Crowdfunding Update for May 2013

Crowdfunding Update for May 2013

 We are still patiently waiting for the SEC to develop rules implementing the crowdfunding provisions of the JOBS Act. While we are waiting, the industry prepares for the crowdfunding transactions. Recently, two interesting articles about crowdfunding caught my attention. First, thecrowdcafe.com published an article regarding the status of different crowdfunding platforms. According to the article, many crowdfunding platforms are raising money in preparation for the launch of their portals for non-accredited investors. Below is the list. The most recent and biggest raise by far is CircleUp getting $7.5 million in a Series A.

CircleUp

Seed Round: $1,500,000

Series A: $7,500,000 

Equity platform; San Francisco, CA 

 

CommunityLeader 

Series A: $850,000 

Equity platform + ancillary products (white labeling being one); Minneapolis, MN 

 

CrowdCube 

Seed Round: ~$500,000 

Equity platform; UK 

 

Crowdfunder 

Seed Round: $400,000 

Equity platform; Los Angeles, CA 

 

EarlyShares 

Series A: $1,150,000 

Equity platform; Miami, FL 

 

FundersClub 

Pre-Seed: $529,000 

Seed Round: $6,000,000  

Equity platform; San Francisco, CA 

 

Invested.In 

Seed Round: $880,000 

White labeling platform; Los Angeles, CA 

 

RealtyMogul 

Seed Round: $500,000 

Real estate platform; Los Angeles, CA 

 

SellanApp 

Seed Round: ~$193,000 

Revenue-share; Netherlands 

Raised seed round on Symbid, crowdfunding platform based out of the Netherlands 

 

SoMoLend 

Seed Round: $2.0M 

Debt platform; Cincinnati, OH 

 

WeFunder 

Seed Round: $550,000 

Equity platform; Cambridge, MA 

Another interesting article that came out on CFO.com discusses what companies can do to prepare for crowdfunding. The concern addressed in the article is that companies may find it difficult to attract VC capital after they raise money through crowdfunding from non-accredited investors. VC investors may be unwilling to deal with numerous small unsophisticated investors. One suggestion is to structure crowdfunding securities so that VCs can subsequently buy out such investors at a certain multiple of their investment. This would provide for a good return on investment for the earlier crowdfund investors, as well as allow VCs to control the investor group. Another proposal is to pool these investors into a collective, so that they vote as a group instead of individually. This may give them more leverage and make it easier for the company and the VCs to manage the investor pool. 

As different methods and approached get tested by various portals for accredited and non-accredited investors, I can't wait to see how the world of private placements will change once start-ups will be able to raise capital through general solicitation and advertising through crowdfunding portals.

Read more commentary from Arina Shulga on the legal aspects of operating new and growing businesses at Business Law Post.

This article is not a legal advice, and was written for general informational purposes only.

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