Saturday, March 28, 2015

Facebook because of its scale has the platform just waiting for crowd funding $

Editorial

By James de Rin  - Friday March 27th 2015


The brands of Crowd Sourcing and Crowd Funding are patiently building market share as they disrupt the financial, equity, and rewards' crowd funding sectors. As Funding Circle, Crowd Cube,  Kickststarter and Indiegogo grow so too their tipping point grows nearer and nearer. A tipping point that companie’s like Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, HSBC, Citi Bank, Chase and Wells Fargo cannot ignore. Facebook because of its scale has the platform just waiting for crowd funding $ and Apple with its new payment system has the ecosystem. So until the behemoths realize what’s coming down the track then Funding Circle and Kick Starter and Indiegogo are ok but once the light bulb goes on at Facebook or Apple that’s when crowd funding will become a global people's bank funding business and peoples projects one $ at a time! Only the other day Facebook announced a walled garden for certain news outlets trying to grab a piece of Drudge's, the Drudge Report's business model. 

"The Old Grey Lady of newspapers is reportedly partnering with a brash newcomer in the publishing game — Facebook.
In a scoop about itself this week, The New York Times reported the paper will give up some of its precious website traffic to the social-media giant, a move that some media observers call a power shift in the digital publishing landscape.
Under the proposed deal, Facebook would host content from prominent news outlets such as The Times, National Geographic and Buzz Feed directly inside the Facebook app." 
I still prefer Drudge but Facebook has learnt from Microsoft that you do not remain static and sell the same software in a box year after year (remember that) you move, you change, you acquire before you lose market share. 
If everything in our capitalistic culture revolves around purpose for money and payment systems and jobs and projects then it is only logical that the end game is that crowd funding will replace the banks or become the bank! This isn't a run on the banks it is a run away from the banks for micro lending and micro equity funding or as today's buzzword Crowd Funding or what I like to call let's Crowd Source Capital. 

Funding Circle might soon become a billion-dollar tech firm

23 March 2015 | By Shruti Tripathi Chopra

    (left To Right ) Samir Desai James Meekings And Andrew Mullinger Founders Of The Funding Circle.

London’s on a roll with producing 
The latest entrant? Peer-to-peer lender Funding 
Circle, which lets members of the public and
some organisations make loans to small
businesses.

The London-based tech start-up is set to raise
£50m in the next two months. The new funding,
according to the Sunday Times, will give Funding
Circle a $1bn valuation. However, a spokesperson
from Funding Circle told us that this is all
speculationat the moment. Funding Circle was
founded in 2010 by Samir Desai (CEO),
James Meekings (CMO) and Andrew Mullinger.
The tech start-up boasts high profile investors
including Betfair co-founder Ed Wray and
Carphone Warehouse co-founder
Charles Dunstone.

Here are 5 things you should know about Funding Circle:

1. Funding Circle is the world’s leading
marketplace exclusively focused on small
businesses. More than £550m has been
lent to UK businesses to date.
Over $850m has been lent to 8,000
businesses
globally.

2. Since launching, Funding Circle has raised
$123m in equity capital from investors who
backed Facebook, Twitter, Skype and Betfair.

3. Funding Circle has over 37,000 active
investors registered and over 8,000
businesses have borrowed from
the company.
4. Funding Circle lends £35m to small
businesses every month.
5. The average loan amount is £60,000
and businesses can borrow up to £1m.

