Category Archives: Fundraising and Investing

Animation: Four Years of Initial Coin Offerings

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Elementus.io | Dec 15, 2017

 

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The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, and online investing stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, and networking opportunities to over 1600+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada.  For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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This man has made more money trading cryptokitties than investing in his IRA

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The Verge | By

CryptoKitties, a game where users breed and trade digital kitties using Ethereum-based smart contracts, has emerged as the latest mark of society’s obsession with rising cryptocurrency values. In some ways, the popularity of the game reflects the skyrocketing values of digital currencies like Bitcoin and Ether. Total sales on the platform created by Canadian startup Axiom Zen have reportedly hit $12 million, according to Coin Telegraph, as some cats with rare attributes have been sold for upwards of $80,000.

Cryptokitties are generated by code, and bred by spending Ether tokens on smart contracts that use two base cats to create a new one. Each resulting cat is unique and persistent, recorded on Ethereum’s public ledger.

See:  A Startup Sportsbook’s Big Bet On Creation Of Its Own Cryptocurrency

While the game has proven wildly popular, CryptoKitties has also been plagued by network slowdowns, little game progression and automated bots that snipe deals. It’s also placing a new load on the currency itself. The game has slowed down the Ethereum network by as much as 11 percent, Motherboard reported last week. But as the first successful game built on the Ethereum network, CryptoKitties’ success has hinted at the greater potential of apps powered by blockchain technology — and given rise to a new wave of cryptocurrency speculation.

Like Bitcoin and Ethereum, CryptoKitties allowed speculators to make a lot of money if they got in at the right time. One of those speculators is Todd, who wished to remain anonymous in order to disclose personal financial details. While we talked, the CryptoKitties site dipped in and out of commission.

Todd is a 30-year-old entrepreneur and software designer from Austin, Texas. He’s also been the owner of 35 cryptokitties, an extension of his broader enthusiasm for cryptocurrencies. Todd first bought around 5 to 10 bitcoin in 2012 (he doesn’t remember the precise amount), when the value of each coin was a little over $10. He also grew interested in ether after its emergence in 2015 and bought the majority of his ether last year. In total, he has 21.5 bitcoin, 305 ether, and a smaller percentage in other cryptocurrencies.

Todd’s been similarly lucky with cryptokitties. His big break came when he purchased an OldLace cat for 12 ether, or around $4,800 at the time of purchase, and later saw the value of the cat rise to approximately 30 ether.

“There is kind of a barrier to entry, unless you have like 5 ether to get started with, it’s pretty hard to break in,” he says. “It’s really hard to get going unless you acquire one of the more valuable cats.”

Todd hasn’t had a perfect run of the game, however. On his first day on the site in late November, he mistakenly bought a cat for 0.7 ether that was actually worth 0.03 ether.

He estimates he’s spent 30 ether in total on the game so far, but his Kitty Portfolio, at the time of the interview, is worth 99 ether — a hypothetical net gain of $42,321.15, not considering transaction fees. He even says that the amount he’s made from the kitties has surpassed the total amount he’s made from his IRA retirement account.

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The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, and online investing stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, and networking opportunities to over 1600+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada.  For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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RED Mountain Hurdles Historic $1.5 Million Mark; Keeps Going

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Nasdaq Newswire - Red Mountain | Dec 13, 2017

Scrappy Ski Mountain Reaches Major Milestone in Crowdfunding Campaign

ROSSLAND, British Columbia, Dec. 13, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Nearly sixteen months ago, RED Mountain launched an historic initiative for ski hills to raise capital through crowdfunding, offering ownership in the storied Canadian ski resort to investors for starting at $1000. Today, RED is proud to announce that it has hit— and exceeded — its minimum offering of $1.5 Million collectively raised on both StartEngine.com in the USA and FrontFundr.com in Canada and has accepted the first round of subscriptions under the crowdfunding offering. This means that the first funds can be accessed for use in “improving the adventure,” and investors can begin using some of the perks offered as early as this ski season.

See:  RED Mountain Goes LIVE With Crowdfunding in Canada; Urges Fans to “Fight The Man. Own The Mountain.”

