Tag Archives: PayPal

Digitzs Shatters Glass Ceiling and Hits #1 Spot On CNBC’s Top 50 Crowdfinance Index

15 Sep

Digitzs Crowdfunding Round Closes Soon On Crowdfunder; Female Founded Fintech Company Disrupts Payments and Equity Crowdfunding

By Robert Hoskins

Santa Monica, California – Digitzs reached the coveted number one spot on the CNBC Crowdfinance 50 Index with over $7 Million in commitments for the niche payment processing startup. Digitzs is the first female founded company to reach the number one position since the index launched on CNBC in early 2015 and holds the number one position for the largest capital raise by a female founded company since Title II of the JOBS Act came into effect in the fall of 2013.

The CNBC Index tracks real time capital commitments received by the top 50 private U.S. companies via securities-based crowdfunding sites. Digitzs is currently fundraising on leading equity crowdfunding site Crowdfunder, and has raised more money than any female founder in Crowdfunder’s history.

According to Bloomberg, women-led technology companies are more capital-efficient, achieving 35 percent higher return on investment. “Digitzs CEO and Founder, Laura Wagner, is an innovative leader with grit, hustle and intellect,” noted Crowdfunder President, Steven McClurg. “She is driven to deliver near-term value for her investors, customers and co-founders.”

Wagner, a successful entrepreneur with 20-years in the payments space, has compiled a founding team of leaders in the space, including PayPal’s first CFO, David Jaques; former Head of Worldwide Payments for Apple, Edward Katzin and Visa’s Linda Perry (named Most Influential Women in Payments three years in a row); Ben Way, a world-renowned startup technologist, and Stacey Moore, an award winning technologist, strategist and entrepreneur.

“As the former head of Acquiring at Visa for 17 years, I am familiar with virtually every payment processor in the U.S., from small to large and everything in between. Digitzs has the most disruptive platform and business model I’ve seen to date,” notes Co-Founder Linda Perry.

“Virtually 100% of Digitzs’ startup funding thus far has come from team members, family, friends and the crowd,” noted Digitzs CEO & Founder, Laura Wagner. “As we bring this round to a successful close, we look forward to delivering unprecedented value back to our customers, investors and team.”

Digitzs makes payments painless for white label platforms that process ticket payments for events, donation payments for nonprofits and rent payments for property managers. Though viewed as the “Invisible Internet” by most consumers and end users, Accenture says niche cloud-based business management software platforms are a top-five 2016 trend. Digitzs’ team comes from PayPal, Visa and Apple and the company has amassed $1 billion in potential processing interest from potential platform customers.

Crowdfunder is one of the leading equity crowdfunding platforms for sourcing and funding early stage ventures with a network of over 130,000 entrepreneurs and investors. Crowdfunder provides the opportunity for direct online investment into single ventures. Companies listing on Crowdfunder are typically early-stage startups, many of which are backed by leading Venture Capital firms and private investors.

# # #

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.

IgnitionDeck Acquires Crowdfunding Assets Fundify and CrowdPress to Power Star Citizen-Class Fundraising Campaigns on WordPress

14 Jul

The growing software developer has embarked on a strategy to buy up  and integrate the world’s most powerful crowdfunding tools on the WordPress platform in order to build best-of-breed fundraising platforms

 By Robert Hoskins

Apollo Beach, FloridaIgnitionDeck, Inc. announced that it has acquired two of the most popular and powerful tools that offer customers a  no-commission-fee crowdfunding platform. Fundify was purchased from Astoundify and CrowdPress was purchased from BoxyStudio. These assets position IgnitionDeck as a powerful force in the crowdfunding industry and gives the company a dominant position within one of the leading online publishing platforms, WordPress, which accounts for more than 60 million websites worldwide.

IgnitionDeck - The Crowdfunding Industry's Most Popular WordPress Platform Templates

IgnitionDeck – The Crowdfunding Industry’s Most Popular WordPress Platform Templates

IgnitionDeck’s No-Commission-Fee crowdfunding tools let fundraisers host their own donation pages, keep all of the money that they raise, and control their relationship with users. Self-hosted campaigns offer a professional-looking and money-saving alternative to sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, which charge commissions on all funds raised, limit fundraising time periods, impose their own branding, and control the communications between fundraisers and donors.

A crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter campaign that raises $2 million would pay a platform commission fee of 5% or $100,000 for doing nothing more than allowing a client to upload a video, write a crowdfunding profile and add up to 20 perks.  A similar campaign running on Indiegogo that falls $1 short of its goal would pay a 9% commission or $180,000.

