Advertisements
Tag Archives: Facebook

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

29 Aug

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

By Robert Hoskins

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

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

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

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

“The very first thing that an investor/donor does when they read through a crowdfunding profile they like is to look up the company and its team members on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to check out their credentials,” said Robert Hoskins, Crowdfunding PR’s Director of Crowdfunding Campaigns. “Having a strong resume on LinkedIn, lots of likes on Facebook and an army of followers on Twitter is crucial to determining the strength of the team and the likelihood that they have the tenacity and marketing skill set to deliver on their crowdfunding campaign’s promises.”

Public Relations/Publicity Campaigns
The second biggest task is generating stories on electronic news media outlets and blogs prior to launching a crowdfunding campaign. Not only can a well-orchestrated crowdfunding PR campaign generate hundreds of free, positive trade press articles to support the fundraising effort, but the same targeted, search-engine-optimized (SEO) press releases will continue to drive new investors, potential customers as well as sales/distribution partners to the business long after the crowdfunding campaign ends.

“Most investors/donors will do a Google search to see what they can find online for both the company and its team members,” Hoskins continued. “With a two-month crowdfunding prep work campaign there will be several pages of search engine results that link to the client’s website pages, their social media posts/profiles and the crowdfunding campaign’s temporary landing page until they launch an equity crowdfunding campaign on SeedInvest.comStartEngine.com, Republic.co, WeFunder.com or any other Title IV, Reg. A+ equity crowdfunding sites.

Contact Crowdfunding PR
If you would like to speak with a crowdfunding PR, social media and/or marketing expert regarding your crowdfunding campaign, please call Robert Hoskins at (512) 627-6622.

# # #

Robert Hoskins, a seasoned Front Page PR veteran provides more than twenty-five years of external communications, media relations, digital social media and SEO skills to Front Page PR’s crowdfunding PR and media relations service portfolio.
(512) 627-6622
@Crowdfunding_PR


Mr. Robert Hoskins is a seasoned marketing veteran with a proven track record of helping entrepreneurs, startups, small businesses as well as Fortune 500 corporations launch successful marketing communications campaigns to gain market traction for a wide variety of products and services.
Mr. Hoskins consults on a regular basis with crowdfunding campaign managers as well as crowdfunding sites, portals and platforms to deliver successful crowdfunding marketing campaigns.
Mr. Hoskins is one of the crowdfunding industry’s foremost crowdfunding advocates and has amassed a huge social media following that is dedicated to supporting donation-, rewards- and equity-based crowdfunding campaigns. Due to the overwhelming demand from the general public for crowdfunding information, he empowers entrepreneurs with some of the internet’s most affordable ($20) online crowdfunding training classes, which provide insight to startups around the world on a 24 x 7 basis.
Advertisements

Super Angel Investors, Eduardo Shoval and Yori Nelken, Launch “OurCrowd First,” a $10 Million Global Early Stage Fund for Seed Investments

21 Jun

With an investment minimum of $50k participation for accredited investors, the OurCrowd First Fund is further democratizing the world of seed stage investment funds for accredited investors

By Robert Hoskins

Jerusalem, Israel  – With its OurCrowd First Fund, OurCrowd will leverage its established infrastructure to bring equity crowdfunding to approximately 20+ seed-stage companies providing OurCrowd investors even earlier access to promising opportunities. With an investment minimum of $50k participation for accredited investors, OurCrowd First is further democratizing the world of seed stage investment funds, since most other funds require million dollar minimum investments.

OurCrowd Equity Crowdfunding in Israel

OurCrowd Equity Crowdfunding in Israel

“We are proud to be launching our entry into the funds market with the OurCrowd First seed fund,” said Jon Medved, OurCrowd’s founder and CEO. “Our investors have asked for more access to earlier stage deals, which have been hard to do until now on OurCrowd, given the rapid growth of our platform and our average deal sizes of millions of dollars. OurCrowd First will cover the earliest stages of the startup funding journey providing up to $500,000 for a select group of companies.”

OurCrowd First will be managed by General Partners Eduardo Shoval and Yori Nelken, who both come with highly successful track records in early-stage company-building and investment. Shoval has over 25 years of experience in high tech management and as an entrepreneur, co-founding seven tech companies with five successful exits – four of them with valuations in excess of $400M and total revenues of billions of dollars. Nelken has over 18 years of leadership experience bringing startups from concept to exit, including Banter, TimeBridge, and Local Sciences.

