Tuesday, October 23, 2012

CrowdSource raises $12.5M from Highland Capital to help businesses use scalable labor

22nd October 2012 by KEN YEUNG thenextweb.com

CrowdSource, the enterprise-level service that helps business accomplish tasks at scale, has just raised $12.5 million from Highland Capital in its Series A round of funding. With more than 200 customers, it caters towards medium-to-large companies that have business problems that recur at scale. With this new infusion of cash, it will further grow the team and expand to other verticals, while also improving its product.

Launched last summer, CrowdSource has amassed 500,000 workers in its database to help businesses complete labor-intensive tasks. But unlike a typical temp agency, it specializes in specific areas like with online retailers and publishing companies dealing with lots of scalable work.

To Learn More Click Here

Monday, October 15, 2012

Why Crowdfunding Will Explode In 2013

Written by Devin Thorpe, Contributor Forbes.com

Yes, that headline used to have three exclamation points. I took some out. The world of entrepreneurial finance is changing rapidly; we are at a tipping point that will make what seems like a vibrant part of our global economy today seem small in one year’s hindsight. Whether you are a service provider, social entrepreneur, angel investor, venture capitalist, or one of the millions of people ready to become a small-scale start up financier, it is time to pay attention.

 Estimates for annual crowdfunding transactions go as high as $500 billion annually compared to 2011’s $1.5 billion (anticipated to be $3 billion in 2012). If crowdfunding even begins to approach that scale, it will completely change the landscape for start-up financing. Jason Best and Sherwood Neiss helped lead the successful effort to get crowdfunding approved in the JOBS Act passed earlier this year. Niess explained that the folks as the SEC described themselves as “a reactive and not a proactive organization.”

 The SEC explained that they needed direction from Congress before they could do anything about crowdfunding equity. “We delivered an act of Congress. They weren’t expecting that.” The Act gives rulemaking authority to the SEC and FINRA; Best and Neiss are now meeting regularly with regulators to help define the shape of these rules—which could determine the success or failure of the Act. According to Neiss, regulators approach novelty with a focus on preventing fraud—it’s what they deal with every day. 

They aren’t in the business of creating jobs—even though that is the legislation’s intent. Neiss explained that he and Best have helped to organize two groups to help frame the regulation and involve the people who will be most impacted by it: the Crowdfunding Professionals Association and the Crowdfund Intermediary Regulatory Advocates.

Neiss and Best recently wrote a piece for Venturebeat that explains the real issues that need to be resolved in the regulation. It is well worth the read. WeSparkt founder Jonathan Blanchard explained WeSparkt’s focus on social entrepreneurship. Their new crowdfunding platform is designed specifically to take advantage of the JOBS Act to allow social entrepreneurs focusing on a double bottom line (profit and social good) to raise equity. Blanchard sites a Monitor study suggesting that crowdfunding will grow to $500 billion annually.His site will target impact investors hoping to create social change. To Learn More Click Here