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Tag Archives: Sequoia Capital

GenYrator Launches Equity Crowdfunding Site for USC Startups Combined with an Entrepreneur Business Accelerator and Mentorship Program

6 May

GenYrator is the One of the First Mission-Driven Equity Crowdfunding Platform that Combines Real Returns with Real Impact by Investing in the Next Generation of USC Entrepreneurs

 By Robert Hoskins

Los Angeles, California – GenYrator launched its private beta for an equity crowdfunding site concentrating initially on startups from USC, the alma mater of co-founder Sean Nasiri. The GenYrator platform looks for emerging generation-y founded businesses with revenue that are not quite ready for institutional investors, and encourages regular people to get involved to fill that gap.

GenYrator Equity Crowdfunding Site for USC Startups

GenYrator.com Equity Crowdfunding Site and Business Accelerator for USC Startups

The company is currently being advised by notable figures from both the startup and USC communities. Current advisors include famous venture capitalist and USC Trustee Mark Stevens, former Managing Partner at Sequoia Capital, as well as Alex Cappello, former President of the USC Alumni Association Board of Governors who also served as the only two-time international chairman of YPO. Other notable advisors include Rob Ukropina, former CEO of Overnite Express, who also served on USC Board of Governors, and Ryan Meyers, Managing Director of General Assembly LA and former CEO of AlumniFunder.

“The problem GenYrator is solving,” explains Nasiri, “is that too many good millennial founded startups end prematurely or stagnate because they lack the support they need to grow, and the only way to fix this is by getting everyone involved.” Millennials now have the largest presence in the workforce, but according to the Huffington Post, they are facing the worst job market in more than twenty years. “We are starting businesses out of necessity. There are just not enough opportunities out there for people our age, and we need the support of all generations to create more jobs and grow the economy,” Nasiri continues.

GenYrator has recently achieved proof of concept by helping two companies close their recent rounds. First is wearable technology startup, Loopd, with noteworthy lead investors Tim Draper and Marc Benioff, which closed out its $1M seed round. Second is triple bottom line Hawaiian water bottle company, Waiakea, which closed out its $1.6M dollar Series-A. GenYrator has since opened up its platform to all, but still requires a private beta access code to view deals. It is currently featuring a selection of promising USC-founded companies in “preview mode,” with more being added over the next couple of months.

While investing through equity crowdfunding is only accessible to accredited investors, GenYrator’s unique platform is also open to those who are interested in other ways of helping out, such as being a mentor, advisor, or service provider. The platform also plans to expand beyond just a university platform. “The long-term vision of GenYrator is to establish itself as the premier destination for the next generation of entrepreneurs and leaders,” says Nasiri, “and to show people from all different backgrounds that they can add value and impact the success of a young startup.”

Founded with the mission to generate a more prosperous future through supporting entrepreneurship, GenYrator is the online platform that brings the benefits of the Silicon Valley ecosystem to the mainstream. GenYrator’s online community enables all interested parties, provided they are accredited in accordance with current regulatory guidelines, to directly participate in promising millennial founded businesses. Beyond simply crowdfunding, members and other supporters can lend guidance and mentorship.

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JD.com Launches Equity Crowdfunding Platform to Promote Entrepreneurship and Startups in Beijing, China

23 Apr

Among the first 11 companies to raise funds on the JD Equity Crowdfunding platform, three were featured at the launch event, including Thunderobot, Fastwheel and WeBuzz

By Robert Hoskins

Beijing, China – JD.com, Inc. announced that it has launched a series of initiatives to help finance, develop and promote the creation of start-ups in China. The new JD Equity Crowdfunding platform, which builds upon JD.com’s success in the area of Internet finance, is expected to be China’s largest equity crowdfunding platform upon its launch.

JD.com Launches Equity Crowdfunding Platform to Promote Entrepreneurship in China

JD.com Launches Equity Crowdfunding Platform to Promote Entrepreneurship in China

JD Equity Crowdfunding, which expands the range of offerings from JD Crowdfunding, will leverage JD.com’s nationwide brand and reputation for authenticity in the e-commerce space to give China’s entrepreneurs access to a broad set of potential early-stage investors. The new platform will provide a unique range of training and support options for companies throughout the entire start-up lifecycle, giving entrepreneurs a greater chance at success.

The JD.com initiatives, anchored by JD Equity Crowdfunding, will help to create an ecosystem supporting start-ups from the funding through the online sales stages of development. In addition to capital through crowdfunding, companies will have access new training courses provided by JD.com and seasoned investors and entrepreneurs, as well as to the company’s broader Internet financing tools. In addition, they will be able to sell their products through the company’s e-commerce platform, leveraging JD.com’s unparalleled last-mile delivery network and reputation for trust and reliability.

The company today also announced the first 11 companies to raise funds on the JD Equity Crowdfunding platform. Among these projects, three were featured at the launch event, including Thunderobot, Fastwheel and WeBuzz, which focus on the areas of gaming laptops, personal transportation devices and social media, respectively.

“I know from personal experience how important it is for entrepreneurs to have access to knowledge and early funding,” said Richard Liu, founder and Chief Executive Officer of JD.com. “As the leader in Chinese e-commerce, JD.com is ideally positioned to create a premium platform to give China’s early-stage companies access to resources and seed capital from a broad range of investors. With the advantages of JD.com’s national brand, resources and commitment to supporting early-stage companies, we are confident that JD.com will become the leading platform for equity crowdfunding in China. We look forward to creating innovation and value for investors, consumers and start-ups.”

“The launch of JD Equity Crowdfunding marks a major step forward in JD.com’s vision of providing a wider range of fundraising options than have traditionally been available to China’s entrepreneurs,” said Shengqiang Chen, CEO of JD Finance. “We are dedicated to developing an ecosystem that ensures China’s most innovative entrepreneurs have access to the support they need for success, from early fundraising and training, to an outstanding national e-commerce distribution network.”

Under the JD Equity Crowdfunding model, each investment project will be led by a professional investment manager, from either a venture capital (VC) firm or from a company with similar experience, who will be responsible for working directly with the investee companies and ensuring clear and transparent communications with investors. Participating VCs who will help develop JD.com’s ecosystem for start-up companies include Capital Today, ZhenFund and Sequoia Capital. As part of the program, JD.com will take a small equity stake in the projects that successfully raise funding through JD Equity Crowdfunding.

JD Equity Crowdfunding will join JD.com’s reward-based crowdfunding platform, which launched in July 2014 and has so far helped start-ups raise more than RMB280 million. More than 90% of JD Crowdfunding projects have successfully reached their fundraising goals. Among the successful projects are 69 with a target of RMB1 million and another seven with a target of RMB10 million. JD is now the largest crowdfunding platform in China, contributing about a third of all money raised through crowdfunding in the country.

JD.com, Inc. is the leading online direct sales company in China. The Company strives to offer consumers the best online shopping experience. Through its content-rich and user-friendly website jd.com and mobile applications, JD.com offers a wide selection of authentic products at competitive prices and delivers products in a speedy and reliable manner. The Company believes it has the largest fulfillment infrastructure of any e-commerce company in China. JD.com operated 7 fulfillment centers and a total of 123 warehouses in 40 cities, and in total 3,210 delivery stations and pickup stations in 1,862 counties and districts across China, staffed by its own employees. The Company provided same-day delivery in 134 counties and districts under its 211 program and next-day delivery in another 866 counties and districts across China as of December 31, 2014.

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