“OurCrowd First came about following numerous requests from our 9,000-strong OurCrowd investor base to expand the platform’s reach to include seed-stage opportunities,” said OurCrowd First General Partner Eduardo Shoval. “The fund will provide our investors with a risk-balanced approach to seed-stage investment, allowing investors to build a highly diversified seed-stage portfolio, which could include the next Uber or Facebook, with as little as $50k.”

“Entrepreneurs want more than just checks, and we will roll up our sleeves and work closely with the early stage companies in our portfolio,” said General Partner Yori Nelken. “Providing money to startups is only one part of the equation. We will help each of our companies, to build their management teams, construct, explore and test go-to-market strategies and introduce them to our full ecosystem of support, mentoring and business networks. It’s our secret sauce for generating winning companies.”

The fund is launching with six early stage companies already in its portfolio representing diverse sectors, such as the Internet of Things, Energy, Mobile infrastructure, 3D Printing, and Digital Radiology. These companies include: Zebra Medical, Invertex, Turbulent, Stringify, Rimoto, and TechSee. OurCrowd First has already invested in these companies alongside leading investors, including Softbank, Khosla Ventures, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, and Artis Ventures. Two of the seed investments have already converted into larger Series A rounds of significant size.

“At OurCrowd, we see thousands of companies looking for funding every year,” said CEO and Co-founder Jon Medved. “With OurCrowd First, we are leveraging this enormous deal flow and expanding our investment offerings, enabling accredited investors to get involved in exciting companies even earlier. With venture investment at an all-time high and so many disruptive startups just getting off the ground, the potential is simply staggering. It’s just one more way OurCrowd is retooling the world of investment.”

OurCrowd is a leading global equity crowdfunding platform for accredited investors to invest in Israeli and global companies. Managed by a team of well-known professionals and led by serial entrepreneur Jon Medved, OurCrowd vets and selects opportunities and invests its own capital alongside its accredited individual investors.

OurCrowd investors must meet stringent accreditation criteria and invest a minimum of $10,000 per deal of their choice. OurCrowd provides post-investment support to its portfolio companies, assigning industry experts as mentors and taking board seats.

OurCrowd has raised over $130 million in equity crowdfunding for its 70 portfolio companies including Borro, BillGuard, Consumer Physics (SCiO), BioCatch, Abe’s Market, and ReWalk (RWLK, -0.74%), OurCrowd’s first portfolio company to complete a successful IPO.

# # #

Top 100 Crowdfunding Sites in the United States, Europe, Asia, South America, Africa and other Global Markets in 2015

3 Apr

Seeking New Crowdfunding Sites on a Worldwide Basis to Be Ranked for the Upcoming June 2015 Top Crowdfunding Sites in the United States and the Rest of the World

 By Robert Hoskins

[Click to Tweet this Top 100 List to Your Friends]

United States – We are currently updating our List of the Top 100 Crowdfunding Sites for 2015 in the United States, Europe, Asia, South America, Africa and other global markets.  

Clicking on the website traffic 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 GoFundMe just bypassed Kickstarter as the #1 crowdfunding platform on the planet? Click on the links below and 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]

