This year, the organizers are asking the public for help before the festival via an attempt to crowdsource funds. Additional money will be needed to create the Kinsky Gardens stage.
The organizers have co-opted a quote from JFK for this purpose: “Ask now what your festival can do for you, ask what you can do for your festival.”
SOURCE LINK to the full article: http://www.praguepost.com/night-day/38420-festival-united-islands-of-prague-is-back-by-the-vltavaRead More →
Looking for cash for your startup? Fundable just announced that it has surpassed $100 million in commitments from backers and investors.
That means, communications chief Laura Moller said, that it’s now the biggest crowdfunding platform around.
SOURCE LINK to the full article: http://venturebeat.com/2014/04/17/fundable-passes-100m-in-crowdsourced-cash-for-startups-becomes-biggest-business-crowdfunder/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Venturebeat+%28VentureBeat%29Read More →
DJ Grandpa’s Crib, THE Crowdfunding Podcast streaming every Monday at 9-30 pm EST helps to connect interesting Kickstarter projects with people looking to support innovative crowdfunding campaigns.Read More →
Watch this Pro CrowdFunidng presentation with Jonathan Sandlund of Crowd Cafe http://www.thecrowdcafe.com/ see more on conference video http://svcrowdfundbeat.com/Read More →
News broke yesterday that RealtyShares raised a $1.9 million seed round led by VC firm General Catalyst. This was a continuation of a trend that we’ve seen over the past several weeks, with a number of VCs announcing their investments in real estate crowdfunding platforms.
The most prolific example of this is the $9 million Canaan Partners gave to Realty Mogul at the end of last month. But other platforms are attracting investor money, too, as this Entrepreneur article shows, with RealCrowd and Groundfloor also getting funded.
To be clear, these platforms are, at least for now, only serving accredited investors; the unaccredited are barred from investing until the SEC finalizes JOBS Act Title III regulations. Accredited investors are those individuals whose net worth (or joint net worth with a spouse) exceeds $1 million, excluding primary residence; or those who had an income of over $200,000 ($300,000 with a spouse) in each of the last two years.
Recent numbers released by Crowdnetic confirmed what the funding announcements had been suggesting. Real estate is the top industry in terms of committed capital, according to its CrowdWatch listing service, indicating a high level of interest among investors. That’s certainly good news for those VCs who have been investing in real estate crowdfunding platforms.
The aforementioned Canaan Partners made the biggest investment of its peers, and it believes that the gamble will pay off in a big way down the road. The VC firm has been in business for over 25 years, focusing primarily on tech startups. It was one of the earliest supporters of crowdfunding, having invested in LendingClub back in 2007. It has also invested in CircleUp, a platform focused on consumer products.
Hrach Simonian is a principal at Canaan and sits on Realty Mogul’s board. (He also sits on the board of CompStak, a crowdsourced real estate data aggregation company; perhaps there’s room for collaboration between the two?) He looked at a number of crowdfunding opportunities prior to Realty Mogul, but none of those impressed him.
“[Those] guys had gone after a different approach than what Realty Mogul had taken,” he told Crowdsourcing.org. “Their approach was, ‘Let’s just put the technology, [the] SaaS platform, out there, and these real estate developers and sponsors will just pick it up and use it to go crowdfund for the deals they’re doing, we’ll just charge a technology licensing fee.’”
“The problem is that the technology is part of the solution here, but it’s not the whole solution,” he continued. “You need to attract both sides of the marketplace, the sponsors… and the investors, on the other side. You need to be a market maker.”
Simonian said one of the major things the VC firm looks at when considering a deal is the market that a startup is in: is it big enough, and is the timing right?
In terms of the market size, real estate is clearly a huge sector, worth an estimated $11 trillion in commercial real estate alone, according to Simonian. $400 billion, he continued, change hands every year, and Realty Mogul wants to take a slice of those transactions, which can result in massive profits.
Why now? The general crowdfunding concept has become familiar enough to consumers for the platforms to be successful. LendingClub, he thinks, did a good job in educating people about peer-to-leer lending, as well as changing the way people think about their investments.
Overall, Simonian thinks crowdfunding (of the accredited and unaccredited varieties) can be a good fit for a number of industries, but not for all: “We’re picking off the attractive verticals, as we’re looking at the space.”
And Simonian sees niche crowdfunding platforms as advantageous over more general ones.
“How do you vet the quality of the deals that come onto your platform?” he asked, rhetorically. “The problem with someone who’s horizontally focused is that there’s no underwriting process. You just can’t build an automated platform to vet these deals, because every deal is so different.”
The crowd plays a part here, too, by helping the platform with the due diligence. If a potential investor lives near a listed property, that person can take a look at it and report back to the other investors, decreasing the chance of the crowd putting money in a bad deal.
There are a number of players in this market and (for the reasons stated above) all have promise. Simonian said Canaan decided to invest specifically in Realty Mogul because it’s already underwritten $15 million, and because of its focus on promoting its brand as a platform that presents quality deals to quality investors, which is important for securing trust among the early adopters. He also spoke highly of Realty Mogul’s managment team.
Whether Canaan and its peers are making the right choice by investing in real estate crowdfunding platforms won’t be known for some time. But so many VCs taking an interest in these platforms is certainly a good sign for the industry at large.Read More →
Crowdfunding 2.0: A New Means for Capitalist Participation | WiredSecure payment portals and gateways for eCommerce sites and services such as Paypal will not be enough. If possible the platform could facilitate secure wire transfers without the investor having to physically visit a bank. Transactions are crucial. But the personable relations between investors and emerging businesses is equally vital.
SEC introduces crowdfunding compliance and disclosure interpretations | Inside CounselThe National Law Review reported that the new CDIs reveal the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)’s stance regarding the use of Internet crowdfunding portals and the use of websites and social media in connection with intrastate crowdfunding offerings. They reiterate that general advertising is permissible under the Intrastate Exemption, so long as the advertising complies with the requirement that offers can only be made only to persons resident within the issuer’s home state.
Power of people – Crowdfunding gains traction in Asia | CNBCBut, it could be a while. The United States has only recently enacted rules covering equity-based crowdfunding. In Asia, it’s still largely uncharted territory. Governments are only just waking up to the possibilities and challenges posed by the crowdfunding industry. Getting the regulatory framework right will a delicate balancing act.“Too much burdensome regulation,” says Jason Best of consultancy group Crowdfund Capital Advisors, which produced the World Bank Report, “and the crowdfunding platforms won’t be able to make a profit and grow and continue serving the SME and start-up markets.”
The Democratizing Power of Crowdfunding and the JOBS Act | Huffington PostHowever, Taibbi misses the mark on the positive potential of crowdfunding, being too ready to trade democratic investment rights for what amounts to ineffective protection from Washington. Yesterday he blogged that shareholders weren’t invited to the real FB party. This is certainly true, but irreconcilable with his unmitigated opposition to democratic deregulation.The biggest loser in not being invited to the “real party” is actually not the unaccredited investor forced to wait for an S-1 which no one, even underwriting counsel, ever actually reads. The real loser resulting from the denial of authentic price discovery is our free market system and the consequential market inefficiencies and failures that follow.
Top 10 Business Crowdfunding Campaigns Of All Time | ForbesCrowdfunding is off to an even stronger start this year with an expected industry growth rate above 92% in 2014. Every day, more entrepreneurs are turning to business crowdfunding to get their creative ideas and early stage companies off the ground.The way that businesses find funding has fundamentally changed through rewards and equity crowdfunding combined, creating a win-win funding landscape. Crowdfunding backers can now own a piece of their favorite company through equity investment. Entrepreneurs can now convert their best customers and advocates into catalysts to move their business forward.
RealtyShares Raises $1.9M to Crowdsource Real Estate Investments | Dow JonesRealty crowdsourcing startup RealtyShares Inc. raised $1.9 million in seed funding led by General Catalyst Partners , the third investment in less than a month in a real-estate crowdsourcing company.Previously, Los Angeles-based Realty Mogul Co. raised $9 million in Series A funding led by Canaan Partners , while San Francisco-based RealCrowd Inc . raised $1.6 million in seed funding from several investors.
Why Renowned Chefs Used Kickstarter to Fund Their Restaurant and What They Learned | Fast.coThe Sawyers offered unique experiences for supporters at various price points, which helped more people become part of the project. Examples of rewards for pledges include an autographed Polaroid of Jonathon and Amelia at Trentina’s opening night for $3, a “friends and family” invitation to the restaurant for $50, a cooking class with Jonathon for $100, and the opportunity to have a seasonal cocktail named after you for $300.
