Friday, February 7, 2014

Woody Harrelson aims to replace paper with a $5,000,000 crowd fund

By James de Rin - Crowd Source Capital © – February10th 2014

Meet Matthew McGrath the dynamic CEO of Canadian based Optimize Capital Markets, a new equity crowd funding platform for projects, looking for a capital requirement from $3 - $5 million. With a drill down background in high net worth & private wealth management from his years at Bank of Canada his vision is to build over the next 3 years, the leading “equity crowd funding platform” on Canadian soil.

With the help of due diligence, and proven business models his pre-selected projects for funding are not pipedreams, pre-orders or legal begging.  For your minimum investment of $25,000 and in this particular instance aimed mainly at institutional investors you will receive stock in the company for a minimum investment of $250,000.

While Kickstarter and Indiegogo have conquered the rewards space of crowd funding, the equity crowd funding space is still up for grabs! There is a global race on to conquer “the financial disruption” of raising money for companies, through crowd funding in return for stock. Crowdcube has done well in the UK using a membership loop-hole for equity ownership through a crowd fund. 

But in the US and Canada, crowd funding markets dwarf the UK. There they have paved the way for the culture of crowd funding which is success centric for your idea or project!
One such project that went live on December 11th 2013 on OCM’s platform was Prairie Paper Ventures, Inc. It comes with good credentials, a Hollywood star, who has put his money where his mouth is. One, Woody Harrelson who is currently on HBO in True Detective and recently on our cinema screens in Hunger Games: Catching fire and in edgy films like Rampart. What you might not know about him is that he is an advocate for the environment. Not only is he a vegan but he is passionate about recycling and saving the planet. So much so that he started a company to do just that. After 15 years in business and now in profit, PPV Inc is looking for expansion capital.

OCM’s platform is looking to raise $5,000,000 for a 20% equity stake which values the company at $25,000,000.

Is it profitable and how did OCM get involved?  

Well with a presentation by Woody Harrelson, Jeff Golfman (see picture) a leading eco titan and Clayton Manness, a former provincial Minister of Finance for Canada to lend credibility and after careful due diligence by Matthew McGrath’s team they agreed that with PPV Inc’s track record, expansion capital was a good investment for the platform.  It’s only early days, but the response is positive. With contracts in place with companies like Staples and Unisource and a product made from waste straw into paper they are on track to raise their required capital. 

It’s ironic! On December 11th 2013, the LA Times had an Op Ed by Nicholas A. Basbanes on the paperless society how we were supposed to not use paper anymore...Yet as the LA Times said there are 20,000 identifiable uses of paper and International Paper has just increased their sales by $1.8 Billion to $27.8 Billion for 2012. The average American uses more than 748 pounds of paper a year.

What does Prairie Paper Ventures Inc do?

A private company based in Winnipeg and in business for 15 years. It makes paper from wheat straw 80% and 20% from recycled wood fiber. The paper's brand name is Step Forward Paper. It is produced in India because there is no eco mill in North America and Europe available. So PPV outsources production and acts as a distribution company for now. The business plan is to build a 100% tree free mill on the Prairies which will be eco friendly, without chlorine and eco friendly taking advantage of farm waste's millions of tonnes of wheat straw.

So with a timely launch and a disruptive business model Matthew McGrath aims to raise $5,000,000 from a minimum of 20 high net individuals. It’s an exciting time for raising finance through the crowd. 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

RealtyShares Enables Crowdfunded Property Investment With Bitcoin

 (@dannybradbury) | Published on February 4, 2014 at 19:52 GMT | InvestorsLifestyle,News

Crowdfunding real estate venture RealtyShares is now taking bitcoin-based investments.
The site, founded in June last year, enables small investors to get into real estate by pooling their money with others. The crowdfunding investments include family homes, commercial properties, and apartment complexes.
Each property is purchased under a separate limited company (LLC), and investors in the property are given a share of the rent on a monthly or quarterly basis, based on their investment. When the property is sold, they are also awarded a share of that profit.

CEO Nav Athwal said that the decision to take investments in bitcoin was driven by a significant base of non-domestic investors. 10-15% of the people investing in US property through RealtyShares are from outside the country.
The company signed with Coinbase as its payment processor, and integrated with its API. “Some international investors specifically asked for the feature,” Athwal said.
RealtyShares is treating the bitcoin investments as pure currency, and will not be holding a position in bitcoin. As it does with Overstock, Coinbase will immediately convert incoming bitcoin payments to fiat currency based on the current market exchange rate.
For the first million dollars in bitcoin-based investments, Coinbase is providing its conversion service for free. After that, it will charge a 1% conversion rate for all bitcoins sent to RealtyShares.
When transaction fees are charged, the crowdfunding real estate investment site will swallow the transaction fee itself, although depending on volume, it may reconsider that in the future, Athwal said.
There is no secondary market for shares, and investors are committed to a contract for at least six months, and up to seven years.
Returns on property investments will vary according to a number of parameters, including the type of property, and the type of investment. One option is to be a direct owner of a property, for which Athwal forecasts (but doesn’t guarantee) returns of 8-9% annually.
The other option is to take a debt position, in which you invest in the LLC rather than the property directly. The LLC then takes a mortgage or promissory note, which reduces the investor’s risk, as they are investing in the company rather than directly in the asset, Athwal said.
“We’re the first platform that lets you use bitcoin to invest in something other than bitcoin,” concluded Athwal. “Bitcoin is generally treated as an asset as opposed to a currency. We enable investors and BTC holders to put it into something tangible like real estate.”