Rank © Front Page PR   Global Rank
#1 (2014: #2) www.gofundme.com    1,318
#2 (2014: #1) www.kickstarter.com    1,373
#3 (2014: #3) www.angel.co    2,010
#4 (2014: #6) www.indiegogo.com    2,277
#5 (2014: #4) www.lendingclub.com    7,545
#6 (2014: #9) www.justgiving.com    8,558
#7 (2014: #8) www.youcaring.com   13,563
#8 (2014: #12) www.kiva.org     15,111
#9 (2014: #23) www.ulule.com   16,099
#10 (2014: #15) www.donorschoose.org    21,617
#11 (2014: #17) www.pledgemusic.com   24,461
#12 (2014: #13) www.crowdrise.com   26,906
#13 (2014: #18) www.tilt.com    29,512
#14 (2014: #10) www.giveforward.com    32,576
#15 (2014: #38) www.crowdcube.com    34,262
#16 (2014: #5) www.fundingcircle.com    34,307
#17 (2014: #14) www.razoo.com    44,329
#18 (2014: #16) www.fundly.com    48,132
#19 (2014: #36) www.pozible.com   48,898
#20 (2014: #19) www.firstgiving.com    58,401
#21 (2014: #20) www.fundrazr.com    64,163
#22 (2014: #27) www.circleup.com   68,095
#23 (2014: #25) www.fundable.com   73,430
#24 (2014: #new) www.kickante.com.br    75,510
#25 (2014: #26) www.crowdfunder.com    77,551
#26 (2014: #34) www.equitynet.com   88,181
#27 (2014: #new) www.zeczec.com   90,296
#28 (2014: #35) www.gogetfunding.com   97,023
#29 (2014: #29) www.fundrise.com 112,206
#30 (2014: #55) www.fundedbyme.com 116,409
#31 (2014: #new) www.experiment.com 133,573
#32 (2014: #22) www.realtymogul.com 134,519
#33 (2014: #61) www.geldvoorelkaar.nl 146,963
#34 (2014: #new) www.onevest.com 149,343
#35 (2014: #24) www.rockethub.com 149,430
#36 (2014: #33) www.wefunder.com 169,021
#37 (2014: #32) www.offbeatr.com 174,673
#38 (2014: #30) www.seedinvest.com 184,226
#39 (2014: #37) www.slated.com 210,555
#40 (2014: #new) www.patchofland.com 220,267
#41 (2014: #43) www.givezooks.com 234,356
#42 (2014: #58) www.pledgie.com 241,865
#43 (2014: #new) www.microventures.com  241,967
#44 (2014: #28) www.fundanything.com 248,200
#45 (2014: #46) www.ourcrowd.com 248,635
#46 (2014: #44) www.pave.com 268,856
#47 (2014: #68) www.growvc.com 285,285
#48 (2014: #62) www.ppl.com.pt 297,874
#49 (2014: #48) www.dragoninnovation.com 306,056
#50 (2014: #54) hwww.seedandspark.com 319,789
#51 (2014: #47) www.pubslush.com 336,465
#52 (2014: #41) www.opportunity.org 354,764
#53 (2014: #45) www.peerform.com 376,044
#54 (2014: #60) www.bolstr.com 388,543
#55 (2014: #new) www.investx.com 403,141
#56 (2014: #11) www.uinvest.com.ua 417,925
#57 (2014: #new) www.plumfund.com  421,110
#58 (2014: #40) www.fundraise.com 433,539
#59 (2014: #new) www.earlyshares.com 442,508
#60 (2014: #new) www.barnraiser.us 482,296
#61 (2014: #new) www.flashfunders.com 485,226
#62 (2014: #new) www.trucrowd.com 485,665
#63 (2014: #57) www.piggybackr.com 518,504
#64 (2014: #67) www.symbid.com 558,247
#65 (2014: #new) www.crowdstreet.com 704,602
#66 (2014: #39) www.assetavenue.com 742,849
#67 (2014: #51) www.microgiving.com 834,667
#68 (2014: #new) pitchfunder.asufoundation.org 861,826
#69 (2014: #77) www.artistshare.com 928,003
#70 (2014: #new) www.nextseed.com 992,563
#71 (2014: #76) www.appsfunder.com 1,047,453
#72 (2014: #42) www.assob.com.au 1,049,032
#73 (2014: #79) www.foodstart.com 1,080,478
#74 (2014: #new) www.loquidity.com  1,087,691
#75 (2014: #70) www.faithlauncher.com 1,089,032
#76 (2014: #80) www.solarmosaic.com 1,108,499
#77 (2014: #new) www.crowdfundingpays.com 1,256,560
#78 (2014: #new) www.dreamfunded.com 1,267,585
#79 (2014: #82) www.propellr.com 1,350,583
#80 (2014: #75) www.pledgecents.com 1,363,715
#81 (2014: #new) www.massventure.com 1,388,521
#82 (2014: #new) www.crowd2fund.com 1,494,834
#83 (2014: #96) www.ipledg.com 1,567,232
#84 (2014: #new) www.texasenetworks.com 1,721,280
#85 (2014: #63) www.icrowd.com 1,769,510
#86 (2014: #65) www.banktothefuture.com 1,836,932
#87 (2014: #new) www.acquirerealestate.com 2,169,205
#88 (2014: #056) www.sterlingfunder.com 2,533,134
#89 (2014: #new) www.realtywealth.com 2,647,893
#90 (2014: #85) www.massivemov.com 2,826,166
#91 (2014: #89) www.venturehealth.com 3,931,192
New www.offerboard.com 4,112,781
#92 (2014: #31) www.rockthepost.com 4,505,534
#93 (2014: #84) www.funderhut.com 5,182,841
#94 (2014: #83) www.fundafeast.com 5,325,919
#95 (2014: #71) www.crowdit.com 5,535,187
#96 (2014: #88) www.crowdhelps.com 5,892,083
#97 (2014: #95) www.crowdfundingbank.com 6,503,461
#98 (2014: #98) www.startacure.com 8,281,014
#99 (2014: #78) www.cMEcompete.com 9,332,644
#100 (2014: #87) www.endlesscrowds.com 12,934,557

Source: Feb 2015 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 GoFundMe or Kickstarter 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.

# # #

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

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.

# # #

Equity Crowdfunding Platform, MicroVentures, Touts Track Record of Raising More than $50 Million for New Pre-IPO Startup Companies

21 Oct

MicroVentures portfolio includes some of the world’s leading equity investments including Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, Republic Project, LaunchRock and Loom

By Robert Hoskins

Austin, Texas –  Online venture capital platform, MicroVentures, announced that the company has raised more than $50 million directly for its portfolio companies, while generating positive returns for its investors through successful exits, such as the recent acquisition of Space Monkey, a cloud data storage company, by Vivint, on of the the largest home automation services provider in North America.

MicroVentures portfolio includes some of the world's leading investments including Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, Republic Project, LaunchRock and Loom

MicroVentures portfolio includes some of the world’s leading investments including Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, Republic Project, LaunchRock and Loom

Accelerated growth of MicroVentures will be fueled by new investment opportunities that cater to investors’ rising interests, such as late stage pre-IPO companies and real estate. The company’s focus includes investments in internet technology, media and entertainment, software, green technology, mobile, social and gaming.

“We set out five years ago to create the user-friendly platform that connects investors and startups at the seed stage,” said Bill Clark, founder of MicroVentures. “Today MicroVentures not only connects, but leads investment rounds for our portfolio companies – the first equity crowdfunding platform to play this role. This milestone showcases the viability of the equity crowdfunding business and we look forward to continuing to grow alongside our investors and entrepreneurs.”

The more than $50 million raised to date includes investments in successful companies such as Twitter (IPO), Facebook (IPO), Yelp (IPO), Republic Project (acquired), LaunchRock (acquired), and Loom (acquired by Dropbox). Other notable start-ups that are currently part of the MicroVentures’ portfolio include Structured Polymers, Soldsie, Biomeme and Oru Kayak, who was featured in the last season of Shark Tank and is actively raising capital via the MicroVentures platform today.

“MicroVentures gave us the opportunity to pitch in front of over 20,000 global investors,” said Nathan Derrick, CEO of Supplyhog. “This allowed us to spend less time raising capital and more time growing our business.”

Since establishing itself in 2010 as one of the first equity crowdfunding platforms that is a FINRA registered broker-dealer, MicroVentures has grown its investor community from 200 individuals to more than 22,000 individuals. The company has done so through building expertise, security, selectivity, due diligence, personalized customer service and accessibility for both accredited and non-accredited investors. The MicroVentures team is committed to providing confidence for both startups and investors through its dedication to rigorous due diligence and to personal relationships with investors.

# # #

New U.S. Hybrid Rewards and Equity-Based Crowdfunding Site Based in Columbus, OH Surpasses $100 Million Milestone

17 Apr

The Fundable crowdfunding site allows entrepreneurs to launch rewards-based crowdfunding campaigns first, followed by equity crowdfunding campaigns backed by accredited equity investors

By Robert Hoskins

Columbus, OH – In a prelude to what may become the industry norm, Fundable.com announced that backers and accredited investors have pledged over $100 million in funding commitments for both rewards-based and equity-based crowdfunding campaigns. During the past 18 months, startups across all industries have utilized Fundable to move their businesses forward. Different from any other crowdfunding platform, Fundable is dedicated exclusively to helping businesses as they seek early stage growth capital. The crowdfunding platform claims to be receiving over 15,000 new company registrations each month.

The Fundable crowdfunding site allows entrepreneurs to launch rewards-based crowdfunding campaigns first, followed by equity crowdfunding campaigns backed by accredited equity investors

The Fundable crowdfunding site allows entrepreneurs to launch rewards-based crowdfunding campaigns first, followed by equity crowdfunding campaigns backed by accredited equity investors

According to Fundable CEO Wil Schroter, “We are thrilled with the incredible success that companies have found through Fundable. It’s amazing to see companies using funding to grow real businesses that are creating jobs and making an impact on the economy.” A veteran entrepreneur himself, Schroter has nearly 20 years of experience founding successful venture-backed startups. Schroter knew firsthand that access to early stage capital was a critical problem for emerging entrepreneurs, and wanted to create a platform to solve this.

Schroter says, “the success of Fundable’s hybrid rewards and equity system proves the need for additional expansion capital after a successful rewards campaign. Companies can prove demand for their business through a rewards campaign, and then meet demand and continue to grow through an equity crowdfunding campaign.”

Due to Kickstarter’s and Indiegogo’s lack of equity investment options,  successful crowdfunding campaigns are the taking the next step on Fundable when seeking addition rounds of funding.  For example, HIDDEN, Ube and Uncharted Play all utilized Fundable to raise additional expansion capital.

Unlike Kickstarter, which experienced a huge backlash from Oculus backers that cried foul when their early rewards -based  crowdfunding campaign raised $2.4 million dollars to launch the virtual reality computer goggles product line, Fundable can follow initial seed funding rounds with equity investment deals.

But just like Kickstarter, Indiegogo and more than another 1,000 crowdfunding platforms worldwide, Fundable is not allowed by the SEC to allow unaccredited investors to invest in equity investment deals.

Hopefully by the 3rd quarter of 2014 the rest of United States will be given the opportunity to strike it rich by investing in small startups.  If pledgers are willing to back a set of Oculus goggles for $300 to jump start a business, the same backers should certainly should have been allowed to recoup their investment when Oculus accepted a $2 billion buyout from Facebook.  According to Forbes, that $300 investment risk would have paid hobby investors a whopping $20,000 return on investment on their investment.

Fundable.com is one of the largest business crowdfunding platforms, with over $100 million in commitments, and is dedicated exclusively to helping entrepreneurs. Different from any other crowdfunding platform, Fundable offers both rewards and equity business crowdfunding options.

In an upcoming crowdfunding trend, Fundable recently acquired LaunchRock, a premiere tool for launching startup ideas, in order to acquire over 500,000 registered startup companies, 10 million users, and 15,000 companies.

The crowdfunding site is the brain child of veteran entrepreneurs who have raised countless venture capital and angel investment rounds to finance early stage growth startups.

# # #

Feedback Wanted: Creating a National Crowdfunding Campaign Rating System

14 Jan

Crowdfunding platforms need to add crowdfunding campaign rating systems, portfolios of crowdfunding service providers and social media network graphing APIs to improve success ratios

By Robert Hoskins

We work with lots of people who want to launch crowdfunding campaigns.  It is surprising how many are completely unaware that they need a startup business plan before considering launching a crowdfunding campaign, especially when the main goal is to raise money to start a new business.  Even project related crowdfunding campaigns would benefit from writing up a business plan to help campaign managers organize and to think logically about what they are trying to accomplish with their fundraising campaign.

Front Page PR is the #1 Crowdfunding PR firm in America

Front Page PR is the #1 Crowdfunding PR firm in America

One of the most popular crowdfunding services that is in demand from crowdfunding campaign managers is quality advice/feedback on their initial efforts to shoot a good crowdfunding video, write up an effective crowdfunding profile and write enticing calls-to-actions for their campaign’s perks, rewards, donations and soon-to-be investment performas.

The biggest reason that crowdfunding campaigns fail right now is because they do a poor job of providing elementary campaign planning requirements such as conducting a thorough competitive analysis, writing a business plan, creating a corporate message map, building an experienced management team, establishing a target audience, planning a marketing budget to reach their target audience, and predicting with some certainty a perks/rewards (sales) forecast complete with a return-on-investment analysis.

