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Tag Archives: Investment

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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BlazeFund Launches New Innovative Equity Crowdfunding Platform

20 Aug

Entrepreneurs Gain Alternative Online Equity Crowd Funding Platform From BlazeFund For Securing Growth Capital, Investors Gain Access To Uncorrelated Asset Class

By Robert Hoskins

BlazeFund, Inc. launched a new equity-based crowdfunding platform for accredited investors to find a portfolio of potential investment deals through an online marketplace. The user-friendly platform offers a secure environment and ecosystem that simultaneously connects individual and strategic institutional investors with start-up entrepreneurs and growing private companies.

 Entrepreneurs Gain Alternative Online Equity Crowd Funding Platform From BlazeFund For Securing Growth Capital, Investors Gain Access To Uncorrelated Asset Class


Entrepreneurs Gain Alternative Online Equity Crowd Funding Platform From BlazeFund For Securing Growth Capital, Investors Gain Access To Uncorrelated Asset Class

BlazeFund’s platform focuses on listing ventures in technology, business services and healthcare/life sciences. These companies are beyond the seed stage and have proven business models, products and markets. Most of the venture listings will target a minimum average capital raise of $0.5M.

BlazeFund is the first equity crowd funding portal with multiple international offices located in developing economic regions. As a result, start-ups and growing private companies listed on BlazeFund receive greater exposure for their listings. BlazeFund also assists companies interested in potential cross-border joint ventures.

Aaron Sanders, founder and CEO of BlazeFund, believes that the portal delivers an added value to each of the three groups – entrepreneurs, institutions and investors that are connected to the platform. “Our mission is to help extraordinary entrepreneurs find the capital they need to grow their businesses from our private network of strategic investors. The end goal is to make the overall process more efficient and transparent for both investors and companies,” states Sanders.

BlazeFund’s portal has patent-pending features that reduce investor risk by:

  • Providing a two-step investment mechanism that splits the investment exposure of the crowd and links the release of raised capital to a company achieving predetermined milestones.
  • Facilitating private-equity/venture-capital style due diligence by the crowd/analysts, enabling potential investors to access independent reviews.

With equity crowd funding growing rapidly and market size projections of $6.3B over the next five years, Sanders believes that, “Investors can easily diversify a small percentage of their portfolios through this new investment class which has the potential to produce significant returns — perhaps multiples of their original investment.”

Mr. Sanders has a BS Chem. E. (Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison) and an MBA (Univ. of Rochester). His expertise is in strategy, operations, business process, CRM and ecommerce solutions. Sanders has been granted a number of US patents and is co-inventor of BlazeFund’s patent-pending innovations.

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CareerFuel Launches Crowdfunding Education Site For Entrepreneurs

15 Aug

On September 23, 2013, entrepreneurs will have a new way to reach accredited investors with private offerings—advertising.

By Robert Hoskins

Stemming from Title II of The JOBS Act and the recent regulations released by the SEC to support it, this is intended to make it easier for entrepreneurs to raise capital for their new businesses and create jobs in the process.

According to CareerFuel it will now be easier then ever before to raise capital for new businesses.

According to CareerFuel it will now be easier then ever before to raise capital for new businesses.

There are approximately 8.6 million accredited investors in the U.S. and they fund 3% of startups/small businesses. During 2012, an estimated 260,160 angels collectively invested $22.9 billion in 67,000 companies. An additional $26.5 billion was invested by venture capitalists in 3,698 companies. Advertising to these wealthy individuals has the potential to significantly expand the market of accredited investor small business capital.

Later this year, it is anticipated that the SEC will release the rules for Title III of The JOBS Act, enabling entrepreneurs to offer securities (debt or equity) to unaccredited investors in exchange for investment in their early-stage companies.

This new fundraising tool known as equity crowdfunding comes with a myriad of regulations that will have to be met. While potentially transformative for entrepreneurs, it is one of many ways available to raise money for new businesses. The primary options today include: personal savings, friends and family, donation crowdfunding, angel investment, venture capital and institutional investment.

To educate entrepreneurs about this exciting option—how it works, whether it is a good fit for their business and how to utilize it—CareerFuel has launched a comprehensive crowdfunding site for entrepreneurs. Free for their use and regularly updated, CareerFuel is the go-to place for the crowdfunding education “issuers” will need.

CareerFuel is one of the only sites that offers job seekers and aspiring entrepreneurs the direction, inspiration and job listings needed to find a job or start a business.

