The Current state of Crowdfunding, the newly published report by CrowdfundingHub, the European Expertise Centre for Alternative & Community Finance, shows that in 2015 the crowdfunding industry in Europe has continued to grow and mature.
The report brought together 27 national experts across Europe, and examined regulations, size of the industry, as well as the stance of government and the banking industry. It covers Peer-2-Peer businesses and consumers lending, donations, rewards and equity models and provides delineated insights on the current state of the industry by using the ‘Alternative Finance Maturity Index’ based on 15 key research areas.
In almost all European countries volumes are rising quickly, but large differences between countries remain. Crowdfunding is since 2015 present in Lithuania, who now implemented new legislations to combat the non-market activity.
The UK remains the most mature Alternative Finance Industry when it comes to volume as well as ecosystem. Countries such as the Netherlands, Spain, Germany, Estonia and Austria have lower volumes than the UK, however the ecosystem development in each of these countries has the potential to lead to a strong Alternative Finance industry in the next couple of years.
“Our research shows that there is a very strong and positive correlations between governments support and industry growth and maturity. We are happy to see that more countries are now adopting legislations for the industry and we expect crowdfunding volumes to increase even further in the coming years, “ says Ronald Kleverlaan, CEO of CrowdfundingHub.
Alternative Finance is becoming a true alternative for business financing. In some countries such as the United Kingdom, more than 10% of businesses are financed by alternative finance and this percentage is growing rapidly. However, the lack of a clear taxonomy and transparency at European level make it difficult for businesses, investors as well as platforms and regulators to distinguish between different models of alternative finance.
“The Current State of Crowdfunding report is a step in bridging the information gap and provides actors with an updated overview on the industry, but there is still a lot of work to be done,” says Carlien Roodink, manager director of CrowdfundingHub. She points out that in the majority of countries there is little data available and there is a call for more transparency and independency when it comes to collecting and aggregating data.
The CrowdRise 24-Hour Impact Project heads to Madagascar to try to save the Greater Bamboo Lemur from extinction
DETROIT, March 29, 2016 / The CrowdRise 24-Hour Impact Project – an initiative that empowers individuals to impact causes that they’re passionate about, from helping an underground homeless community in Las Vegas to funding critical surgeries for kids in Honduras, and so much more – has partnered with 30-year-old videographer and breakdancing marine biologist, Mike Corey, to rescue the Greater Bamboo Lemur in Madagascar. The fundraiser launched today and seeks to raise $10,000. If the money is raised in time, Mike will spend the following 24-hours using the funds on a life-saving project for this group of lemurs.
Lemurs are the most endangered mammals on earth with 91% of species on the verge of extinction. In fact, the Greater Bamboo Lemur was thought to be extinct until Dr. Patricia Wright, American primatologist, anthropologist and conservationist, discovered the species living in central eastern Madagascar in 1986. Today, only 500 Greater Bamboo Lemurs exist.
100 of these lemurs live in a forest on the outskirts of the Ranomafana National Park – a protected park in Madagascar. There is a stretch of 6 kilometers of vacant land between their existing forest and the national park. This forest will soon be cut down, and farmers will likely resort to hunting to protect their crops and support their families.
Mike’s hope is to spend 24-hours fundraising to plant a long strip of bamboo that will serve as a bridge for the lemurs to travel along so that they can reach Ranomafana National Park to be cared for by scientists who will ensure that the species will flourish once relocated.
This project is incredibly important to Mike who studied biology and travels as a videographer documenting his many adventures on his popular YouTube channel and Instagram profile under the moniker “Kick The Grind.”
“There is a solution to rescue the Greater Bamboo Lemur but a lack of funding. We’re going to change that,” explains Mike, “This bamboo corridor, along with new data from studies we’ll help fund, will save this population. Otherwise, 100 of the 500 Greater Bamboo lemurs left on this planet will be gone. There is no coming back from extinction.”
