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Tag Archives: Wealth Management

Crowdfunding Site, OurCrowd.com, Shows the World that the Equity Crowdfunding Industry is Sailing into the Global Economy Full Steam Ahead

17 Feb

OurCrowd evolves from participating in early seed rounds to a leadership position by successfully pooling tens of millions of dollars from top tier venture capital firms

By Robert Hoskins

Jerusalem, Israel – OurCrowd leads equity crowdfunding deal that reels in $16M in Series E funding round for Borro.com, the UK-NY based, asset-backed online lender. OurCrowd was joined by Rocket Internet AG (RKET), Canaan Partners and Augmentum Capital in this funding round.

OurCrowd alone raised $6M of the capital invested, making this the single largest equity crowdfunding round ever completed and demonstrates how equity crowdfunding can complement and even lead traditional funding sources, such as venture capital.

“In under two years, OurCrowd went from participating in early seed rounds to now successfully  leading a $16M dollar major funding round together with top tier venture capital firms such as Canaan and the renowned internet company, Rocket,” said Jon Medved, OurCrowd’s CEO. “We are delighted to be investing in quality companies like Borro, which is redefining the Fintech industry.”

Launched in the UK in 2009 and in the US in 2012, Borro has defined a new category of online personal asset-based lending. Borro focuses on providing liquidity to individuals, entrepreneurs, and business owners who use luxury personal assets such as watches, jewelry, supercars, fine art, antiques and high-end handbags as collateral for short term loans.

“Seven years ago, I joined the first angel investor group at Lending Club (LC) and witnessed first-hand the exponential growth of online lending,” Medved added.  “Lending Club’s IPO in December of 2014 was a pivotal point in the online lending industry and has shown that there will be multiple winners with eventual multi-billion dollar market caps. ”

Paul Aitken, CEO and Founder of Borro, said: “We are delighted with our collaboration with OurCrowd. Their ability to lead this important funding round has proven that equity crowdfunding has indeed come of age. I was excited by the quality of the investors they have brought to the table and am looking forward to their adding additional value to Borro as we move forward.”

Borro was recently ranked #8 right behind Lending Club (NYSE: LC) #6 and OnDeck #7 (NYSE: ONDK) in KPMG’s 50 Best Fintech Innovators Report. OurCrowd ranked #22 on the list.  Borro is backed by a consortium of high caliber VC investors with significant expertise in online finance.

Investing alongside OurCrowd is Rocket Internet AG, a German internet company based in Berlin that builds online startups and owns share of various internet companies including Foodpanda/Hellofood, Home24, Jabong, Jumia and Lamoda.  Other Borro investors include Canaan Partners (investor in Lending Club) and Augmentum Capital (investor in the UK’s top lending marketplace, Zopa). Borro has recruited notable financial industry veterans to its board of directors who bring a significant amount of experience to the company, including Nigel Morris (co-founder Capital One) as Chairman and Paul Grattan (ex-CEO Egg, First Direct.)

Borro launched in 2009 in the UK, and has gone on to open offices in New York and Los Angeles.  It is the leading online platform for luxury asset-backed lending and has defined a new lending category in a climate where loans to individuals, SMEs and entrepreneurs were few and far between. Borro offers loans from $5,000 – $2,000,000 secured against luxury assets including fine art, antiques, jewelry, luxury watches, fine wine, prestige and classic cars and other high-value assets. Borro investors include: Canaan Partners (Lending Club), Eden Ventures, Augmentum Capital. Borro’s board of directors includes Nigel Morris (co-founder Capital One) as Chairman, and Paul Gratton (ex-CEO Egg, First Direct).

OurCrowd is the leading hybrid venture capital equity crowdfunding platform for accredited investors who wish to invest in Israeli and global early stage companies. Managed by a team of well-known investment professionals and led by serial entrepreneur Jon Medved, OurCrowd selects opportunities, invests its own capital and brings these startups to its accredited membership. Members choose those deals they invest in via OurCrowd-managed partnerships.

OurCrowd investors must meet stringent accreditation criteria and invest a minimum of $10,000 per deal. OurCrowd provides post investment support to its portfolio companies, assigning industry experts as mentors and taking board seats. OurCrowd has raised over $100 million in equity crowdfunding for its 57 portfolio companies which include leading companies, such as: BillGuard, Consumer Physics (SCiO), BioCatch, Abe’s Market and ReWalk, OurCrowd’s first portfolio company to complete a successful IPO on the NASDAQ.

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Estimated Crowdfunding Industry Growth Expected to Exceed $10 Billion in 2014

25 Jun

 Three new white papers aimed at financial advisors, asset managers and institutions to help them identify and understand new growth opportunities in crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending and other opportunities in the alternative asset space

By Robert Hoskins

OAK BROOK, Ill. Millennium Trust Company released three new white papers aimed at financial advisors, asset managers and institutions to help them identify and understand new crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending and other opportunities in the alternative asset space.

Estimated Crowdfunding Growth in 2014 Expected to Exceed $10 Billion

Estimated Crowdfunding Growth in 2014 Expected to Exceed $10 Billion

The first white paper, “New Opportunities In The Alternative Asset Marketplace” discusses what alternative assets are, provides an overview of the alternative asset marketplace, and reviews some of the challenges that have made it difficult for individual investors to access and understand alternatives.

The white paper dives into how uncertain financial markets and increased investor demand have led to regulatory changes that are transforming the alternative asset industry while simultaneously creating opportunities for innovative financial technology firms. The white paper highlights ways in which some responsive financial services firms – such as custodians that specialize in the custody of alternatives – are developing technology and service solutions to meet the rapidly changing needs of both institutions and investors.

The second white paper, titled “New Opportunities In The Alternative Asset Marketplace: Peer-To-Peer Lending” examines the ways that pioneering custody firms have been working to support the growing, yet relatively new, online peer-to-peer lending industry.

While media coverage has mostly looked at how the developing P2P space has caused a disruption in the traditional bank lending model, there has been little mention of how these changes have impacted the role of the industry’s critical service providers, including qualified custodians. This paper discusses this issue by examining what forward thinking firms are doing to address concerns about the safekeeping of client assets in this growing alternative asset class.

The third, “New Opportunities In The Alternative Asset Marketplace:  Crowdfunding” examines how relatively new investment opportunities presented by crowdfunding are becoming the best example of “creative destruction.” In other words, crowdfunding is becoming a disruptive force in the traditional model of how individuals and companies can secure capital by going directly to investors as opposed to long-established system of going to local banks or Wall Street.

New Opportunities In The Alternative Asset Marketplace:  Crowdfunding

New Opportunities In The Alternative Asset Marketplace: Crowdfunding

Driven by the credit crunch, investor demand for alternative investment opportunities, the JOBS Act and a growth in technology, this market has exploded in recent years. Of course, as this market continues to grow, today’s custodians must evolve along with it. Those that can’t, or those that don’t, will miss out on a potentially huge opportunity, finding themselves sitting on the sidelines unable to meet the needs of current and prospective clients.

“It is an interesting time to be involved in the alternative investment industry,” said Reggie Karas, Managing Director of the Alternative Solutions Group at Millennium Trust. “Education is almost always cited as a key concern for advisors and individuals who are looking to allocate to alternatives. As an independent custodian, we don’t give investment advice-or talk about the ‘why’-but we feel our custody work with many of the leading alternative investment platforms gives us unique insight into the ‘how.’  These white papers are a result of that work and are meant to offer an educated look into how these online marketplaces and supporting service providers are creating new opportunities for investors and to offer some basic education about alternative investments.”

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