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IBM Looks To The Cloud To Fight Disruption

By   /  April 16, 2014  /  Tech  /  No Comments

We are in an age of disruption and this is even more pronounced for a large technology company like IBM, but Big Blue finds itself in the position of having to reinvent itself yet again after surviving and even thriving through earlier technology transformations. Let’s not forget that IBM was once the king of mainframes, which was a great place to be until mainframes were marginalized by mini… Read More

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The Market Welcomed Tech IPOs Last Week, Even As Industry Giants Slipped

By   /  April 7, 2014  /  Tech  /  No Comments


Friday was a busy day for tech companies on Wall Street, with GrubHub, Five9, and IMS Health going public on the same day. It went well: GrubHub spiked 30.77%, Five9 9.14%, and IMS Health 15%. A good crop, you could say. On the other end of the stick, a number of young-ish, but already public technology companies took it on the nose: Facebook fell 4.61% on Friday, while Twitter gave up 2.07%… Read More

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Realty Mogul Gets a $9M Boost for Real Estate Crowdfunding

By   /  March 27, 2014  /  Business  /  No Comments


Editor’s Note: David Drake​ of The Soho Loft and LDJ Capital writes in once again to cover the latest big announcement out of the crowdfunding world: today’s new that Realty Mogul has raised a $9 million Series A round led by Canaan Partners.

Realty Mogul, lauded as one of the top real estate crowdfunding platforms just one year after its inception in 2013, has successfully raised $9 million for its platform in a Series A round led by Canaan Partners.

This deal represents one of the largest Series A funding made by a female chief executive officer, and Jilliene Helman, Realty Mogul’s CEO, seeks to “bring the $11 trillion commercial real estate market into the 21st century.”

Related:- RealtyMogul’s First Year Stats [Infographic]

Realty Mogul maintains its transparency by always working alongside professional real estate firms and investment companies, such as AH Capital and Crawford Park Financial, making funding more accessible and investment opportunities more available. Since its launch in 2013, it has now exceeded the $100 million mark of total value of properties backed.

Realty Mogul is currently open to accredited investors who have a net worth over $1 million or an annual income above $200,000. The exclusion of non-accredited investors is in a bid to avoid regulatory drawbacks with the SEC, as well as to ensure compliance. It is with this in mind that Helman believes that, with this financial backing by Canaan, thousands of investors will have easier and more transparent ways to diversify their portfolios within the commercial real estate market that was once hidden behind a closed door.

Armed with modern technologies that make crowdfunding for real estate simpler, the company facilitates online investments of pre-vetted properties and gives investors 24 hour access to investments through an online investor dashboard. Even if investors decide that they would like to invest in a property, their funds are not committed until the full amount has been raised.

Realty Mogul, which approves every listing, has a wide asset base that spans commercial and residential properties as a way for investors to diversify their investments and, by extension, their risk. The investor is subsequently notified of movements on their investments, such as when the full figure has been invested, as well as receiving any resulting distributions, such as rental payments from the properties.

Operating originally from Beverly Hills, CA, Realty Mogul has branched off into several other states to include Tennessee, Washington, Seattle, Kansas, and Texas.

To date, approximately 6000 individual investors have invested $14.6 million in 58 properties across 14 states. Analyses of total figures, states, and capital injected by the company indicate that Realty Mogul is in fact the largest crowdfunding marketplace online, underwriting over $1.5 billion in last year alone. Data from Realty Mogul show that approximately 67 percent of the investments received through this platform are from repeat investors and that another 55 percent of this number consists of individuals making multiple investments.

According to Hrach Simonian, principal at Canaan Partners, “Realty Mogul will be the next disruption in a massive asset class just like LendingClub has been for the consumer credit market.”

Labeled the “Start-up to Watch” by Digital LA’s Digerati Awards, Realty Mogul is turning heads with its innovations and continued success. With this Series A funding facilitated by Canaan Partners, this crowdfunding platform is likely to attract more big spenders. Its secret may not be so much what it is doing, but its incorporation with real estate companies synchronized with its radical way of selling properties. With this much capital injected, and with so many potential investors lining up, the only way now for Realty Mogul is up.

​Jilliene Helman of Realty Mogul will be ​one of the speakers at ​the ​April 24 Global Real Estate Crowdfunding Conference in New York.

David Drake is an early-stage equity expert and the founder and chairman of LDJ Capital, a New York City private equity advisory firm, and The Soho Loft – The Voice of Capital Formation – a global financial media company with divisions in Corporate Communications, Publishing and Expos & Events. You can reach him directly at

Tags: crowd-fudning, crowdfunding, david-drake, real-estate-crowdfunding, realty-mogul


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Ebuzzing & Teads Merge To Create Global Video Ad Group, IPO Pegged For 2015

By   /  March 25, 2014  /  Tech  /  No Comments


Ebuzzing and Teads, a pair of European adtech companies focused on video advertising, are to merge — setting their sights on an IPO in 2015. The “Ebuzzing and Teads” group is being created in the hopes of building a global online video ad giant with complementary technology offerings that it can continue selling to both advertisers and publishers. The combined Ebuzzing and… Read More

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Crowd Coffee: March 24

By   /  March 24, 2014  /  Business  /  No Comments


Crowdsourcing medical decisions: Ethicists worry Josh Hardy case may set bad precedent | Washington PostThe story of how Joshua Hardy — a first-grader from Fredericksburg, Va., who is fighting off an infection after getting a bone-marrow transplant — got access to an unapproved treatment when others with similar requests were turned down highlights the ethical conundrums facing doctors, companies and regulators in the era of Facebook and Twitter.

Crowdsourcing website predicts climate change | 3 NewsMs Rosier is helping launch the Weather at Home project in New Zealand and Australia on Wednesday. People will be able to sign up online to have spare processing power on their computer used to run climate models.“Weather at Home specifically wants to look at how the risk of extreme events might have changed with anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions,” says Ms Rosier.She says her team will start by modelling last year’s weather as it was during the North Island drought, and as it may have been in a world without greenhouse gas emissions.

Sharing the Airbnb economy | Brand-EAirbnb is proving that the sharing economy can be as lucrative as any other business as the global accommodation outfit gets ready to close a round of funding which will bring in as much as $500 million, writes Steve Mullins. The latest cash injection will value the company at around $10 billion with each of the three co-founders holding 15% stakes worth $1.5 billion a pop. Airbnb has provided lodgings to around 11 million in the five years since launch and can boast around 600,000 listings around the globe.

Crowdfunding Expert Kendall Almerico Discusses Canada’s Proposed Equity Crowdfunding Law | Digital JournalAlmerico notes that while Canada’s securities regulators have proposed regulations that would allow small companies to raise capital and issue shares through crowdfunding websites, there are a significant number of restrictive conditions included to prevent crowdfunding from becoming a means of defrauding investors. “There are variations in details among each province,” Almerico says, “For example, in Ontario investors will be able to invest a maximum of $2,500 in a single crowdfunding investment, and companies will be allowed to raise a total of $1.5 million a year.”

To find seed money, Canadian startups follow the crowd | The Globe and MailThree main factors are driving the growth of crowd funding. First, far more Canadians are connected online, giving budding entrepreneurs a global market or audience. Next, a tepid Canadian job market is spurring more self-employment, an area that comprises 15 per cent of the workforce. And dwindling venture and seed capital for startups makes crowd funding a logical alternative.

A ‘Kickstarter for kids’ starts in Sarasota | Herald-TribuneKidBacker is focused on connecting young people with financial backers who will make kids’ ideas possible.“It doesn’t matter what their dreams are,” Holst-Knudsen said. “The children who join KidBacker have an entrepreneurial spirit and are hoping to attract like-minded people who want to invest in the future of this country.”

A Profile of Crowdcube: UK Equity Crowdfunding Platform | Crowdfund InsiderIn accordance with FCA regulations, Crowdcube must screen investors to ensure they are sophisticated or high net worth and, similar to Seedrs (one of the few points of agreement), Crowdcube is not concerned about the new 10% portfolio limit on individual investment being effected later this year. In a panel discussion at the Great British Private Investor Summit last week, Darren noted the FCA’s need to balance the interests of investor protection and startup companies’ access to capital.

Tags: crowdfunding, crowdsourcing, sharing-economy


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Tribune Digital Ventures Launches Newsbeat, An Audio App Aimed At News Junkies

By   /  March 20, 2014  /  Tech  /  No Comments

Since the Tribune Company launched its technology and innovation arm, Tribune Digital Ventures, it’s been trying to find new ways to appeal to both consumers and its partners. The latest move in that effort is the launch of a new app called Newsbeat, which provides personalized audio streams of news stories consumers can listen to during their commute. Read More

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Crowd Coffee: March 19

By   /  March 19, 2014  /  Business  /  No Comments


GE ventures into crowd-sourced manufacturing | Drives & ControlsThe partners will source collaborative ideas from an online community of engineers, scientists, fabricators, designers and enthusiasts, who will focus on identifying market needs and solving engineering challenges, with the aim of delivering breakthrough product innovations. As part of the partnership, a new microfactory – a facility that focuses on prototyping and producing small batches of products quickly – will be established where ideas from the community will be built, tested and sold.“At GE over the past years, we’ve redefined our approach to innovation, focusing on R&D as well as co-creation, open collaboration and partnership, which has allowed us to engage new audiences and develop a following across various industry sectors,” says Steve Liguori, GE’s executive director of global innovation. “Today, a new era of manufacturing is dawning – and with Local Motors, we are pioneering the future of work, fast-tracking a new model for the manufacturing industry, and improving and expanding GE’s product offering to better meet future customer needs.”

Lionbridge And Fairfax Imaging Jointly Launch Crowd-Based Data Management Solution To Accelerate Tax Return Processing For State And Municipal Governments | PR NewswireLionbridge Technologies, Inc. and Fairfax Imaging, Inc. today jointly introduced a software and services solution that allows state and municipal governments to significantly improve tax processing accuracy and reduce associated time and costs. The solution integrates Fairfax Imaging’s highly accurateQuick Modules “Power of One” imaging solution with Lionbridge’s vcapture task management platform and crowd-enabled data management services.

Transatlantic Open Innovation Club Launched In San Francisco | IT Business NetSays Mr. Hollande “Innovation is the key to everything in globalization.” He added, “Large companies must support innovation coming from other companies” as he acknowledged their “massive investment in the development of talents in leading innovation ecosystems such as Silicon Valley but also in Israel, China and elsewhere.” Francois Hollande added that this effort “allowed many small companies to be accompanied in the globalization process.”

Tasks of A Chief Innovation Officer — External Idea Sourcing | ForbesThe primary external activities to make organizations more innovative include: 1) Communicating idea sourcing needs/challenges to external communities 2) Creating internal teams, often as part of Open Innovation departments, to scour the world collecting inspiring stimuli, benchmarking relevant firms, and looking for potential partners and acquisition candidates 3) Organizing the collected stimuli so it can be easily searched for and found by those who would benefit from it inside the firm.

Equity Crowdfunding 101: Is It Right For Your Startup? | ForbesRaising capital in exchange for equity brings tremendous responsibility and regulation. Do your homework. Learn the 3 types because each has varying levels of regulatory compliance and limitations on who can invest in your company and how much you can raise. Plus, grab a good attorney because a private placement memorandum (PPM) is necessary for any offering you make. Hollas says “Doing so helps protect you and your company as it discloses regulations that dictate the offering and indicates to the investor that you uphold a professional attitude towards regulatory compliance with the SEC.”

Crowdfunding Experts Kendall Almerico and Ruth Hedges Launch Weekly Radio Show: Crowdfunding Radio Live | Digital JournalThe renowned crowdfunding experts will host the live, two-hour call-in show every Wednesday night at 8:00 p.m. EST beginning April 9, 2014. Crowdfunding Radio Live will include interviews with crowdfunding industry movers and shakers, live calls from listeners around the country, and crowdfunding news and practical tips from insiders in the rapidly-growing crowdfunding industry. Crowdfunding Radio Live will be streamed live and be available for replay at and will also be available as a podcast download for Apple and Android devices.

Tags: crowdfunding, crowdsourcing, open-innovation


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Realty Mogul Named "Start-Up to Watch" at Digerati Awards in Beverly Hills

By   /  February 27, 2014  /  Business  /  No Comments


Realty Mogul, a real estate crowdfunding company announced that it had been named a “Start-Up to Watch” for 2014 at Digital LA’s Digerati Awards, an event recognizing “digital” leaders in the Los Angeles area.


Tags: crowd-funding, crowdfunding, crowdsource, crowdsourcing, real-estate-crowdfunding-company, realty-mogul


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Betaworks Takes Another $10M In Funding Led By Japanese Incubator Digital Garage

By   /  February 13, 2014  /  Business  /  No Comments


NYC’s betaworks has taken $10 million in additional investment from Japanese digital media incubator and Twitter investor Digital Garage, which is tagged on to the $20 million round the company received in December.

According to betaworks founder John Borthwick, Digital Garage is very similar to betaworks. The partnership is meant to help Japanese startups expand into the U.S.

The WSJ reports that $7.5 million of the $10 million investment is coming from Digital Garage, with the remaining $2.5 million coming from other angel investors.

Borthwick said that after the $20 million round in December, the first time betaworks has raised money in four years, the firm received additional outreach from other investors who wished to be more involved with betaworks.

Digital Garage joins an impressive list of investors, including Tumblr’s David Karp, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, Jerry Yang (Yahoo), Ev Williams (Twitter), Abdur Chowdhury (Summize founder), Dave Morin (Path), and Gerry Laybourne, who recently joined the board at betaworks.

Betaworks is a startup factory of sorts, making seed-stage investments in existing companies (such as Airbnb and Kickstarter), as well as launching and creating new products, such as Digg, Dots, Chartbeat, Bitly, Poncho, Telecast and, most recently, crowdfunding-based equity platform Alphaworks.

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Y Combinator-Backed Beacon Offers A New Approach To Crowdfunding Journalism

By   /  February 12, 2014  /  Business  /  No Comments


Beacon, part of the current batch of startups incubated by Y Combinator, gives readers another way to support (and get access to) high-quality journalism.

Two of the company’s co-founders, Dmitri Cherniak and Adrian Sanders, told me that they previously worked together on a photo storytelling app for the iPhone, where they wanted to pay the photographers and give them an incentive to post more content.

Given the relatively small size of the audience, Sanders said, “The digital ad model did not make any sense,” but the pair still wondered, “Man, wouldn’t it be great if these mobile photographers could earn real money with this niche community?” Then they encountered Dan Fletcher, formerly managing editor at Facebook and social media director at Bloomberg, who would become the third founder at Beacon. As they discussed the state of the journalism industry, they realized that they could solve a broader problem.

Beacon’s approach is basically a form a crowdfunding. Journalism has previously been supported on general crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and through more focused efforts like, but I haven’t seen a model quite like this one. Sanders argued that on its own, crowdfunding can accomplish a lot, but “it doesn’t necessarily deliver a great experience for a community of readers.”

On Beacon, readers browse through different authors and their projects on the site, and if they find one that they like, they can buy a subscription. There are different subscription levels but the basic price is $5 per month. The subscription actually gives them access to the full array of Beacon content, but the specific project that they support will get the “vast majority” of their payment, Sanders said.

Meanwhile, around 25 or 30 percent of the subscription revenue is put into a bonus pool, which is eventually paid out to the writers as well — not based on pageviews or social sharing, but on how many readers hit the “recommend” button after they finished an article, showing that they actually thought it was worth their time.

There are more than 70 journalists located in 30 countries on Beacon right now, with projects such as this effort to release government documents around U.S. counterterrorism, and this project covering the threats facing North American deserts. There are even journalists grouping together to create micro-publications, such as Climate Confidential.

The site is currently strongest on overseas and public-interest journalism, since that’s an area that requires a significant investment (and one where many publications are pulling back). But Sanders said he doesn’t want to limit Beacon to any particular type of project. Instead, the goal is to experiment and find what readers are willing to pay for. In fact, Beacon could support other forms of content entirely, like photography or cartooning, as it does with this look at New Yorkers.

“In the future, there has to be some way for people with large followings on the Internet to really group together and … be supported,” Cherniak added, arguing that it’s “crazy” that the main way to do that right now is to “put ads up on something.”

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