The $10,000 covers the costs of building a bamboo bridge, including seedlings and labor, ensuring the cooperation from the locals, radioactive trackers, GPS devices, and other needs of the scientists who will be studying the species. The dollars will be collected via online fundraising platform CrowdRise and, as with all of CrowdRise’s 24-Hour Impact Projects, the entire process will be filmed. An impact video that follows the fundraiser and how the money is spent will be posted on the page the next day so that donors can see their immediate impact. To learn more about the project, see the inspiring video footage and, most importantly, to support the cause visit: https://www.crowdrise.com/86402Secondsinmadagascar
CrowdRise is the world’s largest and fastest growing online platform dedicated exclusively to charitable fundraising. CrowdRise is used by millions of individuals, tens of thousands of charities, hundreds of companies and many of the most famous artists and athletes in the world to creatively leverage their resources and networks to unlock the power of the crowd and raise hundreds of millions of dollars to support positive social missions.
Founded by actor Edward Norton, film producer Shauna Robertson and Robert and Jeffrey Wolfe, CrowdRise has conceived, implemented and powered campaigns that have raised over $300 million to date. For more information visit www.CrowdRise.com.
About the CrowdRise 24-Hour Impact Project
The CrowdRise 24-Hour Impact Project was developed to demonstrate the incredible power that real-time impact and crowdfunding can give to an individual trying to make change in the world.
CrowdRise ambassadors are selected to find an important cause and in just 24 hours, raise the funds to make a direct impact. The ambassador then spends the following 24 hours implementing that change. All of the activity is filmed in real-time and video updates are posted so that donors can see the immediate result of their contributions. So far, these projects have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for charitable causes. Specifically, the campaigns have built a community center in Mexico, secured a home for a family in Haiti, helped expand sanitation efforts in Nepal, provided a permanent home to a BBQ for the homeless in Detroit, funded life-changing surgeries for three kids in Honduras, provided eye exams and glasses to 1,400 students in Cambodia, and brought relief to a homeless community living in underground tunnels in Las Vegas. To see all the 24-HOUR IMPACT PROJECTS, visit crowdrise.com/impactproject
London, 21 March 2016: With just over three months to go before the June referendum on whether the UK should leave the European Union, new research¹ from Seedrs, the UK’s No.1 equity crowdfunding platform, finds that the Brexit jury is still out for entrepreneurs and early stage investors.
While half of investors (51%) and entrepreneurs (48%) would vote to stay in the EU, 47% of investors and 43% of entrepreneurs would vote to leave. Nearly one in 10 entrepreneurs (9%) said that they had no preference either way, compared to just 2% of investors.
In a separate poll, Seedrs asked respondents what impact Britain leaving the EU would have on the UK startup environment. Almost two thirds (63%) said it would have a negative effect, while 16% said it would be positive. More than one in five (21%) said they were unsure what impact it would have.
Jeff Lynn, CEO of Seedrs, said: “The very even split between the in and out vote shows what a complicated issue this is. It’s clear that this has become a debate lacking real information and that we are instead hearing soundbites from both sides. There is a need to present people with real information to help them make an informed decision in June.”
Along with the CEOs of a substantial number of other UK tech businesses, Jeff has put his name behind the Britain Stronger in Europe campaign. He explains: “As a business Seedrs is in favour of Britain remaining in the European Union. We are a pan-European platform with London at our core, and we believe that we and our users stand to benefit from the open market that comes with Britain’s continued EU membership; in contrast, leaving the EU creates a number of very real risks for the British business community.”
Last month, Seedrs announced that it has had more than £100 million invested on its platform since launching in July 2012 and, according to research firm Beauhurst, is the most active seed-stage equity investor in the UK.
VR Company Already Raised $2.5mm From More Than 500 Investors Just 24 Hours After Public Launch
AUSTIN (March 25, 2016) – Virtuix, the leader in active virtual reality and the developer of the popular Omni motion platform, launched its mini-IPO publicly on Thursday of this week and already raised $2.5MM just 24 hours after the public launch of the offering. So far, more than 500 private investors and 5 institutional investors purchased shares in Virtuix. Virtuix is offering Series A preferred stock to the public at $2.33/share.
