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Tag Archives: CA

Alternative Securities Markets Group Takes 1st Step to Become National Crowdfunding Stock Exchange

12 Jan

The Alternative Securities Markets Group announces that it will publicly release the Alternative Securities Market Rule Book on Monday, January 19th, 2014, one day prior to the firm registering SEC Form 1 with the SEC, the first step in making the Alternative Securities Market a Nationally Registered Crowdfunding Stock Exchange

By Robert Hoskins

Beverly Hills, California – The Alternative Securities Markets Group Corporation announced that it will be releasing to the public, on Monday, January 19th, 2015,  the entire “Alternative Securities Market Rule Book,” one full day prior to the firm’s long anticipated filing of SEC Form 1 to the United States Securities & Exchange Commission, which will be the first step in the process of having the “Alternative Securities Market” becoming recognized as a national stock exchange, and also the first public crowdfunding stock exchange.

The Alternative Securities Markets Group Corporation also announced last week that it has met all the requirements for its Broker Dealer (Alternative Securities Market, LLC, a wholly owned Subsidiary of Alternative Securities Markets Group Corporation) and Registered Investment Advisor (Alternative Securities Markets Group Corporation) Filings, and those are expected in the States of California, New York and Florida in the next week. The Alternative Securities Market is owned by Alternative Securities Market, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of the Alternative Securities Markets Group Corporation.

Mr. Steven J. Muehler, Chief Executive Officer of the Alternative Securities Markets Group Corporation, said that “In the opinion of the Alternative Securities Markets Group Corporation management and legal advisors, every crowdfunding website that provides any type of investment information about an issuer in regards to the issuers intentions to raise any type of investment capital, where an investor is expected to advance a cash investment to the issuer, where the investor has a reasonable expectation of a financial return, and where the issuer in return for the cash investment, gives the investor securities, these “Equity CrowdFunding Platforms” need to be either a Registered Broker-Dealer as defined by the Securities Act of 1933, or a Registered Stock Exchange with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, as defined in the Exchange Act of 1934.”

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After Raising $6.2 Million for Pono Music on Kickstarter, Neil Young is Now Selling Piece of the Action So Fans Can Buy Equity Shares in the Company

20 Aug

In a move for what may become the “new norm” in crowdfunding, Accredited Investors can now purchase shares in PonoMusic for as little as $5,000 and become an part owners of the company

By Robert Hoskins

San Francisco, CaliforniaPonoMusic’s revolution is stirring unprecedented interest in the music community’s high-resolution digital music market, as the startup’s successful Kickstarter campaign recently raised $6.2M from over 18,000 backers — the third largest Kickstarter campaign ever — far surpassing even the campaign initiated by Oculus Rift.

In a move for what may become the new norm in crowdfunding, Accredited Investors Can Purchase Shares in PonoMusic for as Little as $5,000 and become an part owners of the Company

In a move for what may become the new norm in crowdfunding, Accredited Investors can now purchase shares in PonoMusic for as little as $5,000 and become an part owners of the company

Now Neil Young and PonoMusic are continuing their crowdfunding momentum by launching an equity crowdfunding campaign exclusively on Crowdfunder.com at PonoMusic on Crowdfunder. Accredited investors can invest as little as $5,000 and become an equity owner in PonoMusic alongside Neil.

Neil and the team at PonoMusic are excited about democratizing the investment process of PonoMusic by giving their Kickstarter backers, and anyone who loves music, the opportunity to now invest and become an owner in Pono.

Oculus Rift previously raised over $2.0M via Kickstarter, then sold to Facebook for $2 Billion. If their Kickstarter backers had been given the opportunity to invest in Oculus Rift through equity crowdfunding, they would likely have seen a significant return on their investment, but they didn’t — which stirred quite a backlash at the time.

Neil Young conceived of the idea behind PonoMusic to breathe life back into the experience and quality of audio in the digital age of highly compressed, poor quality music files such as MP3s. There’s recently been a huge resurgence of analog vinyl records among music lovers desiring true, undistorted sound. Yet the true, organic, nuanced experience most vinyl delivers hasn’t been convenient or portable, until now. PonoMusic offers a complete digital ecosystem, including a premium portable music player paired with a comprehensive digital music store offering high resolution music files with up to 30x more sound data than low-res MP3 files. PonoMusic is supported by all major music labels and their huge growing catalogues of premium quality digital music.

