Investor Acquisition in online capital raising

Let’s talk about Investor Acquisition in online capital raising.

There are over 4.7 Billion potential investors online, but finding the right people to invest in your company among that vast number can seem overwhelming. That is why it is important to understand the various Investor Acquisition (IA marketing) activities you can use to achieve your goal.

Online capital formation (OCF), also known as crowdfunding, refers to the process of raising capital for a business, project, or venture by soliciting small investments from a large number of individuals through the Internet. This is typically done through online platforms or direct listings on company websites that connect entrepreneurs and businesses with potential investors.

 

There are several types of Online Capital Formation (OCF), including:

 

  • Equity-based, in which investors receive an ownership stake in the business in exchange for their investment
  • Debt-based, in which investors lend money to the business and are repaid with interest
  • Token-based, similar to equity but the ownership is tracked and managed in a compliant blockchain technology

 

Online capital formation (OCF) allows businesses and entrepreneurs to access capital from a wider pool of potential investors, and it can also provide a way for individuals to invest in businesses and projects that they are passionate about.  Online capital formation can also help businesses to validate their ideas and to test the market before launching a full-scale fundraising campaign. However, it is important to note that crowdfunding may be subject to different regulations and laws in different jurisdictions.

 

Online capital formation refers to the process of raising funds for a business, project, or venture by soliciting investments from a large number of individuals over the Internet, typically through online platforms such as crowdfunding sites, or online investment platforms like angel networks, or private equity platforms.

 

Online capital formation can include various forms of fundraising, such as:

  • Private Placement Memorandums (PPMs)
  • Regulation A+ (RegA+) Offerings
  • Regulation CF  (RegCF)  Offerings
  • Regulation D (RegD) Offerings
  • Regulation S (RegS) Offerings
  • Regulation 45-106 Offerings
  • Regulation OM Offerings
  • Regulation 708 Offerings

 

Online capital formation allows companies to reach a wider pool of potential investors and to raise funds more efficiently and cost-effectively than traditional fundraising methods. It also provides investors with more opportunities to invest in startups and early-stage companies, and to diversify their portfolios. However, it is important to note that online capital raising may be subject to different regulations and laws in different jurisdictions. Additionally, online platforms that facilitate online capital raising need to be registered with regulatory bodies and comply with securities laws. Investors should also be aware of the risks associated with investing in start-ups and early-stage companies, as these investments are considered higher risk than traditional investments.

 

There is much we can learn from other types of marketing, to make sure best practices are applied.  One basic principle we feel has been severely overlooked by the entire online capital formation sector is their tactics involve no relationship, and no community building.

 

We describe this approach like this:  

 

The number of marketing touches it takes to get an online subscriber can vary greatly depending on a number of factors, such as the industry, target audience, and the type of content or offer being promoted. Typically, it may take several touches before a potential subscriber feels comfortable enough to provide their contact information. According to the rule of seven, the average number of marketing “touches” it takes to convert a lead into a sale is 7.  And depending on specific audiences, funnels, and strategies, this number may be different.

Investor acquisition (IA) refers to the process of identifying, reaching out to, and acquiring new investors for a company or an investment fund. The goal of investor acquisition is to raise capital, and to increase the number of shareholders in a company or the number of investors in a fund.  They do this by first starting in building your community of followers.

 

Investor Acquisition in online capital raising can take many forms, such as:

  • Cold-calling or emailing potential investors
  • Networking and building relationships with potential investors
  • Participating in roadshows and investor conferences
  • Using online platforms and social media to reach a wider audience
  • Using investor databases and investor targeting tools to identify and reach out to potential investors
  • Create online community of like-minded individuals who support your vision, product, service to make your brand ambassadors to champion your offering

 

Investor acquisition can be a complex and challenging process, as it requires a deep understanding of the target audience, the industry, and the investment opportunities. Companies or investment firms that are seeking new investors need to have a clear value proposition and a compelling pitch, as well as a strong track record of performance, to be able to convince potential investors to invest. Additionally, they also need to comply with securities regulations and laws when reaching out to potential investors.

 

At KoreConX our goal is to make sure you achieve yours.  We provide an eloquent way for you to access millions of potential followers, clients, affiliates, like-minded individuals who will want to be associated with your company, brand.

 

What is important is how this is achieved and we believe if you follow the principles of 7 you can achieve this goal.

 

The number of marketing touches it takes to get an online subscriber can vary greatly depending on a number of factors, such as the industry, target audience, and the type of content or offer being promoted. Typically, it may take several touches before a potential subscriber feels comfortable enough to provide their contact information. According to the rule of seven, the average number of marketing “touches” it takes to convert a lead into a sale is 7. And depending on specific audience, funnels, and strategies, this number may be different.

 

The strategy is simple.  

The process is challenging.  

The reward is achieving your goal

Stage 1

Build your community & affinity with your company utilizing the 7 touch process.

 

Romance the Journey

  • Bring relevant information
  • Bring relevant value to your audience
  • Educate
  • Gain trust
  • Ask to join the journey

TouchPoints  (1-7)

Each type of TOUCH Point is to build a relationship with the USER in building your community.  As you build your community, you create an affinity with each of the USER which allows you the opportunity to introduce them to your journey.

 

  • Create Landing Pages/Squeeze Pages 
  • Create Pop-ups
  • Create Target Ads
  • Create Investor Persona
  • Webinar
  • Podcast
  • Email Marketing
  • Newsletter
  • Download (book, information)

 

Stage 2

After they invested it’s just as important to be reaching out but it needs to be on an even more personal level.

 

  • Thank them, and welcome them to your family, and company
  • Meet the Team
  • Meet our partners
  • Follow us on Social Media
  • Progress update
  • Family & Friends Program
  • Invitation for special programs
  • Newsletter
  • Engage, keep engaging
  • Engage, Engage, Engage
  • Enage

 

Strategy

  • Do not call them Investors
  • They are:
    • Customers,
    • followers, 
    • clients, 
    • affiliates, 
    • like-minded individuals who will want to be associated with your company, or brand.
    • brand ambassadors
  • Investment Strategy for Your Journey
  • Business Plan
  • Budget
  • Sets the tone for all marketing activities

 

You are now set to engage with IA firms who can assist you with your goal for your company.  This ebook provides A-Z all the buzzwords and provides you the reasons why each of these IA tactics is important for your online capital raise.   You do not need to use all of them, but it’s important to understand each one, first look at what your company has and how you can complement what you need.   At the end of the book we also provide you with a great IA checklist so you can move through the process faster, so you can get started on building your company and your capital raising.

 

“Nothing in this world is easy, but for those who want to succeed, the journey will be easy” 

– Oscar A Jofre

 

Diversifying Capital Raising Strategies for Startups

Navigating the VC Winter: Diversifying Capital Raising Strategies for Startups

In the face of a VC winter, startups find themselves at a crucial juncture, requiring innovative approaches to secure funding. We will embark on an exploration of the myriad avenues available for raising capital beyond the traditional venture capital (VC) sphere. We dive into anecdotes of how private companies have creatively accessed funds, emphasizing the importance of not being tethered to a single source of capital. The focus is on the JOBS Act and its provisions, which offer startups a variety of options with potentially more favorable terms than VC funding. We’ll tackle the challenges companies face in this endeavor, from navigating regulatory landscapes to attracting investors. Additionally, we outline seven strategic steps to diversify funding sources, reinforcing the necessity of a well-rounded understanding of all available options. By the end, startups and established companies alike will be equipped with the knowledge to navigate the capital raising process effectively, leveraging regulations to their advantage and working with trusted advisors to ensure success.