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iFunding.co Launches RealEstate Crowdfunding Platform to Help Accredited Investors overcome the Volatility of REIT Investments

14 Aug

Real Estate Crowdfunding Platform Allows Individuals To Invest in Quality Real Estate Deals in New York

By Robert Hoskins

iFunding.co launches commercial real estate crowdfunding platform based in New York City.  To date, investors have pledged over $8MM towards the first projects to be listed on the platform this month, making it the one the largest real estate platforms in the US.  iFunding is geared for accredited investors and provides more than just another kind of investment option for their clients. They boast a fully online platform for making direct investments in real estate, allowing clients to review projects, fund investments and track them via computer, smartphone or iPad.

iFunding is a real estate investment platform that uses technology to make private real estate investing simple. Individual investors can select and make direct investments in pre-vetted institutional quality real estate assets directly on our website.

iFunding is a real estate investment platform that uses technology to make private real estate investing simple. Individual investors can select and make direct investments in pre-vetted institutional quality real estate assets directly on our website.

The electronic investment system claims to make iFunding a paper-free company. That’s right – all forms are digital. Investors will enjoy the convenience of iFunding’s state of the art technology while maintaining the ability to access institutional quality real estate investment opportunities for as little as $1,000.

The platform is geared toward accredited investors in the $1-5m range who lack access to private equity funds and may be frustrated with the volatility of REIT’s. The company focuses on assets that provide long term, stable income streams for their clients.

While truly online investing is reason enough to celebrate, there’s even more to embrace. iFunding has a team of professionals who have over 50 years’ experience in this field. They have worked with some of the largest corporations, such as JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, and have been involved in over $2 Billion of transactions in numerous different roles. Their expertise and dedication in investing translates into professionalism and knowledge that is second to none.

William Skelley, founder of iFunding, shared in a recent interview that the idea for the company came to him from while working at the hedge fund Rose Park Advisors, a fund run by Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen, that focuses on making investments in companies that fit the framework of disruptive innovation. Mr. Skelley realized that real estate finance was a prime target to be disrupted, harnessing technology to simplify the investment process and make it extremely efficient.

Mr. Skelley had this to say about his company, “Our goal at iFunding is to utilize technology to streamline the process for our real estate investors. We prepackage everything to present the investor with a turnkey investment opportunity – we have in-house counsel, accountants and additional intellectual capital at no cost to the client. We do the legwork so our clients don’t have to. iFunding offers them the efficiency they want with the expertise and results they deserve.”

iFunding is a real estate investment platform that uses technology to make private real estate investing simple. Accredited investors can select and make direct investments in pre-vetted institutional quality real estate assets directly on their website.

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iSupportJamaica.com Launches New MicroFinance Crowdfunding Platform in Jamaica

26 Jun

Jamaica’s First Crowd-Funding Website will Support Micro Businesses

by Philip Bernard, General Manager, JN Small Business Loans Limited

JNSBL has unveiled the country’s first “crowd-funding” website, isupportjamaica.com, to hundreds of Jamaicans living overseas, who attended the 2013 Jamaica Diaspora Conference, held June 16 – 19 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James, Jamaica.

I Support makes it easy for people around the world to support organisations and small businesses in Jamaica

I Support makes it easy for people around the world to support organisations and small businesses in Jamaica

The project is being implemented and managed through a strategic partnership between the company’s philanthropic arm, the JN Foundation, and JNSBL, says new JNSBL General Manager, Philip Bernard and will assist Jamaicans wanting to start a micro business to raise funds to do so.

Underscoring that JNSBL is a social enterprise which upholds the mutuality concept framing the Jamaica National brand, Mr. Bernard said the website emphasises the company’s “mandate to promote the development of the micro and small business sector, through access to financial services, and by extension, the Jamaican economy.”

“Our Jamaican landscape is lush with bright ideas that only require the necessary seed funding so that they can be explored and realised,” he said, pointing out that many micro entrepreneurs continue to find it difficult to access start-up funds from traditional institutions because of their perceived high risk.

“Therefore, as a social organisation, JNSBL has developed this approach to broaden access for all our micro entrepreneurs, because this is a critical sector of the economy that will indeed play a major role in shaping the future of Jamaica,” he said.

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Wowcher Selects BankToTheFuture.com as Equity Crowdfunding platform for Fabfob fundraising campaign

19 May

By Robert Hoskins

BankToTheFuture.com, an equity crowdfunding platform that allows people to invest in start-ups and mature businesses, is providing an investment platform for Fabfob, the latest venture by Wowcher founder, Nick Brummitt, who has chosen crowdfunding over traditional venture capital funding.