Says Crowdfunder’s CEO, Chance Barnett, “We’re thrilled to be collaborating with Neil and his team to democratize the opportunity to invest in PonoMusic. Neil and his team get it; that’s why they’re going the route today’s most successful startups follow: first validating their business through pre-sales of their product on Kickstarter, then raising investment via our leading equity crowdfunding platform and rapidly growing base of institutional and individual accredited investors.”

Says PonoMusic’s visionary, Neil Young, “Pono is an artist-driven movement to rescue music and the art of recorded sound for posterity. It’s about the people who make the music, about the way it sounds to the artists when they record it in the studio and about preserving the original sound created by artists over the history of recorded sound. It’s also about fans hearing what we hear and that hasn’t happened in a long time. We wanted music lovers everywhere to be a part of this from the beginning and have an opportunity to help us launch this new music ecosystem into the world, together.”

“Pono” is Hawaiian for righteous. What righteous means to our founder Neil Young is honoring the artist’s intention. That’s why he’s been on a quest, for a few years now, to revive the magic that has been squeezed out of digital music. Through Pono, you no longer have to choose between quality and convenience when listening to music — you can have both. This is the fundamental idea behind PonoMusic.

Pono’s mission is to provide the best possible listening experience of your favorite music. PonoMusic is not a new audio file format or standard. PonoMusic is an end-to-end ecosystem for music lovers to get access to and enjoy their favorite music exactly as the artist created it, at the recording resolution they chose in the studio. PonoMusic is more than just a high-resolution music store and player; it is a grassroots movement to keep the heart of music beating.

Crowdfunder is where the power of crowdfunding meets investing. Entrepreneurs use the company’s platform to tell the story of their business and raise investment from a community of institutional and individual accredited investors. The company played a significant role in JOBS Act legislation, creating the new market for equity crowdfunding that brings private investing online and creates positive impact and economic opportunity.

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CircleUp Begins Pairing Institution Investors such as Johnson & Johnson Innovation with Private Company Equity Investment Opportunties

1 Aug

Johnson & Johnson science and business experts collaborate with innovators to accelerate cutting-edge science into healthcare solutions through equity crowdfunding

By Robert Hoskins

San Francisco, CA  – CircleUp announced a collaboration with Johnson & Johnson Innovation and the Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc. to identify innovative consumer companies working in areas of strategic interest such as healthcare and bio-tech. [Click to Tweet]

CircleUp is the largest equity-based crowdfunding platform where accredited investors find free access to select private investments

CircleUp is the largest equity-based crowdfunding platform where accredited investors find free access to select private investments

“Our mission at CircleUp is to enable entrepreneurs to achieve their dreams by matching them with value-added investors and helpful resources,” says Ryan Caldbeck, founder and CEO at CircleUp. “Through this new collaboration, representatives from Johnson & Johnson Innovation and the Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies will have an opportunity to meet directly with consumer-oriented entrepreneurs to begin a dialogue and form relationships.”

As a result of the collaboration, CircleUp companies will have the opportunity to participate in incubator days, during which companies will have the opportunity to connect directly with mentors from Johnson & Johnson Innovation and the Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies.

CircleUp identifies early-stage consumer product companies with high-growth potential and matches them with investors who are looking to fund or co-develop innovative ideas.

CircleUp is the largest equity-based crowdfunding platform where accredited investors find free access to select private investments, easy tools to identify and diligence companies and online transaction capability to make investments. For retail and consumer product entrepreneurs, CircleUp offers an efficient way to access a network of sophisticated investors as well as value added partners.

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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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AssetAvenue Leverages $10 Billion Track Record to Launch Premium Crowdfunding Platform, Offering Investors Unprecedented Access to A-List Commercial Real Estate Investments

14 Apr

New Equity Crowdfunding Platform Kicks Off by Closing First Deal in Manhattan’s Exclusive Trump Palace Within 48 Hours of Launch

By Robert Hoskins

Los Angeles, CA – Real estate crowdfunding platform AssetAvenue announced the launch of its new invest portal, providing investors with unprecedented access to pre-vetted investment opportunities with best-in-class real estate operators from across the country. The platform will allow operators to utilize new general solicitation rules enacted last fall and legalized by the bipartisan JOBS Act.