Jay Samit: A Balance Between Law and Innovation | The Wall Street JournalWith more than a half a million rental listings, Airbnb’s model of connecting people with those willing to share their accommodations for a price has spread across the globe. Meanwhile, state attorney generals, local governments and tax authorities are looking into whether or not homeowners and apartment renters are violating local ordinances and paying their required lodging taxes. Ride-sharing services Lyft and Uber are also running into the same legal chasm as old statues are re-read and re-interpreted to decide who is an employee, independent contractor or member of a community-based organization.
Ryan Holmes: Social Media Jumpstarted the Sharing Economy | The Wall Street JournalAs little as a decade ago, trust was something that really didn’t exist online. When I was younger, I spent years on bulletin board Systems and the forums that populated the early Internet, without ever leaving a trace. No one used real names then; everyone hid behind handles. The Internet of that not-so-distant past was a Wild West — an anonymous space with little accountability and few community standards.
Science’s Amateur Hour | NewsweekExamining data is the way the most unskilled aficionados are advancing science. Through the Zooniverse portal, run by the Citizen Science Alliance, citizen scientists comb through and scrutinize images of the Milky Way to search for stars that could host planet-forming disks, go through antebellum ship logs to recover Arctic weather observations and examine fathoms of ocean to ascertain the size and floating direction of plankton. For more than 1 million citizen scientists logging in, it’s an unskilled, unpaid labor of love.
Los Angeles Law Enforcement Looking To Crowdsource Surveillance | TechDirtIt’s unarguable that the addition of crowdsourced photos and video helped authorities track down the Boston Bombing suspects, which shows that there is some value to this service. But, as is pointed out by Xeni Jardin, it could also be used to build a database of people enjoying First Amendment-protected activities. Currently, the site is soliciting input for any info related to last week’s party-turned-riot in Isla Vista, CA, where over 100 arrests were made and 44 people injured, including five police officers. The notice clearly states the police are “seeking to identify several subjects wanted for violent felonies that occurred during the evening.”Read More →
Though the JOBS Act is often associated with unaccredited investor crowdfunding, which has yet to go live, there are a number of other highly important aspects of the law that have been in place for some time.
One of those is Title II of the Act, sometimes referred to as ‘accredited investor crowdfunding,’ which lifted the ban on general solicitation of securities offerings. While the advertising of a deal can go out to the public at large, only accredited investors are allowed to invest in the deals.
Crowdnetic is a New York-based equity crowdfunding market data and technology firm that monitors this space. On its CrowdWatch platform, Crowdnetic aggregates and shows deals from crowdfunding platforms like AngelList, WeFunder, EarlyShares, Crowdfunder, and others. This gives the company insight into the crowdfunding sector, and it compiles reports on the data that the platform collects.
Earlier this week, Crowdnetic released a report showing some of the numbers around Q1 2014, as well as data from September 23, 2013, which is when the law lifting the ban on advertising securities deals went into effect.
The report found that there are currently 2,834 Private Issuers Publicly Raising (PIPRs) on CrowdWatch. The top industry by recorded capital commitments is Real Estate Development, while the third is Real Estate Investments – Other; sandwiched between them is eCommerce. It’s no surprise that real estate is making a big splash, as there’s been a lot of talk about platforms like Fundrise and Realty Mogul, which recently raised a $9 million series A round. Together, the two real estate categories combined for $22.5 million in committed capital.
Crowdnetic also released the stats around where investments and issuers come from. Not surprisingly, California leads the US with $74.1 million and 910 PIPRs; the San Francisco Bay area (including Silicon Valley) leads the nation in both categories, with $39.6 million and 443 issuers.
“We are seeing the strong and continual growth in the industry as more investors and private companies raising capital find out about this newly empowered marketplace,” said Crowdnetic CEO Luan Cox in a statement announcing the report. “This is a very exciting time in the world of crowdfinance.”
The report also has information about Form D filings, as well as women-owned companies. Those interested in the crowdfunding space should be sure to check it out here.
Do keep in mind that CrowdWatch doesn’t collect information from all crowdfunding platforms; still, it has access to a substantial sample size and the report does a great job of showing which industries are doing well with investors.Read More →
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