The Landscape of Raising Capital

Raising capital for private companies is an art form, with various avenues from VC and angel investments to friends and family, bank loans, government grants, and the provisions under the JOBS Act. Each source has its narrative, shaping the journey of a startup in unique ways. These stories reveal a broader landscape of funding opportunities, illustrating that the path to securing capital is not linear but a web of interconnected routes.

Beyond VC: The JOBS Act and Other Avenues

Entrepreneurs must look beyond VC to fuel their growth, especially in times when VC funding becomes scarce. The JOBS Act emerges as a beacon of hope in such times, offering three distinct regulations (RegCF, RegD 506c, RegA+) that provide startups with options for funding. These options often come with better terms than traditional VC deals, underscoring the importance of a strategic approach that blends various funding sources. This strategy not only mitigates the risk associated with relying on a single source but also broadens the potential investor base.

Navigating Capital-Raising Challenges

The journey of raising capital is fraught with challenges, from understanding the regulatory framework to choosing the right partners for issuance and attracting potential investors. A significant hurdle is the lack of awareness about the diversity of funding sources. Many companies do not realize the breadth of options available to them, limiting their potential to secure the necessary capital. Familiarity with each source’s regulatory roadmap, working with trusted FINRA Broker-Dealers, and leveraging technology partners for issuance are crucial steps in this process.

Understanding Sources of Capital

A comprehensive understanding of all sources of capital is essential. Each source, from VC and bank funding to government grants, friends and family, and the JOBS Act, comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. For instance, while VC funding can offer significant capital and mentorship, it often requires giving up a portion of equity and control. On the other hand, JOBS Act funding may provide more favorable terms but requires navigating a regulatory landscape and a totally different approach in attracting investors to your company.

Seven Steps to Raising Capital

  1. Educate Yourself on Regulations: Understanding the legal framework is paramount. This knowledge will guide which investors you can target and how.
  2. Build a Diverse Funding Strategy: Combine different sources of funding to minimize reliance on any single avenue.
  3. Select the Right Partners: Work with trusted advisors, such as FINRA Broker-Dealers and technology partners, who understand your business and the regulatory environment.
  4. Prepare a Compelling Pitch: Your pitch should resonate with the specific investors you’re targeting, whether they’re angel investors, VC firms, or the public through a crowdfunding campaign.
  5. Leverage Government Grants and Loans: Explore and apply for grants and loans that may be available for your industry or for innovation.
  6. Engage Your Network: Friends and family can be an initial source of capital, often willing to invest in your success.
  7. Utilize JOBS Act Provisions: Understand and leverage the specific regulations under the JOBS Act that best suit your company’s stage and needs.

In the challenging terrain of capital raising, knowledge and strategy are your best allies. The regulatory landscape, embodied by the JOBS Act, provides a roadmap for startups and established companies alike to navigate their way to successful funding. Educating oneself on the myriad sources of capital, understanding the pros and cons of each, and crafting a diversified funding strategy are essential steps. By working with trusted advisors and carefully selecting funding sources, companies can weather the VC winter and emerge with the capital necessary for growth. Remember, the journey of raising capital is complex and multifaceted, but with the right approach and resources, it is navigable. There are no shortcuts, but the path is rich with opportunities for those willing to explore beyond the traditional routes.

 

 

Capital Raising Process: 4 Steps to Start Funding Now

In the dynamic world of private capital markets, raising capital is both an art and a science. We will demystify the capital raising process for private companies, outlining a four-step approach that harmonizes regulatory compliance, technology utilization, and strategic storytelling to attract and engage investors. From navigating the regulatory landscape to leveraging technology for efficient capital raises under the JOBS Act (RegCF, RegD, and RegA+), we explore how to transform the complex journey into a streamlined pathway to funding. By highlighting anecdotes from successful capital raises and the critical role of trusted partners, this guide aims to equip entrepreneurs with the knowledge and tools necessary to embark on their capital raising journey confidently.

Anecdotes of Successful Capital Raising

The journey of capital raising is punctuated with stories of entrepreneurs who turned their visions into reality. From tech startups that secured seed funding through strategic pitches to established companies that leveraged equity crowdfunding for expansion, these stories share a common thread: the ability to articulate a compelling narrative that resonates with investors. These anecdotes not only inspire but also illustrate the practical application of strategic planning and regulatory navigation in the capital raising process.

Leveraging Technology for Compliance and Efficiency

In today’s digital age, technology plays a pivotal role in streamlining the capital raising process. Platforms like KoreIssuance offer a seamless solution for companies to manage their capital raises, ensuring compliance with JOBS Act regulations (RegCF, RegD, RegA+). Post-offering, technologies for shareholder communication and online e-voting, such as Shareholder Communications tools, are invaluable for maintaining transparency and engagement. Additionally, cap table management software is essential for tracking equity ownership and ensuring accurate record-keeping. These technological tools not only simplify compliance but also enhance the investor experience, making it easier for the crowd to invest in promising companies.

Navigating Challenges in Capital-Raising

The path to successful capital raising is fraught with challenges, from understanding the regulatory landscape to attracting potential investors. Entrepreneurs must work with trusted partners, including FINRA Broker-Dealers and technology providers, to navigate these hurdles effectively. One of the most significant challenges is crafting a narrative that captures the essence of the business, reminding companies that investors invest in people first. The story behind the company, its mission, and its vision is what ultimately draws investors in, not just the potential financial returns.

Working with Trusted Partners

The importance of selecting trusted partners for the capital raising journey cannot be overstated. These partners, including regulatory experts, technology providers, and FINRA Broker-Dealers, ensure that the process remains compliant, efficient, and transparent. By providing essential information and guidance, they help companies navigate from start to finish, ensuring that the capital raising process is not only successful but also builds a strong foundation for future investor relations.

Four Steps to Raise Capital

For companies looking to embark on their capital-raising journey, the following four steps provide a roadmap to success:

  1. Understand Regulatory Requirements: Start by gaining a thorough understanding of the JOBS Act regulations (RegCF, RegD, RegA+) and how they apply to your capital raise. This knowledge will guide your strategy and help you select the right regulation for your investor target market.  Here is a great library to get started.
  2. Leverage Technology Platforms: Utilize technology platforms for issuance, shareholder communication, and cap table management. These tools will streamline your process, ensure regulatory compliance, and enhance investor engagement.
  3. Craft a Compelling Narrative: Develop a compelling story that communicates your company’s mission, vision, and value proposition. Remember, your narrative should resonate with potential investors on a personal level, showcasing the people behind the company.
  4. Select Trusted Partners: Work with trusted advisors, intermediaries, and partners who understand the private capital markets and can guide you through the regulatory and operational complexities of capital raising.

Raising capital for a private company, whether a nascent startup or an established entity, requires a blend of strategic planning, regulatory navigation, and genuine storytelling. Understanding the regulations is the first step, providing a framework within which to operate and target the right investors.

Leveraging technology and working with trusted partners streamline the process, ensuring compliance and efficiency. However, the heart of capital raising lies in the ability to connect with investors on a personal level, sharing a vision that inspires and motivates them to join your journey.

As the regulatory landscape and market conditions evolve, continuous education and adaptability remain key. Remember, there are no shortcuts to raising capital, but with the right approach, tools, and partners, your capital raising journey can be a successful and rewarding endeavor.

 

RegS SEC Reporting Obligations

Regulation S (RegS) is a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulation that provides a safe harbor from the registration requirements under the Securities Act of 1933 for certain offerings and sales of securities outside the United States. Regulation S applies to offerings that are conducted entirely outside of the United States, targeting non-U.S. persons.