Institutional investors that are participating in this round include 2020 Ventures, Scentan Ventures, Western Technology Investment, Tekton Ventures, and Scout Ventures.
“Virtuix is transforming the inherently limiting seated or room-scale VR setup to a fun, engaging, and social Active VR experience,” says Noriaki Okubo, current investor and partner of Scentan Ventures. “We invested in Virtuix because they are the Active VR category leader with a passionate and driven team that is determined to revolutionize VR gaming, fitness, training and simulation, and many other applications.”
Historically, startup investing was limited to accredited investors (only 2% of Americans), but that changed when Title IV of the JOBS Act passed through congress in June 2015. Title IV of the JOBS Act, also known as Regulation A+, allows everyone the opportunity to invest in private tech startups. For the first time in history, the general public has the chance to invest alongside Silicon Valley venture capitalists and institutional investors.
“We are thrilled to see the overwhelming response to our stock offering,” says Jan Goetgeluk, Founder and CEO of Virtuix. “We are excited that our community can now participate in our financial future and be part of the next chapter of our story.”
Over the past two years, Virtuix has grown to a team of 31 people and has raised over $9 million in private funding from individuals and institutional investors including Silicon Valley venture capitalists like Western Technology Investment and Tekton Ventures. Virtuix has pre-sold more than 4,000 Omnis to date and started shipping units to customers in December 2015.
Virtuix plans to use the proceeds from its upcoming offering to fund growth and further product development. Ultimately, Virtuix’s vision is to have the Omni be part of every Active VR setup both for home use and for commercial applications that include out-of-home entertainment, training and simulation, and virtual tourism.
Virtuix published a new video accompanying its stock offering with testimonials of Tim Draper and other personalities from the investment and gaming industries. Virtuix is accepting investments through the online SeedInvest platform at www.seedinvest.com/virtuix.
Founded by CEO Jan Goetgeluk in April 2013 and headquartered in Austin, Texas, Virtuix is the pioneer of the Active VR category and is the developer of the Omni – the first-of-its-kind motion platform that enables walking and running in virtual environments. The Omni is compatible with leading headsets and virtual reality content. It is currently available for pre-order for $699 per unit at www.virtuix.com.
Founder Fights Joins Boulder Startup Week Lineup
Boulder, Colo. – March 23, 2016 – Have you ever wanted to beat up your boss? Need something to take the stress out of startup life? You are certainly not alone. That is why The Corner Boxing Gym is hosting top company founders from the Boulder community and beyond to step foot into the ring for the first-ever Founder Fights. Watch as entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and creatives take their fighting spirit literally and go head-to-head on canvas, while raising money for the charity of their choice.
“Boxing and startups go hand-in-hand,” said Carrie Barry, head coach and co-founder of The Corner Boxing Club. “Competiveness, willing to take a risk, putting reputations on the line, these are characteristics that it takes to be successful in entrepreneurship. When you are boxing, you don’t get a chance to look at your phone or email. You don’t get to worry about your business. If you do, you are going to get punched.”
Founder Fights has earned its spot as an official event at Boulder Startup Week, taking place at New Vista High School on Friday, May 20th at 7p.m. Participating companies include:
“I’ve known way too many founders that are so focused on their businesses, they neglect their physical needs,” said David Mandell, co-founder and CEO of Pivot Desk. “Boxing is a great way to get back in shape, while learning a new and useful skill. And, since it’s such an intense workout, it gives you a mental break from worrying about your business.”
Every Monday and Wednesday at 5:30 a.m., founders meet in the ring of The Corner Boxing Club for an intense training camp. Each participant is also expected to attend evening classes, or sublimate group fitness with personal training and custom workout routines. Although many founders have signed up for the main event, each athlete must be cleared for physical testing to maximize safety.
“Startup culture is life consuming,” said Barry. “Founder Fights is a way to get back into a regular fitness regimen, become an active participant in the community, gain exposure for personal ventures and give back for a great cause.”
