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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: August 2016

5th Annual Global Crowdfunding Convention Approaches

You can download an audio podcast here or subscribe via iTunes.

The 5th Annual Global Crowdfunding Convention is coming up on October 15 through 17, 2016 in Las Vegas at Planet Hollywood.

Ruth Hedges, the showrunner for the convention, bills it as the biggest industry event of the year.

Featured speakers will include Slava Rubin, co-founder and CEO of Indiegogo; Lisa Song Sutton, Miss Nevada 2014; Vladimir I. Ivanov, PhD, of the SEC; and, yours truly, Devin Thorpe, among many others.

The speakers will include a number of people profiled on the Your Mark on the World Show, including Ruth, Douglas Ellenoff, Richard Swart, Kendall Almerico, Jilliene Helman, Mary Juetton, Jillian Sidoti, Samuel Guzik, and Howard Leonhardt.

Ruth says, “We bring together a dynamic program featuring exciting breakout sessions, crowdfunding superstars who have raised millions of dollars, office hours with investors and mentors, crowdfunding professional experts, and leading Fintech companies driving the growth of the industry. They will share actionable information and proven strategies on all facets of Reward, Donation,and Equity Crowdfunding. You will not find this anywhere else.”

The crowdfunding industry has been reenergized by the belated implementation of the JOBS Act Title III provisions allowing ordinary investors to participate in startup investing for the first time since the 1933 Act was passed during the Great Depression.

On Thursday, September 1, 2016 at 2:00 Eastern, Ruth will join me here for a live discussion about the Global Crowdfunding Convention, the speakers and the events associated with it. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

Ruth Hedges, courtesy of the Global Crowdfunding Convention

Ruth Hedges, courtesy of the Global Crowdfunding Convention

More about the Global Crowdfunding Convention:

Twitter: @thegccworld

The Global Crowdfunding Convention (GCC) consistently hand picks the best and the brightest in the field and covers all topics of crowdfunding. Produced by Crowdfunding industry experts, it attracts the world’s business leaders to discuss the industry’s most pressing issues. For more information visit Follow the hashtag #thegccworld on Twitter for real-time hashtag highlights.

Ruth’s bio:

Ruth E. Hedges is one the world’s foremost authorities on crowdfunding and is one of the original pioneers of the legislation that was ultimately signed into law as the JOBS Act on April 5, 2012. She was honored with an invitation to the White House for its Crowdfunding Champions of Change event. Ruth created and operates the worlds first Global Crowdfunding Convention (GCC) now in entering its 5th year. It is hosted every year in Las Vegas NV.

Ms Hedges is the founder of the industry’s first Marketing Automation CRM and Social media platform built for Crowdfunding and Crowd Financing.

The company aims to fill the void between basic email software and complex and expensive marketing software. Along with an easy to use Crowdfunding Task & Action Plan™-A virtual placeholder,guide and calendar for you to create a step by step crowdfunding plan with timelines for launching and running a successful and compliant campaign.

As an industry expert, Ms Hedges has been interviewed or quoted in over 50 major publications and was selected to teach the first university-level course on securities-based crowdfunding in the nation at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV).

Ms Hedges was also a Founding Board member of the CrowdFund Intermediary Regulatory Advocates (CFIRA) and CFPA. ​In 2012 Ms Hedges also launched to help spread the word across the globe.

Previously, Ms. Hedges was featured in the Chronicle of Philanthropy as well as the New York Times, the LA times and People magazine for her work with Oxfam America and the Hollywood Hunger Banquets.She was featured on ABC’s Home Show, and the Financial News Network produced a two-part series on Ms. Hedges for their show” American Entrepreneur.” She was invited to fill a cabinet seat on the Second Century Campaign board which raised over 16 million dollars to build the new Union Rescue Mission. She is the recipient of the Certificate of Appreciation from the City of Los Angeles for that work.

Never miss another interview! Join Devin here!

Devin is a journalist, author and corporate social responsibility speaker who calls himself a champion of social good. With a goal to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems by 2045, he focuses on telling the stories of those who are leading the way! Learn more at!


This Film Needs your Support to help “HANA: Help a Needy Animal”

The filmmakers want to produce a documentary profiling “HANA, the Help-A-Needy-Animal Fund”. This nonprofit has a mission to prevent euthanasia in pets. They are raising money on Kickstarter. Recently I caught up with Josh Haygood to learn more about the effort; here’s what he told me:

What is the social benefit you hope to achieve with or through your crowdfunding campaign?

I’m a film and television producer in New York city having made two Emmy Award winning television programs as well as many others. I’ve made my career primarily in the documentary space. I love projects with a big heart, such as the feature doc Ride With Larry which we released last year about a man battling Parkinson’s. My father also has this disease, so this was a very personal journey for me and very rewarding to help such a wonderful cause. We’re now working with the Michael J Fox foundation to raise money for research. I feel it’s the highest calling of an artist in any medium to be able to use their voice to help others.

It’s this call to action that’s led to my current project. I was introduced to a wonderful charity in California called HANA – the Help A Needy Animal fund, a 501c(3) non profit that provides life saving veterinary care to animals whose lives hang in the balance, but whose owners lack the financial resources to afford the often high cost of surgery and other procedures necessary to save their animals. The doctors at HANA have spent years treating domestic pets as well as horses and other critical working animals across California and now want to take their expertise to other areas to try and save as many animals as possible.

My idea is to make a film about their incredible work to get the word out to a big audience. As an animal lover myself, I feel this incredible work deserves to be recognized on a national stage. However the bigger hope is that similar to our film about Parkinson’s, which has helped raise money and awareness of that cause, this film will drive donations and support to HANA which can only do its life saving work with continued financial support.


How much money are you hoping to raise and why? How much have you raised so far?

We just launched our Kickstarter campaign two days ago, so far it hasn’t been seen very widely, thus my outreach to you. I’m a filmmaker, not a marketing or social media guru. I definitely need help in this area as I believe very much in the cause this film will promote.

The total ask is $75,000 which is about a quarter of what a film of this nature would cost on the open commercial market. I’m calling in every favor I’m owed from the film making community to get it done on a modest budget.

Whom are you trying to help with your project and why?

I’ll repeat what I wrote on your first page in case that’s not the place to enter this info:

I was introduced to a wonderful charity in California called HANA – the Help A Needy Animal fund, a 501c(3) non profit that provides life saving veterinary care to animals whose lives hang in the balance, but whose owners lack the financial resources to afford the often high cost of surgery and other procedures necessary to save their animals. The doctors at HANA have spent years treating domestic pets as well as horses and other critical working animals across California and now want to take their expertise to other areas to try and save as many animals as possible.

Vets Without Borders from Bandito Films | NYC on Vimeo.

What rewards, if any, are you offering to your supporters?

We are trying to be as generous as possible in this area. On our Kickstarter campaign backers are offered everything from t-shirts and DVDs at the lower levels up to invites to the LA premier of the film. We are also offering access to a live online backers only premier stream of the film at nearly every support level, which includes a live chat with the film makers. For those looking to be very generous, we are also offering Associate Producer and Executive Producer credits.

As animal lovers ourselves, we believe so much in this cause. We very much hope to have the opportunity to make this film and support what we think is an absolutely wonderful and necessary organization.

Check out the campaign:

Honeybot Robot Educational Companion & Pet for Kids Launches On Indiegogo

Features 3D Augmented Reality (AR) Learning

Transforms Child & Paintings into Educational Cartoon Animations

Kids Fly with Dinosaurs, Animals & Cars for a Magical Learning Experience

Honeybot Sings, Teaches, Reads Stories, and Chats with Kids Ages 3-8 Years Old

Mimics a Parent’s Voice, Lets Parents Talk to Children & Check When Away

Includes Honeybot Apps & Works with all Google Play Apps



Press Release – August 24, 2016, Shenzhen, China – HuiYu announced today the Honeybot educational companion robot for kids on Indiegogo at: An interactive Android-based home companion robot that uses Augmented Reality for learning, Honeybot is an electronic pet, teacher, storyteller, and a child’s best friend; educating kids with general knowledge, fun, fantasy, and good daily habits. Controlled remotely through a smartphone, Honeybot creates a new way for parents to educate and play with kids, employing 3D Augmented Reality (AR), Image Recognition, and Color Extraction Technology with educational apps to entertain, sing, tell stories, teach, and chat with kids — it even works with all Google Play Store apps.

Almost Human — A Kid’s Best Friend with Likes & Dislikes

Currently available in English and Mandarin (more languages available soon), children can virtually play with a 3D animated dinosaur and other animals on the robot’s or smart TV’s miracast screen. Honeybot was designed with a series of friendly expressions for use with social media, making Honeybot almost human — a kid’s best friend with likes and dislikes, rather than a robot. Honeybot creates different voices for asking and answering and can even mimic a parent’s voice for a fun and interactive way to keep a close connection with children when parents are away.

Honeybot Pre-installed Apps for AR Learning & Teaching in 3D:

  • AR Aquarium App: a 3D drawing app specially developed for the kindergarten educational system by experienced preschool education experts. AR Aquarium transforms children’s drawings into 3D cartoon animations through image recognition and color extraction technology. Coupled with lively voice introductions and professional teaching lessons, it helps kindergarten teachers with art lessons, enabling children to learn about marine animals while studying painting.
  • AR Yolk World App: an interactive cognitive app aimed at early childhood and elementary school education, it uses the latest 3D imaging to show the child interacting with 90 lifelike images of dinosaurs, animals, and vehicles. The multi-angled app provides a real interactive sensory experience, making a big impression on kids (other augmented reality teaching courses are also optionally available).
  • Simulated Daily Life App: helps kids learn about the proper daily routines, behavior, and electronic pet raising. Honeybot is hungry, needs a bath, and is sleepy, and children need to learn to take care of the little Honeybot for the correct daily habits for themselves and pets. Honeybot shows a detailed presentation of food, making children more likely to eat healthy food and less junk.

Honeybot Features: 

  • Interactive Multi-Screens: Miracast can be used through WIFI to display and control multimedia content between Honeybot and a smart TV for larger screen viewing of the robot’s display and less eye strain.
  • Voice Changing Live Talk: real-time communication between children and parents. The parent’s tone of voice is imitated so children can recognize him or her. Honeybot will play the parent’s voice and will act emotionally, providing Honeybot with human attributes. Children can also send voice messages to Honeybot and parents.
  • One Click Synchronization iOS & Android Audio/Video: parents can send audio/video to Honeybot after recording from a smartphone. Over 200 audio/video learning materials for 3-8 year olds is also provided, covering common knowledge, poems, songs, fairy tales, etc.
  • Video Call & Remote Monitoring: H.264 standard video enables smooth and clear video. Parents can initiate a remote video through the app (children cannot initiate to avoid disturbing parents). Parents can also send remote commands telling Honeybot to check on their children.
  • Daily Timetable Control & Honeybot Playtime Control: in order to help children form healthy routines, Honeybot can activate automatically in the morning to remind children to wake-up. In the evening, it can shift into intelligent dormant mode to only tell bedtime stories.
  • Honeybot Playtime Control: a feature to protect children from visual/mental fatigue. After using Honeybot for over 30 minutes when parents are not around, reminders are sent to parents to activate to dormant mode for 30 minutes. Parents can adjust the time or turn it off completely.

“Honeybot is an educational companion robot that will be loved by both children and parents alike. Entertaining, educational, and also interactive, it’s the best partner for children to grow up happily and healthily, and it connects children with busy parents,” said Zhongliu Chen, Founder & CEO, HuiYu. “The development of science and technology ultimately serves humans. We want a better life where high-tech meets our demands. After more than 3 years preparation and thousands of hours brainstorming, a group of young parents finally made this early educational robot, Honeybot, adopting both high-tech and edutainment.”

Honeybot Robot Specs: 

  • Over 200 audio and video learning materials with one-click synchronization.
  • Height/weight: 10’ tall, approximately 1.7 pounds.
  • Languages: English and Mandarin (more languages coming).
  • Operating system: Android 5.1.
  • Samsung 5MP AF camera.
  • 5-inch HD display with advanced full lamination tempered glass and rapid image identification.
  • Quad-core 1.3 GHz processor and 1080p FHD video codec coprocessor for quick processing.
  • 3W high-fidelity speaker to chat, tell a story, and sing.
  • Includes Honeybot apps and works with all Google Play apps.
  • See Full Spec Sheet:

Availability & Indiegogo Pre-sale Discount

Honeybot will be available Q4 2016 with a retail price of $349. For a limited time, Indiegogo pre-sale discounted pricing is available for $229-$259 depending on the version. The Indiegogo pre-sale includes the Honeybot robot, charger, cables, AR aquarium drawing card, AR Yolk World card, remote control, and free shipping. For more information, see Indiegogo at: or the website:

About HuiYu

Founded in Shenzhen Software Park in 2014, HuiYu Education & Science Technology Co., Ltd researches and develops educational companion robots and Augmented Reality learning and somatosensory interactive learning products. A new kind of high-tech enterprise, HuiYu provides total coordinated process solutions from hardware and software development to R&D of high-quality content. With RMB10 million registered capital, the company is expanding into new global markets, with offices and research centers in Beijing, Boston, Dubai, and Barcelona. For more information, see:

How To Do Your Due Diligence Before Investing

Todd Crosland is the CEO and Founder of Seed Equity Ventures, which sponsors

You can download an audio podcast here or subscribe via iTunes.

Hundreds of millions of Americans who have been statutorily and practically prohibited from investing in startups are now allowed to do just that under two new regulations. The 2012 JOBS Act created new rules for Regulation A offerings and Regulation Crowdfunding. Neither requires investors t o meet a specific net worth or experience requirement. Common sense suggests it is time to ask the expert how to do “due diligence” on a startup investment. Todd Crosland, CEO and Founder of Seed Equity Ventures, offers some advice on conducting proper due diligence. He suggests exploring each of the following questions:

  • Is there at least a minimum viable product or prototype with proof of concept?
    • If possible, you’ll want to use the product. If not, you should at least see it. If there isn’t a working prototype, be sure to ask yourself if you are prepared to invest at such an early stage. The answers to the other questions should be overwhelmingly favorable before investing in what amounts to a business plan.
  • Is there any initial traction with active users?
    • It is possible to have an active community without a product, but generally some type of minimum viable product will have to be in the market to prove the concept in the market. If the product is available and there isn’t an active user community, it may be time to move along.
  • Are there at least two full time team members?
    • Experienced investors have seen this movie before. A lone wolf entrepreneur fails because he can’t share credit, can’t delegate, can’t work well with other people or just thinks he can do it all himself. Look for a solid, committed team before you commit your hard-earned money to the deal.
  • Have any team members successfully founded companies in the past?
    • While many first time entrepreneurs are successful and some who have been successful in the past, miss on subsequent efforts, you improve your odds of making a good investment by finding teams that have been successful before.
  • Was the team able to raise any funds prior to this raise?
    • It is scary for investors to be the first money invested in a company. If there are investors who have invested before, you may also want to know if they are investing with you in the current round. Are they still true believers? As a general rule, you don’t want to invest your money to help a prior investor get paid. Remember, this isn’t your problem until you put your money in.
  • What is the payback period on the investment?
    • Most startup investments are in the form of equity and it may be difficult to determine how long your money may be tied up, but spend some time trying to understand the development cycle, the time required to get the product or service to scale in the market and how an “exit” happens, that is, how you’ll get your money back,
  • Have you calculated when you are expected to see a return on investment?
    • Depending on the cash flow projections, you may get your investment back before you get a return on the investment. Be sure to calculate your expected returns based on realistic projections. Be sure that you are willing to lose all of your investment for the possibility of achieving that return.
  • Is the entrepreneur’s marketing plan realistic?
    • By comparing the projections of the company to actual results for other companies in the same sector you can get a feel for whether the marketing plan is realistic. Investments like Facebook are exceedingly rare; be cautious if an entrepreneur suggests topping their early results.
  • Do you fully understand the industry?
    • Owning and using a mobile phone doesn’t give you the expertise to make investments in mobile technology any more than eating gives you the experience required to run a restaurant. Be sure you either really come up to speed on the industry or find experts who have to advise you.
  • Have you looked closely at the competition?
    • Don’t ever let an entrepreneur tell you there is no competition. This fallacy not only suggests a problem with the business plan, it suggests a problem with the management team. Get to know the strengths and weaknesses of the competition before you invest.
  • How many investors are on the cap table?
    • The “cap table” is the roster of owners, some of whom frequently have special rights that you may or may not be getting with your investment. Be sure you understand not only the number of shareholders but also the rights that each has. Typically, the entrepreneur has common shares that are riskier than the preferred shares the investors receive.
  • How does the entrepreneur plan to use the next round of capital?
    • It is vitally important to understand the company’s planned use of proceeds from the investment. You want to understand exactly what the entrepreneur will do with the money you invest. While thoughtful entrepreneurs will never plan to use the money on fancy cars and bonuses, you want to go deep enough to understand how the money will be used to generate a positive return on investment.
  • What is the startup’s burn rate?
    • The “burn rate” is the pace at which the company is spending money faster than it comes in. Most startups do spend more money than they generate in revenue and often continue to do so for years as they scale up. Be sure to understand not only how much the company is burning now but how long they project burning cash before they reach the break-even point when revenue will match expenses.

Perhaps the most important part of due diligence is to get to know the management team and their capabilities. As you explore these questions with the team, use their feedback to understand their personalities, strengths and weaknesses. You’ll be counting on them to turn your investment into something bigger and better.

Even if you are focused on social impact more than profits, remember that if you lose your money on an investment you can never put it to work again. If you invest well and get your money back with some return, you can reinvest that money in another social venture and have more impact. Be sure to weigh your social impact and financial goals carefully.

On Thursday, August 25, 2016 at 5:00 Eastern, Todd will join me here for a live discussion about conducting due diligence on an investment. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

Todd Crosland, Seed Equity Ventures

Todd Crosland, Seed Equity Ventures

Twitter: @getseedequity

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.

Todd’s bio:

Twitter: @ToddCrosland

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”;, 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.

Never miss another interview! Join Devin here!

Devin is a journalist, author and crowdfunding speaker who calls himself a champion of social good. With a goal to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems by 2045, he focuses on telling the stories of those who are leading the way! Learn more at!


Senior Hires Highlight Major Staff Expansion at hires top talent to grow its Los Angeles-based office

Press Release – LOS ANGELES - August 22, 2016 –, a leading online marketplace for commercial real estate investing, today announced the addition of Sameer Shamsuddin as Chief Technology Officer and Niall Weintraub as Vice President of Marketing. Mr. Shamsuddin and Mr. Weintraub are part of a new wave of talent joining’s Los Angeles office this month. With an additional 10 hires, the company has expanded its staff by 14.5 percent since July.

These two high-profile hires come at an exciting time for Last week, the platform announced the launch of its first online Real Estate Investment Trust (“REIT”), MogulREIT I, expanding its product offerings to include online, non-traded REITs in addition to traditional crowdfunded investment opportunities in individual commercial real estate projects.

“We are fortunate to have these experienced and talented individuals joining our team,” says CEO Jilliene Helman. “Real estate crowdfunding continues to gain momentum and our business is growing in lock step. These two additions to our leadership team help ensure we can continue to grow and create a great user experience for our business partners and investors.”

Mr. Shamsuddin, who holds a B.S. in Computer Science and a B.A. in Economics from Stanford University, will focus on leading and growing the company’s technology and product organization. Prior to joining, he spent 17 years at GSI Commerce/eBay Enterprise, where he started as Director of Software Engineering and worked his way up the ranks as a Product Manager and Vice President of Product Management, before ultimately becoming International CTO. As CTO, Mr. Shamsuddin managed a team of more than 200 tech professionals in Spain, the UK and the U.S.

Mr. Weintraub joins from DogVacay, where he served as the Head of Acquisition Marketing. Prior to this position, he spent five years with, first as a Senior Marketing Manager at People Media, a company, and later as’s Head of Online Marketing focused on emerging brands. In his new role at, Mr. Weintraub will be responsible for managing the marketing team and for developing and executing key marketing initiatives. He holds a B.A. in English from Emory University and an MBA with a concentration in Marketing from the University of Southern California.

About 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, 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. partners with professional real estate companies to source investment opportunities and underwrites all of the investments. For these real estate companies, offers JV and preferred equity as well as mezzanine and first position debt. For more information, visit

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

Giving Through Gifting; Support “Packed with Purpose” to Make Positive Change

Packed with Purpose is a specialty gifting company that curates gift boxes comprised of products with a social impact. They are raising money on Indiegogo. Recently I caught up with Leeatt Rothschild to learn more about the effort; here’s what she told me:

What is the social benefit you hope to achieve with or through your crowdfunding campaign?

Packed with Purpose curates gift boxes comprised of products that have a social impact. Each product is produced by a social enterprise or purse-driven company and has a unique contribution to society.  For example, we feature honey produced by formerly incarcerated Chicago residents, who are part of a workforce development program to help them learn job skills, land a full time job, and successfully re-join society.  Other products contribute to positive youth development, or sustainable farming practices.


How much money are you hoping to raise and why? How much have you raised so far?

Packed with Purpose aims to raise $30,000 to help cover expenses related to product sourcing, box production, fulfillment, among other things.  Less than 48 hours after launch we are just shy of raising $9,000, and are already at 30% of our funding goal.

Whom are you trying to help with your project and why?

Packed with Purpose aims to generate social good across diverse individuals and communities in the US. In our first crowdfunded launch box we will be supporting individuals with barriers to employment through workforce development opportunities.  We are also supporting the entrepreneurial and leadership development of urban teens.  Every social enterprise (and individual associated with that organization) benefits from a Packed with Purpose purchase- be it through transitional employment opportunities to break the cycle of poverty or teen leadership development to secure a promising future.

Packed with Purpose Launch Video from Leeatt Rothschild on Vimeo.

What rewards, if any, are you offering to your supporters?

Rewards vary and include: a Packed with Purpose launch box, which will feature 5 products from social enterprises and socially conscious businesses; a subscription to a seasonal delivery of 4 Packed with Purpose boxes, each a unique curation of products; a fully- funded Bee Hive, in partnership with a Chicago social enterprise that produces honey, and a customized tour of a social enterprise + lunch with Founder, Leeatt Rothschild

Check out the campaign:

Follow on Facebook.
Follow on Twitter at @PackedwPurpose Launches Its First Crowdfunded Real Estate Investment Trust

MogulREIT I, to be sold through online crowdfunding, aims to help democratize real estate investing

Press Release – LOS ANGELES  – August 16, 2016 –, a leading online marketplace for commercial real estate investing, today announced the launch of its first commercial real estate fund, MogulREIT I. Structured as a real estate investment trust (“REIT”) with a minimum investment of $2,500, the fund is open to nearly all* investors and offers the potential for consistent cash dividends and equity appreciation.

MogulREIT I has been designed to offer investors a number of distinct advantages. By investing in the “REIT,” investors will gain access to a diversified pool of commercial real estate investments with one single investment. The fund intends to invest in a variety of commercial real estate, including multifamily, retail, self-storage and office.

The fund is also designed to have low fees. Traditional non-traded “REITs” employ a highly manpower-intensive sales method, resulting in upfront sales commissions of 7 percent, on average, and total expenses of up to 15 percent.** By offering MogulREIT I exclusively on its platform, affords investors direct online access to the product with no sales commission and offering expenses capped at 3 percent.***

“Beyond the zero commissions and lower fees, the fund’s strategy is exciting because it allows us to leverage’s hundreds of inbound inquiries for financing on commercial real estate and curate them to find suitable opportunities,” said CEO Jilliene Helman.

Within the universe of commercial real estate investing,’s experienced real estate team takes a relatively conservative approach when selecting transactions to offer for investment: the platform only invests in cash-flowing properties and won’t invest in land or ground up development transactions. This approach will carry through to MogulREIT I.

“Through a flexible investment strategy, we can invest in both debt and equity as well as various property types and geographies, allowing us to be opportunistic. We’re looking forward to executing against our twofold objective for the fund: providing investors with both consistent cash distributions and the opportunity to benefit from potential appreciation in property values,” added Helman.

The launch of the “REIT” marks a new wave of opportunity to invest in real estate. Until recently, private investment markets have been off-limits to the majority of retail investors. However, recent legislation like Regulation A+ and Title III of the JOBS Act has leveled the playing field by allowing non-accredited investors making less than $200,000 per year to access these investment opportunities through online crowdfunding. Through Reg A+, MogulREIT I gives nearly all investors a new entrance to curated and pre-vetted private real estate investing.

“Our members have demonstrated a clear appetite for a range of real estate investments, and we’re proud to be able to provide that opportunity to even more investors through our first ‘REIT’ offering,” said Helman.

In May, announced that, since its inception in 2013, the platform had surpassed $200 million in crowdfunded real estate equity and debt transactions.

About 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, 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. partners with professional real estate companies to source investment opportunities and underwrites all of the investments. For these real estate companies, offers JV and preferred equity as well as mezzanine and first position debt. For more information, visit

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

*An investor in MogulREIT I, LLC must be a qualified purchaser as defined under Regulation A. Investors must also meet applicable minimum investment amounts, and suitability, know-your-customer, and anti-money laundering requirements. Retirement accounts may not invest in MogulREIT I, LLC. We reserve the right to reject an investor’s proposed investment in whole or in part for any reason, including if we determine in our sole and absolute discretion that such investor is not a qualified purchaser for purposes of Regulation A.

**According to a 2012 study by the Securities Litigation and Consulting Group.

***A detailed description of fees and expenses is available in the fund’s Offering Circular. An affiliate of MogulREIT I may receive fees related to the underlying real estate investments.

Legion M Closes Oversubscribed, Record-Setting $1 Million Equity Crowdfunding Round on Wefunder

World’s first fan-owned entertainment studio leads the JOBS Act field with 3,000+ investors and significant demand above and beyond the $1M cap allowed by the SEC

Press Release – Silicon Valley, CA – August 15, 2016 — Legion M, the world’s first fan-owned entertainment company today announced they have raised one million dollars via their Title III crowdfunding offering on Wefunder. The Company raised the funds in less than three months from a record breaking 3,000+ investors, making it the most popular Reg CF company in the short history of Title III of the JOBS Act. At the time of closing, Legion M was also the number one company in terms of total investment interest and demand, with significantly more demand above and beyond the $1 million dollar funding cap allowed by the SEC, which leaves outstanding appetite for Legion M stock even after the round is closed.

“Legion M shareholders worldwide are celebrating this significant milestone we achieved together. We are truly inspired by their energy, passion and unbridled support. This Legion of dedicated fans have rallied behind us and our movement to make our mark entertainment industry,” said Paul Scanlan, CEO and co-founder of Legion M. “We are grateful to the JOBS Act for the innovative reforms that make this possible. Today we made history, and this is only the beginning.”

Legion M’s creative partners currently include Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, the team behind Robot Chicken, 42 Entertainment, Meltdown Comics and Alamo Drafthouse.

“I was impressed with how Legion M’s fans rallied to help them hit the one million dollar milestone eight days early,” said Nick Tommarello, CEO and co-founder of Wefunder. “We designed Wefunder for companies looking to build a stronger relationship with their most passionate customers, who are eager to help their favorite companies succeed. It was great to see how well it worked with Legion M’s well over three thousand investors.”

“With more than three times the number of investors as any other Reg CF offering, Legion M has set the bar for Title III,” says Sara Hanks, a definitive authority on the JOBS Act and CEO of equity crowdfunding specialists CrowdCheck. “The real power of equity crowdfunding is having an investor base that can increase the value of your company, and Legion M is one of the best illustrations of that so far.”

“Having raised in excess of $100 million from VCs and angel investors for previous companies, we can attest that equity crowdfunding is a game changer,” said Jeff Annison, Legion M president and co-founder. “It’s not just a way to raise money–it’s a whole new paradigm for building a company.”

In the coming months, more passionate fans will have an opportunity to invest as the company intends to raise further rounds of financing. In the meantime, fans interested in joining the Legion without investing can sign up at

About Legion M

Legion M is the world’s first fan-owned entertainment company that works with top Hollywood creators to make movies, TV, VR and more. Fans own the company, fans get behind the scenes, and when Legion M is successful—fans share the rewards! Legion M co-founders Paul Scanlan and Jeff Annison are the Emmy winning team who co-founded MobiTV, the pioneer and market leader in over the top and multiscreen platforms and content monetization, as well as the New York Rock Exchange which brought Fans and the musical artists they love together in partnership.

Legion M’s mission is to empower creators to push the boundaries, and empower fans to be a part of the content they love, and is one of the first companies to raise funds via the JOBS Act. Creative partners currently include Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, 42 Entertainment, Meltdown Entertainment and Alamo Drafthouse. Join us at

Zenoti Raises $15 Million in Series B Funding Round Led by Norwest Venture Partners

Series B funds will be used to expand market share, help with talent acquisition and drive product innovation for cloud-based business management solution currently leveraged by 5,000 spa/wellness outlets worldwide.

Press Release – MERCER ISLAND, WA – Zenoti, a leading cloud-based management platform, today announced a $15 million Series B funding round led by Norwest Venture Partners with participation from returning investor Accel Partners. The funding will be used to expand market share, drive product innovation and help with talent acquisition. Growing rapidly in the spa, salon and medi-spa arenas, Zenoti will use portions of this new round of funding to accelerate growth with expansion into the fitness and yoga space.

Zenoti previously raised $6 Million in Series A funding from Accel Partners.

Zenoti’s all-in-one solution supports the entire business ecosystem of operational tasks. Its software platform was developed for reliability and scale, using enterprise-level technology made available to businesses of all sizes from a single location brand to large enterprise chains with thousands of outlets.

“Zenoti is filling a void for mid to large wellness chains by solving chronic challenges associated with rapid growth,” said Mohan Kumar, executive director of Norwest Venture Partners. “Enterprise brands are starting to understand that Zenoti technology affords increased efficiencies and the seamless ability to protect their brand identities and customer experiences. Other players in the market are not addressing the need to manage a brand’s distributed operations or provide an integrated view of business performance across multiple locations.”

“Over the last few years, we were focused on building a strong foundation of technology and customer service excellence,” said Sudheer Koneru, CEO of Zenoti. “We’ve demonstrated this by transitioning leading, enterprise brands in multiple regions to Zenoti. This funding enables us to establish ourselves as a leader in the industry.”

Zenoti believes that today’s large businesses need an integrated, enterprise-level solution, which addresses the consolidation, investments and rapid growth in the industry. As the most comprehensive solution in the market today, Zenoti offers a host of unique assets such as integrated, custom reporting, business intelligence tools, marketing automation, inventory management, and a complete mobile solution. Data migration services, cloud reliability with 99.9% uptime, and pinnacle customer service are more reasons why existing customers are pleased and new business is strong.

The company is serving the unmet needs of large enterprises such as Lakme Salons, Sothys Malaysia, Massage Green, and Kaya Skin Clinics. They also cater to the luxury market including brands such as Elemis and Gene Juarez, and have recently expanded into the resort space adding Taj Hotels, Melco Crown, Crown Hotels, and Alaya hotels to their customer mix.

About Norwest Venture Partners:

Norwest Venture Partners is a global venture capital and growth equity investment firm that manages more than $6 billion in capital. The firm targets early to late stage venture and growth equity investments across a wide range of sectors including: technology, information services, business services, financial services, consumer products/services and healthcare. Headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif., Norwest has offices in San Francisco and New York, and subsidiaries in Mumbai and Bengaluru, India and Herzelia, Israel. The firm has funded more than 575 companies since inception. For more information, please visit Follow Norwest on Twitter @NorwestVP.

About Accel Partners:

Accel is a leading early and growth-stage venture capital firm, powering a global community of entrepreneurs. Accel backs entrepreneurs who have what it takes to build a world-class, category-defining business. Founded in 1983, Accel brings more than three decades of experience building and supporting hundreds of companies. Accel’s vision for entrepreneurship and business enables it to identify and invest in the companies that will be responsible for the growth of next-generation industries. Accel-backed companies include Atlassian, BookMyShow, Cloudera, DJI, Dropbox, Dropcam, Etsy, Facebook, Flipkart, FreshDesk, MuSigma, Myntra, Ola-TaxiForsure, Perfint, Slack, Spotify, Supercell, Vox Media and others. Visit for more or @Accel on Twitter.

About Zenoti:

Founded in 2010, Zenoti was launched to provide an all-in-one business management solution for the spa and salon industry, notoriously plagued by a lack of software robust enough to support the entire business eco-system of operational tasks. Founders, Sudheer and Dheeraj Koneru, experienced first-hand the difficulties in running a chain of spa, salon and fitness centers and reached back to their roots in enterprise software to build a powerful, cloud-based solution that was simple, easy to use.

Today, the Zenoti platform is engineered for reliability and scale, and using enterprise-level technology made available to businesses of all sizes from the single location brand to chains with over 600 outlets. Zenoti currently powers thousands of spas and salons in over 30 countries. Zenoti affords the ability to seamlessly manage every aspect of a business from online appointment bookings, to billing through a POS, CRM, inventory management, marketing automation, and more. Zenoti clients are able to expand revenue through the platform by elevating the customer experience, increasing customer retention and spend, as well as ease operational overhead through automation.

The company is headquartered in Seattle, USA and has 7 offices globally, in the cities of Seattle, Sydney, Jakarta, Kuala Lampur, Manila, Hyderabad, and Dubai. The company has received $6 Million in funding from Accel partners.

Open All Hours: London Will Remain Global Hub For International Entrepreneurs Post-Brexit

  • Over half (52%) of Seedrs customers believe London will stay in top position for new ventures
  • Professional services, manufacturing, financial services and technology ventures will win out
  • Regulatory uncertainty, not access to capital, is biggest concern for entrepreneurs
  • Appetite for alternative investment will grow, particularly for crowdfunding

Press Release – London, 11 August 2016. New research from Seedrs, Europe’s No. 1 equity crowdfunding platform, finds that London is predicted to remain a global hub for international entrepreneurs, following the results of the recent EU referendum. Over half (52%) of Seedrs customers polled1 by Seedrs agreed that London would retain its position as a global centre for innovative new businesses, while only 16% said they believed London would lose out to other international hubs and the remainder (32%) said they did not know.

The sectors predicted by both investors and entrepreneurs to see the strongest opportunities for growth over the next 12 months in light of the Brexit vote include professional services such as law and accountancy (cited by 29% of respondents), manufacturing (21%), financial services (20%), IT and telecoms (20%), hospitality and leisure (17%) and property (16%).

Entrepreneurs’ biggest concerns post-Brexit are dominated by uncertainty about the future, rather than by potential lack of access to business finance. More than four-in-10 (41%) said their key worry was uncertainty regarding regulatory change and the same proportion (41%) said they were most anxious about losing European trade. Low growth levels were cited by 35% of entrepreneurs and losing foreign direct investment by 33%, while 27% said rising unemployment was a concern. Only 15% said they were worried about lack of access to business finance post-Brexit.

When asked their opinion about why there may be an increased level of appetite for alternative investments following Brexit, the main reasons given by investors were portfolio diversification (93% of respondents), tax benefits (48%), lack of correlation with mainstream asset classes (39%) and the fact that alternatives have produced strong medium to long term performance returns. Of those planning to increase their own investment allocation in alternatives, 69% said they expect to invest more heavily through crowdfunding.

Jeff Lynn, CEO & Co-Founder at Seedrs said: “We haven’t seen any slowdown in investment activity since the referendum, and we believe strongly that the UK remains highly attractive for inward investment. Our research supports the view that London will continue to be one of the top destinations for entrepreneurs looking to set up a business. It also shows that equity crowdfunding is still a great source of capital for entrepreneurs looking for first, second or even third round finance.”

Simon French, Chief Economist at Panmure Gordon, said: “Economies across the globe are facing similar political upheavals, and investors are fully aware when deciding where to locate capital. We believe that a negotiated ‘soft Brexit’ rather than a ‘hard Brexit’ will enable the UK to remain dynamic and stay ahead in the global race for talent. The UK can use Brexit as an opportunity to broaden its horizons beyond Europe and reject the ideas of protectionism.”

Gray Stern, COO and Co-Founder at successful peer-to-peer lending specialist Landbay, agreed: “If I was launching Landbay again in the current climate, London would still be my number one choice, Brexit or no Brexit. New start-ups can benefit from the economic conditions in London and as long as they keep their messages focused, digestible and realistic they will continue to secure equity investment.”

Julian Sutton, an early-stage business investor, added: “There’s real potential for small firms to take advantage of the opportunities that will be created by Brexit. Even if there is an economic downturn post-Brexit, businesses that launch during a perceived higher risk climate can often result in better quality businesses due to the challenges they have had to manage through. It is still vitally important to support start-ups during this time to ensure the continued growth of the innovative early stage business ecosystem here in the UK.”

Seedrs has now funded more than 380 deals since launch in July 2012, and based on global ranking system Alexa, has significantly more people using its platform than any other UK or European equity crowdfunding platform. Beauhurst, a leading source of objective deep data on UK startups and scale ups, ranked Seedrs number one investor in private companies in the UK this July with 78 funded deals at the halfway point in 2016, also ranking number one in a number of categories of investment.

Earlier this year, Seedrs was named a Bloomberg Business Innovator 2016, an accolade that recognises “the people changing how the UK lives, works and thinks,” as well as joining Tech City UK’s Upscale Programme of 30 of the fastest-growing UK tech companies.

1 Seedrs polled 120 Seedrs customers in August 2016

*Seedrs has taken the market share in the UK’s equity crowdfunding sector with 49.3% of all activity, compared to Crowdcube’s 40.5%. All other platforms have 10.2% combined. (Those numbers are based on the 158 crowdfunding deals (78 Seedrs, 64 Crowdcube) mentioned in the half-year report:
*Alexa Ranking: April – June 2016

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