New Equity Crowdfunding Platform Kicks Off by Closing First Deal in Manhattan's Exclusive Trump Palace Within 48 Hours of Launch

New Equity Crowdfunding Platform Kicks Off by Closing First Deal in Manhattan’s Exclusive Trump Palace Within 48 Hours of Launch

The company’s first completed deal raised $485,000 from investors in less than 48 hours to acquire a commercial real estate loan backed by office space in the prestigious Trump Palace, the tallest building in New York City’s Upper East Side neighborhood.

The AssetAvenue management team is already leveraging a combined $10 billion in real estate acquisitions experience and deep industry relationships to deliver superior deal strength, which the team sees as its advantage. “Investors care first and foremost about access to the highest quality deals,” said David Manshoory, founder and CEO of AssetAvenue, “and that’s where AssetAvenue stands out. We’re opening access to the kind of opportunities that investors used to only hear about after the biggest players had already snapped them up.”

“Closing our first deal on a property like the Trump Palace — and within 48 hours — is indicative of what we plan to bring to the industry,” said Kevin Arrabaca, president of real estate investments. “Investors in this deal are projected to earn a nine percent annual return, paid on a monthly basis, on a loan that is only 46 percent of the recently appraised property value.”

AssetAvenue’s member base offers real estate operators and sponsors a new and growing source of investor capital to help fund properties. The AssetAvenue team handles all investor distributions, communications and relations, allowing operators to interact with only one intermediary and focus on what they do best.

“Our model is simple: smart money follows great deals,” added Manshoory.

All of AssetAvenue’s pre-vetted deals allow investors to contribute as little as $10,000 per property, allowing investors to diversify their portfolio across multiple assets and earn regular cash flows.

Headquartered in Los Angeles, AssetAvenue is led by commercial real estate industry veterans with a proven track record of raising capital from high net worth and institutional investors, while generating impressive returns in real estate and business. Manshoory is a seasoned entrepreneur with a real estate track record, having previously founded an investor-backed real estate fund that acquired distressed properties in Southern California. Arrabaca has over a decade of real estate and finance experience, having underwritten over 3,000 properties across nearly every asset class while at various firms, including Colony Capital, Lehman Brothers and Houlihan Lokey.

AssetAvenue also counts among its advisors some of the most respected minds in the banking, real estate, technology and crowdfunding industries, including Dr. Richard Swart of UC Berkeley, a founding board member of the Crowdfunding Professional Association. Dr. Swart is a world-renowned crowdfunding researcher who recently authored a major white paper for the World Bank on the potential impact of crowdfunding.

“Crowdfunding has already proven itself in other industries and verticals, such as fundraising for businesses and loans, because of all the benefits it brings to both sides of the marketplace, the sponsors and the investors,” Swart said. “Crowdfunding for real estate breaks down all the traditional barriers to getting involved as an investor and allows sponsors to raise capital more efficiently. Although we are only scratching the surface of what’s possible today, I predict that real estate crowdfunding will become mainstream in the United States in the next 12 to 24 months.”

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Velocity Kick Rolls Out Powerful New Marketing, Social Media Tool for Crowdfunding Platforms

10 Mar

Entrepreneurs, startups, academics and non-profits can use this social media scoring tool/CRM software tools to streamline crowdfunding campaign outreach and improve efforts to collect the first 30% of fundraising

By Robert Hoskins

Velocity Kick is cool a new marketing service that every crowdfunding platform should take a look at.   To date, the team has assimilated a lot of cool marketing tools and has built a pretty advanced back-end.  They are now running their final fundraising campaign on the new Ramen crowdfunding platform to fund the development of its GUI front-end interface. The campaign profile has $75 perks for individual campaign managers as well as $2,000 perks for crowdfunding platforms that will deliver 12-months of service. But you better hurry, their perks are almost all gone!

Velocity Kick's tools significantly reduce the time spent organizing contacts and prioritizing messaging, making it easy to undertake crowdfunding efforts.