Starving artists no more? Meet the Kickstarter for music, arts







by Trent Gillies CNBC

Want to support your favorite starving artist? A new
payments website—one born out of frustration—
can help you help them.
"Patreon" Co-founder Jack Conte is half of the
musical group Pomplamoose, who started the site
two years ago. The group had been putting their
musiconline, and getting some payment via a YouTube
channel.
Yet with so much free online content available, many
musicians, writers and other creators are struggling to
get paid for their efforts. Conte wants to alter that
dynamic.
In an interview with CNBC's On The Money, Conte
explains, "I spent three months working on a music
videos, working eighteen-hour days, put it out, got
half-a-million views… and got a check in the mail
for a couple hundred bucks."
Conte added: "I thought, nope, that is not going to
be how this works."
The musician decided to launch his own start-up
with former Stanford roommate Sam Yam. Their
idea was to create a digital fan club, to harness the
power of fans. Thus was Patreon born, as a way for
artists to make money from the songs, art and
content they create.
"Artists get ongoing funding from their fans."
Yam told CNBC.
Artist dabbing paint brush in palette
Guido Mieth | Taxi | Getty Images
Patreon says 250 thousand patrons are donating
small amounts of money to 14 thousand active
creators. According to the website, it is sending
$2 million dollars a month to artists, and the
average payment creators are receiving is
$9 a month.
So why would fans pay for something they're
getting online now for free?
"The idea is patrons are donating out of goodwill,
but in terms of what they get back, its mostly
about intimacy and interaction with artists,"
Yam explained.
Kickstarter is the largest crowdfunding platform.
Since its 2009 launch, Kickstarter has funded
more than 81,000 projects, with 8.3 million people
pledging more than $1.6 billion in funds.
However, Yam explains instead of Kickstarter's
model of providing funding for particular projects,
Patreon is different. The site offers sustainable,
continued funding for artists, he says.
"It's more about supporting artists in an ongoing
way," Yam says. "The artists don't have to go
through building up a whole new project just
for their funding to create a whole new movie,
or anything else."
Patreon itself has received more than
17 million dollars in venture capital funding from
investors including Sam Altman (president of Y
Combinator), Stanford University, Alexis Ohanian
(co-founder of Redditt), David Marcus (former
PayPal President), and Stanford University.
Conte says Patreon is growing because more
content creators are going out to their fans and
telling their story, as he did.
"Guys, I'm making stuff. I know you like it,"
he said. "I know you're watching it or listening
to it or reading it. And I'd like to get paid to
continue." Conte says fans then flock to the
site, and are responding with their financial support.
"It's a natural instinct that humans have," he
said. Music and art lovers spot material that
they love, "is beautiful and is worth our attention
and our focus and we want to support it," Conte
added. "We want more of it."



London Brewery Seeks Money and Profile in Crowd Funding Craze!

by  Tom Beardsworth

(Bloomberg) -- Camden Town Brewery could seek the finance it wants to expand from a bank at historically low interest rates. Instead, it’s turning to crowdfunding to raise money and its profile at the same time.
The five-year-old company is seeking as much as 3.5 million pounds ($5.2 million) by inviting its customers and other investors to subscribe as little as 10 pounds -- the price of two pints of Hells lager in its own north London pub -- in return for equity. It plans to build a second brewery and triple its staff to 200, with a target to sell five times as much beer in 2020 as it did last year.
Little more than a buzzword a decade ago, crowdfunding has emerged as a challenger to traditional financing models by using Internet platforms to match those wanting money with the tens of thousands of individuals willing to stump up contributions of varying amounts. For young companies such as Camden Town Brewery, an online campaign not only brings in investment without the need for banks, it increases awareness of their products and services.
“The more we bring in the more security we have. It’s less bank debt,” the brewery’s founder, Jasper Cuppaidge, said in an interview. The campaign brought with it marketing spending the company normally wouldn’t have access to and “made us look a lot bigger than we are,” he said.

Financial Crisis

Equity crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending, in which investors get their money back with interest, took off amid the financial crisis as startups and small firms had trouble getting loans from banks. For investors, it offered the prospect of returns at a time when banks and building societies paid next-to-nothing for deposits.
Now firms selling everything from salad dressing to pay-as-you-go electric cars are piling in, using matchmaking sites such as Crowdcube and Funding Circle Ltd.
Equity financing of the type used by Camden Town raised 84 million pounds last year, five times more than in 2012, according to a report produced by Cambridge University and London-based research firm Nesta. Alternative finance as a whole, which also includes peer-to-peer lending, accounted for about 1.7 billion pounds.
That represents a small slice of the small business lending market. Outstanding loans to private non-financial small and medium-sized enterprises totaled 155 billion pounds in January, Bank of England data show. And crowdfunding is more established in the U.S., though investment regulations there mean the market has been limited to high net-worth investors.