For example, Star Citizen, one of the most funded crowdfunding campaigns in history utilized a Kickstarter campaign, running between October 19th and November 19th, 2012. It raised $2,134,374, but had to pay a Kickstarter commission fee of approximately $106,718.

Roberts Space Industries Star Citizen is the Most Funded Crowdfunding Campaign in History

Roberts Space Industries, Chris Robert’s  Star Citizen is the Most Funded Crowdfunding Campaign in History, Dwarfing Kickstarter and Indiegogo

To circumvent paying this fee for their second crowdfunding campaign, Star Citizen’s Chris Roberts turned to IgnitionDeck to help him host his own fundraising campaign using his video game’s website, Roberts Space Industries, versus going with Kickstarter.  Star Citizen used IgnitionDeck for the first $13 million, thus at 5%, saved ~$650,000 by going IgnitionDeck direct.

After that, Star Citizen hired Turbulent to further customize the Star Citizen/Roberts Space Industries site and as of July 13, 2014, the Star Citizen campaign had raised approximately $48,050,064 from 498,029 pledges, which is more than any Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign.

Customers that have a large community of followers and feel comfortable in setting a goal of $2 million or more on Kickstarter would save a minimum of $100,000 by hosting an IgnitionDeck crowdfunding campaign on their own website. The more money raised, the more IgnitionDeck will save them.

After the experience with such a successful crowdfunding campaign, the IgnitionDeck management team realized that they needed more functionality.  Of all the tools they analyzed, it was clear that buying the functionality that the Fundify and CrowdPress themes provided would be strategic to the future direction of IgnitionDeck’s WordPress crowdfunding platform.

Launched in 2012, Fundify soon became one of the most popular tools for hosting multiple crowdfunding projects simultaneously, enabling people to “be their own Kickstarter.” The CrowdPress design theme provides a customizable front-end to Fundify’s functionality. All of these solutions– IgnitionDeck, Fundify, and CrowdPress– let hosts avoid the typical 4% to 9% commissions levied by commercial crowdfunding sites, have sold thousands of copies, and enjoy active user communities.

According to IgnitionDeck co-founder Nathan Hangen, “The IgnitionDeck and Astoundify teams have had multiple positive interactions. During one recent conversation, we began toying with the idea of bringing Fundify into the IgnitionDeck product suite. Within weeks, both teams knew it was the right thing to do, agreed on the terms, and shook hands.” Says Astoundify co-founder Adam Pickering, “We’re proud of Fundify, and all of the success and good will that it has generated. We are glad to see it become part of the IgnitionDeck family– it’s a perfect match.”

In January 2014, Indiegogo announced Indiegogo Outpost, which replicates IgnitionDeck’s ability to embed a crowdfunding campaign on a host’s website. The Outpost feature was scheduled for release Q1 2014, but it has not yet been delivered as of this writing.

The Fundify theme only costs $60. IgnitionDeck yearly license fees range between $79 and $349. WordPress hosting for a 90-day campaign costs about $20.  All forms of online crowdfunding incur transaction fees from a payment processor such as Amazon, PayPal, Stripe or WePay.

WordPress is a robust publishing system that takes most non-computer literature users a day or so to learn. The other option is to hire  a WordPress consultant who is familiar with off-the-shelf tools like IgnitionDeck and Fundify to create and launch a custom crowdfunding site for you.

In addition to standalone crowdfunding platforms for single campaigns, the IgnitionDeck Enterprise Edition allows anyone to build a full-scale, white-labeled crowdfunding site that can be branded and setup to compete directly with Kickstarter or Indiegogo.

# # #

New Equity Investment Fund Setup by Launch Angels to Invest in Women-Led Startups

13 Feb

PayPal shows support for women and the crowdfunding industry by sponsoring the Finding the Bright Spots: Women & Capital Event on March 4th

By Robert Hoskins

Launch Angels, an investment platform focused on equity crowdfunding deals and based in Boston, MA, is now offering two programs programs that will allow investors to begin backing women-focused startups.

New Equity Investment Fund Setup by Launch Angels to Invest in Women-Led Startups

New Equity Investment Fund Setup by Launch Angels to Invest in Women-Led Startups

First, Launch Angels and co-sponsor PayPal are hosting Finding the Bright Spots: Women & Capital, a March 4th event on how women entrepreneurs and investors are finding “bright spots” in equity.

Second, Launch Angels is opening its Women-Led Fund to accredited investors. This is the first fund dedicated to searching equity crowdfunding platforms for investments in women-led startups.