Velocity Kick’s tools significantly reduce the time spent organizing contacts and prioritizing messaging, making it easy to undertake crowdfunding efforts.

Velocity Kick is one of the first purpose-built integrated marketing solution for crowdfunding aimed at improving campaign results.  With Velocity Kick, duplicated outreach is reduced and contact lists are sorted into groups, making unique, almost personalized message-targeting easy.  Velocity Kick’s first generation web app/service aggregates contacts from the address books and social networks of team members working on the same project and quickly merges and organizes them for use in campaigns.  Velocity Kick is currently running a $15,000 campaign of its own on the LAUNCH Hackathon winning platform, Ramen.

Now only 15 days in, Velocity Kick has raised $10,837 or 72% of its $15,000 goal, placing it comparatively in the Top 10% of projects successfully raised at Kickstarter, the largest crowdfunding platform in the industry.

Since announcing its own campaign, the company has attracted partners with non-profit organizations, venture capitalists and creatives currently managing campaigns.

“We’re already seeing money stream in from entrepreneurs who have run successful campaigns and their comments are all the same,” said Josh Baylin, the founder of Velocity Kick.  “They all wish they had these tools helping them reduce preparation time significantly.”

Upon completion of its own campaign, Velocity Kick’s planning tools and data-driven strategic outreach assistance will be only a few clicks away for campaign managers across the globe and across multiple platforms. Initially, Velocity Kick will be supporting campaign managers with targeted lists and data-driven campaign strategy insights.

“Our platform is going to be focused on improving the planning and campaign life-cycle of potential backers, news media and key influencers,” said Baylin.  “Already, we’ve got relationships in place with accelerators, crowdfunding platforms and campaign managers alike.”

Right now Velocity Kick is focused on “rewards” campaigns, or those hosted by platforms like Kickstarter, Indiegogo or others.  Ultimately, Velocity Kick believes campaign managers who are passionate about their projects and the vision should be focused on connecting with their core audiences.  And so it’s tool set is designed at improving how quickly campaign managers can find and reach that audience.

“Velocity Kick is crowdfunding made simple,” said Andy Abramson, CEO of Comunicano, the Del Mar, CA based value-creation communications agency. “Being able to automate and properly manage the communications efforts more quickly, means funding gets done faster, leaving more time for developers and entrepreneurs to make a great product.”

Velocity Kick will make its money charging users a fee for more advanced list building and reporting tools.

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MySmartCar Automotive App for Smartphones Launches Indiegogo Crowdfunding Campaign to Raise Money to License PID Codes and Test Market Demand from Chevy, Chrysler and Ford Drivers

7 Mar

The 2nd Generation Automotive App is designed for drivers with no mechanical knowledge and makes it easy to diagnose car problems and control in-car network devices

By Robert Hoskins

A new startup, based in Silicon Valley, announced the launch of a new Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to raise money to develop a new wireless app for devices running Android and iOS operating systems.  The new MySmartCar Smartphone App will enable drivers to use their Android, iPhone or many other smart computing devices to view the intricate details of their automobile’s operation from the OBD-II and non-standard PID codes generated by their auto’s on-board computer.  These are the same codes that auto mechanics read when drivers take their car in when the Check Engine light comes on or when they take their car in for yearly state inspections.

MySmartCar App #1 OBD-II PID Code Smartphone App

MySmartCar Automotive App for Smartphones Makes It Easy Diagnose Car Problems

“The difference between our advanced MySmartCar Smartphone app, and other OBD-II, cable-based readers is that we plan to go way beyond what is currently available in the marketplace,” said Victor Nguyen, MySmartCar App’s inventor and co-founder. “Today’s smart cars also produce another type of code called non-standard PIDs, which are what we plan to use to develop the next generation of MySmartCar apps, which can not only read, but also control every thing that is attached to the in-car network such as touch screen dashboards, telematics or movie selection/sound volumes for backseat electronic amenities.”

“The reason most developers stop at low-level OBD-II codes is that the licensing fee for the advanced PID codes from auto manufacturers is very expensive, up to $50,000 for one brand such as Chevrolet/GM,” added Nagaraj Hedge, MySmartCar’s Software Engineer.  “Once we raise enough money to buy one license, we can finish developing our app and begin selling it.  This will generate sufficient revenue to develop a MySmartCar for every car manufacturer. We want to pre-sell enough apps to get our business off the ground and then the MySmartCar app will sell it itself.”