BanktotheFuture.com Equity Crowdfunding Platform

If the government was serious about helping SMEs, it would pump cash into companies like BankToFuture.com. BankToFuture.com is a job creating machine

Fabfob is designed to tag valuables such as keys, mobile phones, laptops, cameras, iPods and passports. If these items are lost – and subsequently found – Fabfob gets them back to their rightful owner quickly and safely.

Since the pitch went live, it has already raised over £40k. BankToTheFuture.com provides funding through the collective effort of individuals who network and pool their money to support the efforts of entrepreneurial people and organizations.

Simon Dixon, CEO of BankToTheFuture.com, says, “Working with high profile entrepreneurs like the founder of Wowcher, is great news for us. We aim to make crowdfinance less alternative and more a first choice for investors seeking credible businesses and credible businesses seeking finance. It is very exciting that now anybody can invest in such an entrepreneur starting from as little as £50, everybody is now a dragon.”

Brummitt recalls numerous problems while raising finance from banks for Wowcher, the UK’s first daily deal site. He said, “It soon became apparent that banks don’t provide support to those who require it. When I read about Simon Dixon and BankToTheFuture.com about a year ago, I began to follow them with interest. I am impressed with Simon’s vision, truthfulness and experience as an investment banker.

“I did not want to be in the same position as I was with Wowcher, where I create a great product with global appeal only to find I am strangled for cash. Banks are no longer an option. They are just a waste of time and a distraction.”

Seeing the potential of Fabfob, BankToTheFuture.com helped Brummitt develop his skills through The Incubator Course which helps delegates write a business plan, prepare financial forecasts and create a slide show and promotional video. This allowed him to develop a strong pitch for investors.

“Simon is an inspirational character with real vision,” says Brummitt. “He says it how it is, how it has been and how it will be in the future. He showed us an alternative to banks and gave us the confidence to go out there and try it.

“The Incubator Course gave me new skills. It was tough, some didn’t make it through and some realised that they were not quite ready to seek investment, but we all learnt a huge amount. I cannot recommend the course highly enough. It should be on the school curriculum for all business-related courses.”

Brummitt strongly believes that BankToFuture.com will be an answer to the issue of funding. “If the government was serious about helping SMEs, it would pump cash into companies like BankToFuture.com. BankToFuture.com is a job creating machine,” he says.

With the funding raised through BankToFuture.com, Brummitt is confident that he will reach his funding target quickly and get his product to a global market.

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I-Banker Direct Augments Deal Flow for Accredited Investors Seeking Crowdfunding Investment Opportunities

18 May

I-Bankers Direct Launches US-Based Dealer/Broker Equity Crowdfunding Platform

By Robert Hoskins

I-Bankers Direct announced the launch of a web-based crowdfunding platform designed to transform the process of investing in private and public growth-stage companies. The platform, www.ibankersdirect.com, allows individuals to invest as little as $5,000 directly in selected small-cap growth businesses, pairing accredited investors with a growing list of emerging companies with investment capital needs.

“What they lacked is access to a reliable source of deals. We also know from experience how challenging it can be for small, growing businesses to raise capital. I-Bankers Direct was created to address these needs.”

“What they lacked is access to a reliable source of deals. We also know from experience how challenging it can be for small, growing businesses to raise capital. I-Bankers Direct was created to address these needs.”

With 24/7 online access to offering documents, management conference calls, company slide decks, video presentations and other decision-making support, individual investors now have the ability to evaluate and invest in promising business opportunities, based on their own schedule and from any Internet-connected device.

“It was clear to us that there are many high-net-worth individual investors in the marketplace who have both the ability and the desire to invest in small, dynamic companies,” said I-Bankers Direct President John Kallassy. “What they lacked is access to a reliable source of deals. We also know from experience how challenging it can be for small, growing businesses to raise capital. I-Bankers Direct was created to address these needs.”

I-Bankers Direct has set itself apart from other entrants in the crowdfunding field by focusing on transactions which appeal both to individual and institutional investors at the same time, thus transforming the capital-raising landscape for early-stage businesses. To that end, I-Bankers Direct has assembled an experienced team of investment professionals*, software innovators and ecommerce experts committed to transforming the capital-raising landscape for growth-stage businesses.

CEO Mike McCrory explains, “We’ve harnessed the power of the Internet—and leveraged the experience our team has gained helping companies access billions of dollars in capital over the past eighteen years. Our platform, recently capitalized with $1.5 million of institutional and private investment, provides accredited individual investors, angel investors, venture capitalists and private equity investors with 24/7 access to investments previously unavailable to them. It’s a win for everyone.”