Finding the Bright Spots features a panel on funding sources disrupting male-centric models. It will explore how women entrepreneurs and investors are succeeding empowered by crowdfunding, accelerators, angels and venture capital.

Kara Miller, host and executive editor of “Innovation Hub” (which airs on 89.7 WGBH and SiriusX) will moderate. The keynote will be delivered by Michelle Watson, CIO of First Republic Investment Management. Panelists include Daily Grommet CEO Jules Pieri, Techstars Managing Director Katie Rae and ClearSky Data CEO Ellen Rubin. The free event is set for 6:00-8:30 PM at One International Place, Boston, with reservations through EventBrite.

Launch Angels CEO Shereen Shermak will kick off the evening. Shermak observed, “I’m an entrepreneur and angel, so I’ve seen that women are underfunded and under-represented in the C-suite. But trends—including equity crowdfunding—are changing the story. Launch Angels is pleased to be part of that through this event and our Women-Led Fund. Matching angels with women-led and -focused businesses needing capital benefits women, investors and the economy.”

A good example of crowdfunding at work is the event caterer, Mei Mei. This Boston-based company recently expanded their business from a food truck to a restaurant thanks to a crowdfunding campaign. Two members of the sibling management team are female.

# # #

eBeggars.com Launches Crowdfunding Platform to Help with Medical Bills, College Debt, Personal Finances or Mortgage Payments

18 Aug

eBeggars.com is a microfunding site used by those looking to raise money for themselves or a specific cause

By Robert Hoskins

eBeggars.com is a microfunding site used by those looking to raise money for themselves or a specific cause. The practice, also known as online begging, allows users to participate in the online version of traditional begging or panhandling, by asking strangers for money to meet needs and even wants. These can range from basic food and shelter to insurance bills, college debt, personal finances and nice gifts. The platform provides an easy way for members to ask others for financial help while keeping pride intact.

eBeggars.com Launches Crowdfunding Platform to Help with Medical Bills, College Debt, Personal Finances or Mortgage Payments

eBeggars.com Launches Crowdfunding Platform to Help with Medical Bills, College Debt, Personal Finances or Mortgage Payments

Free membership signup allows users to begin posting unique and compelling stories or causes for donations. If an entry seems like it warrants sympathy, support or a donation, users can click on the thumbs up button. Those that are not convincing enough may receive a thumbs down vote. If fellow users find the story intriguing and genuine enough, they can process donations via PayPal. eBeggars does not take a commission or charge members fees. All posts, payment processes and usage on the site is free. Any and all payment from donors are sent directly to the recipient’s PayPal account.

Jay Abraham, the founder of eBeggars.com states, “We are thrilled to have accomplished this milestone and look forward to continuing to support those in need. Initially this was created as hobby site, but it turned out to a real help for a lot of people when they really need help and support.”

Requests on the site consist of pleas from students responsible for younger siblings that are in financial crisis, parents in unfortunate situations, individuals still burdened by the effects of a crippled economy, those ineligible for financial aid and even victims of unavoidable natural disasters.

eBeggars has made it possible for anyone to receive money simply by sharing a compelling story and asking strangers for help. Cyberbegging has proven to be yet another way to gain financial assistance in hopes of becoming debt free, to purchase basic necessities or to reach a personal financial goal.

# # #

BancBox Launches First Automatic Escrow Service Aimed At Crowdfunding Platforms

28 Apr

By Mike Butcher

Last June, BancBox, a payment services platform similar to Stripe, debuted its platform allowing developers to build a lot of different payment services. As cofounder Sanj Goyle claimed at the time, “PayPal could be built on top of our platform.” Now it has launched BancBox Crowd, what is — as far as we can tell — the first independent escrow service aimed at crowdfunding portals that operate on equity, debt or revenue share models.

BancBox Launches ‘First’ Automatic Escrow Service Aimed At Crowd Funding Platforms

BancBox Launches ‘First’ Automatic Escrow Service Aimed At Crowdfunding Platforms

The company is also announcing partnerships with crowd investing services 99Funding, SoMoLend and Localstake.

BancBox Crowd claims to be the only solution on the market that provides online investment portals with an automated escrow solution that can replace the manual paper escrow process. They also say it is compliant with FINCEN, FINRA and SEC requirements.

In essence it means being able to create independent escrow accounts for each crowd-backed project, collect funds from those many investors, and either safely return funds if the project doesn’t work out, or disburse those funds when the project, whatever it is, reaches its funding goal.