Under Regulation S, there are no specific ongoing reporting requirements imposed by the SEC for companies conducting offerings and sales of securities to non-U.S. persons. However, there are certain provisions and considerations associated with Regulation S offerings:

  • Safe Harbor for Offshore Offerings: Regulation S provides a safe harbor exemption for securities offerings and sales that occur entirely outside of the United States. This exemption applies to both equity and debt securities and allows companies to conduct offshore offerings without registering with the SEC.
  • Restrictions on Resale of Securities: Securities sold in compliance with Regulation S have restrictions on their resale into the United States for a specific period. Typically, there’s a holding period of one year for restricted securities sold in offshore transactions under Regulation S.   The securities must be offered only to non-us citizens and the offering must be IP blocked if the company is raising its technology online.

 

  • Disclosure Requirements: While Regulation S exempts offerings from SEC registration, companies are still subject to anti-fraud provisions. Companies conducting offerings under Regulation S should provide all material information necessary for investors to make informed investment decisions.

 

  • Securities Act Compliance: Even though there are no specific ongoing reporting requirements to the SEC for Regulation S offerings, companies are required to comply with other provisions of the Securities Act of 1933, particularly regarding anti-fraud and anti-manipulation provisions.

 

  • Compliance with Foreign Jurisdictions: Companies conducting Regulation S offerings might need to comply with the securities laws and regulations of the foreign jurisdictions where the offerings are made. This may include filing requirements or compliance with local laws.  Companies need to make sure they are checking with local securities regulators or securities lawyers to ensure they are not offside with using Reg S.

It’s important for companies engaging in RegS offerings to understand the specific requirements of the regulation and ensure compliance not only with SEC regulations but also with the securities laws of the foreign jurisdictions involved. Companies should seek guidance from legal and financial professionals experienced in cross-border offerings to navigate the complexities and compliance obligations associated with Regulation S offerings.

Private Equity vs. Venture Capital

For companies looking to raise capital, there are many options on the table. From raising capital from friends and family and crowdfunding to private equity and venture capital, not every option is suited for all entrepreneurs. In this context, the question “Private Equity vs. Venture Capital” is becoming popular.

So in this article we will explore the difference between venture capital and private equity, as well as some alternatives for companies looking to secure funding in the private capital markets. 

 

What is Private Equity?

Private equity firms are investment firms that raise capital from accredited investors to make investments in private companies. In the case of private equity, these firms generally seek to take a majority stake in portfolio companies – which means that the firm will obtain greater than 50% ownership. Another characteristic of private equity firms is that they generally prefer to invest in established companies that have operational inefficiencies. The goal is to reduce these inefficiencies so that the company can turn profitable. If the firm sells a portfolio company or it goes public, it distributes returns to investors. 

 

What is Venture Capital?

Similar to private equity, venture capital (VC) firms raise capital from accredited investors. However, they take a different role in the private capital markets. VC firms seek to invest in early-stage and startup companies with high growth potential. They often control less than 50% ownership and take a mentorship role. Once a portfolio company is acquired or goes public through an IPO, it can distribute returns to investors. 

 

Alternative Capital Raising Opportunities

However, many companies find it difficult to secure VC or private equity funding. Since 2022, VC funding has dropped by more than 50% and late-stage investments have plummeted even more dramatically, down 63%. Still, there is hope for companies seeking to raise capital. During this time, the amount of capital being raised through JOBS Act exemptions had grown considerably, providing viable opportunities for entrepreneurs seeking capital. Through RegA+, companies can raise up to $75 million, and through RegCF, companies can raise up to $5 million. This capital can be raised from both accredited and nonaccredited investors, creating a wide pool of potential investors. At the same time, the minimum investment is typically much smaller, which allows everyday people to get involved with promising companies. It is also more cost-effective to raise capital through these alternatives than traditional VC or private equity firms, or going through an IPO.

 

Now that you know the key-points on Private Equity vs. Venture Capital, it’s easy to understand that learn about the differences can help you identify what capital-raising options may be best suited for your company. However, if you need additional guidance, reaching out to a broker-dealer or securities attorney can help point you in the right direction for your capital-raising journey.

What is a CIK Number?

Recently, we received a question from an issuer who asked what a CIK number is. If you have ever filed a form with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), you have probably come across the term Central Index Key (CIK). The CIK number is a unique identifier used by the SEC’s computer systems to distinguish corporations, funds, and individuals who have filed disclosures with the SEC. 

 

A CIK number is a 10-digit code that is an essential part of the SEC’s EDGAR (Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval) system, which allows the SEC to collect, analyze and distribute financial information about companies and individuals. CIK numbers are assigned by the SEC and must be included in all filings made with the Commission. This allows the SEC’s computer system to quickly and efficiently identify companies and individuals and analyze their filings. It also helps to ensure that filings made by a particular company or individual are accurate and complete.

 

The easiest way to find a company’s CIK number is by using the SEC’s online database. You can search for CIK numbers using keywords such as the company name or ticker symbol. The search results will provide a list of entities matching your search criteria and their CIK numbers. Keep in mind, the entity’s name may be listed differently than expected.

 

It is also important to note that not all companies that offer stock for sale are required to file disclosures with the SEC, such as some companies raising capital through Regulation D. Small companies may be granted exemptions from regular SEC reporting and, therefore, may not have a CIK number. However, a CIK number is mandatory for companies that file disclosures.

 

CIK numbers are essential for the SEC to monitor and regulate the financial markets. By requiring companies and individuals to use CIK numbers when filing disclosures, the SEC can efficiently identify companies and detect potential fraud or other illegal activities to take appropriate action.

 

CIK numbers are also important for investors and other stakeholders. By providing a unique identifier for each company and individual, CIK numbers allow stakeholders to easily access relevant filings, financial data, and other information. This makes it easier for investors to make informed decisions and for regulators to enforce the rules and regulations that govern the financial markets.

 

In conclusion, CIK numbers are a critical component of the SEC’s regulatory framework. They are used to track and monitor companies and individuals that file disclosures with the SEC, and they enable investors and other stakeholders to access important financial data and other information. 

 

We believe that education is an essential part of the capital-raising process, so don’t hesitate to reach out to our team with any other questions that could help you along your capital-raising journey.

What is an Option?

Like warrants, options are a form of security called a derivative. As a derivative’s name suggests, these securities gain their value from an underlying asset. In the case of options, this is the underlying security

 

There are typically two primary forms of options; call options and put options. Both are governed by contracts; a call option allows the holder to buy securities at a set price while a put option allows them to sell. However, options contracts do not come for free. They can be bought for a premium, which is a non-refundable payment due upfront. Once options have been purchased, the holder has a certain amount of time during which they can exercise their options. On the other hand, options do not require the holder to purchase the shares contracts allow. When options are exercised, the price paid is referred to as the strike price.

 

In buying call options, the holder is guaranteed to buy securities at a certain price, even if the underlying security significantly increases in price. A put option works more like an insurance policy, protecting the holder’s portfolio from potential downturns. If a security was to decrease in price, the shareholder would be able to sell at a set price specified by their option contract, even if the market price was to fall lower than what the option allows it to be sold at.

 

In addition to being a way to minimize investment risks and maximize profits, options are becoming a popular incentive for employees, especially in startup companies when looking to attract employees. In addition to options that can be bought, options also refer to the ones issued to employees by their employer. This gives employees the chance, but not the obligation, to buy shares within a specified time. Employee stock options either come as an Incentive Stock Option or Nonqualified Stock Options, with the difference being the tax incentives that go along with exercising the options. 