Get close to the action with VIP table options ranging from $3,000 to $1,000. General admission will be available for $15, with free admission for children under ten. Early tickets will be also be available at a discounted rate on the Founder Fights website. Proceeds from ticket costs will be donated to Blue Sky Bridge and New Vista High School.
Noteworthy participants include Brad Feld of the Foundry Group, Jerry Colonna of Reboot, Graham Forlong of Made Movement, former NFL linebacker and member of Premier Mortgage Ariel Solomon and Kirsten Barry of The Corner Boxing Club.
For more information, please visit www.founderfights.com.
About The Corner Boxing Club
The Corner Boxing Club is Colorado’s first community centric club co-founded by Colorado’s only Level 3 USA Boxing Coach and Fellow of Applied Functional Science (AFS), Coach Carrie Barry.
For more information, please visit www.thecornerboxing.com.
Todd Crosland, CEO and Founder of Seed Equity Ventures, which sponsors our work, is a Finra-registered broker dealer that provides investment banking services, especially capital raising, for startups.
Todd says that the firm reviewed about 600 submissions in 2015 and put up eight for funding on the company’s international crowdfunding platform. In other words, the firm can be as selective as any venture fund in the country.
Today, I asked Todd to explain the Seed Equity Ventures investment criteria so interested entrepreneurs can tune their submissions before sending them in. Here’s what he gave me:
On Thursday, March 17, 2016 at 4:00 Eastern, Todd will join me for a live discussion about these investment criteria and how entrepreneurs can make an optimal pitch. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.
More about Seed Equity Ventures:
Seed Equity Ventures is a registered broker dealer with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and a member of both FINRA and SIPC, providing investment banking services to startups and growth companies from around the world. Seed Equity believes the best entrepreneurs in the world should be funded, no matter who they are or where they live. Investors throughout the world, should have a voice to choose what the future should look like. They should be able to support entrepreneurs who will build that future. Seed Equity was founded to provide growth equity to entrepreneurs and their startups in exciting industries globally.
A seasoned entrepreneur, Mr. Crosland has demonstrated the ability to build successful teams and companies. Mr. Crosland was the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Interbank FX, LLC (“IBFX”; www.IBFX.com), from 2001 until he sold the firm in 2011. IBFX was a Futures Commission Merchant and Retail Foreign Exchange Dealer registered with the U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission. IBFX was also authorized and regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
IBFX was a worldwide leader in retail Forex trading services. IBFX offered individual traders, fund managers and institutional customer’s proprietary technology and tools to trade Forex online. IBFX saw Global customers grow to over 40,000, in more than 140 countries. Annual trading volume reached $750 billion. IBFX had 120 employees and offices in Beijing, China; Seoul, South Korea; Sydney, Australia; Salt Lake City, Utah and London, England.
IBFX and Mr. Crosland have received many awards, including: The Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award and numerous Inc. 500 awards.
Mr. Crosland holds a B.A. in Business (Business Finance) from the University of Utah. He also currently holds the following Securities Licenses: Series 7, 24, and 63 and previously held series 3 and 30 Licenses.
A Donor-Advised Fund with No Minimum for Investment
Invest. Grow. Change Everything.
Alexandria, VA (March 15, 2016) – Global Impact, whose mission is to build partnerships and resources for the world’s most vulnerable people, today announced the launch of Growfund—an online, community-based charitable giving platform. Growfund is a donor-advised fund that operates like a personal foundation or a 401(k) plan. Contributions can be saved or invested, grown over time and granted to the charities and causes that matter most to the donor. Unlike other donor-advised funds that require sizeable contributions before the funds are invested, Growfund contributions can be invested with the first dollar. And, the donor can keep the tool for their lifetime.
“We are committed to providing everybody the same sophisticated tools that many philanthropists have access to every day,” said Scott Jackson, President and CEO of Global Impact. “This game-changing tool is a key enabler in democratizing giving, allowing donors from varying economic levels to meaningfully support issues that matter to them. For me, having a Growfund account has transformed my personal giving, allowing me to give more and with greater impact.”
Growfund allows individual donors to easily integrate strategic charitable giving into their busy lives. The product allows donors to quickly set up a personal account for tracking donations to the investment funds, as well as tracking grants to any of the 22,000 pre-vetted charities available through the product. This enables donors to align personal budgets with family goals for giving and empowers them to personalize strategic giving, shaping the impact of their contributions.
Additionally, the Growfund tool is focused on creating more opportunities for giving among an emerging group of donors who will be the next leaders in philanthropy. Research indicates that Gen Xers and Millennials represent a group of donors that will be increasing their contributions and engagement with philanthropic causes. And among them, women will continue to play a dominant role in giving across almost every income bracket. “Women continue to be significant global donors and we are finding that an emerging group of 30 to 45-year-old women want to give in more meaningful ways; however, they need to be presented with more accessible and strategic ways to give,” said Ann Canela, Vice President of Global Impact and strategist for Growfund. “Not everyone has time to volunteer, so an easy-to-use, online charitable investment tool is very appealing.”
Incorporating donor-driven needs, Growfund includes:
Growfund can also be leveraged by a corporation to meet the growing demand of younger generations looking for employers to be more socially responsible. Today, roughly 60 percent of millennial donors give to charity through workplace-sponsored payroll deduction plans, and Growfund is well-positioned to become integrated with existing corporate giving platforms. The product includes functionality for payroll giving and matching gifts.
For more information and a demo, go to www.mygrowfund.org
About Global Impact
Global Impact is a leader in growing global philanthropy. The organization builds partnerships and raises resources that help the world’s most vulnerable people by providing integrated, partner-specific advisory and secretariat services; campaign design, marketing and implementation for workplace and signature fundraising campaigns; and fiscal agency, technology services and integrated giving platforms. Global Impact works with nearly 450 public and private workplace giving campaigns to generate funding for an alliance of more than 130 international charities. Through strategic council and implementation support, Global Impact equips private sector and nonprofit organizations to achieve their philanthropic goals. The organization serves as administrator for one of the world’s largest workplace giving campaigns, the Combined Federal Campaign-Overseas. Since 1956, Global Impact has generated more than $1.7 billion to help the world’s most vulnerable people. Learn more at www.charity.org.
Austin, TX March 14, 2016 — Allegiancy launched today from South by Southwest (SXSW) its $30 million new Regulation A+ `mini-IPO’ offering, becoming the second company in the U.S. after startup vehicle manufacturer Elio Motors to tap this new source of capital.
Speaking from the NextGen Crowdfunding Ignition 1.0 event at SXSW, Allegiancy CEO Steve Sadler described in the announcement how his active asset management firm will use the capital to attack inefficiencies in the $15 trillion commercial real estate industry.
The firm, in joining the likes of Twitter, Foursquare and Meerkat that previously announced launches from SXSW, is taking an aggressive, multi-prong strategy that combines crowdfunding with broker-dealer and institutional channels to raise the $30 million in capital.
Sadler’s announcement was viewed via livestream at the NextGen Crowdfunding Ignition 1.0 website at: http://ow.ly/ZjK5H
With the new capital, Allegiancy intends to acquire more companies, secure additional asset management contracts, hire more employees and continue to improve its proprietary technology for the benefit of property owners and investors.
Elio Motors is a Phoenix-based startup developing a three-wheeled, ultra-high-mileage car that raised $17 million through its recently completed mini-IPO crowdfunding raise. Elio shares are listed on OTC-QX and have traded up more than 300 percent since issuance.
In addition to crowdfunding, Allegiancy tapped brokers WR Hambrecht + Co., a firm at the forefront of the development and implementation of the new Reg A+ rules. In addition, Allegiancy partnered with Weild & Co., run by former NASDAQ Vice-Chairman and father of the JOBS Act David Weild, to reach institutional investors.
Allegiancy CEO Steve Sadler said his experience in a previous $5 million capital raise under the old Regulation A rules set the stage for this year’s mini-IPO raise. He’s the architect of Allegiancy’s coordinated effort to attract investors seeking an opportunity to invest in a firm with a laser focus on enhancing profitability in the commercial real estate industry and a track record of triple-digit growth.
“We’re synthesizing the best of all three strategies to deliver on the promise of the JOBS Act,” Sadler said. “This is a pivotal moment for American entrepreneurs and businesses. We’re at the forefront of what I believe could be a transformational moment in the American economy as forward leaning and visionary entrepreneurs tap into this revolutionary model of raising capital.”
Under the 2012 Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, or JOBS Act, companies can raise up to $50 million in equity from investors — including non-accredited investors — under what’s known as the new “Reg A+” or “mini-IPO” rules. Previously, companies were limited to raising $5 million under the past Regulation A rules.
Under the previous Regulation A rules, Allegiancy raised $5 million in capital in 2014 to spur 400 percent growth for the company in 2015. With the injection of capital, Allegiancy doubled in size, tripled the number of its employees and then doubled its assets under management again last June when it closed its first asset management portfolio acquisition. Allegiancy’s tremendous growth earned the company a place in the top half of the 2015 Inc. 5000 list and its aggressive push into the new Reg A+ mini-IPO arena was covered in the Wall Street Journal.
Allegiancy is changing the business of asset management for commercial real estate owners and investors with radical specialization. With a technology-enabled operating platform and singular focus on serving as the owners’ advocate, the company brings fresh vigor and unparalleled discipline to a poorly understood business. Combining its proactive Value Assurance operational rigor with an intense focus on cash flow and profitability, Allegiancy is leveraging the experience of its principals of more than four decades of success.
A copy of Allegiancy’s offering statement containing its most current preliminary offering circular describing the offering that is the subject of this press release can be found at: [allegiancyipo.com]
23 startups chosen for the third batch of Plug and Play FinTech
SUNNYVALE, Calif., March 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — After sourcing over 820 startups, Plug and Play’s Financial Technology Platform of Innovation has accepted 23 startups into its third batch of the program. The current corporate partners of the program include Assurant, Banco Original, Bank of the West, BNP Paribas, Capital One, Credit Suisse, Deloitte, Deutsche Bank, Finstar Labs, Intuit, JCB, MUFG, Santander, Sumitomo, TD Bank, USAA, and U.S. Bank. These corporate partners will work side by side with the startups for three months through mentor sessions, structured deal review, pilots, investments and even acquisitions.
“With our latest additions of globally leading financial institutional partners, our ecosystem continues to scale with opportunities for growth on behalf of our startups both in Silicon Valley and in markets across the world,” says Scott Robinson, Founder & Director of Plug and Play FinTech. “This unprecedented level of support will result in new levels of innovation from our startups.”
This batch includes a range of innovative startups including:
Plug and Play FinTech is an ecosystem connecting forward-thinking corporations and venture capitalists with startups that are developing technology that is defining the world of financial technology. This Innovation Platform runs twice a year for 20-30 FinTech-focused startups that are chosen by Plug and Play’s venture team, VC partners, and corporate partners.
The startups will pitch their polished ideas to corporate partners and investors at Plug and Play’s FinTech, Retail, and Materials EXPO. To see these startups in person, attend Plug and Play’s EXPO on May 25th. Register here: http://bit.ly/21EAejP
About Plug and Play Tech Center
Plug and Play Tech Center is the world’s largest global technology accelerator and venture fund. Since inception in 2006, our program has expanded worldwide to include entrepreneurs from 24 countries, providing necessary resources to succeed in Silicon Valley. With over 350 startups and 300 corporate partners, we have created the ultimate startup ecosystem. Plug and Play provides active investments with 180 leading Silicon Valley VCs, and more than 365 networking events per year. Companies in our community have raised over $3.5 billion in funding, with successful portfolio exits including Danger, Dropbox, Lending Club, PayPal, SoundHound, and Zoosk. For more information, visit: http://www.plugandplaytechcenter.com