Looking for cash for your startup? Fundable just announced that it has surpassed $100 million in commitments from backers and investors.
That means, communications chief Laura Moller said, that it’s now the biggest crowdfunding platform around.
Fundable works like a crowdfunded venture capitalist, taking in funding commitments from over 53,000 backers and disbursing them in small investments to hundreds of startups in a model very similar to Kickstarter or Indiegogo. If you see a company you like — perhaps Pixel Press, which enables anyone to build their own video games — you can choose to back that company.
Interestingly, Fundable doesn’t take a percentage of the investment, but simply charges a small monthly fee. Investors can choose equity or Kickstarter-like rewards.
Businesses like Fundable have only been possible since last year, when the JOBS Act made it legal not only to raise money but also to tell people about it in public — so-called “general solicitation” rule.
“Before, it was like having your house for sale but not being able to tell anyone about it but your friends and family,” Fundable CEO Eric Corl told me then. “This will open up a tremendous amount of capital for entrepreneurs.”
At least $103 million worth as of this moment, it appears. And counting.
Fundable is a crowdfunding site for startups. Fundable’s platform takes advantage of the new JOBS Act, also known as the “Crowdfunding Bill,” which now allows startup companies to publicly raise money from anyone willing to back them.
SMEs are increasingly looking at crowdfunding as a way of raising finance without dealing with bureaucratic banks and fickle investors. However, new rules by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which came into force recently, regulate certain types of crowdfunding.
Crowdfunding involves raising finance by taking small investments, loans or donations from a large number of people. Depending on who you believe, the new FCA rules have either "taken the crowd out of crowdfunding" or "represent the right balance between the freedom to invest and investor protection".
We decided to take a look at some of the big brands who have been jumping on the crowdfunding bandwagon. Crowdfunding has been a cult phenonminon that has swept across the globe with much excitement. Whether investing in the latest techy watch, movie, album, or designer, the crowd has mobilized around hip and cutting edge concepts. Traditional investors have also benefited by participating in crowdfunding sites that offer equity opportunities for accredited investors. What has been missing from the equation is known and established brands. That has suddenly changed.
This famous hotel chain is similar to a franchise in that each location is individually owned and they pay for the rights to the brand name. The owner of the Palm Springs location, Andre Carpiac, needed to raise $1.5 million so he turned to the crowd. With a campaign for accredited investors to “own a piece of the Rock” they hit the ground running. Within a couple of days they raised $500,000. In exchange for their investment, investors received discounts on hotel stay, access to the owners pool deck, VIP treatment and receptions, food and drink credits, and a portion of the profits. This is an excellent opportunity for accredited investors to be part of the Hard Rock franchise without actually owning one.
This famous vacation state is testing the idea of crowfunding portions of their education system. If fully implemented, this will be the first state to do so. The pilot program is seeking to raise capital for the repair of two local schools.
A famous college, the University of California Los Angeles has launched crowdfunding in order to fund research and ideas that students or faculty have. They are trying to tap into this new form of capital in order to meet some of their funding goals.
Even famous movie stars are getting in on the action. Kristen Bell succesfully raised the funds she needed for a Veronica Mars movie through crowdfunding and now the movie is out in theaters. The company Junction makes movies for people like Tom Hanks. Now, movie fans can get in on the action before it ever hits theaters.
The fact that name brands and powerful players are now participating in crowdfunding should be a sign of its ability to cross over all business sizes, consumer groups, and industries. The staying power of crowdfunding will remain as long as the crowd continues to be interested. Businesses and entrepreneuers will always need capital. This is one of the sources they can turn to for it.
A key challenge going forward will be connecting the crowd to the right campaigns. Crowdfunding platforms will need to continue to improve their search and matching features. This may lead investors towards specailized crowdfunding platforms that focus on one specific industry. In the meantime, investors are enjoying sorting through crowdfunding listings in search of the next big thing and everyone is noticing.
When a startup gets handed that first big check, how much of that can they dedicate to their own livelihoods?
From the media you would belive that founders of every tech startup thats been funded are all millionaires and billionaires. But thats not allways true.
Walmart is blurring the line between banking and shopping as it adds yet another financial service to its stores across the country.
The retailer announced this morning that customers can transfer money to and from any of its 4,000 stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
Financial services offerings aren’t new at Walmart. These days shoppers can head to the retail giant to pick up beauty and household supplies, cash checks, pay bills, reload prepaid debit cards, and now, transfer money across the country.
AngelList is working on a new project called Maiden Lane. Behind this name is a new experiment in startup investment. Structured as a traditional small VC firm, Maiden Lane will only invest in AngelList syndicates or hand some money to active angels on the platform.
Airbnb has closed a large round of funding at an 11-figure valuation, according to multiple reports.
The Wall Street Journal reports hearing from sources that Airbnb has sealed a deal to raise $450 million led by TPG, a private equity firm, while website TechCrunch reported that the round was for $500 million. Both publications put the valuation at $10 billion.
OurCrowd founder and CEO Jon Medved spoke about crowdfunding at San Diego State University earlier this year. The video was recently just posted on YouTube the past week.
Medved actually was born in San Diego. His father was a professor of physics at SDSU so this was a bit of a coming home trip for him.
Medved talks about OurCrowd and his global perspective on equity crowdfunding. Definitely worth a watch.
Munchery, a startup that provides same-day delivery for meals prepared by local chefs, announced Thursday that it raised a $28 million Series B round, bringing its total funding to date to about $35 million. The company intends to use the funding to expand its service to new cities beyond the Bay Area.
The majority of the new round — $25 million — was contributed by Sherpa Ventures. Shervin Pishevar, the VC firm's founder, had pitched in for Munchery's seed round and Series A, and believes the company has the potential to be "bigger than Chipotle," a bold statement considering Chipotle generated more than $3 billion in revenue last year.
Could the next billion-user Internet company be one that focuses on literature? It might sound unlikely, but that's Wattpad's goal.
Wattpad, an online community for writers and readers to share and discover good stories, announced Tuesday that it has raised $46 million in a Series C round of funding led by OMERS ventures. The latest funding round brings the company's total funding to more than $60 million and is intended to help Wattpad accelerate product and user growth.