 

Whether you have call or put options, they are a useful way to protect your portfolio from downsides or benefit from being able to purchase more shares at a discounted price. They are just one of the many forms of securities available, which should be considered carefully when making investment decisions.

 

What is a Burn Rate?

Recently, we received a question from an issuer, asking what a burn rate is. We believe that education is an essential part of the capital raising process, so don’t hesitate to reach out to our team with any questions that could help you along your capital raising journey.

 

The word “burn rate” gets thrown around a lot in the realm of startups and early-stage businesses. But what exactly does it mean, and why is it so important? In this blog post, we’ll explore the ins and outs of burn rate, including what it is, why it matters, and how you can keep it under control.

 

Simply put, the burn rate is the rate at which a company is losing money. It takes into account the company’s operating expenses and revenue, measuring it monthly. This metric shows how much cash a company needs to continue operating for a certain period of time. For example, if a company has monthly expenses of $100,000 and revenue of $50,000, its burn rate is $50,000 per month. This means that the company is losing $50,000 each month, and if nothing changes, it will run out of cash in two months. It’s important to note that the burn rate can fluctuate based on several factors, including:

 

  • Investments in development
  • Advertising and marketing costs
  • Research and development costs
  • Operating expenses (e.g., wages, rent, etc.)

 

By monitoring the burn rate, businesses can make informed decisions about how to use their resources and budget.

 

Why is Burn Rate Important?

 

Understanding and managing burn rate is crucial for any startup or early-stage business. A high burn rate suggests that a company is depleting its cash supply at a rapid pace, which puts it at a higher risk of entering a state of financial distress. This can have serious consequences for investors, who may need to set more aggressive deadlines for the company to realize revenue, or inject more cash into the business to provide more time to reach profitability.

 

Conversely, a low burn rate can indicate that a company has a stronger financial position and are in a better position to become profitable. Low burn rates are also more attractive to investors since their investments can go further.

 

Keeping Burn Rate Under Control

 

Now that we understand the importance of burn rate, let’s look at some strategies for managing it effectively.

 

Layoffs and Pay Cuts: If a company is experiencing a high burn rate, investors may seek to reduce expenses on employee compensation. While layoffs and pay cuts are never easy, they can help a company achieve a leaner strategy and reduce operating expenses.

 

Growth: One way to reduce the burn rate is to project an increase in growth that will improve economies of scale. For example, some startups are currently in a loss-generating scenario, but investors continue to fund them to achieve future profitability.

 

Marketing: Investing in marketing can help a company grow and expand its user base or product use. However, startups are often constrained by limited resources and budgets, making paid advertising a challenge. Instead, they can use low-cost or no-cost tactics to achieve growth, such as email marketing or social media.

 

Burn rate is a crucial metric for any startup or early-stage business. By understanding and managing it effectively, companies can improve their financial health and position themselves for long-term success. Whether it’s reducing staff or compensation, investing in growth, or using low-cost marketing tactics, there are a variety of strategies for keeping the burn rate in check. And for investors, keeping a close eye on the burn rate can help you make informed decisions about funding and supporting startups.

What is Phishing?

No one thinks they’ll fall victim to a cybercrime, but in reality, you’ve likely come across a suspicious email that could be trying to steal login credentials, financial information, or your identity or install dangerous computer viruses. Maybe you’ve received an email that claims to be from Netflix or Amazon, requesting your password, account email, payment information, or other personal information and directing you to an unfamiliar website. These characteristics are the hallmarks of a classic phishing attack, which can lead to identity theft, credit card fraud, ransomware attacks, and more. 

 

Where Did Phishing Come From?

 

The history of phishing dates back to the mid-1990s, when groups of hackers posed as AOL employees and used the instant messaging platform to steal passwords and login credentials. The purpose of these attacks was to use the hijacked accounts to access the internet, rather than pay for access once the 30-day free trial of AOL expired. These hackers were known as “phreaks”, a group of individuals who had a keen interest in studying telecommunication systems. The name “phishing” was used to link these scams to this community.

 

In the early 2000s, hackers began to branch out past AOL accounts to target financial systems to steal credit card information and passwords. Since then, the prevalence of phishing scams has grown exponentially, with 36% of data breaches involving a phishing attack, according to a Verizon report. Between 2021 and 2022 alone, the number of malicious phishing emails grew by 569%, according to cybersecurity company Cofense.

 

How Phishing Works

 

In modern phishing attacks, many hackers use spoofing to disguise an email address, website, phone number, or sender name in the hopes that it will appear legitimate. It could be as simple as changing a number, letter, or symbol so that the URL a hacker is using, without close inspection, is coming from a legitimate source. This will often trick victims into disclosing sensitive information like passwords or credit card numbers, which are then stolen by the hackers. 

 

Protecting Yourself

 

Luckily, there are easy steps to protect yourself against phishing attacks. According to the FBI, companies generally will not contact you asking for your username or password. If you receive an email, text, or phone call requesting this information, that should be a significant red flag. If you receive an unsolicited email with a link, avoid clicking on it. Instead, carefully examine the sender’s name, email address, spelling, and other details about the correspondence to see if there are slight inaccuracies that could point to it being a phishing scam. And, if an email asks you to download something or open an attachment, do not do so unless you can verify that the sender and attachment are legitimate. Also, be wary of the information you share online. Details like birthdays, pet names, schools you attended, and other personal details can be used to guess passwords. 

 

The Importance of Verification

 

Ultimately, the confirmation of someone’s identity can help to avoid potential scams. This can be achieved in the private capital markets by complying with securities regulations. For investors, due diligence and careful research of investment opportunities can highlight potential red flags that could be a telling sign of something too good to be true. At the same time, verifying the identity of a company raising money can provide assurance that it is a legitimate investment opportunity. For issuers, identity verification like AML and KYC confirm that investors are who they claim to be. 

 

Being on the lookout for phishing can help protect your identity and financial information from hackers. Understanding what these scams are and how they work is one of the best defenses available. Stay tuned for the next article in this series, which will shed light on a different type of scam. If you have any questions or topics you’d like to see discussed in more detail, please reach out and share your ideas with us!

My Company is Based in Canada: Can I Use RegCF to Raise Capital?

Recently, we received a question from an issuer, asking if Canadian companies can use RegCF to raise capital. We believe that education is an essential part of the capital raising process, so don’t hesitate to reach out to our team with any questions that could help you along your capital raising journey.

 

Crowdfunding is a popular way for small businesses, startups, and entrepreneurs to raise capital without necessarily needing the support of venture capitalists or angel investors. Regulation Crowdfunding (RegCF) provides an avenue for companies to legally raise capital through equity crowdfunding in the United States and is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 

 

Although RegCF is available to US companies, many Canadian companies have questions regarding whether they can also use this exemption to raise capital. This article will answer those questions and provide insight into the legal requirements and structures that work for Canadian companies.

 

Legal Requirements for Raising Capital Through RegCF in Canada

 

In short, the answer is yes, Canadian companies can use RegCF. However, certain requirements must be met for a company outside of the U.S. to take raise capital through this exemption.

 

The main legal requirement is that the company must establish a US entity, such as a corporation or a limited liability company (LLC), which will be managed from within the U.S. The SEC states that “the issuer’s officers, partners, or managers must primarily direct, control, and coordinate its activities from the U.S., and its principal place of business must be in the U.S.”