“It’s hard for me to even put into words what this milestone means to our team,” says RED CEO Howard Katkov. “This campaign has been non-stop since we launched… It’s been intense in a way I’ve never experienced in any of my previous business endeavors, but most gratifying for me, my team, and our community. We planted this flag for independent skiing and touched a nerve with skiers and boarders around the world. It’s way bigger than RED Mountain now — and RED’s pretty big!”

Dubbed “Fight The Man. Own The Mountain,” the RED campaign has raised eyebrows as well as money, highlighting the importance of independent skiing.  RED Mountain has presented itself as one big, continually growing “family”, something very unique, juxtaposed to the rapid corporate consolidation of ski resorts in North America.

“After we tossed this notion out there 16 months ago, we received pledges of over $13 Million,” explains Katkov.

“We knew that not everyone would convert to their reservations to subscriptions for Class D Units— that not everyone is able to — but the traction we’ve seen on this issue is commendable on its own. More people are aware of the transformation of skiing due to corporate consolidation and we have created a touch point for those who care about independence, authenticity, affordability and access. We’ve received investments from numerous supporters who’ve never even been here! RED isn’t the only independent out there fighting the good fight, but we have become a high-profile underdog.”

“RED is defining a movement that is transforming what it means to be an Angel Investor,” explains Sean Burke, COO of FrontFundr. “You don’t need to be a high net worth individual to invest and own a piece of RED and this is what democratized investing in private enterprises is all about. RED has proven this and now holds the single largest closing for equity crowdfunding in Canada, with total subscriptions of over $1.5million.”

“Our passion hasn’t wavered,” adds Katkov. “We will continue to accept subscriptions for the Fight the Man / Own the Mountain crowdfunding offering over the winter and fully expect to raise additional equity after this great start. Just know there’s room at the table of this historic offering and truly unique opportunity to own a chunk of RED Mountain. We know that many more die-hards will be joining the family over the winter and we can’t wait to meet them!”

The US offering circular can be viewed here.

Source:  here

Press inquiries can start here:

Christine Andison – Planning & Development
RED Mountain Resort
250-362-5551
christine.andison@redmountainventures.com


 

The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, and online investing stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, and networking opportunities to over 1600+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada.  For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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10 reasons the $1 million crowdfunding cap should be $20 million

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VentureBeat | By:  | Dec 10, 2017

It’s been 18 months since the final rule of the JOBS Act went into effect, allowing equity crowdfunding. In those 18 months, everything proponents of the rule said would happen (and none of what the detractors said would happen) has become a reality. Over $82 million dollars of previously untapped capital from local investors has been committed to over 650 companies. No fraud has been perpetrated. And everyone (including investors, the Government, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the media) has more insight into the private capital markets than has ever existed before, bringing a new level of transparency, accountability, and data analysis. This is the time to raise the maximum a company can raise from $1 million to $20 million.

Why? Entrepreneurs all across America are finally raising funds faster than they could through traditional channels. Investors now have a transparent and efficient way to support local businesses that they love and believe in by receiving information about these offerings online. Regulators have transparency into the private capital markets, an auditable trail of disclosures, and a digital footprint full of data. And our government has a jobs engine, a way to promote women- and minority-run businesses, an economic booster, and a tax engine. Not bad!

See: SEC Updates JOBS Act Amendments Including Reg CF Funding Cap

So if it’s working, why raise the cap to $20 million? Let me explain:

1. We can make it a bigger jobs engine. Data from companies that have been successful with an equity crowdfunding offering shows they hire on average 2.7 people within 90 days of a $300,000 raise. That’s about one job per every $100,000 raised. If we increase the cap to $20 million, that could equate to 200 new jobs for each issuer that raises $20 million. So raising the cap would make equity crowdfunding the Main Street jobs engine we expected it to be.

2. It will provide regulators with more transparency. Companies that raise money via equity crowdfunding file specific disclosures about their businesses, their operations, and their financial wellbeing. All of this is digitally recorded, and For the first time in 80 years, regulators can actually see where capital is flowing in the private capital markets, which can allow them to further protect investors. Increasing the limit to $20 million will attract larger firms that seek more capital down this public path. This means regulators AND investors will have real-time actionable visibility into a larger part of the private capital markets.

3. Startups can make a bigger impact. $1 million dollars is nice, but consider how much more a company can do with $20 million. Increasing the cap doesn’t mean every company would get $20 million (currently only about 50 percent of companies are successful with their campaigns and raise on average $300,000), but those that are worthy and can win over the support of the crowd can take on much greater goals.

4. Communities will get more engaged. Want to know how to engage local communities? Make them investors in the local businesses that are not just mom and pop shops but large employers and high-growth startups. They will have a vested stake in the performance of those companies, and by default these businesses will benefit from the marketing power of the community. Increasing the cap to $20 million gives local investors a greater stake in their local communities. Research shows that money invested locally circulates in the local economy rather than being sucked out.

5. We’ll see gender and minority benefits. Data my firm has been collecting proves that equity crowdfunding is democratizing access to capital among women- and minority-founded businesses. Increasing the cap to $20 million means more capital to this underserved group of founders.

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The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, and online investing stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, and networking opportunities to over 1600+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada.  For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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U.S. pot industry: High tech, high finance, and high times

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VentureBeat | By: Reuters | Dec 6, 2017

Two years ago, Alan Gertner was head of Google’s Asia-Pacific sales team in Singapore, handling more than $100 million in business.

Now, he begins his day in a small Toronto office, building a cannabis brand that sells fancy smoking accessories such as vaporizers and bongs that cost up to $335 CAD ($261.72 USD).

Gertner is among a growing group of entrepreneurs and investors who are trading in high-paid corporate jobs in the technology and finance sectors to launch start-ups focused on the fast-growing marijuana industry.

Two decades after the first legalization of medical marijuana by a U.S. state, pot-based businesses are professionalizing their operations by luring top talent from other industries and billions of dollars in investments from Wall Street firms. A new commodity index even offers data on the going rates for greenhouse and field-grown weed.

Gertner still gets surprised reactions to his career change, as when his mother asked: “Can’t you just get another job at Google?”

And yet he’s raised $10 million in capital in ten months as the chief executive of Toyko Smoke, despite the continuing taboos and legal risks in the industry.

See: True Leaf: Crowdfunding Legal Cannabis Products Across North America

The legal cannabis market, currently worth about $8 billion, is predicted to triple in size to $22.6 billion in total annual sales by 2021, according to cannabis industry tracker, Arcview Market Research. That could make it bigger than the America’s most profitable sports organization, the National Football League, which saw about $13 billion in revenue last year and aims to reach $25 billion by 2027.

So far in 2017, there have been at least 27 investments by venture capital funds in cannabis companies, compared with just 10 deals in 2016 and 9 deals in 2015, according to venture capital data provider CB Insights.

The influx of capital helps finance the paychecks of 150,000 workers in the legal U.S. pot industry, representing job growth of 20 percent from a year ago, according to an estimate from the cannabis website Leafly, a marketing firm for dispensaries and other cannabis firms.

Eric Eslao, founder of Defonce Chocolatier – which makes artisanal cannabis-infused chocolates costing $20 a bar – was a senior production manager at Apple just over a year ago. He feared the stigma of joining the weed industry, but it didn’t stop him.

“The opportunity was too good not to make the jump,” he said.

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The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, and online investing stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, and networking opportunities to over 1600+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada.  For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

 

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Bitcoin Up $2k on Day as Market Nears $400 Billion

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Coindesk | Pete Rizzo | Dec 7, 2017

The price of bitcoin is surging on the back of a strong night-time trading session (18:00 to 24:00 UTC) in which the cryptocurrency rose 10 percent to top $14,000 for the first time.

The second-best performing asset during the trading period (trailing only the largely unknown crypto asset TRON), bitcoin's strong upward move caps 24 hours in which its price climbed by over 20 percent across global exchanges, rising $2,000 in the process according to CoinMarketCap.

Data from the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index (BPI) shows the price of bitcoin was just under $12,000 at 1:00 UTC on Wednesday, before climbing to $14,000 today. With the run-up, however, bitcoin has set a new all-time high of $14,097 on the BPI.

See:  Ethereum co-founder Anthony Di Iorio says crypto wallets are the new browsers

Speaking to the development, crypto hedge fund manager Alex Sunnarborg, of Tetras Capital, reported the likely culprit is a fear-of-missing-out now ensnaring both long-time market observers as well as new investors as the cryptocurrency prepares for its debut in futures products next week.

"People who had bitcoin and went into alts are going back into bitcoin," he remarked.

And there were some big losses in cryptocurrencies that provide weight to Sunnarborg's comments. During the night-time trading session, BitShares, Siacoin, Einsteinium, MaidSafeCoin and MonaCoin all saw near-10 percent losses, and of the top 20 assets, according to CoinMarketCap, just three had posted 24-hour gains.

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The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, and online investing stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, and networking opportunities to over 1600+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada.  For more information, please visit:  www.ncfacanada.org

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Eric Ries set to launch new Long-Term Stock Exchange

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Management Today UK | by Kate Bassett | Dec 1, 2017

Our current stock markets encourage short-term thinking and stymie growth. So Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup and The Startup Way, is building a new one.

‘It was the one idea that would keep me awake at night. It was so radioactive that no-one wanted to go near it. But it wouldn’t leave me alone.’

American author and entrepreneur Eric Ries is talking about his latest ‘startup’ - the Long-Term Stock Exchange (LTSE), a revolutionary new stock exchange that aims to remove the short-term pressures that plague today’s public markets and, instead, reward long-term thinking.

Ries’s lightbulb moment came seven years ago while he was working on the book that would become his best-selling entrepreneurship manifesto, The Lean Startup. ‘In that book, I recommended that people should try to emulate Toyota by building companies that will last generations. But how can they do that with the way our current stock markets are structured?’ Short-term pressure, he says, acts as ‘a malignant gravitational force, warping and distorting the management system of an organisation’ and thwarting innovation.

 ‘We’ve seen a roughly 50% decline in the number of public companies from 1996 to 2016, a triple digit increase in CEO compensation from 1978 to 2014, and a spike in activist investor campaigns. Businesses suffer - and so does our economy.’

Ries’s ‘wild idea’ was to create an entirely new US stock exchange designed to stop destructive short-term thinking and overhaul the way firms publicly list their shares. ‘No-one else would touch the idea so I started to do my own homework. It’s hugely complex. It’s taken me years to figure out how to build a stock exchange, assemble the right expertise and understand the legal and technical issues. I realised that the reason no-one else is doing this is because it’s incredibly hard. Frankly, that isn’t a good enough reason not to try.’

See:  Canadian Fintech Katipult Becomes Public Company, Trades on TSXV under Ticker FUND

The LTSE weights corporate governance power to long-term investors who have more of a say than short-term investors; ties executive pay to long-term business performance; and has additional disclosure requirements that allow companies to focus on ‘the fundamentals’ instead of managing to the quarter.

‘People in Silicon Valley treat the financial system like a given but we’re building a new ecosystem that encourages people to be thinking about their businesses in years and decades, not months and weeks.’

Ries has assembled a team of 15 full-time employees, including veterans of the NYSE and US Treasury Department. The LTSE is backed by the likes of LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, America Online co-founder Steve Case and PayPal founder Peter Thiel. Ries is working to get approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission and says LTSE is on track to open as a new public markets option in 2018.

Ries studied computer science at Yale and co-founded Catalyst Recruiting in his spare time. When the company folded, he moved to There.com as a senior software engineer before starting IMVU, which he describes as ‘the most intense and most rewarding experience of my professional life’. He’s worked as an advisor or board member for more than a dozen startups and penned The Lean Startup in 2011. It was Ries who made the term ‘pivot’ part of the business vernacular.

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The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, and online investing stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, and networking opportunities to over 1600+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada.  For more information, please visit:  www.ncfacanada.org

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