It sure would be great to see crowdfunding platforms start requiring campaign managers to fill out both a business plan section as well as the crowdfunding campaign. It may require extra work, but it certainly would improve a platform’s success ratio.

During this campaign planning process, it would be extremely beneficial for campaign managers to be provided with a database of third-party experts to give them professional advice and counseling.   This behind-the-scene step would allow them to seek professional advice from marketing, financial, legal and other pre-qualified crowdfunding service providers in order to evaluate and critique their campaigns before they went live. In addition, they could utilize these same experts to help them build a professional management team that would add credibility to their crowdfunding profiles.

After the campaign goes live, a public rating system would kick in that would allow investors/donors to rate each module of the business plan and the crowdfunding campaign on a scale of 1 to 10 based on their perception of the information provided. Or, perhaps the crowd should be allowed to ask questions or click on a green, yellow or red flag depending on how they felt about each section of the crowdfunding pitch provided. This would be an extremely good way for thousands of people to work together to vet and weed out fraudulent campaigns by raising red flags at the appropriate time.

To keep negative sharks from bashing without compassion, other users could evaluate advisers and ban people that are considered to be trouble makers after a certain number of derogatory comments that are detrimental versus instrumental.  The purpose would be to educate the masses as more and more investors begin logging on to invest in upcoming equity crowdfunding deals.

In addition, all crowdfunding platforms should be required to use the social graphing APIs from Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and other social media networking sites so that everyone can research everyone to see who they are and what their professional credentials are.  This would also encourage crowdfunders to do a lot more work on improving their social media profiles and networks before attempting to launch a fundraising campaign.

Just like media outlet comment sections, people without social media profiles should be banned from creating crowdfunding campaigns as well as critiquing them.  This also might be an easier way to govern who is allowed to invest and what their budget level is on an annual basis based on their status as an accredited or unaccredited investor.

Once a national, standardized crowdfunding rating system is up and running, which may take quite a while, it will be easier for novice investors to search secure crowdfunding platforms for investment opportunities based on their desired crowdfunding rating and risk assessment criteria.

Some basic Crowdfunding Rating Modules to get the conversation started:

Business Plan Rating Modules:

  • Mission Statement
  • Objectives
  • Strategies
  • Management Team
  • Legal Issues
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Target Audience
  • Positioning
  • Pricing
  • Promotion
  • Place (location)
  • Distribution Channels
  • Campaign Goals
  • Campaign Expenses
  • Campaign Revenue
  • Campaign Deliverables
  • Campaign ROI
  • Exit Strategy (even though Mark Cuban says no)

Crowdfunding Campaign Rating Modules:

  • Crowdfunding Goal
  • Campaign Length
  • Pitch Video
  • Pitch Profile
  • Perks/Rewards/ROI%
  • Marketing Budget
  • Industry Growth Predictions
  • Sales Forecast
  • Funds Usage
  • Barriers to Success
  • Fulfillment Milestones
  • Social Impact
  • Post-Campaign Fulfillment Audit

 # # #

ByOwner.com Crowdfunding Advertising Portal Fights Fraud and Crime With New Social Graphing Tool from Facebook

9 Dec

The nationwide classified advertising site uses  Social Graphing technology from social media networks such as Facebook.com to protect free Crowdfunding campaign advertisements

By Robert Hoskins

Here is a good example of how Crowdfunding platforms should be using social graphing technology from social networks like Facebook.com to let investors/donors research their campaign managers to see who they are and what type of friends, photos and interests they have listed on their Facebook profiles.

ByOwner.com eCommerce Portal Fights Crime With New Social Graphing Tool to Build Safer Classified Ads to promote Crowdfunding campaigns

ByOwner.com eCommerce portal fights crime with new social graphing tool to build safer classified ads to promote crowdfunding campaigns

Most people who launch Crowdfunding campaigns do not consider advertising as a way to increase their reach, but using free classified advertising platforms like ByOwner.com, crowdfunding campaign managers can place ads in a wide variety of places to increase their crowdfunding profile’s traffic during the bottom of the “U” or lull that many campaigns experience during the middle of their campaign.

