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The best source for news and information about crowdfunding for good.

Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Monthly Archives: May 2016

StartEngine Capital LLC Approved by FINRA as a Funding Portal

Press Release – LOS ANGELES, May 10, 2016 – Equity funding portal StartEngine Capital LLC has been registered with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) and approved for membership by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). StartEngine connects early-stage and growing companies seeking capital with investors seeking new investment opportunities. With this approval, StartEngine can operate as a funding portal for offerings under Regulation Crowdfunding and begin posting security offerings when Regulation Crowdfunding goes effective on May 16, 2016.

Regulation Crowdfunding was created pursuant to Title III of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (known as the JOBS Act) of 2012 which established an exemption from the securities registration requirements of the Securities Act of 1933 for companies to raise up to $1 million within a 12-month period. These offerings must be conducted by a funding portal, like StartEngine, or broker-dealer that is registered with the SEC and a member of FINRA.

“The SEC was mandated to regulate crowdfunding, and it did so in a way that allows us to serve up-and-coming business owners and help them meet their capital needs,” said StartEngine CEO and Co-founder Ron Miller. “There are thousands if not millions of investors interested in investing in companies getting off the ground. Regulation Crowdfunding enables our funding portal to help these companies connect with investors to grow their businesses.”

Regulation Crowdfunding requires issuers to file with the SEC a disclosure and information statement on Form C, including financial statements and risk factors, and display that information for at least 21 days on StartEngine’s funding portal at www.startengine.com to help investors fully understand an investment. Additionally, Regulation Crowdfunding includes annual reporting requirements that issuers must meet.

Issuers on StartEngine’s portal can sell common stock, preferred stock, and debt securities to any investors at least 18 years old who register on the site. Investors are subject to investment limits within a 12-month period based on income or net worth and common sense ability to bear the risk of loss of the investment. The issuers are able to create a campaign page viewable by the public that includes the required Form C filed with the SEC, videos, and communications among interested parties about the offering.

“Historically, small and emerging companies did not have access to traditional capital-raising methods such as bank debt, angel financing, or venture capital funding. We believe that every startup should have the opportunity to grow,” said StartEngine Executive Chairman and Cofounder Howard Marks. “StartEngine provides an alternative way to finance. When Regulation Crowdfunding is effective on May 16, 2016, access to capital through equity crowdfunding could be groundbreaking and will allow for faster innovation and growth for privately-owned businesses of all sizes, especially smaller and early stage companies.”

About StartEngine

StartEngine is a premier equity crowdfunding platform, connecting Millennials and other investors with early-stage and growing companies. Based in Los Angeles, the company was created in 2013 by Howard Marks, co-founder of Activision, and Ron Miller. StartEngine aims to revolutionize the startup business model by helping individuals invest in private companies on a public platform, thereby helping entrepreneurs achieve their dreams.

Vivobarefoot Launches Kickstarter Campaign to Bring Barefoot SAN-dals to U.S.

Global Leader in Barefoot Technology to Offer Traditional Handmade Bushman Sandals, Bring Awareness to Original Human Movement and Funds to Support Namibian Community

Press Release – LOS ANGELES — May 10, 2016 — Vivobarefoot, a leading global producer of barefoot shoes, announced today the launch of its Kickstarter campaign for the handmade original bushman SAN-dals. The 30-day campaign is set to raise $100,000 to produce a limited edition of SAN-dals in Namibia, in an effort to help revive the ancient bushman craft, support the local community and bring traditional bushman sandals to the U.S. market. Kickstarter pledge levels range from $15 to $7,200, with all profits to be reinvested back into the local Namibian community to maintain the village, purchase staple foods, and create a famine fund for drought years.

Vivobarefoot was launched as a stand-alone brand in 2012 by seventh generation shoemakers Galahad and Asher Clark on the premise of making shoes that allow feet to do their natural thing—the way they’ve done for tens of thousands of years—the UK-based Vivobarefoot has become a pioneer in the barefoot shoe movement. In its efforts to continuously deliver the best-possible products, Vivobarefoot travelled deep into the Kalahari Desert—home to the remaining San people—to spend time with one of the oldest cultures on Earth and some of the last persistence hunters.

Looking to bring their wisdom back to modern feet and help revive the ancient art of sandal making, Vivobarefoot partnered with Ju/’Hoansi community in Namibia to create handmade bushman SAN-dals, which will be produced in the community and sold in limited quantity via the Kickstarter campaign. Made with ethically-sourced eland skin, one of the thickest and most durable leathers in Africa, the SAN-dals are extremely durable and were originally designed to protect from the burning hot sand and sharp thorns. The edges are hand-sewn and sealed with natural beeswax and the embossed animal footprint on the sole gives the shoe extra grip, abrasion resistance, and unique personality to each pair.

“The human foot has all the technology needed to survive and thrive,” said Galahad Clark, Founder and MD of Vivobarefoot. “Vivobarefoot embraces the ancient wisdom that humans are meant to move barefoot, while applying modern technology to create innovative and truly revolutionary footwear. With the design and barefoot technology behind the SAN-dals complete, we’re turning to the Kickstarter community to help create a sustainable grassroots enterprise where the profits will be invested directly back into the local community in Namibia.”

A small number of sandals have been made as part of the first exclusive batch and are now being worn by the locals in the Nyea Nyea conservation area of North West Namibia. SAN-dal preorders start at $150, offering early backers the opportunity to be one of the first to own the original handmade sandals. Other price levels include embellished sandals, jewelry and more. The $5,000 level of investment, for instance, offers a six-day adventure in the wildest parts of Namibia—a chance to walk in the ancient footsteps of the San in the original home of the SAN-dal and learn their distinct survival skills.

The finished product will begin shipping in June 2016.

To learn more about the Vivobarefoot SAN-dal Kickstarter and to back the project, visit: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/vivobarefoot/1153247188?token=395108c4

About Vivobarefoot:

Vivobarefoot make the best barefoot shoes in the world: launched in 2012* as a standalone brand, and based in London, England.

Vivobarefoot is on a mission to change the footwear industry based on one simple insight—shoes should let your feet do their natural thing. The shoes feature a patented, ultra-thin, puncture-resistant sole in every shoe that protects the foot and allows maximum sensory feedback. Designed using ancient wisdom with modern technology Vivobarefoot is a complete shoe collection for off road, exercise and everyday wear, as well as a line for kids.

Created by two cousins from a long line of cobblers, Galahad and Asher Clark are on a quest to make the perfect shoe—perfect for feet.

Vivobarefoot footwear is produced sustainably using recycled, locally sourced materials in independently monitored factories. For more information on Vivobarefoot, visit http://www.vivobarefoot.com/us.

*Vivobarefoot started life in 2004 as a sub-brand “Terra Plana using Vivobarefoot technology.”

Antar Penguin Launches New Social Initiative on Kickstarter

A Shirt For a Second Chance

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Press Release -Philadelphia, PA (April 26, 2016) – Socially conscious fashion brand Antar Penguin has announced its latest initiative, “Smart casual – A shirt for a second chance,” which will launch on Kickstarter on Friday, April 29. To create the program, Antar Penguin has teamed up with Career Gear, a non-profit organization, which provides job skills training and assists the unemployed. Now, they can also give people the chance to dress for the workplace. For every shirt purchased, Antar Penguin

“Smart casual – a shirt for a second chance” reflects the long-held ideal of Antar Penguin Founders, Jimi Feng and Spoze Shen, which the elegance of Antar Penguin is not only in its look but also in its philosophy. “We believe that a fashion company should not solely be focused on the outer look and marketing of its products, but should also strive to promote ideals that make life more meaningful,” said Feng.

Antar Penguin’s mission is to make elegant, high quality products that bring people joy while contributing to the environment and society. To facilitate the “Smart Casual” project, the company seeks to raise $20,000 on Kickstarter over the next two months. By purchasing a shirt, customers will feel good knowing they may help save someone, or even a whole family, from becoming homeless. It will also help them to create a better life.

With a little initiative, these families and future generations can receive a helping hand. “A lot of major brands and companies send aid to other countries, but they forget that there are still some people in their home country like the United States that need help. We want to tell our customers to come back to help their own communities,” said Feng.

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A shirt can go a long way toward reaching out to those in need. Shirts are subtle fashion statements that mark one’s entrance into the real world. They are a symbol of self-confidence. To create the “Smart Casual” shirt, Antar Penguin enlisted the help of designer Alex Benekritis, who has worked with major labels such as Burberry, Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger. Through meticulous craftsmanship, Benekritis infused Antar Penguin’s spirit of elegance into the design. Made from high quality cotton fabrics selected from Europe, the shirts are exquisitely tailored, yet are chic and comfortable. With each purchase, customers will also receive an anti-dust garment bag, cufflinks, thank you card, gift box – and the opportunity to get involved.

Everyone who purchases a shirt is encouraged to write letters via the Antar Penguin website to share his or her life’s story, personal experiences or helpful advice. These letters will the be packaged and sent together with the shirts to Career Gear, who will distribute them to those in need. In addition, Career Gear will also provide skills training and arrange job interviews. Step by step, these white shirts will build bridges of hope and help change the world one shirt at a time.

For more information, visit AntarPenguin.com

Kimbia Unveils Multi-Phase Plan to Address Give Local America Events

CEO Forfeits Salary, Offers Fee Discount and Introduces Free Fundraising Programs

Press Release – AUSTIN, TX (May 9, 2016) — Kimbia Chief Executive Officer Daniel A. Gillett today announced the online fundraising technology provider is initiating several actions in response to the issues associated with the Give Local America® crowdfunding event on May 3.

“We have been in regular contact with our community partners since this incident occurred, and we are pleased to take these actions to mitigate the impact on participating organizations,” said Gillett. “After a thorough review of events, we will be better able to communicate a specific plan to ensure that an incident of this kind will not occur in the future and our partners, nonprofits and their donors can be confident in our ability to help them achieve their goals.”

Kimbia is the technology platform and solution provider for Give Local America, a one-day, nationwide crowdfunding event that raises money to benefit local communities. At approximately 10:00 a.m. EDT on May 3—ten hours after the start of the third annual event—Kimbia began to recognize significant delays in processing donations. Monitoring this activity as it began, Kimbia dedicated the company’s full resources to resolving the issue as promptly as possible and returned to full donation-processing capabilities later that evening.

Gillett emphasized that the personal information of donors who accessed the site on May 3 was not compromised. All donations were processed securely.

The plan includes a series of actions. First, Kimbia will waive approximately $370,000 in fees—about one-third of the net fees it normally would have received from this year’s Give Local America event. For most communities, this will translate to a reduction in their invoices from 2.99 percent to 1.99 percent of funds raised.

Second, Kimbia will make its online fundraising technology available to each participating nonprofit at no cost for the rest of the year, including a customizable donation page, a donation form that can be embedded on their website, automatic donation receipts and donor reports. Although each nonprofit will still pay related credit card-processing fees, Kimbia will provide the technology at no cost. This program will be made available over the next 30 to 45 days, as Kimbia works with each local community representative to develop the appropriate features.

Third, beginning at the end of June, Kimbia’s fundraising strategy team will develop and provide online fundraising workshops each month at no cost to help nonprofits and community partners become more successful online fundraisers year-round.

Fourth, Gillett will personally forfeit his salary for the next three months. Kimbia will instead pay the amount of his salary to organizations that participated in Give Local America.

Despite the processing delays, community partners raised more than $50 million nationwide for local causes associated with this event.

“Give Local America is an annual event that our 44 employees look forward to throughout the year, sharing in our community partners’ anticipation and excitement,” said Gillett. “We will work diligently to identify the specific causes of the issues we encountered and take every step necessary to ensure robust safeguards are in place to prevent a reoccurrence.”

360fly Closes $40 Million in Series C Round of Funding, with Hydra Ventures As Newest Investor

Press Release – ALISO VIEJO, CALIF. (May 5, 2016) – 360fly, Inc., maker of the category-leading, single-lens camera that captures stitchless 360-degree video, today announced the closure of a $40 million Series C financing round. 360fly welcomes its newest investor Hydra Ventures, the corporate venturing arm of the adidas Group. Hydra Ventures joins lead investor L Catterton and existing investor Qualcomm Incorporated, through its venture investment group, Qualcomm Ventures.

This latest round of funding will significantly bolster 360fly’s efforts to expand the worldwide sales footprint for its groundbreaking suite of 360-degree camera offerings, while also supporting marketing efforts for its new 4K camera, available at retail later this month. Additionally, 360fly will continue its emphasis in R&D and continued development of its software and hardware roadmap – specifically focusing on machine learning technology and its continued focus on product integration with companies like Giro and Bell Helmets.

“Our investment partners recognize the tremendous opportunity within the VR space as we drive further toward a level of widespread consumer adoption,” said Peter Adderton, 360fly CEO. “We have no intention of slowing down or resting on our laurels, and closing this latest round of funding is critical to not only maintaining, but increasing the momentum we’ve established.”

Virtual reality and immersive video have never been more top of mind, thanks to a string of recent announcements by major media companies such as Facebook and YouTube, VR purveyors such as Oculus Rift, and consumer-friendly 360-degree mobile VR cameras such as 360fly. The overall category can be broken down into two distinct areas: professional-grade VR and consumer-level 360-degree video (aka “mobile virtual reality”).

Specializing in consumer-level 360-degree video, 360fly brings immersive video and mobile VR to the masses with its affordable camera offerings and its intuitive mobile app. 360fly allows users to easily shoot, edit and share 360-degree video to popular social platforms like Facebook, YouTube and more.

Additionally, 360fly offers mobile live streaming through a partnership with Livit. Users can live stream their 360fly content with the free iOS and Android Livit Now mobile app, a smartphone and a 4G signal. Viewers can immerse themselves within the live feed and select the point of view they wish to watch.

The 360fly HD camera is available at Best Buy stores for $399, while the new 360fly 4K camera will be available at retail stores and online later this month for $499. To learn more about 360fly, visit www.360fly.com or follow 360fly on Twitter and Instagram @360fly, “like” it on Facebook at facebook.com/360fly, and subscribe to its YouTube channel.

About 360fly

360fly creates unique, 360-degree digital products that inspire users to capture, share and experience life’s greatest moments in 360 degrees. Our passion has led us to redefine video capture, because we believe life is too rich to capture just part of it.

New Crowdfunding Law Creates Access For Women/Underserved Entrepreneurs

Press Release – Oakland, CA – On May 16, Title III of the JOBS Act comes into effect, the landmark federal crowdfunding exemption allowing businesses to raise money through online platforms from both accredited and non-accredited investors. This change provides greater access to capital for entrepreneurs, especially women, minorities, and others who have not succeeded in finding money from more traditional sources.

“When I first started looking for capital, it seemed like every investor was only interested in tech start-ups with sexy exit strategies,” says Lynn Johnson, an Oakland-based entrepreneur and “I am building a business that is about compassion and connection and community. I am not afraid of slow growth and am in this for the long haul. I hope my daughter will take over the business one day.”

Johnson and her wife, writer/blogger Allison Kenny, are the co-founders of Go Girls! Camp, a summer day camp for young girls to learn and practice social/emotional skills through the arts. “As an artist and a woman of color, I was never encouraged to go out and make any real money. I was supposed to be a starving artist. But, I’m not into that. I am more interested in growing a thriving and socially responsible business. Now, I can get the capital I need from the people who support our mission.”

Jessica Nowlan, also of Oakland and Founder and CEO of Create Shoppe, an online platform that allows customers to design handmade gifts that are created by Artisan Crafters, is also optimistic about investment crowdfunding because it expands her options for who can invest in her business. “When you are building a business, they always tell you to reach out to your friends and family for help. But, I grew up poor. My friends and family were poor and I didn’t go to college so I didn’t have the networks. That wasn’t working for me.”

Nowlan launched her first business in 2010. “I had no money, no savings, and bad credit. I was living in subsidized housing and receiving public assistance, but I was determined to make it work. I had read so many stories about bootstrapping and entrepreneurs that made it and I was determined. I tried to go for loans, went through programs to access capital, and even asked friends and family, but I was either denied or told to be realistic and get a real job. I was depressed and felt like a failure. Without capital, I knew I couldn’t fund my dreams.”

Both Johnson and Nowlan are now prepared to raise $100,000 on the WeFunder platform starting on May 16 and they give a lot of credit to their work with Jenny Kassan, a Fremont-based attorney, consultant and recent appointee to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Small Business Advisory Committee, who worked diligently to help pass this legislation in 2012. “Fewer than .01% of entrepreneurs raise money from venture capitalists and yet that is the only narrative we hear about,” says Kassan. “There are so many amazing entrepreneurs out there who are building businesses designed for social and environmental impact, not just financial return. And, many of these entrepreneurs are women.”

Kassan believes, “Investing in these kind of entrepreneurs is so important because they are really the backbone of our economy. Unlike the overvalued unicorns that get so much attention, small mission-driven businesses invest back into their own communities and create local jobs and wealth.”

“When you grow up a girl in poverty, you are not taught to fail,” states Nowlan. “Instead you are taught that succeeding comes from playing it safe. There is a certain level of entitlement in that “just go do it” attitude that entrepreneurs need to have to succeed. Not everyone has a net. Getting this access to capital means that we can now participate in that process of trying and failing and trying again. That might be the most important part.”

RealtyMogul.com Investors Enjoy Double-Digit Returns on Two Equity Transactions as Each Goes Full Cycle

Investors crowdfunded approximately $3 million to help Brennan Investment Group acquire the properties in 2014

Press Release – LOS ANGELES  – May 3, 2016RealtyMogul.com, a leading online marketplace for real estate investing, announced today the completion of two full-cycle equity transactions after the sales of the Cumberland Metro Office Park in Chicago, IL and the Jackson Industrial Park in Indianapolis, IN. The successful sale of the properties, sold to the same buyer by Chicago-based private real estate firm Brennan Investment Group, resulted in 20.2% and 33.5% internal rates of return to RealtyMogul.com investors, respectively.

“The outstanding returns from the Cumberland and Jackson deals once again prove the outcomes real estate investors can achieve through crowdfunding,” said Jilliene Helman, CEO of RealtyMogul.com. “Brennan Investment Group has been a great partner in helping us give our investors the opportunity to enjoy value creation through strategic repositioning of the two properties.”

Added Scott McKibben, Co-Founder and Chief Investment Officer for Brennan Investment Group: “Building on the success of these transactions, we will continue to maintain an active investment approach in the Midwest market, which has shown strong fundamentals and healthy growth. We hope to work with RealtyMogul.com and its investors again in the future.”

Cumberland Metro Office Park, comprising more than 160,000 square feet, was originally purchased in November 2014 for $18.5 million. It resold 26.5% higher for $23.4 million. Jackson Industrial Park, which spans 260,000 square feet, was purchased in August 2014 for $7.85 million and resold for $11.8 million – a 50.3% increase in value.

RealtyMogul.com investors contributed equity capital to help Brennan Investment Group finance both acquisitions. A total of 58 qualified investors participated in funding these two projects, with the understanding that every real estate investment carries risk and no real estate investment guarantees a return.

“As RealtyMogul.com continues to expand the market for crowdfunded real estate investing, we look forward to participating in more deals like these, which offer strong upside to our investors,” Helman added.

About RealtyMogul.com

RealtyMogul.com is an online marketplace for real estate investing, giving individual investors real-time access to commercial real estate and professional real estate companies easier access to capital. Through crowdfunding, RealtyMogul.com gives investors tools to browse investments, do due diligence, invest online and have 24/7 access to an investor dashboard to watch how their investments are performing. RealtyMogul.com partners with professional real estate companies to source investment opportunities and curates all of the investments. For these real estate companies, RealtyMogul.com offers JV and preferred equity as well as mezzanine and first position debt. For more information, visit www.realtymogul.com.

Equity securities are offered through North Capital Private Securities Corp., registered broker/dealer and member FINRA/SIPC.

Community Funded Introduces Innovative Day of Giving Fundraising Software for Higher Education, Health Care and Nonprofit Organizations

Press Release – FORT COLLINS, Colorado, April 20, 2016. Community Funded (www.communityfunded.com) a leading provider of digital fundraising solutions for higher education, healthcare and nonprofit organizations, today announced the availability of a new software product to support the special requirements of Day of Giving fundraising initiatives.

The new Day of Giving Module integrates with a suite of digital fundraising solutions offered by Community Funded centered around its Crowd Fundraising platform. Together these solutions enable organizations to implement innovative and highly integrated fundraising campaigns that leverage content and data organization-wide and across the platform. In addition to its digital fundraising solutions Community Funded offers consulting services to teach best practices and provide support for implementing successful Day of Giving campaigns.

“I’m so proud of our team,” said McCabe Callahan, Co-Founder and CEO of Community Funded. “Every day organizations tell us we’ve got the best digital fundraising products on the market and I know our new Day of Giving module is even more groundbreaking.”

Day of Giving key features:

  • Optimized for mobile
  • Dynamic countdown pages
  • Display results by dollar or donor count
  • Match challenges
  • Prize boards
  • Quick mobile donation process & campaign card interaction
  • Offline fundraising tool integration

Two innovative new features designed to amplify the impact of Day of Giving campaigns include advanced integration of social feeds and donor wealth screening. Together these features give fundraisers unprecedented abilities to fine-tune and optimize campaign performance.

One-year licenses for the Day of Giving module will be included at no cost in all new standard contracts signed before June 30th.

About Community Funded

Community Funded (www.communityfunded.com) provides powerful yet easy-to-use digital fundraising solutions including Crowd Fundraising and Day of Giving products and services that help higher education, healthcare, and nonprofit organizations exceed their fundraising goals.

@communityfunded

NextSeed Profile

This profile is part of our crowdfunding site directory. If you have used the site and have comments you’d like to share with our readers, please share them below. If you are part of the company and see an error that needs correcting, please send us an email.

 

About NextSeed:

This is not your kid brother’s crowdfunding. On NextSeed, you can invest online in local, cash-generating businesses and earn solid returns. NextSeed US LLC (“NextSeed”) became a Funding Portal member of FINRA on April 28, 2016. Headquartered in Houston, TX, NextSeed (https://www.nextseed.co/) will operate an online investment platform that allows U.S. small businesses to offer debt securities to private investors. NextSeed will be one of the first funding portals in the U.S. to facilitate crowdfunding offerings pursuant to Title III of the JOBS Act (“Regulation Crowdfunding”).

 

 

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