 

It is also recommended that Canadian companies considering using RegCF to raise capital should provide evidence of their plans to engage the US market. This could include investing in marketing and advertising initiatives, setting up offices or physical locations within the US, hiring personnel from the US, etc.

 

Using RegCF in Canada

 

There are a few different ways that Canadian businesses approach a RegCF offering. One option is to create a wholly-owned subsidiary in the United States that will operate the business and raise funds through RegCF. This subsidiary must have its own business plan and financials, and cannot simply be a shell company. Alternatively, Canadian companies can create a US-based holding company that will own the Canadian entity and operate the business in both countries. This structure can be beneficial for companies looking to expand their operations into the US market while also raising capital from US-based investors. Canadian companies can also create a new US-based company that licenses the product or service of the Canadian company. 

 

Ultimately, a Canadian company seeking to raise capital using RegCF must create a US-based entity with a primary place of business in the US. The company raising capital cannot simply be a shell company that directs capital raised back to the parent company.

 

Alternatives for Canadian Companies

 

There are several other options for raising capital for Canadian companies that cannot or do not wish to use RegCF. These include traditional venture capital and angel investing, as well as debt financing from banks and other lenders. Additionally, many Canadian provinces have their own provincial securities commissions that offer exemptions from the registration requirements for businesses looking to raise funds from investors within their jurisdiction. But because of RegCF’s benefits of allowing companies to advertise offerings, as well as its low minimum investment requirements, it is certainly worth considering for Canadian businesses looking to raise capital.

 

Deciding whether or not to use RegCF for a Canadian company is ultimately a decision that should be made on a case-by-case basis. Although US securities laws may present some additional regulations, there are many benefits to using this platform if it is done properly. The ability to access capital from a larger pool of investors, as well as the streamlined process of RegCF, can make it an attractive option for Canadian businesses looking to raise funds.  Ultimately, Canadian companies should discuss their capital raising options with a securities attorney if they have questions about the process and their options.

April Investment Crowdfunding Sees Near-Record Levels

The last couple of months have been a turbulent time for the financial sector. In March, we first saw the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, the largest bank by deposits in Silicon Valley and favored by tech startups. This was followed a couple of days later by the collapse of Signature Bank. The third collapse this year was that of First Republic Bank, the largest banking failure since the financial crisis in 2008. These events have been coupled with stagnation in the venture capital market that has highlighted the stability of the investment crowdfunding industry. Ultimately, April demonstrated a resilient interest in investment crowdfunding.

 

Investment Crowdfunding Proves Appetite for Deals

 

In a recent newsletter, Sherwood Neiss, Principal at Crowdfund Capital Advisors, was quoted saying, “A large amount of capital and number of investors flowing into Investment Crowdfunding offers proves that there is a massive appetite for these deals.” Neiss continues, “While there might have been fewer deals in April, the reality is startups still need capital, and Investment Crowdfunding is where they will find it. We expect to start to see an uptick in deals in May as these issuers realize opportunity exists here.” 

 

Investment Crowdfunding Sees a Decline in New Deals, Rise in Capital Commitments

 

In April, there was a decline in new deals, with only 91 being launched, compared to 147 in March 2023. This marked the lowest number of crowdfunding deals since June 2020. However, capital commitments reached an impressive $65.4 million in April, the second-highest level of commitment since March 2021, when investment crowdfunding was reaching a high point of interest during the pandemic. 

 

There were also 54 issuers that raised over $1 million each during April, while six raised the maximum of $5 million. With the 54 issuers that closed their raise during the month bringing in an impressive $131 million, it was the second-highest monthly close of capital, despite ongoing challenges faced by the private capital markets. 

 

More Investors are Making Investment Decisions

 

The number of checks written by investors in April 2023 increased by 92.9% compared to the prior month but dropped by 4% compared to the prior year. The average check size dropped to $1,174 in April 2023 due to a large number of active deals compared to March. 

 

The investment crowdfunding industry is growing rapidly and shows no signs of slowing down. As investors become more comfortable with deploying capital in private markets, despite current challenges in the private market, it will only continue to fuel this growth trend.

 

What is an Escrow Provider?

If you’ve bought a home, you’ve likely heard the term escrow. In the homebuying process, escrow can be used to hold a good faith deposit while the contract is being finalized. It can also be used after the home is purchased to pay for property taxes, homeowners insurance, or mortgage insurance. In these instances, money held in escrow is managed by an independent, third-party intermediary. However, escrow is also common during the process of investing in a company, where the escrow provider takes custody of funds and assets until specific transaction conditions are met. But what exactly is the role of an escrow provider in a transaction? What responsibilities do they have? And when should they be utilized? 

 

What is an Escrow Provider?

 

An escrow provider is an independent third-party intermediary which ensures that a transaction is completed in accordance with the rules of the agreement. An escrow provider collects, holds, and distributes funds on behalf of the individuals involved in a transaction. The help of certified escrow providers ensures that both parties meet their obligations and bring confidence to complete a transaction reliably. 

 

In many cases, the buyer and seller agree to use an escrow provider for several advantages, such as:

 

  • Mitigating the risk of nonpayment or fraud
  • Ensuring that all funds are securely handled
  • Being an impartial third party to the transaction

 

The process when utilizing an escrow provider generally includes:

 

  • Creating a contract outlining the obligations of the buyer and seller
  • Depositing funds into an escrow account
  • Ensuring that all conditions of the agreement are met before releasing funds

 

At the same time, technology can play an important role in the escrow process. For example, smart contracts that leverage blockchain technology can be programmed to automatically transfer assets between two parties once the conditions of the contract have been met. This can automate some of the escrow process, which can help to streamline the escrow process.

 

JOBS Act and Escrow

 

The Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act has since become a major factor in creating a secure capital-raising environment in the private capital markets. To raise capital, issuers must follow securities regulations to ensure compliance in the capital-raising process. This provides an additional layer of protection for investors and startups raising capital.

 

An essential component of compliance includes finding an escrow provider to administer transactions. This ensures that all funds are handled securely and that a third-party intermediary manages the transaction. Putting investors and issuers at ease by bringing peace of mind to the transaction. 

 

Escrow providers are essential for any type of business transaction where an impartial third-party intermediary is involved. With an increase in accredited and nonaccredited investors alike being involved in the private capital markets thanks to the JOBS Act, it is crucial to ensure that one is involved in the capital raising process. Whether you are an investor or issuer, using an escrow provider guarantees all funds are handled correctly while avoiding financial risk or fraud. 

Shedding Light on the Secondary Market

The private capital market is an important component of the economy and has seen considerable growth since the JOBS Act exemptions came into play. However, the public markets have the advantage of a strong underlying infrastructure, one that existed long before the advent of the Internet (the first public company was the Dutch East India Company which began stock trading in the early 1600s). In contrast, the private markets historically have fewer options for liquidity other than an exit or an IPO. 

 

Technological advancements have had a profound impact on the secondary market, transforming the way trading is conducted through the use of electronic systems for order delivery and execution. On the public side, entities like the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq have automated many functions that streamline the process of buying and selling stocks. In addition, broker-dealers and institutional investors have been leveraging powerful computer systems and sophisticated applications to manage inventory, order flow, and risk while receiving market data, research reports, and company information electronically. 

 

In the private market, alternative trading systems (ATSs) have emerged to let investors sell or buy shares on a secondary market. For example, anyone who has invested through RegA+ is then able to transact on the secondary market if the issuer has permitted that option. Still, there are many issues that face the private market. The unfortunate reality is that while a fragmented regulatory environment does allow for some secondary market transactions, issuers are not pre-empted from state securities regulations. 

 

The private capital market is beginning to catch up with the public market in terms of technological advancements, with companies seeking to create digital infrastructure and platforms for the private market. However, to truly unlock liquidity in the secondary markets of the private capital market, there needs to be an overarching system that enables buyers and sellers to identify potential trades quickly, securely, and with full transparency on the secondary market.

 

The lack of visibility in information is a key issue inhibiting secondary marketing trading in the private capital markets. Solving these issues will unlock a huge opportunity for buyers and sellers. To do this, there needs to be an underlying infrastructure similar to that which exists in the public market, allowing companies to quickly and securely connect with potential buyers and sellers, as well as gain access to real-time information about the secondary market. With the right technology in place, this could open up unprecedented opportunities for liquidity in the private capital markets that have long been “dark”.

Why the Private Capital Markets are Outpacing the Public Markets

The private capital market has seen considerable growth over the past few years due to geopolitical tensions, inflation, and interest rate hikes. These factors are driving heightened volatility in public markets, and investors are therefore looking for protection in private market deals. The ability for private companies to raise capital with accredited and nonaccredited investors through regulations like RegCF and RegA+ has also added to this growth.

 

Large Pool of Capital

 

The private capital market is also benefiting from a large pool of capital currently available to investors. According to Preqin, global private capital dry powder stood at around $1.96 trillion in December 2022. Dry powder is the cash that has been committed by investors but has not yet been “called” by investment managers to be allocated for a specific investment. This sizable reserve of money, when deployed, will provide an influx of investment into the private markets.

 

Growth & Flexibility

 

Companies are also opting to stay private for longer durations of time. In 2011, companies typically stayed private for five years before going public. As of 2020, this has extended to a time period of 11 years. Remaining private can give companies greater flexibility as they grow their business. They may find it easier to adapt and make changes in the early stages with private capital, before choosing a public route when they are more mature and established. With the ability to earn up to $75 million in 12 months with RegA+, for example, the ability for private companies to raise capital is unprecedented in the sector. 

 

The Shift from Public Markets to Private Capital Markets

 

This trend is likely to continue into 2023 and beyond as investors seek alternatives to the public markets. As such, understanding the implications of this shift from public to private is essential for any investor looking to capitalize on these opportunities. Private companies are looking to stay private longer because:

 

  • It allows them to keep their business strategies under wraps and maintain control over key decisions.
  • They can gain access to more capital at a lower cost compared to public markets, allowing for accelerated growth.
  • The private capital market has more flexible structures and less regulation compared with the public markets.

 

Private vs Public Market Size

 

McKinsey estimates that in North America, private market fundraising grew by 21% between 2020 and 2021. In the United States alone, there were 7,042,866 private companies. In comparison, there were only 4,000 public companies in the United States as of 2020. These statistics highlight the significant impact that businesses have on the world economy, with diverse markets and industries contributing to growth and prosperity.

 

The private capital market is rapidly outpacing the public market and this trend looks set to continue into 2023. As private companies continue to significantly outnumber public companies, the increase of capital raising opportunities will only help this sector to grow.

What is a Board of Directors?

Recently, we received a question from an issuer, asking to explain what a board of directors is. We believe that education is an essential part of the capital raising process, so don’t hesitate to reach out to our team with any questions that could help you along your capital raising journey.

 

Without further ado, this article will explore the role of a board of directors and the critical role they play within a company. The board of directors serves as the “operating mind” of the company – providing oversight to shareholders, officers, and employees alike. More importantly, boards can be utilized as a tool to mitigate risk when raising capital. This is because a board of directors typically has experience addressing issues that include:

 

  • Strategic direction
  • Corporate governance
  • Independence and accountability

 

What is a Board of Directors?

 

A board of directors, or ‘board’ is the highest governing body of a company. It is responsible for oversight and providing direction to the organization. The board consists of members who are elected by shareholders, normally on an annual basis. These members act as representatives of shareholders and their interests, ensuring that the company is managed properly. Public companies are required to have a board of directors, and while the same is not true for private companies, many still choose to do so.

 

The Need for a Board of Directors

 

The board of directors plays a vital role in ensuring the company is run correctly and its goals are met. The board works to ensure that any decisions made by the company are in line with shareholders’ interests, such as profitability and value preservation. A board also protects shareholders from potential risks associated with investing, such as fraud or mismanagement. In addition, having a board of directors can help to ensure that the company is making responsible decisions and staying compliant with legal and regulatory requirements. The board also helps to prevent self-dealing by executive officers or other members of management, as well as helping to set policy for the organization. 

 

One of the main benefits of having a board of directors is its ability to provide risk mitigation when raising capital. The presence of an independent board can demonstrate to investors that the company has taken steps to protect their interests and show potential investors that there is a competent and experienced group looking after their investments. It is important to distinguish between a board of directors and the other roles within a company. Officers are usually C-level executives who report directly to the board when making decisions regarding how the company operates. 

 

Early-Stage Companies and the Single-Person Corporation

 

For start-ups or early-stage companies, it is common for one person to wear multiple hats. In these instances, an entrepreneur likely serves as both an officer and a board member, making decisions from both perspectives. However, this differs from larger corporations who usually have more members on their boards, to ensure that the company is managed properly. As the company grows, so does the importance of electing an independent board.

 

Tools to Mitigate Risk When Raising Capital

 

When it comes to raising capital, boards must have access to certain tools to manage risk. This includes a minute book, cap table, and other documents which provide information about how the company is operating. By having access to this information, boards can minimize the risk of investors losing their money. With the advent of digital technologies that streamline this data management, board directors can have real-time access to company data that allows them to make informed decisions.

 

From start-ups to larger corporations, boards of directors play an important role in managing risk and providing oversight. Ultimately, having a board of directors is an important aspect of the capital raising process that can provide investors additional confidence in an investment after completing their due diligence.

How Do I Build a Community for My Company?

What is a community? The word can be defined as “a body of persons of common and especially professional interests scattered through a larger society” or “a group of people with a common characteristic or interest living together within a larger society.” Putting this into a bit more context, picture a beaver in the forest, building a dam. This seemingly simple, instinctual event has a profound effect on the surrounding area. The dam forms a pond, which creates the perfect habitat for a diverse range of animals, insects, and other organisms, while also improving the water conditions. 

 

This beaver is much like an entrepreneur building a business. As the business grows, it provides employment opportunities, creates a network of suppliers and partners, develops relationships with customers, and is supported by shareholders. They all play a crucial role in the success of your business. 

 

By nurturing these relationships, especially in today’s highly competitive business environment, this community can help increase engagement, loyalty, and interest in your company, which can translate into more investment and business opportunities down the road.

 

Recognizing the Benefits of a Strong Community

 

From customers to employees and suppliers, building a community around your company can bring numerous benefits. A thriving and engaging community can create:

 

  • Increased customer or employee loyalty: When customers and employees feel a sense of belonging and loyalty to your brand, they are more likely to remain loyal for longer. This can result in higher rates of retention, as well as increased referrals and advocacy.
  • Improved engagement with stakeholders: A thriving community can help you engage with key stakeholders such as investors, partners, and suppliers. This can help to foster stronger relationships over time, leading to better deals and collaborations.
  • Increased brand reputation: A community of loyal customers or employees can promote your brand integrity and trustworthiness, which is essential for building a successful business.
  • More growth opportunities: With a strong network of loyal loyal customers and employees, you’ll have a larger pool of potential buyers or investors when you are looking to grow.
  • A foundation for investors: Ultimately, when you’re looking to raise capital or attract investors, having a strong community of engaged stakeholders around your company can be an invaluable asset by providing evidence of your brand’s trustworthiness and potential. These stakeholders can also become valuable investors that share in your vision for the future.

