating how I could help others through similar situations,” said Weiss. “I knew there had to be a simple, streamlined way to help more people locally, and nationally through an online platform and prepaid debit card.

WeCareCard has retained Atlanta-based FirstView Financial as their card processor and program manager. FirstView excels at innovation in the high-growth prepaid card and mobile payments arenas. Metropolitan Commercial Bank (New York, NY) will be the issuer of the WeCareCard Prepaid MasterCard.

We are very excited to be working with WeCareCard on this new crowdfunding and prepaid solution,” said Jerry Uffner, CEO of FirstView Financial. “This new platform will help serve a very large audience. There are so many people in need of immediate financial relief and we are just happy to be a part of the initiative that will help remove that burden as quickly as possible.”

Individuals and organizations interested in receiving funding through WeCareCard’s platform can click here to apply for consideration.

WeCareCard is the first-ever online fundraising platform tied to a prepaid debit card that empowers people from around the nation to raise funds for a variety of life-changing causes. The cause-related fundraising solution delivers a simple, seamless and secure way to share stories, connect networks and gather immediate funds for those in need through the WeCareCard Prepaid MasterCard. This prepaid card serves as a money management tool and is welcomed at over 25 million MasterCard locations worldwide.

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World’s First Crowdfunded Hotel: Hard Rock Hotel in Palm Springs Raises $1.5M

27 Jul

World’s First Crowdfunded Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel, Palm Springs Raises $1.5M

By Robert Hoskins

Palm Springs, CA – Realty Mogul, along with Kittridge Hotels & Resorts announced that stakes in the Hard Rock Hotel in Palm Springs are officially sold out!  This news marks crowdfunding history as the Hard Rock Hotel in Palm Springs will go down as the first operating hotel in the United States to successfully use crowdfunding.

Hard Rock Cafe in Palm Springs is First Equity Crowdfunded Hotel in the United States

Hard Rock Cafe in Palm Springs is First Equity Crowdfunded Hotel in the United States

In total, Realty Mogul raised over $1.5 million for the project, spread across 85 investors around the nation.  In addition to the potential financial benefits of being an equity owner in the Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs, individual investors in the hotel are receiving VIP benefits including free use of the hotel owner poolside cabana, 25% discounts off the best available room rates, free room upgrades and much more.

“Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs is excited to be the first crowdfunded hotel in the nation and we’re honored to have completed this transaction with Realty Mogul, the leader in real estate crowdfunding,” said Andy Carpiac of Kittridge Hotels & Resorts, LLC.  “Our staff is thrilled we have the privilege of servicing our new owners at the hotel and treating them all to an exceptional level of VIP service.  For all of our new investors, Hard Rock Hotel Owners Cards are in the mail.”

“This is a historic time for both Realty Mogul and Hard Rock as hospitality makes so much sense coupled with crowdfunding, ” saidJilliene Helman, CEO of Realty Mogul.  Not only can hotel owners raise capital for their projects, but they can drive bottom line results through a network of investors that are staying at the property, touting the property and encouraging their friends and relatives to frequent the property.”

For Realty Mogul, the Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs marks just the beginning as the company will be actively crowdfunding more hotel transactions in the near future.

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RCS Capital Announces Initiative to Establish Leading Crowdfunding Investment Platform

27 Jul

Acquires Assets of Trupoly, White-Label Investor Relationship Management Portal and Adds Key Executives to Crowdfunding Initiative

By Robert Hoskins

New York, NY – RCS Capital Corporation (NYSE: RCAP), announced that it is establishing a crowdfunding investment platform which it will brand under the name, “We R Crowdfunding.”

In connection with this initiative, RCAP acquired substantially all of the assets of New York based Trupoly, Inc., a white-label investor relationship management portal, which will be integrated into RCAP’s new crowdfunding investment platform.  RCAP also announced the hiring of Trupoly Founder and President, Ryan Smith, as well as other key Trupoly executives.

RCAP expects “We R Crowdfunding” to launch in September 2014 as part of RCAP’s integrated financial services platform under the direction of Michael Weil, RCAP’s President. “We R Crowdfunding” will deliver high-quality investment offerings by utilizing RCAP’s existing broker-dealer infrastructure, which includes investment banking, due diligence, compliance and research, as well as technology developed by Trupoly. “We expect ‘We R Crowdfunding’ to provide investors direct access to public and private offerings, including Regulation A and Regulation D offerings, mutual funds and closed-end fund offerings, in a variety of industries and sectors,” said Mr. Weil.

Mr. Weil continued, “‘We R Crowdfunding’ looks to the future of securities sales by adding an important element to our full-service retail financial services firm. The crowdfunding investment platform will permit investors, whether working with financial advisors or exploring investment opportunities on their own, to access, investigate and participate in a wide range of offerings from a vast pool of asset classes. We are making a small capital investment at this time to gain access to a significant potential market that we expect to develop over the next several quarters.”

“We are pleased to be joining the RCAP team and look forward to creating the market leader in direct-to-consumer investment offerings,” said Ryan Smith, Trupoly’s Founder and President.  Also joining RCAP are Charles Crnoevich, Trupoly’s Head of Sales, and Melanie Eitel, Trupoly’s Client Relationship Manager.

Crowdfund investing was established by Title II of the federal JOBS Act in 2012, which directed the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) to relax rules prohibiting the general solicitation of investments.  Crowdfund investing relies on general solicitation, often via the Internet, to inform and attract capital to specific investment opportunities.  A 2013 study by the World Bank predicts that crowdfund investing could grow to become a $300 billion annual market in the U.S. over the next ten years.

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