Growth Prospects

With bigger companies joining in, few restrictions on who can invest and the possibility that the Bank of England will increase interest rates from record lows this year, crowdfunding in the U.K. could grow fast, experts say. The average cost of new sterling loans to private non-financial firms fell to 2.5 percent in January, according to the BOE.
“Much in the same way as Amazon challenged Barnes & Noble, so will the financial industry find itself reshaped by online platforms,” said Gary Dushnitsky, an associate professor at the London Business School. “A more interesting question is whether the prevailing platforms will be led by new entrants or set up by existing banks. Cooperation rather than competition may be the hallmark of the future.”
For their money, Camden Town investors get freebies too. Subscribers who put in more than 1,000 pounds are invited to twice-yearly parties with free beer and receive a yearly case of lager. It’s a model used by Mexican food chain Chilango, which last year offered “burrito bonds” giving investors complimentary burritos in addition to fixed-rate payments.

Equity for Punks

For firms, crowdfunding doubles up as advertising and makes future networking easier, said Stian Westlake, research director at Nesta. A Scottish beer maker, BrewDog, started the trend in 2013 by raising 4.25 million pounds in an “Equity for Punks” campaign that included parking a tank outside the Bank of England.
It took less than a month for Camden Town to hit its initial 1.5 million-pound target. Since then, it’s continued to accept money, with almost 1,900 investors pitching in nearly 2 million pounds for 2.6 percent of equity, valuing the business at 75 million pounds. The company will have 3 million pounds of long-term debt this year, according to its accounts.
Over half of those investing through equity-based crowdfunding have an annual income of over 50,000 pounds and 21 percent of investors earn more than 100,000 pounds, according to the Cambridge University/Nesta report.

Ad Campaign

The brewery has taken out advertisements paid for by Crowdcube on the London’s underground rail network to entice commuters to invest some of their salary.
The ads compete for attention with those from retail stockbroker Share Plc, which says it has 260,000 customer accounts. “Gentlemen prefer bonds,” its ads say, in a pun on the 1953 Marilyn Monroe movie.
But with the BOE benchmark in its seventh year at 0.5 percent and yields on government and corporate bonds alike around all-time lows, the chance to invest in eye-catching projects may continue to draw people such as Jamie Smith.
Smith, a 34-year-old designer from London, invested 100 pounds in Camden Town “purely as a gesture of loyalty, being local fans of the brewery” since it began in 2010. “We have no expectations of this being an investment that will offer any real return, but I think our 100 pounds is pretty safe.”
To contact the reporter on this story: Tom Beardsworth in London attbeardsworth@bloomberg.net
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Fergal O’Brien at fobrien@bloomberg.netAndrew Atkinson

Friday, March 20, 2015

Hedging unemployment into an asset class.

by James de Rin

Dear Frank Underwood,

REF: Crowd funding unemployment into limitless real 
estate ownership!

I recently binged on Netflix’s third season of House
of Card’s and was surprised and amazed to learn of  
your  America Works program. Here in a fictional
Netflix streaming television show produced by the
higher echelon’s of Hollywood  was an idea that in
reality people might actually want, namely full
employment and why not. Every one deserves a 
job and every one wants a job.

Now that crowd funding and crowd sourcing has
grown up and gone legit perhaps it is time to
revisit a simple concept.

If the unemployed are paid weekly by the government
to live could $1 from each of the unemployed be
transferred into a real estate asset class to buy properties
with no debt at auction, at market value, and from
banks for the sole purpose of being remodeled, fixed up,
painted etc by the unemployed and owned by the
unemployed and then rented to the unemployed.

In other words create an ecosystem out of an
existing ecosystem that fixes properties, employs
the unemployed and creates an asset that they own.
Too far fetched for most politicians, but perhaps if
 I could pitch you (Frank Underwood) you could run 
with it. Just imagine $9,200,000 every Friday to 
buy broken properties and with the upside creating a 
fund that the unemployed own and that creates 
employment.

Any vested politician running with this idea might attract 
9,200,000 voters right off the bat as they get to own a % of a 
house from the beginning and going forward get to build a 
limitless property portfolio with no debt which compounds with 
value with government assistance and government purpose. 
It turns state aid into a private asset $1 at a time.

Last time I checked there were 9,200,000 unemployed
x $1.00 every Friday = $9,200,000 per week to spend on
real estate! That’s $478,400,000 a year in the US alone to
spend on real estate properties. In February 2015 the
unemployment rate decreased to 5.50 % but….

“If you add the current number of Americans without a job
(9.2 million) to the number of US citizens not in the labor force
(92.02), you come up with 101.22 million working age Americans
Who do not have work, according to data from the US Bureau of Labor

Statistics (BLS)



Victory Park Capital to finance Funding Circle loans

Funding Circle, the world's leading online 
marketplace for small business loans, 
today announces that Victory Park Capital, 
an asset management firm based in the 
US and an active lender to UK and 
European companies, will finance up 
to $420 million in loans to small 
businesses originated through 
Funding Circle both in the UK 
and US over the next three years.

This new, long-term agreement, which 
significantly extends the existing relationship 
between Funding Circle and Victory Park Capital, 
will allow Funding Circle to provide a much 
needed further injection of funding into the small 
business sector and reflects the strong growth 
of Funding Circle globally over the past twelve 
months. Funding Circle has now facilitated more 
than $850 million in loans to 8,000 small 
businesses globally.
Victory Park Capital has been actively involved 
in the marketplace lending sector since 2010 and 
has made more than US$2.2 billion of investments 
and commitments across a number of financial 
technology platforms, multiple geographies 
(US, UK and Europe), products 
(consumer and business) and structures 
(whole loans and senior credit facilities).
The investment combines cutting-edge technology 
with market leading financial solutions. 
Victory Park Capital was an early institutional 
partner to Funding Circle in the US and 
this new funding will be invested across all risk 
bands, in accordance with Funding Circle's 
industry-leading credit criteria.
Gordon Watson, Principal of 
Victory Park Capital, commented: "Funding Circle 
has experienced tremendous growth over the 
past year and we are pleased to expand our 
on-going partnership to both sides of the Atlantic. 
With this additional lending facility, 
Funding Circle will be well-positioned 
to continue to disrupt the traditional banking 
model through 2015 and beyond."
Samir Desai, CEO and co-founder of 
Funding Circle, added: "We're pleased to be 
welcoming additional new financing to the 
marketplace, which will further support small 
businesses. Today's news is a significant step 
on our journey to creating the global infrastructure 
where any investor, big or small, can lend 
to creditworthy small businesses looking to grow."
Sachin Patel, Head of UK Capital Markets 
at Funding Circle, said: "Partnering with 
Victory Park both in the UK and US is testament 
to our proven track record in facilitating loans 
with attractive yields and consistent credit 
performance. Funding Circle is opening up 
an asset class to investors that has previously 
only been available to high street banks."
Launched in 2010, Funding Circle is 
helping to spark a global revolution in the way 
small businesses access finance, disrupting 
the traditional model of banking. 
Funding Circle's proven model enables 
businesses to access finance in a matter of days, 
directly from investors who earn high, stable returns.
Through Funding Circle, businesses typically 
access the capital they need in seven days 
compared to 15-20 weeks with a bank. 
Independent research* has found that three 
in four businesses would come to Funding Circle 
first in future, ahead of a bank. 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Crowdcube Co-Founder named as one of Britain’s Most Influential Entrepreneurs

Crowdcube Co-Founder named as one of Britain’s Most Influential Entrepreneurs

The co-founder of equity crowdfunding platform Crowdcube, has been named by Debrett’s as one of Britain’s 500 Most Influential People. 

Darren Westlake was named in the list published in The Sunday Times. The Debrett’s 500 2015 List recognises the most influential and inspiring people living and working in Britain.

Westlake was one of 20 entrepreneurs in the study alongside Innocent Drinks Co-founder Richard Reed, Lastminute.com co-founder Brent Hoberman and Supergroup co-founder Julian Dunkerton.  

Other influential people in the list include: Sir Tim Berners Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web; Nicola Mendelsohn, head of EMEA operations at Facebook; Sir James Dyson, inventor of the dual cyclone bagless vacuum cleaner and the retired footballer David Beckham.

Since Westlake and co-founder Luke Lang launched Crowdcube in 2011, the platform has raised just under £55 million for 188 businesses across the UK, equivalent to raising £1569 every second over the last four years. 

Speaking about the accolade, Westlake said: “This is a real honour. We are proud to have challenged the traditional finance sector and created a vibrant new market for entrepreneurs seeking finance and investors.” 

“Britain has led the world in financial services for centuries and it is now the turn of ambitious young and innovative businesses, like Crowdcube, to continue this tradition.” 

Click here to learn more

Monday, February 16, 2015

U.K. Banks Pilot Loan Sales to Crowdfund Site investUP

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Crowdfunder Fundrise marketing 3 WTC bonds

Platform offers users a chance to invest in the building's senior debt
January 27, 2015 09:34AM
Fundrise's Ben and Daniel Miller, 3 World Trade Center and Larry Silverstein
Fundrise’s Ben and Daniel Miller, a rendering of 3 World Trade Center and Larry Silverstein

Crowdfunding platform Fundrise is marketing some of the tax-free bonds used to finance Silverstein Properties’ 3 World Trade Center. The website, which counts top Silverstein executives  among its key investors, is offering up the chance to invest in a $2 million share of the 80-story skyscraper’s most senior debt, according to Capital New York. Fundrise is not directly re-selling the debt, according to the website, but is offering a chance to invest in a trust that holds the debt. Silverstein sold the tax-free Liberty Bonds in October for roughly $1 billion of the building’s financing at an initial annual return of 5 percent. Fundrise raised $31 million in May, as TRD  reported. Silverstein’s chief executive Martin Burger and president Tal Kerret were among the investors.  [Capital NY] – Claire Moses

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Kickstarter Drops Amazon Payments For Stripe



by Sarah Perez - Techcrunch

Crowdfunding platform Kickstarter announced 
today that it’s partnering with payments service
Stripe, which will now collect and process all
payments for projects hosted on Kickstarter’s site.
Since its founding, Kickstarter used Amazon
Payments for this, but claims it had to make
the switch because late last year, Amazon
decided to discontinue the payments product
that Kickstarter was previously using. That
decision led Kickstarter to analyze the
possibilities, and ultimately it chose the
well-liked and growing company Stripe, 
following its recent $70 million funding round.
Stripe processes payments for some of the
biggest tech companies, including Facebook
and Twitter, as well as others like Lyft,
Shopify, TaskRabbit, Instacart, Rackspace,
Postmates, Handybook, Salesforce, OpenTable,
Bigcommerce, Reddit, Squarespace, WuFoo,
and many others. It has become popular for
 its ease of use and setup, simple and
transparent pricing, and because it offers
companies complete control over the
 checkout experience.
“Stripe will help Kickstarter’s users reach
a broader audience and see higher
conversion rates from backers anywhere
 in the world – especially those coming
from mobile devices,” the company says.
64612b20b6dc49ec4774d47b7370c0e8_medium
For project creators, Kickstarter says this change means
they’ll no longer have to set up an Amazon Payments
business account anymore, but instead will enter
their bank account details on the Account tab of
their Kickstarter project’s draft. The change will
also speed up the time it takes to go live on
Kickstarter – before, the Amazon Payments
setup process took a few days. With Stripe,
the process takes just a couple of minutes.
For backers of a project, checkout will be
easier as they’ll no longer be redirected or
have to log into a separate service. The
 checkout flow will also now take place
entirely on Kickstarter.com itself.
Kickstarter says its fees are not increasing
as a result of the move – it will apply a
5% fee to the total amount of funds
raised and Stripe will apply credit card
processing fees (about 3%-5%).
The move to Stripe will be completed
by next week.
Kickstarter has processed $1.2 billion
in pledges via Amazon Payments, which
 it was using even a year before launching
to the public. The payments service was
selected at the time for being of the only
ones that allowed Kickstarter backers to
pledge money, but only be charged
when projects reached their funding goals.
Recently, 
noting that 3.3 million backers in 2014 pledged $529
million, resulting in 22,000 funded projects.

Friday, January 2, 2015

The Need For Liquidity

The rise in popularity for private company investing must come with the ability to exit

Written by Stuart Lucas co-founder and Chief Executive  Officer of Asset Match

H ere's a conundrum. What do all those
private businesses that have raised
funds through the new wave of
alternative finance do with their
shareholders? Once the companies have got
the cash there is a temptation to treat them
like mushrooms – feed them rubbish and keep
them in the dark.
Crowd-funders are becoming more
demanding, albeit led by more sophisticated
investors. Like their quoted counterparts they
expect access to investor information and regular
updates. Crucially investors want to know how and
when they can expect an exit.
Providing liquidity in unquoted companies
has always been a problem and the regulator,
the Financial Conduct Authority, also raised
concerns on this issue in its consultation paper on
crowdfunding toward the end of 2013. To attract investors,
newly funded businesses often make vague promises of an IPO
(initial public offering) or trade sale in three to five years. Until
then shareholders just have to sit tight unless the management
are willing to buy back the shares. Even then how do you
determine price? Shares in private companies are typically
bought and sold at a value that both parties can mutually agree
on, rather than at a market derived one.
I once found myself in this position and was locked in
a successful private business for over 12 years; with no
transparent mechanism to value my shares I was compelled to
hold on.

PRIVATE ENTERPRISE

There are over 2,500 sizeable private companies with turnover
above £15 million in the UK that have at least 10 shareholders
and many more start-ups with over 50 shareholders. A back
of an envelope calculation puts an equity value of
around £300 billion of tied-up assets. Only a tiny
fraction of these companies will ever go public,
some may find a buyer, more won’t survive.
Shareholders also need to be aware that the
people behind many of these businesses may
have no real intention of providing an exit any
time soon. After all the greatest advantage of
being private is retaining control and making
decisions without having to ask anyone’s
permission.

Share auction services like Asset Match used
to be perceived as the go-to places for delisted
stocks that couldn’t cut it as a public company.
With some companies paying in excess of the
value of the shares being traded to maintain their
listing, it is no wonder they begin to question their
status as a public company. The private market
is also changing. The growth of a nation of angel investors,
EIS schemes and better access to private business investment
opportunities means that demand for a secondary market to
trade illiquid assets is on the rise.

TASTY STORY

Aberdeen based craft brewery BrewDog is a good example
of a one-in-10 crowd-funded success story. It has completed
three ‘Equity for Punks’ share issues since 2009; the latest in
2013 at £95 per share. An early commitment to shareholders
to provide a liquidity event was recently actioned. Buyers
and sellers were corralled in a five-hour auction where 220
investors took part. Participants were able to see the range of
bids and offers which spanned from £25 to £300 and adjust
their orders accordingly. In the end, 118 individuals traded
successfully. The smallest seller sold just one share while the
largest buyer invested over £80,000. At the close, shares were
transacted at £125 per share giving BrewDog a market cap
of just under £150 million. Not bad for a company that was
founded in 2007 and has sourced most of its funds from fans.
Liquidity doesn’t just affect up and coming companies. Any
private business with investors faces the same issue, whether
it is a private equity-backed company, a family business with a
myriad of biologically-related shareholders or companies with
EMI (Enterprise Management Incentive) schemes.

Financial technology firms are offering simpler, more
transparent and cheaper ways to solve long existing problems
including the trading of shares. The bigger exchanges are also
waking up to the fact that many companies would prefer to
stay private if they could, and in the US the NASDAQ Private
Market was launched earlier this year. With so many new
alternative ways to finance companies now on offer it is not
surprising that hubs for unquoted secondary markets are coming 
into 
their own.