Many low-level code readers have been introduced over the years that allow mechanics to read what codes are causing problems, but they require bulky machines and a wire cable that has to be physically plugged into the car’s OBD computer port.  Mechanics then look up the code in an ASE code book to interpret what the codes meant.

The problem with this process is that drivers remain totally in the dark to the real problem that was causing their check engine light to turn on.  Mechanics are free to take advantage of consumers because drivers have no way to know what was wrong with their auto, but not anymore. The MySmartCar app will make it very easy for anyone to read and control a wide variety of vehicle information before going to see a mechanic.

Any blog, print or broadcast media outlet that runs a full-length repost of our Indiegogo profile at www.indiegogo.com/projects/mysmartcar-the-ultimate-obd-ii-car-app and sends us the link to the story will qualify for a single MySmartCar App, one Bluetooth OBD/PID transmitter, and one key chain finder tag due out in September 2014.

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CrowdfundingInvestments.com Rolls Out New Crowdfunding Website for Real Estate Equity Crowdfunding Investments

11 Feb

The site details how real estate investors can utilize crowdfunding platforms to increase their deal flow for new real estate-related projects and opportunities

By Robert Hoskins

A new crowdfunding website based in Los Angeles, California, CrowdFundingInvestment.com is devoted to educating, informing and defending the general public about real estate issues and investments and announced today that is has just launched its informative and easy-to-navigate website.

In addition to offering helpful information about various equity and debt real estate investments all related to crowdfunding, the website also gives specific information about 506(b) offerings, Title II 506(c) offerings, as well as pending legislation for Title III and Title IV of the JOBS Act.

CrowdfundingInvestments.com Rolls Out New Crowdfunding Site for Real Estate Equity Crowdfunding Investors

CrowdfundingInvestments.com Rolls Out New Crowdfunding Site for Real Estate Equity Crowdfunding Investors

As a recent article on Storify noted, thanks to recent legislation, real estate crowdfunding is now a reality. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, real estate crowdfunding involves using a crowdfunding platform to obtain investments for real estate-related projects and opportunities. However, unlike Kickstarter or Indiegogo crowdfunding platforms that typically ask for smaller donations, real estate crowdfunding usually involves investing thousands of dollars that will then be used to help fund a large investment into a property like a shopping center, office building or apartment complex.

As the article explained, any real estate company that wants to try crowdfunding needs to be fully compliant with the SEC and other regulatory agencies. For example, there are two kinds of offerings that a crowdfunding company can give: the aforementioned 506(b) and 506(c), both of which are the focus of the new CrowdFundingInvestment.com website because they are currently the two most preferred methods of funding by existing crowdfunding companies.

With the rise of real estate crowdfunding websites like fundrise.com and RealtyMogul.com, investors more than ever need access to information that can help them navigate the rules and regulations so they can safely invest.

The SEC regulations concerning real estate crowdfunding should be known by any intelligent investor so they can understand the different types of investment platforms now available. “In a 506(b) offering, general solicitation of an investment property to accredited investors is expressly prohibited,” the article on Storify explained, adding that the company can advertise their crowdfunding platform to potential investors through ads, social media and other forms of promotion without violating the restrictions on general solicitation, so long as they are not advertising for a specific investment property in their marketing material.

“However, according to the SEC’s requirements of a 506(b) offering, a pre-existing substantive relationship is required before the newly registered user of the site can see any listings of available investment opportunities within the inner pages of the real estate crowdfunding platform itself.”

One way this relationship can be established, the SEC has decided, is to restrict users from seeing investment opportunities for a 30-day “cooling off” period from the time they register on the crowdfunding site.

Companies that decide to use the 506(c) offering can generally solicit accredited investors and encourage them to come to their website by publicly advertising specific investment opportunities, but they cannot allow their users to self-certify their accredited status.

Anybody who would like to learn more about crowdfunding real estate options, the 506(b) and 506(c) offerings, and the changes to the JOBS Act is welcome to visit the new CrowdFundingInvestment.com website at any time; there, they can become more knowledgeable by educating themselves about the various crowdfunding options.

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