Goyle says, “We want to have the payment part of the experience of an investor to be a sticky experience so we make it as easy as possible to pay and go through the process.” He says the business model is based on a set transaction fee to the platform partner.

You could say they know about payments. BancBox manages $100 million in consumer deposits daily in nearly 200,000 individual accounts. Its transaction volume has increased 100 percent to nearly $2 billion annually.

Read more…

CapLinked Enables Crowdfunding Platforms to Close Business Transactions Faster, Exchange Files Securely and Manage More Deals

6 Mar

By Robert Hoskins

CapLinked announced the launch of its new suite of enterprise features to provide cloud-based Crowdfunding platforms with business transactions that are simple and secure. The tools include powerful new options for reporting, file management, and discussions, as well as first-of-its-kind functionality for managing deals on an iPad.

The company—whose investors and founding team include early employees from PayPal—continues to challenge the legacy virtual data room (VDR) services with its elegant product for coordinating on complex business deals such as asset sales, financing and mergers & acquisitions.

CapLinked’s gives Crowdfunding Platforms a Much-Needed Option to Virtual Data Rooms

CapLinked’s gives Crowdfunding Platforms a Much-Needed Option to Monitor Virtual Data Rooms

Separately, CapLinked also announced several new clients using their software, including: Crowdfunding Service Provider (CSP) AI Verified information, Thomson Reuters, Sun Capital Partners Private Equity Firm, NextView Ventures, and investment bank Equity Partners CRB.

CapLinked enables its clients to close business transactions faster, exchange files securely, and manage more deals at any given time. And the company’s new enterprise features promise to make it even easier to securely manage transactions:

  •  iPad Compatibility: Unlike virtual data rooms, CapLinked’s web application has been optimized for use on iOS tablets, making for a seamless experience on-the-go.
  • Enhanced Reports: Workspace administrators can view and download activity reports that establish a thorough audit trail.
  • Bulk Uploading: Transporting an entire folder structure with all of its files into a CapLinked workspace is now secure and frustration free.
  • Conversations: Parties can now reply to updates from workspace administrators directly on CapLinked, making communication secure and trackable.
  • Custom Branding: Clients can enjoy a fully branded experience with their logo and colors throughout CapLinked’s website and email notifications.
  • Investor Reporting: Fund managers and financial institutions can automate splitting PDF documents into individual reports for multiple investors.

“CapLinked’s rapid innovation gives companies and funds a much-needed option to virtual data rooms,” says CapLinked CEO Eric M. Jackson. Business intelligence analyst IBIS World estimates that VDR industry sales will grow by 16% this year to nearly $730 million.

The lion’s share of all revenue is captured by three large players: IntraLinks, Merrill Datasite, and RR Donnelly’s Venue. But a lack of competition has also lead to a lack of innovation, resulting in low customer satisfaction and frequent complaints of difficult-to-use products. Sticker shock is also a frequent problem for clients, who are surprised to learn that VDRs often charge by the page, an unheard of practice in an era where data storage is measured in gigabytes.

“Storing secure data in the cloud for a complex business transaction has nothing in common with getting photocopies at Kinko’s, but virtual data rooms are pricing it the same way,” says Jackson. “Their pricing and technology are hold-overs from the 1990s—it goes to show how they have been shielded from competition for too long. CapLinked is going to change that. Our powerful, intuitive tools make it easy for people across multiple organizations to collaborate on transactions and share sensitive information, and our pricing is completely transparent.”

CapLinked customers can create a workspace for deal management or investor reporting with the click of a button. Customizable templates help expedite the process of organizing files, and a clean, modern interface makes it intuitive to control permissions. And with its new enterprise features, CapLinked now has the most powerful suite of tools for managing transactions available on the market. Training to use CapLinked only takes around 20 to 30 minutes.

CapLinked’s cloud-based enterprise platform that makes business transactions simple and secure. CapLinked is used by companies for managing M&A transactions, raising capital, selling assets, updating investors, and conducting due diligence.

The company was founded in 2010 by Eric M. Jackson (PayPal’s first head of US marketing and author of the award-winning book The PayPal Wars) and Christopher Grey (former senior private equity executive and managing director at a subsidiary of Emigrant Bank).

Its investors include FF Angel, Hercules Growth Fund, Siemer Ventures, 500 Startups, and Peter Thiel, cofounder of PayPal. The Wall Street Journal called CapLinked “the go-to place for setting up and closing deals,” and Inc. named CapLinked to its list of “5 Back-Office Tech Innovations.”

%d bloggers like this: