Category Archives: Entrepreneurs and Start-ups

The SEC Publishes Report on Reg CF: “The number of crowdfunding offerings as well as the total amount of funding during the considered period was relatively modest”

Crowdfund Insider | | June 20, 2019

RegCF SEC report - The SEC Publishes Report on Reg CF: “The number of crowdfunding offerings as well as the total amount of funding during the considered period was relatively modest”The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has published a statutory report on Regulation Crowdfunding commonly referenced as Reg CF. The mandated report must be forwarded to Congress three years after Reg CF rules became effective (May 2016).

Reg CF is the smallest of three federal “crowdfunding” exemptions allowing issuers to raise just $1.07 million from both accredited and non-accredited investors.

According to the report authors:

“the number of crowdfunding offerings, as well as the total amount of funding during the considered period, was relatively modest.”

The report tallies activity under Reg CF from May 2016 to December 31, 2018. At the end of the period, there were 45 active Portals and 9 Broker-Dealers which had participated in at least one Reg CF offering.

See:

Three platforms accounted for two-thirds of all initiated offerings and proceeds raised.

SEC: the number of #RegCF #crowdfunding offerings, as well as the total amount of funding during the considered period, was relatively modest Click to Tweet

According to the SEC:

  • Between May 16, 2016, and December 31, 2018, there were 1,351 offerings, excluding withdrawn filings, seeking in the aggregate a target, or minimum, amount of $94.3 million and a maximum amount of $775.9 million.
  • Of the completed offerings, approximately $107.9 million has been raised during the period.
  • 29 offerings reported raising at least $1.07 million from May 16, 2016, through December 31, 2018
  • The typical offering was small and raised less than the 12-month offering limit. The median target amount sought was $25,000 and the median maximum amount sought was $500,000.
  • Pointing to an external report, the SEC notes that the total number of investors in successful offerings increased from 77,558 in 2017 to 147,448 in 2018

Regarding the cost of launching a Reg CF campaign, the SEC states:

“According to the survey, the average issuer employed three people who collectively spent 241 hours to launch a crowdfunding campaign. Based on the survey estimates, the total cost of creating a campaign page, issuer disclosures, film, and video, and hiring a marketing firm, a lawyer, and an accountant amounts to approximately 5.3% of the amount raised.”

The most costly portion of the campaign preparation has to do with disclosure. This cost, on average, $6218 or a time allocation of 86 hours, according to the SEC.

See:  Architecting a New World: Investment Crowdfunding and Digital Assets

The report mentions that cost and complexity have impacted this sector of online capital formation. The authors point to previous SEC Small Business Forums where participants have made recommendations to improve Reg CF for the past few years but to date, no action has been taken on these recommendations.

The document includes some anecdotal feedback from crowdfunding platforms. For example, one platform states that “while few offerings reach the current limit, many issuers choose not to rely on the crowdfunding exemption because the limit is too low.”

Another intermediary thought the current cap was ok.

But several respondents stated that the offering limit should be higher, recommending limits from $5 million to $20 million.

Negative Selection Bias?

Importantly, the SEC report states:

“Some of these market participants stated that the existing offering limit may deter some high-quality, high-growth issuers with substantial financing needs from relying on Regulation Crowdfunding, thereby lowering the average quality of issuers in the Regulation Crowdfunding market. One intermediary respondent stated that raising the offering limit could attract more issuers and expand opportunities for non-accredited investors.”

Many platforms have crafted a workaround to bypass constricted Reg CF rules regarding investment caps and investors limitations.

It is now commonplace to run two concurrent offerings: a Reg CF and Reg D side-by-side for accredited investors. But some intermediaries told the SEC this was “unnecessarily confusing to investors and more costly to issuers.”

The report says that no enforcement actions have been taken against Reg CF issuers by the SEC but FINRA has taken 4 separate actions against a funding portal and NASAA says a small number of actions have been taken by state regulators.

See:  OurCrowd Double IPO Success Provides Crowdfunding Validation

A fair amount of review is given to the development of (or lack of) a secondary market for Reg CF issued securities. To date, no platform has been able to successfully maintain a marketplace for securities as the size of the market is simply too small and affiliated costs too high.

The important concept of a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for aggregating investors into a single entity is addressed. The report cites the potential investor protections an SPV structure could provide. An SPV could facilitate a vehicle where “small investors [could] invest alongside a sophisticated lead investor who may negotiate better terms, protect against dilution by negotiating during subsequent financings, mentor the company, and represent smaller investors on the board.”

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - The SEC Publishes Report on Reg CF: “The number of crowdfunding offerings as well as the total amount of funding during the considered period was relatively modest” The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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From Investment Hunter to Investor’s Prey

Chambers Pivot Industries | Greg Chambers | June 20, 2019

hunter to prey - The SEC Publishes Report on Reg CF: “The number of crowdfunding offerings as well as the total amount of funding during the considered period was relatively modest”"All I need is an investor, and I’m ready to go," she says.

I'm sitting in front of a passionate entrepreneur who knows I've successfully raised millions of dollars for various businesses.

After hearing her story, what I'm about to say won't be what she wants to hear, but it's true. Funding isn't her problem.

There's more money out looking for a home than there are good ideas to fund.

The problem, I tell her, is she hasn't decided if she wants to build a company or master the growing seed and startup capital environment.

 

Lessons from the past

I was in her seat in the late 1990s shopping my big idea from investor to investor. Eventually unsuccessful, I was forced to abandon my startup and find a job. I took two big lessons from that experience. One is that if I wanted to get a company off the ground, I needed to get much better at selling a vision to investors.

Second, based on the questions the investors were asking, I needed far more evidence from customers that my idea was the right one before they’d invest. Years later, I applied those lessons and started another company.

See:  Debt vs. Equity Financing: Pros And Cons For Entrepreneurs

My pitch and evidence raised money, but also taught me a new, third lesson. Investors want an exit on their investment, and a pitch with evidence of multiple exits makes it easier to raise funds. This third lesson comes with a side effect which I understood intellectually but didn't understand emotionally until we were deep into building the company. When you take investor capital, your investor's focus becomes your priority.

Since that time, I've come to a fourth conclusion. One that I was trying to communicate to my young companion.

If you turn your focus from raising money to focus on the customer, you will transform from a seeker of investment to someone investors seek. At a high level, we know the best source of  funding is from customers.

That's easy to understand. Think of an unknown artist on YouTube getting millions of views which leads to a record contract. When you're attracting customers, you attract professional investors too.

The funny thing is, I learned this in my first job. I worked side-by-side with a guy who eventually started a chain of exercise equipment stores. We worked at a bicycle shop and he was convinced he could make his fortune in a used fitness equipment business. He talked about this idea every day, saying, "All I need is an investor."

See:  Fintech Investor Interview: Karim Gillani, General Partner, Luge Capital

One weekend, in a fit of desperation, he placed a classified ad offering used equipment for sale. The ad hit Saturday morning and his answering machine filled up with nearly 100 messages before 9am. Armed with this evidence, he spent the day contacting his list of investors, had capital for his store by nightfall, and quit the bike shop on Monday. I used to tell his story as an inspirational persistence tale, but now I use it as a guide for fundraising.

 

Choose wisely

My entrepreneur has a choice.

She can either get great at selling investors, or great at selling customers. She can stay up late learning about LOIs, convertible debt, and cap tables, or put in the hours learning to convince clients they need her help.

The challenge with my friend's fintech startup isn’t the idea or her conviction it's going to work. Her problem is she hasn't convinced any customers to invest in the idea, and now she is asking me to help her sell the idea to investors.

My advice is to get in front of the institutions she wants as customers, get confirmation her instincts are correct about the solution, get a commitment to do business once the product launches, then ask them to fund her idea, today.

It's not exactly what she wants to hear, but since it's just as hard to sell an investor on pre-revenue idea as it is to get a client to fund a startup, she should focus on the latter. The reason is because once the product launches, a customer funded startup will get direct input from a customer with both a financial and business incentive to make it work.

Successfully raising investor funds, on the other hand, will focus on providing an ROI to the investor. In that marathon, my bet is on the customer funded startup because she’ll have a constant reminder of who she’s really working for.

 

chambers pivot industries sales and marketing consulting omaha - The SEC Publishes Report on Reg CF: “The number of crowdfunding offerings as well as the total amount of funding during the considered period was relatively modest”Greg Chambers is the author of “The Human Being’s Guide to Business Growth,” and consults with growing companies to create sales-and-marketing practices their people get excited about and are a perfect fit for their cultures.  Learn more at https://www.chamberspivot.com/.

 

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - The SEC Publishes Report on Reg CF: “The number of crowdfunding offerings as well as the total amount of funding during the considered period was relatively modest” The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Stablecoins: Experience the Stability

3iQ and Mavennet | Fred Pye and Kesem Frank | June 18, 2019

stablecoins  - The SEC Publishes Report on Reg CF: “The number of crowdfunding offerings as well as the total amount of funding during the considered period was relatively modest”Stablecoins are now a necessary step to mass adoption of cryptocurrencies, as proven by the way they’ve been used to hedge the massive volatility of the market over the past couple of years. Their simple premise enables the seamless pairing of crypto-to-fiat pegged cryptocurrency. It might sound overly simplistic, but this straightforward innovation has spurred the growth of a new crypto asset class that measures in billions of dollars in aggregate market cap (e.g. Tether, USD Coin, TrueUSD, Paxos and Gemini Dollar).

As much as this asset class is still gaining momentum driven by the current and common use case, the potential of stablecoins goes well beyond the tactical value of a trading tool.

Stablecoins are strategically important because they represent a bridge between legacy fiat-based systems and the new digital and decentralized currency underpinnings we collectively call “blockchain.”

 

The dream isn’t necessarily a prediction or extension of the purist’s vision  

Bitcoin - blockchain’s earliest network - was born from tumultuous years in the traditional financial system. These were years defined by mistrust; not just towards the people at the helm of the financial system, but of the system itself. It’s no surprise that Bitcoin’s innovators and early adopters were driven by a vision of an extraneous system that completely rejected the legacy framework, giving birth to decentralization, immutability and deflationary currency to name a few.

See:  FaceCoin: Here’s What Facebook Could Build In Blockchain And Cryptocurrency

Early blockchain advocates argue this is the only acceptable implementation for this technology, with any deviation being a compromise. However, it is the same purist vision of “utility backed value” that makes bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies that follow similar design) incredibly susceptible to speculation and volatility.

Regardless of where you stand, it is important to clarify that this article is by no means meant to criticize the original blockchain. The questions we pose are not around bitcoin’s value, rather on its stability and ability effectively deliver the utility necessary for any currency.

 

Do stablecoins and “just” tokenizing fiat currencies deliver enough benefit?

The short answer is yes. Blockchain is an incredibly powerful architecture that provides significant benefits to the assets represented on it. There are many key benefits to blockchain based tokenized fiats, however speed, span and cost are worth a closer look.

A tokenized asset can be moved around the globe at an efficiency that user of current day systems could never dream of, let along compete with. A transaction between wallet holders on opposite sides of the globe would be settled in seconds (or minutes, depending on the network) not days or hours for an average fee totaling fractions of a dollar regardless if they are worth a few dollars or a few million dollars.

Blockchain architecture is vastly beneficial even when the assets it underpins aren’t “crypto-native.” Specifically, the transparency and immutability inherent to the architecture enable incredibly powerful new methods of bookkeeping and reporting such as Triple Entry Accounting (TEA) as well as Automated Audits. These pose a substantial improvement to current accounting tools, that eventually will change the risk profile inherent to every financial transaction.

See: Is This Behind The Latest $25 Billion Bitcoin And Crypto Price Rally?

Even the trivial action of checking on your assets involves logging-in or calling our bank and asking it to report back what and how much is owned – lacks a true, direct line of sight.

 

Let’s get really, boring.

Even the most adherent purist will admit that the power blockchain vastly increases with the growth of its userbase. So basically, it is in everyone’s

best interest, early adopter and newcomer alike, for the network to grow by appealing to the mainstream.

Thankfully, there is an army of people working to facilitate better, more palatable access to crypto for a wide array of audiences. Many of them have been educated by some of the most profound processes of digital transformation of recent decades, and are leaning on these insights to lean on applicable lessons for this particular opportunity.

For instance, let’s look at smartphone adoption. In just a decade the majority of the world’s population has been converted into devoted user of the technology. While there are multiple applicable takeaways and lessons to analyze, consider the name itself “Smart-Phone.” If you own one, it probably isn’t necessary to point out that most of the time the “phone” aspect of the device isn’t used at all. In fact, data shows that “calling people” isn’t even a top ten use for most users. Still, there is a very important reason that these pocket computers were named “phones”; to spur their adoption. Anchoring the terminology to something people widely understood, the phone, enabled it to be familiar and easily adoptable. It is much easier to have a meaningful conversation, when we have a common mental framework to base it on.

 

What’s next?

While they’re based on new and different technology, for stablecoins to go mainstream they must rely on an ideal, common framework that most people readily accept (or a simple formula such as one coin equals one dollar). If we can agree here, we can progress to having the more important conversation as to why the coin is actually a better dollar than a dollar, but we’ll be doing so standing on a solid and shared foundation.

See:  Architecting a New World: Investment Crowdfunding and Digital Assets

Currently, we are in the process of an implementation that will inherit all the benefits covered above but will also comply with the applicable regulation/ legislation in place. In current markets dominated by USD based stablecoins, it is important to remember that we need to deliver efficiencies around foreign exchange for stablecoins to truly become strategic in importance.  This will be possible through a Canadian Dollar backed crypto asset such as Qcad, that will unlock the next adoption stage of blockchain and will generate direct benefits for Canada.

Stablecoins will continue to play a major role in broader crypto adoption, and for our part; a CAD-backed crypto asset will be an important step in the evolution to mainstream adoption of blockchain. We are very excited to be engaged in architecting the future of financial systems; good things are coming.

 

Fred Pye 200 - The SEC Publishes Report on Reg CF: “The number of crowdfunding offerings as well as the total amount of funding during the considered period was relatively modest”Fred Pye, President and CEO, 3iQ

Fred kick-started his career as a precious metal and foreign exchange trader at Guardian Trust. He later joined Fidelity Investments, where he was part of a team that saw its assets rise from 85 million to over 7.5 billion. Next, Fred started his own firm, which worked diligently with Canadian regulatory bodies to establish the first mutual fund in Canada that was allowed to take short positions. Finally, as founder and CEO of 3iQ, he and his team have worked cooperatively with the OSC for the last 2 and a half years to launch the first regulated Bitcoin fund in Canada. This fund will be the first major exchange-traded cryptocurrency fund in North America.

 

Kesem Frank 200 - The SEC Publishes Report on Reg CF: “The number of crowdfunding offerings as well as the total amount of funding during the considered period was relatively modest”Kesem Frank, Chief Maven, Mavennet

Kesem is a technology strategy expert specializing in blockchain powered enterprise architecture. Following a leadership position in Deloitte’s Blockchain practice, Kesem co-founded Nuco, one of the earliest enterprise blockchain platforms and a founding member of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance. In his capacity as COO, Kesem led multiple projects, positioning blockchain at the core of future business platforms for fortune-1000 companies.


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - The SEC Publishes Report on Reg CF: “The number of crowdfunding offerings as well as the total amount of funding during the considered period was relatively modest” The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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SmartHalo crowdfunds an additional $1 million for smart biking device

Betakit | | June 13, 2019

smart halo 300x198 - The SEC Publishes Report on Reg CF: “The number of crowdfunding offerings as well as the total amount of funding during the considered period was relatively modest”Montreal-based SmartHalo, a smart biking device developer, has successfully crowdfunded $1 million for the second generation of its product on Kickstarter.

“It made sense to return to Kickstarter after the success of the first SmartHalo campaign,” the company wrote on its Kickstarter page. “It’s a great platform for us to share our vision and receive the support needed to bring it to life. Crowdfunding allows us to give back to our community by giving our fans the opportunity to get the new SmartHalo first and at a discounted price. It’s a winning solution for everyone.”

SmartHalo2 is a connective device that allows riders to track cycling metrics, sync that data with fitness apps, and find new routes with navigation signals. It is water-resistant and comes fitted with an anti-theft alarm and a front light. Arguably its most recognizable new feature is PeekDisplay, which complements the product’s Halo display to provide more visible information to the rider.
“We see a huge opportunity in cycling. Not necessarily for sports, but for mobility,” said Xavier Peich, CEO and co-founder of SmartHalo. “Cities are investing in better infrastructure, while increasingly limiting car access and parking to downtown cores. This is a huge trend that is coming to Canada sooner than we think.”

CS2016 Throwback:  Smart Halo CEO and Co-Founder, Xavier Peich, wins NCFA live pitching session 1

smart halo wins NCFA live pitching session - The SEC Publishes Report on Reg CF: “The number of crowdfunding offerings as well as the total amount of funding during the considered period was relatively modest”

SmartHalo, formerly known as CycleLabs Solutions Inc, was founded in 2014 by Peich, Gabriel Alberola, Maxime Couturier, and Olivier Bourbonnais. In 2015, the company launched its first Kickstarter campaign, resulting in over 3,000 community pledges and raising half a million dollars. In 2016, the company raised a $328,000 angel round, and has been backed by Fonds Innovexport since 2017, a Quebec-based fund that also backs the likes of cloud software company, AlayaCare.

In the second half of 2017, the company struck a deal with Apple, distributing the SmartHalo device in Apple stores across North America and Europe. Peich said SmartHalo is both the first Kickstarter project and the first Canadian hardware company to launch at Apple. Since then, the company has delivered 25,000 units to cyclists in over 70 countries. Peich told BetaKit the company expects to raise a Series A sometime this year.

The company participated in The Next36’s 2016 Venture Day, where Peich was recognized as a Next Founders Valedictorian. The company also advanced to the finals of the Startup Community Awards in 2017, placing in the top three in the Startup Champion of the Year category.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - The SEC Publishes Report on Reg CF: “The number of crowdfunding offerings as well as the total amount of funding during the considered period was relatively modest” The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Early-stage Investing – The Public gets a Seat at the Table

FrontFundr | Peter-Paul Van Hoeken | June 12, 2019

public seat at table 300x172 - The SEC Publishes Report on Reg CF: “The number of crowdfunding offerings as well as the total amount of funding during the considered period was relatively modest”Traditionally, only a small group of investors, angel investors and other venture capitalists, have had access to investment opportunities in startups and growth companies. The public has been locked out from investing in startups.

Investments in early-stage companies are typically high-risk. That is why early-stage investors typically invest in a portfolio of at least 10-20 companies.  Those companies that are successful will realize exponential - ‘hockeystick’- growth and deliver huge returns for investors. The success of these companies can usually be attributed to the general public buying products and services from these companies. The same public that has had no access to investing in these companies and share in their success.

The public has been locked out from investing in startups.

Digital technology has been a significant enabler in creating online market places, such as Amazon and Shopify. These market places have dramatically increased access to products and services for every consumer and aggregated demand and supply supporting efficient price discovery that benefits all market participants.

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Why not apply the same digital technologies to connect private companies with the wider potential investor community supporting the entire process from discovery of investment opportunities to completion of investment transactions?

Welcome to the new venture capital market – The democratization of investing in early-stage companies where everyone, regardless of how deep their pockets are, can invest in companies they believe in. Investing online in private companies a.k.a. investment crowdfunding or equity crowdfunding. Anyone could become a shareholder of a company for minimum investment as low as $500, enabling the wider investor community to make multiple investments and diversify risk even with a relatively smaller sized investment portfolio.

Investment crowdfunding offers early-stage companies the opportunity to raise capital from the public - The same public that may be the early (and future) customers of these emerging companies. With investment crowdfunding, the public has taken a seat at the early-stage investing table and brought a large pool of available capital.

Investment Crowdfunding could unlock $2.5 billion per year in Canada for in early-stage companies

We estimate that in Canada $2.5 billion per annum of total financial assets held by Canadians could be directed towards investments in early stage companies. This figure is based on a conservative assumption that 1.8% of total financial assets would be directed towards investment in the private markets. $2.5 billion is a significant pool of capital in comparison to $162 million invested in Canadian startups by angel investor and $3.4 billion investments in Canadian startups and growth companies by venture capital and private equity firms in 2017.[1]

Investment crowdfunding can also help address the challenge for early stage companies to attract capital. Startup Genome published its Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2019[2] on May 9th, ranking the top startup ecosystems in the world. No surprise Silicon Valley takes the first place. Toronto-Waterloo ranked 13th, up three spots from last year.

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Vancouver tumbled nine places from last year and ranked 24th. The report mentions that Vancouver as one of the top global ecosystems is hindered by a gap in early-stage funding, $320 million million in the period 2016 to first half 2018 compared to the worldwide average of $1.1 billion.

Investment Crowdfunding is democratizing the venture capital market

Montreal in 49th spot (down 15 places) $600 million went towards early-stage funding. However, even in the Toronto-Waterloo corridor, early-stage funding in startups is relatively low in comparison to its 13th place ranking with US$1.1 billion in 2016 to H1 2018.

Startup Genome ranked London (U.K.) as the 4th global ecosystem for early-stage funding with $4.3 billion in 2016 to H1 2018. EU-Startups highlights London’s exceptional access to venture capital funds, angel investors, crowdfunding platforms, banks and other financial possibilities.[3]

In the U.K., where investment crowdfunding has been around for nearly ten years, it has gone mainstream and is now an integral part of the startup funding ecosystem.

High growth entrepreneurship is key to Canada’s future economic success. Early stage companies drive innovation, economic growth, jobs and wealth creation. We need to help get these startups and growth companies to access the finance they need to grow and thrive. As we have seen in other countries like the U.K., investment crowdfunding can help expand the early-stage capital pool. Moreover, it goes further than helping early-stage companies get funding, investment crowdfunding also enables the public to share the risks and returns on venture capital investments jointly.

See:  Architecting a New World: Investment Crowdfunding and Digital Assets

Investment crowdfunding has the potential to unlock a large pool of capital from the public and empowers everyone to invest in companies they believe in and share risks plus returns. Also in Canada, investment crowdfunding is poised to become integral to the venture capital market. Together we can make that happen.

Peter Paul van hoeken - The SEC Publishes Report on Reg CF: “The number of crowdfunding offerings as well as the total amount of funding during the considered period was relatively modest”Peter-Paul Van Hoeken is founder and CEO of FrontFundr, a Canadian investment crowdfunding platform. He is a director of the Private Capital Markets Association Canada (PCMA), Advisor to the National Crowdfunding and Fintech Association Canada (NCFA) and member of the Ontario Securities Commission Launchpad Fintech Advisory Committee.

[1] Statistics Canada (2019), Canadian Venture Capital Association, CVCA (2019), National Angel and Capital Organization Canada, NACO (2017), FrontFundr Team Analysis (2019)

[2] Startup Genome (2019), Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2019

[3] EU-Startups (2018), London’s startup ecosystem at a glance (November 20, 2018)

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - The SEC Publishes Report on Reg CF: “The number of crowdfunding offerings as well as the total amount of funding during the considered period was relatively modest” The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Crowdfunding trends: Blockchain and video games most popular projects

Net Imperative | June 12, 2019

lending landscape - The SEC Publishes Report on Reg CF: “The number of crowdfunding offerings as well as the total amount of funding during the considered period was relatively modest”Blockchain and video games are the most lucrative industries for crowdfunding projects, getting million of pounds in funding for popular projects, according to new research in Europe.

A new study by SmallBusinessPrices.co.uk uncovers the sectors and countries where the introduction of the alternative finance marketplace is being felt the most, and the current value of the industry.

Key Findings:

• Blockchain and Video Games Named The Most Lucrative Industries For Crowdfunding – 31 Blockchain crowdfunding projects averaged funding of over $177 million, whilst the Video Game sector that has seen the most projects to exceed $1 million, with 38 in total.
• 3D Printing, Wearable Tech, and Software – All make the top 10 most successful crowdfunded industries and have a combined total funding of $17.1 million
• The UK Is Paving The Way – $20 billion of alternative finance funds has been raised, this is over double the volume of all other countries combined.

See:  Architecting a New World: Investment Crowdfunding and Digital Assets

In recent years, Alternative Finance funding channels that exist outside of the traditional finance system have revolutionised how small and medium enterprises are able to operate. The rapid growth of the Alternative Finance industry, in areas such as Crowdfunding, is making it increasingly less ‘alternative’, but where is this development seen the most?

Comparison service SmallBusinessPrices.co.uk has taken an in-depth look at the countries and sectors where the development of the alternative finance marketplace is being felt the most, and the current value of the industry.

Alternative Finance by Country

Peer-to-peer lending, online alternative finance, and crowdfunding are 3 of the most prominent forms of alternative finance which many countries have started to adopt. Below are some of the countries that have been quick to get involved:

UK Out in Front – In a study of just under 20 European nations, the United Kingdom ranks well ahead of its continental counterparts with an estimated volume of $20 billion raised through alternative finance according to recent figures. This figure is over double the volume of all other countries combined.

Germany and France Top Mainland Europe – While both nations have a long way to go to catch the figures showcased in the UK, impressive levels of P2P lending and Equity-Based Crowdfunding makes them the only other countries to exceed a $1 billion volume across the key alternative finance markets.
Crowdfunding by Sector

Arguably the most mainstream form of alternative finance in terms of awareness, Crowdfunding has provided normal people to impact the success of business enterprises of any size. We’ve analysed of the most successful industries and the level of funding they have been able to gather.

See:  European Parliament Adopts First Reading Position On Proposed Regulation And Directive On European Crowdfunding Service Providers

Blockchain Most Funded – Blockchain technology has seen its popularity and value increase hugely in recent years, particularly with the recent wave of interest in the Cryptocurrency world. In our research, we found 31 Blockchain crowdfunding projects which averaged funding of over $177 million.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - The SEC Publishes Report on Reg CF: “The number of crowdfunding offerings as well as the total amount of funding during the considered period was relatively modest” The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Helping your Employees Manage their Most Sacred Commodity: Time

Vacation Fund | Erica Pearson | June 10, 2019

happy employee - The SEC Publishes Report on Reg CF: “The number of crowdfunding offerings as well as the total amount of funding during the considered period was relatively modest”Over the last 10 years, we’ve been blessed in business with a bull market; a bull market that’s supported a wave of innovation and taking chances. But with that bull market has come new standards and competition. Constant growth has become an expectation, which has companies of all sizes asking, “how do we fuel our growth faster than everyone else?”

 

And, for the businesses that we speak with at Vacation Fund, pouring fuel on the growth fire always seems to lead to the conclusion that they need:

  1. More money
  2. To hire more of the best people
  3. And have them produce the best results
  4. In the shortest amount of time

Unfortunately for many businesses, more money is not always immediately attainable. So, what can businesses do to ensure that they’re still able to hire the best people, and enable them to be as creative, innovative, and productive as possible while keeping them happy at the company for as long as possible? What can businesses do to get more out of their most valuable assets (their people)?

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These are the questions that have business leaders coming back to very basic fundamentals - how do we give our people exactly what they need to survive and thrive? The better job your company does at helping employees to survive and thrive, the better off the company will be.

 

Helping employees survive.

Reasonable compensation is a very basic necessity for employee “survival”. No matter what stage the company is at or how exciting the mission is, no level of passion in the world will support a lengthy employee tenure if they’re struggling to pay the bills or support their dependents. They’re only human, after all. Are there exceptions to this rule? Of course. But are you willing to take the chance, and risk losing a hard worker because you were trying to save the company the same amount of money that you would end up spending as a result of turnover?

Helping employees thrive.

Now, let’s get into what’s necessary beyond the basic compensation. Especially in a tight labour market, offering just the basics simply is not enough. Another company will happily come along and make an offer to attract the talent that you’ve been training and grooming for success. Helping someone to thrive requires an understanding of what their priorities are. For some, career growth and continuous learning is all the employee will need to feel fulfilled long-term. For others, time with family or the ability to see other parts of the world are ingrained in their DNA. Without the ability to spend time with loved ones or explore new places, the employee’s spirit may slowly fade away until quitting day. You may not even see it coming until it’s too late.

See: 

 

Helping employees manage their most sacred commodity: Time.

Time is a limited resource that it’s impossible to buy more of. Companies want more time to make progress and hit targets, while employees want more time for work AND for their priorities outside of work. And when it comes to companies and results, we’ve entered the era where we need people to work smarter, not harder. Gone are the days where people are standing at a machine producing widgets. When people are at work today, they need to use their minds for creativity, focus, and innovation. So how do you optimize for productivity in the office?

A recent Gallup poll in the US revealed that 20% of full-time employees work more than 60 hours a week, and nearly half of US workers regularly work at least 50 hours per week but research shows that productivity falls sharply after 50 hours, and drops off a cliff after 55 hours per week. Additionally, not taking at least one full day off per week leads to lower hourly output overall.

From a mental health and mindset perspective, working fewer than 50 hours is highly recommended. The media continues to glorify an endless hustle, while stress and burnout are at alarming levels. We know that working 50+ hours isn’t beneficial for the employee OR the company, but when we are bombarded with media that tells us to work harder, how is anyone supposed to feel content dedicating evenings and weekends to anything that isn’t considered “productive”?

 

It’s time for a shift.

A shift that helps people be as productive as humanly possible when they’re at the office while spending as many hours as possible away from the office. But no one will be able to pull this shift off if reducing work hours doesn’t take place across the board. If you have a few employees willing to work 55-80 hours a week, while others are working closer to 40, you are setting the company up for failure. The emotions associated with hours worked cannot be ignored. The people at your company working the fewest number of hours either don’t care about the company objectives, or they feel guilty for not “pulling their weight” in comparison to others. And the people working 50-80 hours a week often become resentful of those working fewer hours, or they expect to be compensated far more highly to make the extra hours and effort worth it.

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Time and money are always limited in business, and a culture where employees feel that 55-80 hours of work a week is consistently acceptable or appreciated is unhealthy and simply kicking the problems can down the road.

It’s time to clarify your company messaging and expectations around how employees should allocate their time, keeping in mind business objectives, productivity statistics, and the importance for employees to feel like they’re surviving and thriving while they work and help you build an incredible company.

 

erica.pearson - The SEC Publishes Report on Reg CF: “The number of crowdfunding offerings as well as the total amount of funding during the considered period was relatively modest”

Erica Pearson, Co-Founder and CEO, Vacation Fund

Having travelled to over 40 countries by the time she turned 22, Erica left the Capital Markets space in early 2017 to help people live their lives to the fullest.


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - The SEC Publishes Report on Reg CF: “The number of crowdfunding offerings as well as the total amount of funding during the considered period was relatively modest” The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

Latest news - The SEC Publishes Report on Reg CF: “The number of crowdfunding offerings as well as the total amount of funding during the considered period was relatively modest”FF Logo 400 v3 - The SEC Publishes Report on Reg CF: “The number of crowdfunding offerings as well as the total amount of funding during the considered period was relatively modest”community social impact - The SEC Publishes Report on Reg CF: “The number of crowdfunding offerings as well as the total amount of funding during the considered period was relatively modest”
NCFA Summer Kickoff Event Jul 11 banner resize - The SEC Publishes Report on Reg CF: “The number of crowdfunding offerings as well as the total amount of funding during the considered period was relatively modest”