To get a pulse reading on the emerging equity crowdfunding market, take a look at the CNBC Crowdfinance Index. It is the daily average index of the 50 largest capital commitments by private U.S. companies listed on Crowdnetic’s data platform, which collates real-time offerings from 18 securities-based crowdfunding sites: Alchemy Global, AngelList, Crowdfunder, CrowdStreet, EarlyShares, EquityNet, MicroVentures, Onevest, OurCrowd, Patch of Land, Prodigy Network, RealCrowd, RealPartner, Realty Mogul, DarcMatter, SeedInvest and WeFunder. Companies represented on the index are operating companies raising money, not equity funds. They represent eight sectors: commerce and industry; consumer goods; energy; finance; health care; materials; services and technology.
What would a condom that successfully imparted “a new feeling of intimacy and comfort never felt in condoms before” be worth? Seven figures, apparently. The Swedish company LELO, which has enjoyed a pleasurable ride selling millions of award-winning sex toys worldwide, recently announced that it has managed to raise more than $1 million from 30,000 backers for its HEX condom. The money poured in via its Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign and website, for what it’s calling “the first major condom innovation in 70 years.” The HEX has been eight years in the making, with the goal being to address three key complaints users (or non-users, in many dissatisfied cases) have: discomfort, slippage, and breakage. One of HEX’s differentiators is visible: a honeycomb lattice pattern. Inspired by graphene’s “hexagonal molecular structure,” LELO incorporated such a structure into the HEX, which it says is less likely to slip or tear and “maximize[s] sensitivity.” And if it does tear, Melia Robinson writes for Business Insider that puncture is contained within the affected cell. She watched LELO founder Filip Sedic try and fail to break a HEX with his fingernails and a pen. One writer for Bustle gave the condom, which starts at $19.90 for a 12-pack, a go with her partner and found it easy to open; easy to tell up from down; incredibly stretchy; both super thin and strong; and pleasingly transparent. Her man called it the “strongest” orgasm he’s ever had wearing a condom. (HEX has a celebrity spokesman.)
New federal rules designed to make it easier for small investors to use crowdfunding have hardly gotten traction in Indiana, and crowdfunding platform operators locally are mostly using old rules to help companies raise money. Last fall, the Securities and Exchange Commission adopted Title III equity crowdfunding rules, which allowed companies to raise capital online from non-traditional investors—to the tune of as little as a few hundred dollars each. Blackett Those rules—widely known as “Regulation Crowdfunding”—took effect this May, but two of the few Indiana firms that run crowdfunding websites said the new rules come with so much regulation that it hasn’t been worth their while to put them to use. “We took a look at them and there’s still, from our perspective, a lot of dust to settle,” said Jacob Blackett, CEO of Indianapolis-based real estate crowdfunding platform Holdfolio LLC. “From a legal cost standpoint, I think it’s prohibitive, especially right now.” Brandon Smith, CEO of Indianapolis-based Localstake LLC, said his firm has been helping companies raise money under so-called securities law “exemptions” that predate Regulation Crowdfunding, because the older mechanisms are less stringent. Smith “There are other exemptions that have historically been available that have fewer requirements in terms of federal filings,” said Smith, whose firm has been helping manufacturing, technology and food-and-beverage companies raise five- and six-figure sums since 2013. “So it’s just easier to put together a deal for a business using those laws.”
Hot “Green” Automotive Startup ELIO MOTORS, YouTube Star-founded Game Company XREAL Among Initial Partners
June 19, 2015 07:30 AM Eastern Daylight Time
LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–StartEngine Crowdfunding Inc. today launched the premier equity crowdfunding platform, allowing individuals to invest in private companies on a public platform. In a historic first, StartEngine connects aspiring investors, including North America’s 80-plus million Millennials, with the progressive companies of tomorrow, including startup launch partners Elio Motors and mobile games publisher XREAL. The launch corresponds with Regulation A+ of the JOBS Act, which officially takes effect today and enables a broad new range of startup investment opportunities. To learn more and begin investing today, visit www.startengine.com.
“We’re thrilled to be raising funds in a progressive and personal new way that better resonates with my generation.”
“At StartEngine, our goal is to not only become the leading equity crowdfunding platform, but to help entrepreneurs achieve their dreams,” said StartEngine CEO Ron Miller. “We’ve built an industry leading platform to allow companies to take advantage of the greatest advancement for entrepreneurship in a generation. Companies can now advertise the sale of their stock and anyone, not just wealthy people, can invest.”
Partnering with StartEngine at launch, Elio Motors is a transportation startup that challenges the status quo of personal transportation. Founder Paul Elio has created a fun-to-drive, super-economical personal transportation alternative that’s affordable, safe, and environmentally friendly. The Elio is an ultra-high-mileage (up to 84 MPG), sleek American-made two-seater for an incredibly affordable base price (expected to be $6,800). The Elio is perfect for a wide variety of drivers. Owners of SUVs, minivans and pickup trucks see it as an AND vehicle – keep the functionality of the big vehicle AND you can still afford an Elio for solo commutes. It’s also a great vehicle for first time drivers, college students and “clunker” owners.
“Partnering with StartEngine was a natural fit, since Elio and StartEngine are both built on the principle of efficiency and cutting out unnecessary obstacles in the way of progress,” said Elio Motors founder Paul Elio. “StartEngine is poised to disrupt the course of traditional investment, just as Elio aims to alter the course of how people commute.”
Also partnering with StartEngine at launch is XREAL, a startup mobile game publisher poised to become a leader in mobile eSports. XREAL was co-founded by Jordan Maron (YouTube’s CaptainSparklez – 8.6 million subscribers) and Howard Marks, co-founder and former studio chairman of Activision and Executive Chairman of StartEngine. XREAL’s first title is Fortress Fury, a competitive tower building game that reached more than 1.5 million downloads in its first month in the marketplace. Built for the world’s largest gaming platform, XREAL seeks to elevate mobile and tablet gaming. With multiplayer action optimized for both in-game and real-world tournaments, Fortress Furry is helping to take the global eSports phenomenon onto mobile.
“StartEngine’s alternative investing platform makes it possible for anyone to back the companies they believe in and truly share a stake in their success,” said XREAL co-founder Jordan Maron. “We’re thrilled to be raising funds in a progressive and personal new way that better resonates with my generation.”
StartEngine empowers investors to dip their toes into equity crowdfunding by providing the resources, information and support for everyday consumers to make educated investment decisions. Thanks to Title IV of the JOBS Act and the just-approved Regulation A+, the general public is now able to become shareholders in exciting new startups before reaching an initial public stock offering. Unlike traditional crowdfunding, where backers can only anticipate physical goods or karmic compensation, equity crowdfunding makes it possible to get in on the ground floor and support startups in a whole new way.
StartEngine is a Los Angeles-based firm created in 2011 by Howard Marks, co-founder of Activision, a $14B market cap video game publisher, and Ron Miller, a four time Inc. 500/5000 Award recipient and professional entrepreneur who has successfully founded five companies. More information about StartEngine is available on the official website: www.startengine.com.
StartEngine is the premier equity crowdfunding platform, connecting Millennials and aspiring investors with tomorrow’s progressive companies. Based in Los Angeles, the company was created in 2013 by Howard Marks, co-founder of Activision, and Ron Miller. StartEngine aims to revolutionize the startup business model by helping individuals invest in private companies on a public platform for the first time in history, thereby helping entrepreneurs achieve their dreams. Learn more athttp://www.startengine.com