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

18 May

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

By Robert Hoskins

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

MicroVentures Reaches $16M in Equity Crowdfunding Investments

MicroVentures Reaches $16M in Equity Crowdfunding Investments

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

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

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

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Ingenious Britain in the UK offers 25% Stake in New Equity Crowdfunding Platform on Crowdcube

18 May

Ingenious Britain, the small business campaign, community and advice and information portal, has announced that it is launching a crowdfunding initiative to raise a £500,000 investment in return for a combined 25% equity stake in the business.

By Robert Hoskins

Ingenious Britain announced that it is launching a crowdfunding initiative to raise a £500,000 investment in return for a combined 25% equity stake in the business.

Ingenious Britain in the UK offers 25% Stake in New Equity Crowdfunding Platform on Crowdcube

Ingenious Britain in the UK offers 25% Stake in New Equity Crowdfunding Platform on Crowdcube

The investment will be used to fund, among other things, a more dynamic portal suited to the needs of small businesses, an enhanced digital marketing and content strategy, a fourth print (and digital) Ingenious Britain magazine each year, an expanded personal support network to SMEs online, by telephone and by email and, most excitingly, the launch of ‘Ingenious Britain Live,” which will be the UK’s most interactive and vibrant small business event.

“We are practicing what we preach and are taking Ingenious Britain to the crowd. With the investment we’re planning exciting and innovative multimedia content and events in the space which will prove invaluable to the UK’s five million small businesses,” commented Mark Moore, Ingenious Britain CEO.

“People can pledge as little or a much as they wish and we will work as hard as we can to make sure their investment reaps dividends for us, for them and for Britain’s small business community.”

The crowdfunding campaign is available to be viewed via Crowdcube by clicking here.

The UK’s five million small and medium-sized businesses make up 99.6% of all British businesses; they employ 54.5% of our workforce, and account for 49.5% of our annual GDP. Ingenious Britain has reached hundreds of thousands already, providing advice, information and support through events, social media feeds, its online portal, community and magazine.

“Encouraging them and helping them to perform better will have significant economic benefits for the UK economy,” adds Moore.

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CommunityLeader Launches 85% Finance Program for Qualified Broker/Dealers that Want to Launch a Turnkey Crowdfunding Platform

27 Apr

By Robert Hoskins

CommunityLeader, Inc. announced it has secured the necessary capital resources to provide financing for the development and launch of turnkey crowdfunding portals for qualified broker/dealers.  CommunityLeader is an industry leading full-service provider of custom and private-labeled crowdfunding platform solutions for individuals, organizations and businesses seeking to sponsor, host and run their own crowdfunding portals.

CommunityLeader Launches 85% Finance Program for Qualified Broker/Dealers that Want to Launch a Crowdfunding Platform

CommunityLeader Launches 85% Finance Program for Qualified Broker/Dealers that Want to Launch a Crowdfunding Platform

“Our complete portal solution provides a community-focused business professional or organization everything they need to launch a compliant crowdfunding portal,” said Joseph Barisonzi, CEO of CommunityLeader, Inc. “As of today, no longer should cash flow be the barrier to building a crowdfunding portal.”

“Launching a crowdfunding portal is much more than an investor-facing website,” stated Jennifer Amys, CommunityLeader’s CIO. “It is about having the systems in place to effectively solicit and promote a qualified investment opportunity to a qualified investor, manage the settlement and fulfillment process, and then provide transparent ongoing support. A CommunityLeader crowdfunding portal has the power to manage all of the required and necessary steps.”

CommunityLeader’s financing option provides qualified portal partners the opportunity to minimize their upfront financial outlay so they maximize the resources they have for recruiting quality businesses and educating investors. CommunityLeader is offering three financing packages designed for individuals and organizations seeking to launch an integrated community-based crowdfunding portal.

“Everyone who wants to launch a portal has to consider whether to build their own system or to partner with an experienced platform provider,” said Scott Bachman, CommunityLeader’s CMO. “The CommunityLeader Portal Platform solution makes this an easy choice. For probably less than 20% of the cost of building out a proprietary solution, we can deliver a personalized portal with everything needed to solicit and sell securities in today’s regulatory environment.”

CommunityLeader is seeking portal operators who have deep connections in their chosen community. Communities may be geographic, industry, affinity or business model; and will evaluate qualified operators on depth of their business plan and their personal and professional attributes. With as little as 15% down, CommunityLeader’s financing packages cover the upfront license fee, configuration, custom development and training.

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