 

Ultimately, cultivating this community requires transparency and compliance to build trust and instill confidence. But how do you go about building a community for your company? 

 

6 Tips for Building a Community

 

1. Understand Your Audience

 

The first step in building a community is to understand your audience. Who are the people you want to attract and engage with? What are their needs, wants, and interests? What motivates them to invest in your company? By creating customer personas and conducting market research, you can get a better understanding of your target audience. This can help you tailor your messaging, content, and engagement strategies to better resonate with your community.

 

2. Focus on Transparency and Communication

 

Transparency and open communication are essential ingredients for building a strong community. Shareholders, employees, and customers all want to feel like they have a voice and that their concerns are being heard. This is especially important when it comes to managing shareholder relationships. To build trust and transparency, consider implementing regular communication channels like newsletters, social media updates, and webinars. Make a point of responding to customer and shareholder feedback promptly and thoroughly.

 

3. Leverage Technology

 

Technology can be a powerful tool in building and managing your community. Consider investing in a customer relationship management (CRM) system to track and manage your customer interactions. This can help you identify patterns and trends in customer behavior, enabling you to tailor your messaging and engagement strategies to better resonate with your community.

Social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter can also be powerful tools for building and engaging with your community. Regularly update your social media channels with relevant content, respond to customer feedback and comments, and use social media analytics to track engagement and identify opportunities to better connect with your community.

 

4. Create Meaningful Content

 

Creating high-quality, engaging content is another key element in building a community. Content can come in many different forms, including blog posts, videos, webinars, eBooks, and more. The key is to create content that is tailored specifically to your target audience and resonates with them on an emotional level. This will help you build relationships and foster loyalty among your customers, employees, and shareholders.

 

5. Foster and Incentivize Engagement

 

Engaging your community is an important part of building relationships and developing loyalty. Consider running contests, giveaways, or other promotional activities to incentivize engagement. You can also create loyalty programs or rewards systems to further reward customer engagement.

 

6. Gather Around a Cause

 

When building a strong community creates a sense of purpose around your company. Find something that your customers, employees, and shareholders can all rally behind. This should be something bigger than just making money – it could be related to sustainability, philanthropy, or another cause the community can get behind. By giving people something to believe in, you can create a sense of shared identity that will bring your community together. 

 

When it comes to raising capital, you should also focus on creating experiences that make investors feel appreciated and valued. For example, you could offer exclusive investor-only events or create a private investment platform where invited investors can access exclusive content about your company and its opportunities. 

 

Regardless of how you approach it, building a thriving community around your business is essential to growing and scaling effectively. This will lead to increased loyalty, greater investment opportunities, and higher long-term returns. By taking these key steps to develop a strong community around your business, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your capital-raising goals.

 

Small Businesses and Their Economic Success

Small businesses have always been an integral part of the economy, contributing to job creation and economic growth. Over the last decade, small businesses have faced a variety of challenges, including economic downturns, government regulations, and evolving consumer preferences. Despite these difficulties, small businesses have continued to play a significant role in driving economic success. In this blog, we’ll examine the level of success small businesses have achieved in the economy over the last decade and how JOBS Act regulations have impacted this success.

 

The Role of Small Businesses in the Economy

 

Small businesses are often referred to as the backbone of the economy. According to the US Small Business Administration (SBA), small businesses account for 44 percent of US economic activity and employ nearly half of the country’s private sector workforce. In fact, there are 33.2 million small businesses in the United States and they created 8.7 million jobs created between March 2020 and March 2021. Small businesses also contribute to innovation and competition in the marketplace, which in turn drives economic growth

 

Small Business Challenges and Successes

 

Over the last decade, small businesses have faced a variety of challenges, including the great recession, rising costs, and increased competition from online retailers. Despite these challenges, small businesses have continued to achieve success in the economy. With eight out of ten small businesses having no employees and 16% of small businesses having up to 19 employees, this sector of the economy is mostly driven by individuals who can take risks and innovate for growth.

 

Meaning, small business growth often depends on entrepreneurs’ risk-taking capability and ability to identify profitable opportunities. Additionally, the passage of the JOBS Act in 2012 has enabled small businesses to access capital more easily than ever before. The act allows businesses to raise money from investors without having to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This allows smaller organizations that are still private to raise millions of dollars in capital while tapping into a much wider pool of potential investors.

 

The Impact of JOBS Act Regulations on Small Business Success

 

The JOBS Act allows companies to use SEC exemptions from registration, which include:

 

  • Reg CF to raise up to $5 million
  • Reg A to raise up to $75 million
  • Reg D to raise an unlimited amount of capital

 

These capital-raising methods allow small businesses to access a much wider pool of potential investors, obtain higher levels of capital, and achieve greater success in the economy. By allowing organizations to tap into an audience of investors they would have not had access to previously, the JOBS Act has enabled small businesses to build relationships with their customers, grow their operations, and create good jobs in local economies. With the continued support of government regulations and technological advancements, small businesses are poised to play an even greater role in driving economic success in the years to come.

5 Things You Need to Know About Transfer Agents

When a company issues securities, it is vital to keep the official record of ownership and distribution accurate and up-to-date at all times. This process is managed by transfer agents who in addition to assuming responsibility for maintaining accurate records of security transactions, can also handle shareholder inquiries, distribute shareholder materials, and more. In this blog post, we will discuss the five critical things that companies need to know about transfer agents before embarking on their next capital raise.

 

1. Protecting Issuers and Investors

 

Transfer agents protect issuers and investors by ensuring that the issuance of securities maintains a high degree of accuracy and reliability, and is consistent with the applicable regulations, thereby protecting both the issuer and the investor from the risk of disputes and expensive litigation. Transfer agents play a critical role in maintaining the integrity of the security issuance process, closely monitoring any changes in ownership or other company-specific details. This helps to prevent fraudulent activities such as double ownership or over-issuance of securities.

 

2. Issuing and Canceling Certificates

 

Another crucial function of transfer agents is to issue or cancel certificates reflecting shareholder ownership in the company, to ensure that the shareholders receive accurate documentation of their investment. The certificates are tangible evidence that shareholders own securities in the company and that they have the right to vote or receive dividends. Transfer agents must also cancel and decommission certificates to reflect trades or company-specific events such as stock splits, mergers, or acquisitions. Canceling or decommissioning certificates is a vital task in maintaining a current and accurate representation of who owns what within the company.

 

3. Managing the Cap Table

 

Transfer agents play a crucial role in managing the cap table. The cap table is the official record of the ownership structure of the company, including the number of shares held and who holds them. It is essential to manage the cap table effectively to avoid conflicts, confusion, or discrepancies among shareholders. The transfer agent ensures that the cap table stays up to date with any changes that may occur due to equity issuances or mergers and acquisition activity involving the company. The effectiveness of the cap table management is critical for companies raising capital or going through mergers and acquisitions, for helping investors conduct their own due diligence, and for tracking the company’s overall value and growth.

 

4. Legal Compliance

 

Another significant responsibility of transfer agents is ensuring the company’s compliance with specific securities laws and regulations. The transfer agent makes sure that the company is aware of and adhering to the legislative guidelines and rules governing the issuance and transfer of securities. Transfer agents must comply with both federal and state regulations, making this a complex task. Companies need to work closely with their transfer agents to ensure they are clear on aspects of the legal requirements that affect their business. Navigating the regulatory landscape can be daunting, but a transfer agent can help make it smoother for companies.

 

5. Investor Relations

Finally, transfer agents are essential for providing service to shareholders. Often, they are the first point of contact when shareholders have questions, concerns, or problems that require resolution. They help to answer any inquiries shareholders may have and maintain a clear line of communication. Excellent customer service is key to maintaining a positive relationship with shareholders. Shareholders who feel valued are more likely to remain invested in the company and can become valuable brand ambassadors. This, in turn, can lead to more significant investments in the company, improving overall shareholder value.

A transfer agent plays a critical role in ensuring that securities transactions are processed accurately and reliably, protecting the interests of the issuer and the investor. Using an experienced and knowledgeable transfer agent has many valuable benefits for companies. They provide companies with a comprehensive solution for managing securities issuances, maintaining shareholder relationships, and navigating the complex regulatory landscape. Transfer agents are an essential part of the securities industry, and companies who work with them are better positioned to succeed.

Approaching the 11th Anniversary of the JOBS Act

Eleven years ago, the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act was signed into law in a White House Rose Garden ceremony. Looking back on this landmark legislation, we see its impact has been far-reaching. From increased access to capital for small businesses to the rise of new markets for investment opportunities, the JOBS Act has reshaped how companies raise funds and spur economic growth. In 2022, $150.9 B was raised through Regulations A+, CF, and D, showcasing the tremendous power of these regulations for companies. As we mark the 11th anniversary of this game-changing law, let’s look at what it has accomplished and how it is (still) changing the capital formation landscape.

 

David Wield: The Father of the JOBS Act

 

David Weild IV is a veteran Wall Street executive and advisor to U.S. and international capital markets. He has become well known as a champion of small business as the “Father of the JOBS Act”. Signed into law by President Barack Obama in April 2012, the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act has opened up access to capital markets, giving small businesses and startups the ability to raise money from a much larger pool of investors. Wield has remarked that this was not a political action; it was signed in “an incredibly bipartisan fashion, which is really a departure from what we’ve generally seen. It actually increases economic activity. It’s good for poor people, good for rich people. And it adds to the US Treasury”.

 

As such, Weild is seen as a leading figure in the JOBS Act movement, inspiring the startup community to break down barriers and build the future. He has helped make it easier for companies to become public, empowering a new generation of entrepreneurs looking to start or grow their businesses. Furthermore, Weild’s efforts have allowed more investors to participate in capital markets.

 

Benefitting from the JOBS Act

 

At the inception of the JOBS Act in 2012, non-accredited investors were only allowed to invest up to $2,000 or 5% of their net worth per year. This was designed to protect non-accredited investors from taking on too much risk by investing in startups, as these investments would likely be high risk and high reward. Since then, the JOBS Act has expanded to allow non-accredited investors to invest up to 10% of their net worth or $107,000 per year in startups and private placements.  

 

For companies they were initially allowed to raise:

 

  • Up to $50 million in RegA+ offerings
  • $1 million through crowdfunding (RegCF)
  • Unlimited capital from accredited investors under RegD

 

These numbers have grown significantly since 2012, with:

 

  • Reg A allowing $75 million to be raised
  • Reg CF allowing $5 million to be raised

 

These rules have opened the door for startups to access large amounts of capital that otherwise may not have been available to them. This has allowed more companies to grow, innovate and create jobs in the U.S.

 

How Much has Been Raised with JOBS Act Regulations?

 

The JOBS Act regulations have revolutionized how capital is raised by companies and how investors access new markets. According to Crowdfund Insider, companies have raised:

 

  • $1.8 Billion from July 2021 to June 2022 with RegA+
  • $2.3 trillion with RegD 506(B)
  • $148 trillion with RegD 506(C)
  • $506.7 million with RegCF

 

Since its formation in 2012, the JOBS Act has opened up a variety of avenues for entrepreneurs to access capital. The exempt offering ecosystem has allowed innovators to raise large sums of money with relatively fewer requirements than a traditional public offering, while still requiring compliance and offering investors protection. This has enabled companies to stay in business and grow, allowing the US economy to remain competitive on the global stage.

 

Insights from Industry Leaders

 

Expanding the discussion about capital formation, KoreConX launched its podcast series, KoreTalkX in April 2022. Through this platform, we’ve hosted many thought leaders and experts to share their insights on capital-raising strategies and compliance regulations. Guests have included renowned thought leaders including David Weild, Jason Fishman, Shari Noonan, Joel Steinmetz, Jonny Price, Douglas Ruark, Sara Hanks, and many others. Each of these episodes has explored topics in-depth to provide entrepreneurs with the tools they need to be successful when raising capital from investors.

Reforms to RegD

With Regulation D (RegD) offerings, companies are exempt from registering securities with the SEC. Under RegD, companies can raise capital from accredited investors (and a limited number of nonaccredited investors in some cases) to support the growth of their business. This has become a popular method for private companies to raise capital, and can often be a starting point for larger capital raises under Regulation CF or Regulation A+. This popularity and the minimal disclosure requirements of RegD have prompted SEC Commissioner Caroline A. Crenshaw to propose changes to RegD disclosure requirements in January. Let’s see about these reforms to RegD.

 

Current Regulations Under RegD

 

The objective of RegD was to enable small and medium-sized businesses to seek capital-raising opportunities, without the cost-prohibitive disclosure requirements of a public offering. Under current regulation, companies may make private offerings of securities without having to register with the SEC, provided that they comply with certain disclosure requirements. These include filing Form D (which provides information about a company’s executives and its financial condition) and providing investors with a private placement memorandum outlining the terms of the offering. However, as this method of capital raising has been leveraged by multi-billion-dollar companies for whom it was not originally intended, the SEC is looking to update the disclosure requirements.

 

Commissioner Crenshaw’s Proposed Reforms

 

Commissioner Crenshaw has proposed a two-tiered framework, similar to Regulation A (RegA) which also provides an exemption from SEC registration requirements. Under the proposed reforms, companies offering securities through RegD would be required to provide more disclosure than is currently required, with the burden of disclosure increasing based on company size. Smaller companies (up to a threshold) would only need to provide basic information about their business operations such as management, operational updates, and financial statements. Larger companies (over the threshold) would be required to provide additional, heightened financial disclosures similar to those that are required under an S-1 filing. 

 

This reform could have far-reaching implications for small and medium businesses that wish to access capital markets and would largely depend on where the threshold is set. It remains to be seen whether these proposed reforms will move forward, but it’s clear that Commissioner Crenshaw is interested in modernizing and streamlining the process of raising capital.  

 

Effects of These Changes

 

The SEC’s proposed reforms would require issuers to provide more extensive disclosure and adhere to certain standards that are typically only associated with public offerings. This could potentially be a costly endeavor, as it would involve additional filing fees, legal expenses, and accounting costs.

 

The proposed reforms could also limit the ability of small businesses to access capital through Regulation D, as the costs associated with meeting the new requirements may be too high for some companies. For example, smaller companies may find it difficult to pay for the necessary accounting and legal fees, or they may not be able to generate enough interest from investors due to the higher thresholds that must be met to qualify for RegD. Small start-ups trying to raise only $250,000, these companies may not have the money to prepare the audited financials and Form 1A level disclosures.

The SEC’s proposed reforms of Regulation D are a step in the right direction toward protecting investors and ensuring that issuers adhere to certain standards. However, these reforms could potentially be harmful to small businesses seeking to raise capital through RegD offerings. The SEC needs to consider the potential effects of its proposed reforms and ensure that they are not overly burdensome on companies whose access to capital is already limited.