Crowdfunding platforms should note how ByOwner.com is combating the growing crime wave associated with placing online classified advertisements, by deploying a new four-step verification process that utilizes a sophisticated social graphing tool that offers buyers/sellers a more transparent process to research and complete safer classified advertising sales transactions. The same technology should be used on every Crowdfunding intermediary to let donors/investors cross tab their personal networks on social media sites such as Facebook, Google+, Linkedin and Twitter to see what contacts their social networks have in common.

ByOwner.com uses the social graph from Facebook’s API to showcase relationships between users. The social graph is a digital map of both party’s friends and how they relate to one another. It integrates information from each user’s profiles giving buyers a sense of confidence with whom they are purchasing from, and sellers will have transparency of who is their buyer.

When buyers and sellers have overlapping networks, ByOwner.com automatically displays people that appear in both people’s networks. Users can then verify a person’s identity or at a minimum get a sense of the person they are dealing with by reviewing their friends, photos, and other interests that are highlighted on their Facebook pages.

“As we’ve been building our classified advertisement posting portal, we set Google alerts to monitor news stories posted about Backpage.com, Craiglist.com and others,” said Greg Sullivan, ByOwner.com’s CEO. “The number of crime related stories we discovered was astounding from people who were robbed at gun point, raped or murdered because of a classified ad they listed or responded too.”

“If these customers had used ByOwner.com’s social graphing technology to review the each other’s profiles before their meeting, they could have avoided questionable individuals,” Sullivan continued. “Our new social graph verification system makes it easier to track and eliminate people who are posting ads for fake DNA tests, positive pregnancy tests or participating in human trafficking, prostitution, scams and other types of fraudulent or illegal activities.”

As the Christmas and holiday seasons approach, ByOwner.com offers a safe place to post classified ads to buy, sell and shop for great deals on affordable iPhones, iPads, Xboxs, Play Station 4s, cars/trucks for salehomes for salerooms for rentvacation rentals and post free job listings.

ByOwner.com is a classified advertisement posting community based in Florida that offers homes for sale, vacation rentals, apartments for rent, autos, jobs, and more than 91 different categories of products and services. Customers can place their advertisement for free or place premium advertisements on the ecommerce portal to attract buyers worldwide and is 100% free to use. Third-party classified advertising sites are welcome to upload their inventory for free to increase their customer’s exposure. Visit www.byowner.com for more information.

# # #

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:

Orlando Realtor Creates Down Payment Crowdfunding Site HomeFunded.com

13 Aug

The innovation of Crowdfunding has helped people raise money for everything from business startups to inventions to movies but never before in the form of down payment funds to be used to purchase a home

By Robert HoskinsFront Page Public Relations

When an Orlando Realtor presented his client’s offer for $30,000 over asking price in order to compete with private investors and hedge funds using all cash to buy a home, he never knew that the idea he had that day would become a reality. Now the local Realtor is making his way into the crowdfunding industry to help potential homeowners raise the down payment needed to buy a home with HomeFunded.com.

First Home Down Payment Crowdfunding Site, Provides Hope to Potential Home Buyers

First Home Down Payment Crowdfunding Site, Provides Hope to Potential Home Buyers

“Who would have thought that on a day when a client had to offer $30,000 over the asking price just to get an accepted offer would also bring hope for potential home buyers” states Realtor Aaron Mighty. He has started what many would have thought unlikely in the current improving housing market, an opportunity for those with less resources, building a crowdfunding site from the ground up all on the simple premise that home buyers should come first not hedge funds.

Not only will HomeFunded.com provide qualified home buyers an opportunity to put down more on a home to compete against hedge funds, who seemingly are buying up every quality home on the market for rental purposes, but it will also open up more opportunities for homeownership to working class families who have been struggling to bridge the gap between renting and owning.

HomeFunded.com will work by bringing together home buyers who will start a down payment campaign by sharing their stories of what homeownership means to them with their social network via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and the HomeFunded.com community to attract contributors who will gift funds in increments of five dollars to help them reach their down payment goals.

So will HomeFunded.com change the way home buyers look at down payments? Only time will tell if the concept is viable but the idea is certainly innovative and “the future of the American dream of homeownership has never been brighter” says Mighty.

%d bloggers like this: