Form C-AR filing time again!

Hi everyone; a reminder that we are just over a month away from the deadline to file Form C-AR by May 1.*

We wanted to flag some issues:

  • If you sold any securities under your Form C, even if you didn’t sell them until this year, and even if you didn’t sell them until April 30, a Form C-AR with 2022 financials is due by May 1.
  • Even if your current Form C already includes 2022 financial statements, a Form C-AR is due by May 1.
  • If you do not have an open offering or otherwise have audited or reviewed statements available, the financial statements do not have to be audited or reviewed, but they do need to be in US GAAP format. This means balance sheet (as at December 31, 2021 and 2022), P&L, cash flow and changes in equity (for 2021 and 2022) as well as footnotes.
  • QuickBooks is not US GAAP.
  • If you used a “crowdfunding special purpose vehicle, it is an “issuer” under Rule 202 (the rule that says you have to file annual reports) and must file its own financial statements too. (See General Instructions to Form C.)

As a reminder:  if with this filing you are eligible to exit the Regulation CF ongoing reporting regime, remember, you must file your Form C-TR within 5 business days of the due date to notify investors, otherwise you may get to do this all over again next year!

As always, this isn’t legal advice, but feel free to call us if you need advice.

*If you do not have a fiscal year ending on December 31, your Form C-AR is due 120 after the end of your fiscal year, and dates above should be adjusted accordingly.


This article was originally written by our KorePartners at CrowdCheck. You can view the original article here.

KorePartner Spotlight: Richard Johnson, CEO of Texture Capital

At Texture Capital, the mission is to revolutionize the two trillion-dollar market for private securities by leveraging blockchain technology and smart contracts. The company has received approval from FINRA to commence operations as a digital securities broker-dealer and operate an Alternative Trading System (ATS). This is an important milestone for Texture, enabling them to issue, tokenize, and trade digital securities. We recently spoke to Richard Johnson, the company’s CEO, to ask him about RegA+ and RegCF and their vision for the future of capital markets.

Q: Why did you become involved in the capital markets/digital securities/blockchain industry?

A: I have spent my whole career in capital markets. For most of that time, I was a trader working at different investment banks and broker-dealers in the electronic trading space. But then, in 2014, I discovered crypto… well really just Bitcoin back then. I came into the space with a trader’s mindset, thinking about how to build execution algorithms and electronic routers for the new asset class. However, I quickly went down the rabbit hole and realized there was something much more revolutionary about the technology. Since then I have been working in the space in one form or another – consultant, analyst, operator, and founder.

Q: What services does your company provide to companies looking to raise capital through the JOBS Act exemptions?

A: I started Texture Capital in 2019 as I recognized there was a strong need for regulated intermediaries to help companies compliantly issue tokens representing equity, debt, royalties, revenue share, or other investment contracts, and to provide a regulated venue for secondary trading. Texture Capital is a FINRA and SEC-regulated broker-dealer focused on digital securities. We help clients raise capital through exemptions such as Regulations, A, D, S, and CF and can also support certain registered offerings. We also operate one of the few Alternative Trading Systems for digital securities. Recently, we have been focusing on offering our digital securities market infrastructure on a ‘white label’ basis to fractional marketplaces. We are agnostic to the underlying asset class and work with clients across private equity, private credit, real estate, and alternatives.

Q: What are your unique areas of expertise?

A: The Texture team is steeped in fintech and traditional capital markets experience. We have built ATSs and marketplaces that have executed many billions of dollars of notional transaction value. 

Q: What excites you about this industry?

A: What excited me about this industry, and why I started Texture Capital, is that blockchain technology represents an entirely new (and better) way of recording financial transactions. Fundamentally, blockchain is about the transfer of value. And capital markets, particularly trading, are about the transfer of value. So what we have now is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build a new market structure from scratch, using the best tech available, and improving how markets work throughout the economy.

Q: Why is a partnership with KoreConX the right fit for your company?

A: We are big fans of KoreConX. KoreConX serves a different, but complementary, part of the ecosystem. You provide the technology to help issuers raise capital and transfer agency services to help them manage the cap table, while we provide all the broker-dealer services. Texture and KoreConX are great partners, and on top of that, we share a commitment to API-driven, technology solutions.

Q: Anything else you’d like to add about RegA+, RegCF, or any other topic that you feel is relevant to your company, our partnership, and the ecosystem you’re a part of?

A: Yes. As a final thought, I want to say how important RegA+ and RegCF are in the capital formation process right now. The current market environment makes it very difficult to raise capital through old-school VC channels. But through these exemptions, companies have a way to fundraise directly from their community, fans, friends, family, partners, suppliers, etc. I expect to see significant growth in the crowdfunding space going forward and tokenization will be the catalyst.

The future of capital markets is bright, and Texture Capital is leading the way with innovative solutions. We look forward to seeing what’s next!

What eBAY Tells Us About Secondary Markets For Private Companies

This blog was originally written by KorePartner Mark Roderick. You can view the original post here

 

The securities of private companies are illiquid, meaning they’re hard to sell.

Since 2017 I’d guess a billion dollars and a million person-hours have been spent by those who believe blockchain technology will create liquidity for private securities. Joining that chorus, a recent post on LinkedIn first noted that trillions of dollars are locked up in private securities, then claimed that blockchain technology (specifically, the technology created by the company posting) could unlock all that value.

This is all wrong, in my always-humble opinion. All that money and all those person-hours are more or less wasted.

My crystal ball is no clearer than anyone else’s. But when I try to believe that blockchain will create active secondary markets I run up against two facts:

  • Fact #1: Secondary markets for private securities have been perfectly legal in this country for a long time, yet there are very few of them.
  • Fact #2: The New York Stock Exchange and other exchanges around the world were vibrant even when they were using little slips of paper.

Those two things tell me that it’s not the technology that creates an active secondary market and hence that blockchain won’t change much.

An active secondary market is created when there are lots of buyers and lots of sellers, especially buyers. When millions of people wanted to buy Polaroid in the 1960s they didn’t care whether Polaroid used pieces of paper or stone tablets. Conversely, put the stock of a pink sheet company on a blockchain and you won’t increase the volume.

As described more fully here, there are a bunch of reasons why there aren’t lots of potential buyers for a typical private company:

  • It probably has a very limited business, possibly only one product or even one asset.
  • It probably has limited access to capital.
  • It probably lacks professional management.
  • Investors probably have limited voting rights.
  • There are probably no independent directors.
  • Its business probably depends on one or two people who could die or start acting like Elon Musk.
  • Insiders can probably do what they want, including paying themselves unlimited compensation.
  • No stock exchange is imposing rules to protect investors.

All that seems obvious now and was obvious in 2017. But now I’m thinking of another company with lessons about secondary markets: eBay.

If there’s anything even less liquid than stock in a private company, it’s a used refrigerator, a bracelet you inherited from your grandmother, the clock you haven’t used for 15 years.

All those things and thousands more were once completely illiquid and therefore worth nothing. eBay changed that, almost miraculously adding dollars to everyone’s personal balance sheet. Just as every ATS operating today seeks to create an active market for securities, eBay created a market for refrigerators, bracelets, and clocks. Quite amazing when you think about it.

eBay didn’t create the market by turning refrigerators, bracelets, and clocks into NFTs. To the contrary, when you sell something on eBay you have to ship it, physically, using the lowest of low technology. eBay created the secondary market simply by connecting buyers and sellers using Web2. Just like another company that has created a pretty active market, Amazon.

If any ATS operating today had a thousandth of the registered users eBay has, its founders and investors would be even rubbing their hands with glee.

As a Crowdfunding advocate, I wonder what the world would look like if all those dollars and person-hours had been spent improving the experience of initial investors rather than pursuing secondary markets and blockchain, things dreams are made of. As the shine comes off blockchain maybe we’ll find out.

Partnership in the Private Markets: “Who Pays?”

Way back in March 2020, our values as a company were tested.  At the time, I began to write this blog post but with my schedule, I totally forgot to complete it. But, with recent events, I felt it was important to publish.

 

With companies in any sector, you are approached for partnership opportunities and in most cases, the partnership is a win-win when each company stays in its lanes.  When partnerships get really muddy is when there is a financial gain for one party at the expense of another or the clients they serve.

 

Our potential partner had a great service that we, as a company, were happy to send introductions to. After many meetings and demonstrations, the CEO reached out to discuss a partnership.  We provided an overview of our ecosystem, our governance standards, and our ethics, and explained that since its inception, our company has had no financial relationship with any of our KorePartners anywhere in the world. This did not stop this CEO from offering us an incentive to send their firm business, which we respectfully declined.  Our response was and remains: “We are happy that you provide this service, and we want you to provide the best service to our clients and all we ask in return is you take good care of them, and do your very best”.

 

The response was shocking:  “I can’t partner with a company that is not financially motivated to send me business”.  We respond, we understand that is how this business might have been done in the past but today it’s different for many reasons.

 

First, we are in a regulated sector. That means the securities regulators monitor all activities by Issuers (companies), Investors, Broker-Dealers, and Internediarities who are participating in a regulated offering for private companies.

 

As an example of how securities regulators monitor and catch those who try to circumvent the rules to get rich, on 30 September 2022 the SEC charged six individuals and two companies for a fraudulent scheme to promote securities in a RegA offering. Some of the charges were for failing to disclose precisely the kind of payment we declined to accept two years ago.

 

On 03 October 2022, the SEC charged influencer and celebrity Kim Kardashian for failing to disclose she was paid a fee to promote a cryptocurrency.  She was paid $250,000 USD to promote a company and the fine issued by the SEC was $1.26M and included a 3-year ban from promoting any crypto asset securities.  

 

You would think with these two SEC announcements, everyone would be reviewing their programs to make sure they are onside with regulators and more importantly, ethical and transparent to the clients we serve.

 

BUT NO!!!

 

On 07 October 2022, many of the Broker-Dealers and intermediaries were offered a carrot via email to be rewarded up to $13,000.00 USD by a provider if they brought them a client.  

 

So who actually pays these premiums?

 

The answer is very simple: the Client “Issuer (Company)”.  Make no mistake–it will be the client paying for this big incentive fee because it will ultimately come out of the proceeds of the raise. 

 

Will this fee be disclosed to the client?  Will both parties disclose their finders fee in this regulated transaction?

 

You may be thinking this is how it’s always been done, so why are we all spending so much time disrupting the current way things are?   

 

Because there is a better way.

 

We need to conduct ourselves the same way we are telling the current establishment that they should behave. Sometimes disruption of the old ways is good. New innovations (and the revival of some good old ones) are disrupting the world in so many areas, including banking, insurance, auto, and capital markets. The JOBS Act was aimed at democratizing capital, and a big part of this was making it safer for new investors

 

So let’s not stop with just how they operate; let’s also disrupt the way we conduct ourselves in operating our companies. Let’s strive always to conduct ourselves more ethically, more transparently, and always compliantly 

 

We at KoreConX never have and never will take any type of fees from anything, anyone, or any company for something we have not created.  We have many partnerships with companies that see how a relationship can be formed that becomes a win-win: the better they serve the clients we introduce to them, the better we look, and the more people will want to use our platform. Our clients need to know we’re serving their interests when we point them at a KorePartner, not sending them to the highest bidder for their business. 

 

Most of our KorePartners find this is actually to their own advantage; they know that when we recommend them to a client, it’s because they’re the best equipped to meet that particular client’s needs. 

Everyone wins when the client wins.

RegA and RegCF issuers: time to count your shareholders!

RegA and RegCF have been around for a few years now and we are finding that some of our clients, especially those that have made multiple offerings, are getting to the point where they need to consider the implications of Section 12(g) of the Securities Exchange Act, which requires companies to become registered with the SEC when they meet certain asset and investor number thresholds.

Let’s start with the requirements of Section 12(g). It says that if, on the last day of its fiscal year, an issuer has assets of $10 million and a class of equity securities held of record by either 2,000 persons or 500 persons who are not accredited investors, it has to register that class of securities with the SEC.

Drilling down on each of those elements:

  • Assets: This is gross, not net, and it will include any cash that a company has raised in an offering but not spent yet.
  • Class of equity securities: Issuers with multiple series of preferred stock or multiple series in a series LLC will need to talk to their lawyers about what constitutes a separate “class.”
  • Held of record: Brokers or custodians holding in “street name” count as a single holder of record. Crowdfunding SPVs created under the SEC’s new rules also count as one holder, and as discussed below, there are special, conditional, rules for counting Reg A and Reg CF investors.  But check with your lawyers whether you need to “look through” SPVs formed for the purpose of investing in Reg D offerings.
  • Accredited status: Issuers are probably going to have to make assumptions as to the accredited status of their investors unless they maintain that information separately, and assume investors in Reg D offerings are accredited, and investors in Reg A and Reg CF offerings are not.
  • Registering a class of securities in effect means filing a registration statement with all relevant information about the company and becoming a fully-reporting company. This includes PCAOB audits, quarterly filings, proxy statements, more extensive disclosure and all-round more expensive legal and accounting support.

Since becoming a fully-reporting company is not feasible for early-stage companies, both Reg A and Reg CF are covered by conditional exemptions from the requirements of Section 12(g). The conditions for each are different.

Issuers need not count the holders of securities originally issued in Reg A offerings (even if subsequently transferred) as “holders of record” if:

  • The company has made all the periodic filings required of a Reg A company (Forms 1-K, 1-SA and 1-U);
  • It has engaged a registered transfer agent; AND
  • It does not have a public float (equity securities held by non-affiliates multiplied by trading price) of $75m, or if no public trading, had revenues of less than $50m in the most recent year.

Issuers need not count the holders of securities issued in Reg CF offerings (even if subsequently transferred) as “holders of record” if:

  • The company is current in its annual filing (Form C-AR) requirements;
  • It has engaged a registered transfer agent; AND
  • It has total assets of less than $25m at the end of the most recent fiscal year.

It’s important that the issuer’s transfer agent keep accurate records of which exemption securities were issued under, even when they are transferred. As of March 15, 2021, Reg CF also allows the use of “crowdfunding vehicles”, a particular kind of SPV with specific requirements for control, fees, and rights of the SPV in order to put all of the investors in a Reg CF offering into one holder of record. This is not available for Reg A, and still comes with administrative requirements, which may make use of a transfer agent still practical.

If an issuer goes beyond the asset or public float requirements of its applicable conditional exemption, it will be eligible for a two-year transition period before it is required to register its securities with the SEC. However, if an issuer violates the conditional exemption by not being current in periodic reporting requirements, including filing a report late, then the transition period terminates immediately, requiring registration with the SEC within 120 days after the date on which the issuer’s late report was due to be filed.

It’s good discipline for companies who have made a few exempt offerings and had some success in their business to consider, on a regular basis, counting their assets and their shareholders and assess whether they may be about to lose one or both of the conditional exemptions and whether they need to plan for becoming a public reporting company.

 

This article was originally written by our KorePartners at CrowdCheck. You can view the original post here.

The SEC Can Stop Your Regulation A Offering At Any Time

The SEC has two powerful tools to stop your Regulation A offering anytime.

Rule 258

Rule 258 allows the SEC to immediately suspend an offering if

  • The exemption under Regulation A is not available; or
  • Any of the terms, conditions, or requirements of Regulation A have not been complied with; or
  • The offering statement, any sales or solicitation of interest material, or any report filed pursuant to Rule 257 contains any untrue statement of a material fact or omits to state a material fact necessary to make the statements made, in light of the circumstances under which they are made, not misleading; or
  • The offering involves fraud or other violations of section 17 of the Securities Act of 1933; or
  • Something happened after filing an offering statement that would have made Regulation A unavailable had it occurred before filing; or
  • Anyone specified in Rule 262(a) (the list of potential bad actors) has been indicted for certain crimes; or
  • Proceedings have begun that could cause someone on that list to be a bad actor; or
  • The issuer has failed to cooperate with an investigation.

If the SEC suspends an offering under Rule 258, the issuer can appeal for a hearing – with the SEC – but the suspension remains in effect. In addition, at any time after the hearing, the SEC can make the suspension permanent.

Rule 258 gives the SEC enormous discretion. For example, the SEC may theoretically terminate a Regulation A offering if the issuer fails to file a single report or files late. And while there’s lots of room for good-faith disagreement as to whether an offering statement or advertisement failed to state a material fact, Rule 258 gives the SEC the power to decide.

Don’t worry, you might think, Rule 260 provides that an “insignificant” deviation will not result in the loss of the Regulation A exemption. Think again: Rule 260(c) states, “This provision provides no relief or protection from a proceeding under Rule 258.”

Rule 262(a)(7)

Rule 262(a)(7) is even more dangerous than Rule 258.

Rule 258 allows the SEC to suspend a Regulation A offering if the SEC concludes that something is wrong. Rule 262(a)(7), on the other hand, allows for suspension if the issuer or any of its principals is “the subject of an investigation or proceeding to determine whether a. . . . suspension order should be issued.”

That’s right: Rule 262(a)(7) allows the SEC to suspend an offering merely by investigating whether the offer should be suspended.

Effect on Regulation D

Suppose the SEC suspends a Regulation A offering under either Rule 258 or Rule 262(a)(7). In that case, the issuer is automatically a “bad actor” under Rule 506(d)(1)(vii), meaning it can’t use Regulation D to raise capital, either.

In some ways, it makes sense that the SEC can suspend a Regulation A offering easily because the SEC’s approval was needed in the first place. But not so with Regulation D, and especially not so with a suspension under Rule 262(a)(7). In that case, the issuer is prevented from using Regulation D – an exemption that does not require SEC approval – simply because the SEC is investigating whether it’s done something wrong. That seems. . . .wrong.

Conclusion

As all six readers of this blog know, I think the SEC has done a spectacular job with Crowdfunding. But what the SEC giveth the SEC can taketh away. I hope the SEC will use discretion exercising its substantial power under Rule 258 and Rule 262(a)(7).

 

This post was written by KorePartner Mark Roderick and the original post can be found here. Mr. Roderick is an attorney at Lex Nova Law, where he leads the firm’s Crowdfunding and Fintech practice. He writes a widely-read blog at CrowdfundingAttorney.com and is a featured speaker at Crowdfunding and Fintech events across the country, including New York, Texas, Chicago, and Silicon Valley. Mark is one of the most prominent Crowdfunding and Fintech lawyers in the United States. He represents portals, issuers, and others across the country and around the world.

KorePartner Spotlight: Richard Heft, President of Ext. Marketing

Richard Heft is the President at Ext. Marketing, a full-service marketing firm that helps companies attract potential investors to apply their marketing strategy and achieve their communications objectives. Richard has over 20 years of experience in the marketing and communications industry, focusing on the financial services sector. In 2021, Richard and his co-author published The Ascendant Advisor, a book about marketing and content strategies for advisors to grow their businesses. 

 

We recently sat down with Richard to discuss his company, experience, and partnership with KoreConX.

 

Q: Why did you become involved in this industry?

A: Ext. has spent almost a decade and a half helping financial services firms translate their business objectives into cutting-edge marketing campaigns for the retail and institutional spaces. During this time, we also began to recognize that we would truly be a full-service marketing leader if we could help our clients reach a limitless number of online retail investors through various social channels. The power of these retail investors is that they not only have an almost unlimited appetite to consume information online, but they are also able to invest how they want, when they want, and where they want on the increasing number of self-managed platforms. We launched Ext. Digital to help companies in virtually all industries identify their target retail audience, create messaging that will resonate with that audience, and tailor their conversion funnel to ensure their brands and investment offerings stand out in a somewhat crowded marketplace.

 

Q: What services does your company provide for offerings?

A: We offer end-to-end digital marketing strategies, content creation, media activation, and ad buys. We also provide access to our proprietary financial influencer network to help amplify the audience for our client’s news and updates.

 

Q: What are your unique areas of expertise?

A: Beyond our unparalleled content creation and transparency regarding their ad spend, our clients benefit from our constant A/B testing & optimization approach to ensure their media dollars are continuously put to best use.

 

Q: What excites you about this industry?

A: There is a lot that excites me about this industry! I strongly believe that, even when the global economy looks uncertain, there is a massive opportunity for companies looking to raise capital to reach the right people with their stories. And the people they are reaching have never been more motivated and able to invest in the opportunities that appeal to them.

 

Q: How is a partnership with KoreConX right for your company?

A: KoreConX has always been an excellent, reliable partner to Ext. Digital. We have been thrilled to introduce our clients to KoreConX’s holistic platform, given the trust we have in Oscar, Peter, and the entire KoreConX team, and we have worked with many companies that we know are going to be leaders in their respective industries as a result of introductions made by KoreConX.

 

Q: Anything else you would like to add about RegA, RegCF, or any other topic you might find relevant for your company, our partnership, and the ecosystem you are part of?

A: I encourage any company exploring a capital raise through a Reg A, Reg D, or Reg CF issue to find partners they can trust over their entire journey. I firmly believe Ext. Digital is the ideal digital marketing partner for any company looking to take the next step in its journey.

 

A $30 Trillion Market in 8 Years: Shari Noonan Speaks with Crowdfund Insider

The private securities market is predicted to grow exponentially in the next decade, with a total value of $30 trillion by 2030. Recently, Shari Noonan, CEO of Rialto Markets spoke to Crowdfund Insider about this remarkable trajectory.

 

There are several reasons we can anticipate this tremendous growth. First, the JOBS Act introduced powerful exemptions to SEC registration, removing or easing many of the administrative barriers that had stood in the way of capital formation. As well, new tools have emerged to help companies seek capital in online capital markets.

 

Plus, these online tools mean that companies now have access to a wider pool of potential investors that had been traditionally unavailable to the private market. On this subject, Shari Noonan said, “Rialto Markets enables not only venture and institutional investing but also retail investing. This diversity can help private companies seeking capital find a wider range of investors, which might mitigate some of the shakiness in the economy.” With traditional forms of investment, reaching niche investors used to be nearly impossible. It’s a different story online because finding niches is a huge part of what the online world is all about. So whether a company is in real estate, ice cream, or electric vehicles, online platforms make it easier to find the right investors who support unique, innovative companies.

 

So far, the interest in investment through JOBS Act exemptions has not slowed down. “We saw a 1,021% increase in equity crowdfunding in 2021 to $113.52 billion, so that level of growth may be difficult to sustain, but it will still be a strong 2022 for the Reg CF and RegA+ investment markets,” added Shari.

 

So, what does this all mean for investors? Well, the private securities market is set to continue growing at a rapid pace, and with the help of companies like Rialto Markets, it’s easier than ever to get involved. And if it’s easier for investors to get involved, then it’s easier for companies to find investors.

 

For players in the private capital market, like Rialto, the mission is to create a fully democratized ecosystem. Shari believes that “​​this enables private companies looking to raise capital to expand their net and reach a much wider and more diverse investor base, providing investors with access to investments at an earlier stage than previously.” 

 

Continued growth will require a robust infrastructure. “We will continue to expand services to bring greater efficiency and scale to the private markets,” said Noonan when asked about Rialto’s plans for the future. This will also include support for new types of securities, and Rialto is already prepared for the expansion of digital securities. Shari points out that “many NFTs are securities that also live natively on a blockchain. The right way forward is to wrap NFTs into the regulatory framework by registering them as Reg CFs or Reg As, then approving and tracking ownership on a next-gen SEC-registered Transfer Agent.” This would allow the industry to test new technologies while adhering to securities laws that protect issuers and investors alike.

 

The private capital market is growing at an incredible rate as issuers increasingly turn to private capital sources for their funding needs and investors explore new types of investments. With so much growth potential ahead, the private capital market is poised to introduce new technologies, efficiencies, and opportunities to the financial world.

 

The Medtech A+ Team: An Upcoming KoreSummit Event

KoreConX is excited for the upcoming KoreSummit event on Thursday, June 23rd. Our second event focused on the Medtech vertical, Thursday is a half-day event that dives into how Medtech companies can conduct a successful RegA+ offering. Kicking off at 1 PM EST, we’re excited for our KorePartners to join us in covering this exciting topic. Let’s dive into the schedule more below.

 

At 1 PM EST, KoreConX CEO Oscar Jofre will introduce the event with a warm welcome. The first panel at 1:10 PM will begin with an introduction to Reg A+ for a MedTech company. This opening panel features Oscar Jofre, Scot Pantel, and Stephen Brock.

 

Up next at 1:40 PM, five experts will take the virtual stage to talk about the preparation phase including what a Form 1A is and the regulatory requirements you need to complete the filing. Douglas Rurak, Matthew McNamara, Peter Danyeko, Nick Antaki, and Shari Noonan will be speaking on this panel. 

 

At 2:15 PM, the third panel kicks off with a discussion about going live. This panel will cover everything you need to know when preparing your live offering to ensure it is a success and will feature Kiran Gramiella, Shari Noonan, John Hayes, and broker-dealer Amanda Grange. From investor acquisition and issuance tech to broker-dealers, this panel will ensure participants will be prepared for their next capital raise.

 

The fourth panel takes place at 3:00 PM and is about how, when raising capital, it is vital to sell your company’s story, not just the stock. By learning how to tell a story, MedTech companies looking to raise capital will be able to connect with investors on a personal level and have a much better chance of success. Panelists will include Scott Pantel, Andy Angelos, John Hayes, Andrew Corn, and Dawson Russell sharing their wealth of experience on this topic.

 

At 3:40 PM, the 5th panel discusses the importance of a secondary ATS, what it is, and how to pick one that will best suit your needs. Lee Saba, Kiran Garimella, and Peter Danyeko will discuss their experience with ATSs and help you understand why having one is so important. 

 

The event concludes with the final panel at 4:00 PM with a short panel that covers takeaways from the event as well as allows for networking. With this panel, we hope to give event attendees the chance to meet and greet the KoreConX ecosystem of partners, members, and service providers that work with Reg A+ daily. This will include Oscar Jofre, Scot Pantel, Joel Steinmetz, Matthew McNamara, Douglas Ruark, and Stephen Brock.

 

Join us for MedTech A+ Team: How to do a successful Reg A+ for a MedTech company on Thursday, June 23rd, 2022. This event is online and free to attend, which you can register for here. This event is perfect for all MedTech companies that are new or unfamiliar with Reg A+ and those that have completed Reg A+ raises in the past.

It All Started with the JOBS Act

This month, we launched our newest series, KoreTalkX, during which we have hosted exciting, one-on-one conversations with industry experts to expand the knowledge base on capital raising in the private markets. We’re recapping the episodes so far and look forward to the next live event on Tuesday, May 31st, when Dr. Kiran Garimella (CTO, KoreConX) and Andrew Bull (Founding Memeber), Bull Blockchain Law) discuss digital securities. 

 

KoreTalkX #1: 10th Anniversary of the JOBS Act

In this conversation, David Weild IV, Father of the JOBS Act, and Oscar Jofre discuss the importance of the JOBS Act concerning small businesses and entrepreneurship. An important focus has been how the Act has helped increase innovation and expand access to capital for smaller companies, which is crucial for paving a brighter future.

 

Listen to the full episode on Spotify, Amazon, or iTunes!

 

KoreTalkX #2: How Can ESG Reshape Capital Raising?

This talk between Peter Daneyko and Paul Karrlsson-Willis, CEO of Justly Markets, discusses impact investing and ESG (environmental, social, and governance) criteria. Since the JOBS Act has allowed more people to invest in companies and given rise to the popularity of crowdfunding and investing for non-accredited investors, they discuss how many people are investing in businesses with missions they’re passionate about. 

 

Listen to the full episode on Spotify, Amazon, or iTunes!

 

KoreTalkX #3: How to Start and Manage a Cap Table?

In this discussion, Amanda Grange and Matthew McNamara, Managing Partner at Assurance Dimensions, talk about starting and managing a cap table. A primary focus is how the SEC compliance guidelines protect companies and how a good transfer agent will help a company stay within those guidelines. They also talk about how a well-managed and structured cap table can streamline a raise.

 

Listen to the full episode on Spotify, Amazon, or iTunes!

 

KoreTalkX #4: Thoughts on Investor Acquisition

Jason Futko and Tim Martinez, co-founder of Digital Niche Agency, talk about how to acquire investors for your startup. They highlight how important it is to have a good strategy before launching your campaign and how companies have a powerful opportunity to transform investors and customers into brand ambassadors. Additionally, they suggest entrepreneurs be prepared for a long marathon to achieve success and how to help achieve this in today’s climate.

 

Listen to the full episode on Spotify, Amazon, or iTunes!

 

5 Key Players To Know For Your 401k Audit

This blog was originally written by our KorePartners at Assurance Dimensions. View the original post here.

 

Your 401k audit requires the work of multiple key players with different roles and responsibilities. It’s a team effort to ensure your benefit plan audit is seamless, timely, and accurate. Let’s outline the service providers and how you will work with them for your next 401k audit.

 

Custodian

The custodian of a 401k plan has the legal obligation to act in the sole interest of the plan participants. The custodian will make fund decisions in the best interest of the plan participants, without regard to the interests of the employer or plan sponsor.

 

Third-Party Administrator (TPA)

The 401k plan sponsor hires a TPA to run the day-to-day operations of the retirement plan. The TPA is responsible for calculating vested returns and filing reports to the DOL, IRS, and other government agencies. Overall, the TPA plays a critical role in a 401k audit, as they prepare the annual Form 5500 and have access to the required financial documents necessary for the audit.

 

Financial or Investment Advisor

Due to the complex nature of 401k plans, many companies employ a 401k advisor or financial advisor to help employers develop and maintain a 401k plan. Their role can involve several responsibilities, including:

  • Retirement plan design
  • Plan implementation and management
  • Oversee quarterly investment meetings
  • Provide 401k advice to plan participants
  • Assist with the annual 401k audit
  • Administrative support related to finances
  • Track regulatory and legislative updates that may affect the 401k audit

 

Recordkeeper

The recordkeeper is the most visible to provider participants. This role is primarily associated with enrolling participants and providing them access to their retirement assets. The role of the recordkeeper is to track the data required for the 401k audit (including contributions and earnings.) The recordkeeper also communicates data to the required parties.

 

Auditor

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and the Internal Revenue Code require employers and plan administrators to hire an outside audit firm for an independent 401k plan audit. The auditor will be in charge of administering your 401k audit and preparing audited financial statements of your plan. They should be experienced CPAs who have detailed processes to ensure your benefit plan audit is completed correctly and promptly.

 

Coordinate and Communicate During Your 401k Audit

Once you have established that your benefit plan needs a 401k audit, the audit team will need to work in sync with all key players of the 401k plan. Since the auditor must collect information from the plan’s service providers and ensure that it is accurate and detailed, this requires coordination and clear communication across all roles in the 401k plan audit. Failure to coordinate could lead to missed 401k plan audit deadlines and compliance penalties.

 

Hire A Trusted Audit Team For Your 401k Audit

A 401k audit is time-sensitive and has extensive requirements. Hire qualified, certified public accountants to help your benefit plan maintain compliance.

How Liquidity Impacts Investing

This article was originally written by our KorePartners at Rialto Markets. To view the original article, please click here

 

Liquidity is a term used in finance to describe how easy or difficult it is to buy or sell an asset in a market without affecting its price – in other words, how simply an asset can be exchanged for cash.

Many private companies struggle to create cash events and liquidity for their shareholders or growth plans and, in what is possibly the largest market of all, this is starting to change with the advent of crowdfunding and secondary trading platforms, known as ATSs (alternative trading systems). The private securities market, currently worth $7 trillion and forecast to be $30 trillion by 2030, is expected to transform when it starts to demonstrate the same kind of liquidity that the public markets offer today.

Stocks in publicly traded companies, mutual funds and bonds can all be categorized as liquid assets; generally, an asset is liquid if there is a constant high demand for it, thereby making it much easier to find potential buyers.

Stocks as liquid assets

Generally, any stock listed on a stock exchange is considered a liquid asset because there are people constantly buying and selling stocks at the market price, making it easier to liquidate stocks into cash.

Conversely, stocks traded on smaller marketplaces and lower value stocks like so-called ‘penny stocks’ (shares of small public companies that trade for less than $5s per share) would not be considered fully liquid assets, as concessions on the price or quantity of these stocks may be needed to liquidate them in a timely manner.

The liquidity of a stock is also never completely fixed; factors that influence a certain company or the stock market, such as economic downturn or complete market crashes can significantly impact the liquidity of any given stock. Most of the time this effect is only temporary, as the market tends to bounce back, but the liquidity of even the most reputable and better-performing companies usually suffers some decline.

What does liquidity mean for your investments?

Investing in early-stage companies was typically a long-term investment more open to the wealthy, through venture capital and private equity funds, but early-stage companies are going public through an IPO (initial public offering) much further into their life cycle. So, where this used to average three years, an IPO was stretching to at least 12, but having an ATS to monetize an investment now explodes the number of investors willing to invest. Although the liquidity will not be as robust as on the NYSE or Nasdaq it is available as an option should an investor have a life event or another priority that requires monetization of their shares.

KorePartner Spotlight: Curtis Spears, President and CEO of Andes Capital Group

Curtis Spears, President and CEO of Andes Capital Group, has over 25 years of experience in the asset management arena. At Andes Capital Group, he is responsible for overall firm strategy, strategic direction, and day-to-day operations. 

 

Andes Capital Group is a boutique firm that prides itself on its long-term relationships and excellent customer service. With a diversified client list that includes public and corporate pension funds, foundations, investment advisors, and endowments, Mr. Spears has had a hand in delivering bottom-line results for various customers.

 

Additionally, Curtis Spears is deeply committed to giving back to his community, as a Chicago native. He previously served on the Governing Board for UCAN and on auxiliary boards for the Steppenwolf Theater, the Field Museum, and the Primo Center for Women and Children. In these roles, he helped raise funds and increase awareness for various causes.

 

Curtis Spear’s years of experience in the financial services industry and his dedication to giving back make him an excellent KorePartner. We were excited to sit down with Curtis recently to ask him about himself and the capital industry.

 

Q: Why did you become involved in this industry?

 

A: I got lucky! I knew nothing about this industry coming out of college. When I first started in finance, I was a computer programmer, writing programs to manage index funds. As my role evolved, I became more interested in working directly with investors and spent the last half of my career servicing clients and raising capital. Over the years, I developed a particular interest in helping people get access to deals and access to capital that they historically would not have access to.

 

Q: What services does your company provide for RegA offerings?

 

A: As a KoreConX partner, we provide deal due diligence, AML/KYC, etc. However, since the bulk of our business is private placements, we have the ability to offer fundraising and general advisory services for every aspect of a deal.

 

Q: What are your unique areas of expertise?

 

A: Since the majority of our reps cut their teeth in asset management, fundraising is a crucial aspect of what we do. We have relationships that span every type of investor, from the most prominent institutions to the smallest retail individual. We are somewhat industry agnostic, but much of what we see tends to all be in the Medtech, fintech, and proptech areas.

 

Q: What excites you about this industry?

 

A: Over the years, outsized returns have been earned primarily in the private markets. What excites me is giving issuers even more access to capital with a new investor class and allowing the average investor to play. 

 

Q: How is a partnership with KoreConX the right fit for your company?

A: In talking with Oscar and the KoreConX team over the last couple of years, we learned that our interests and goals are truly aligned. That is important to us. Also, working with other like-minded partners and leveraging their expertise will really allow us all to propel this part of the industry forward.

 

Foreign Investors Key Considerations for Your Next Deal

This post was originally written by our KorePartners at Crowdfunding Lawyers. View the original post here

 

When discussing fundraising for your deals, most of our attention has previously focused on U.S. citizens investing their own money. That’s to be expected, but it’s important not to overlook another potential funding source: foreign investors. This article will explore what you should know about working with foreign investors in the U.S. and their potential impact on your deal.

Foreign Investors in the U.S.

Foreign investors are those individuals or companies outside of the United States who invest their money into U.S.-based businesses. And foreign money can be great. But, of course, there are advantages and disadvantages to know here and some pretty important restrictions.

How Foreign Investments Work

Before we dive into how these investments work or the pros and cons of foreign investments, we should touch on the restrictions put in place by the U.S. government. You’ll find that they’re twofold. First, there are restrictions set out by the country’s government in which you’re raising funds that you need to consider, as well as those applied by the U.S. government. Second, there are also regulations regarding how much money can be raised from foreign investors.

Foreign Investment Regulations

Each country has its own rules regarding investments. It is your responsibility to investigate what those are and how they may impact you, your investors, and the money that you raise. Some factors to consider include how much money you’re raising and the level of involvement between citizens of foreign countries.

It’s important to stay in legal compliance within all countries, which means you need to know the true cost of remaining completely legally compliant within each’s borders. In some cases, you may find that it is simply too expensive to develop a feasible plan. For example, suppose you’re raising a small amount of capital in a foreign country to transfer to the United States, and you’re not being fraudulent. In that case, complying with local securities laws might be somewhat cumbersome.

Too often, those raising funds focus more on securities laws here in the United States rather than in the other country, but this can hamstring you.

Limitations on Who Can Invest

In addition to the laws governing investments in the other country, you’ll also need to consider our domestic Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, here in the U.S. This organization determines which foreigners can invest and which ones should be blocked. In some cases, the OFAC focuses on the individual or the nation in question. In other instances, their review centers on the foreign country and the investment amount.

For instance, if an investor has 15% of greater assets in North Korea, Iran, Syria, and some other countries, they cannot invest here in the U.S. Again, you will need to check the OFAC website to see who is on the blocked persons list.

This is all part of getting to know your investors. It’s an enormous risk, but it can be potentially rewarding. You don’t want to take any money from people that you shouldn’t be because it can lead to problems beyond the scope of securities law.

Of course, these rules are implemented with good reason. They help ensure that you’re not taking money from a terrorist, helping someone launder money, for instance.

U.S. Securities Laws

We’ve touched on these briefly, but they bear deeper scrutiny. U.S. securities laws have a significant role to play when it comes to foreign investors. For instance, we have a law called “Regulation Asks,” which states that the securities laws for foreign investors don’t apply because they’re foreigners to the SEC. Regulation S states that if you investors are outside the country, most securities laws do not apply.

With that being said, if you commit fraud in any way, dealing with foreign investors will not prevent the SEC or any other authorities from investigating you and your investors. So it’s important to avoid the assumption that Regulation S protects criminal behavior – you should always do the right thing.

However, this brings up an important point. Since securities laws may not apply the same way to foreign investors that they do to U.S. investors, are you still required to provide disclosure? Absolutely, yes. The best path forward is to comply with Reg D as much as possible because then at least you’re providing proper disclosure to your investors and not taking advantage of the vulnerable out there.

Potential U.S. Tax Implications for Foreign Investment Deals

The tax situation is never simple, and adding foreign investors to the mix can muddy the waters a great deal. The tax consequences here can be substantial because when you add foreign investors to the mix and operate as an LLC, there’s pass-through taxation.

You will also have to deal with increased IRS scrutiny. The IRS is extremely worried about what your foreign investors will do – will they take their earnings and leave without paying taxes? Ultimately, you are responsible for their actions. This can mean that if a typical deal requires approximately 30% in withholdings, you should withhold the proper amounts from your investors’ earnings and pay it to the IRS on their behalf.

We also have FIRPTA, the Foreign Investment in Real Estate Property Tax Act of 1980. It requires you to withhold 15% from investors’ returns, although you should check with your tax specialists on the sale of real estate for any distributions that will go to foreign investors.

Avoiding Tax Complications with Foreign Investors

There are a lot of potential downsides to working with foreign investors. So how can you avoid them? Just don’t take on any. How do you avoid them, though?

It just comes down to requiring foreign investors to create their corporation or LLC within the U.S. This ensures that you’re able to let them into the deal, and you no longer have to worry about taking 45% of their returns and transmitting them to the IRS. You’ll also be able to deduct all of their expenses and losses against their income since they won’t be considered “pass-through” entities.

In addition, you can set up a separate bank account for each investor, and ensure that they only receive payments through that account. That way, you can keep track of who has paid what and make sure that everyone pays their fair share.

So, while it might seem like a good idea to work with foreign investors, you need to think twice before doing so. If you do decide to go ahead with it, you’ll need to consider these issues carefully and consult with a skilled attorney.

The Canadian Exemption

While the rules we’ve discussed here apply to investors from most nations, there is an exemption for Canadian investors under certain circumstances. The U.S. maintains a treaty with Canada that states these investors are not subject to the tax withholdings we just talked about. That means Canadian investors can be taken on without too much worry, at least about tax withholdings, with one caveat – you must have a limited partnership and cannot use an LLC or C corp or any other business formation option.

If you wish to work with Canadians, you’ll need to set up a limited partnership to receive their investment. If you choose to do so, make sure you understand all the risks involved with doing so.

The Big Questions to Consider When Taking on Foreign Investors

We’ve covered a lot of ground here in a short time. So, to sum up, let’s go over the big questions you’ll need to answer when you consider taking on foreign investors within your deal.

  • Are they from a country subject to sanctions, like North Korea, Syria, Iran, or Russia? Note that this list changes from time to time as sanctions are placed and lifted. Always check the OFAC list to ensure that your investors are clear about bringing their money into the U.S.
  • Are you following the securities laws of the other country? Are you doing enough business in that country that you need to be concerned about these laws?
  • Are you complying with U.S. tax rules as they pertain to your deal? For example, are you withholding the proper amount and remitting it to the IRS? If not, you’ll be held responsible unless your partners are American entities or have an exemption.

Do you understand all the risks involved in dealing with foreign investors? Do you know where to find information about each country? Is your legal team familiar with international law? These are all things you’ll need to think through before you sign off on any deals and it’s important to consult with an experienced attorney to help guide you

How Do I Get Foreign Investors Involved in My Deal?

If you want to attract foreign investors, you’ll need to make sure that you’re meeting their needs. To start with, you’ll need to understand why they would invest in your project. What are their goals? What are their motivations?

You’ll then need to determine if you can meet those goals and motivations. Can you provide them with something unique? Something that’s hard to find elsewhere? A good place to start is by looking at what you offer and comparing it to what others offer.

Once you’ve determined that you can meet their needs, you’ll need to figure out how to get them involved. There are two ways to approach this. One is to simply ask them to invest directly. They will likely require some sort of equity stake in your company. In exchange, they’ll receive a return on investment (ROI) based on the success of your venture.

Alternatively, you may choose to take a more traditional route. You can form a limited liability company or corporation, and invite them to join as shareholders. Their shares will be treated as income-generating assets, which means they’ll pay taxes on their share of profits. This is also known as “passive” investing.

In either case, you’ll need to know the law in both countries so that you don’t run afoul of local regulations. We’ve already touched on this briefly, but it bears repeating. Be aware that you may be required to register as a broker-dealer, and comply with all applicable federal and state securities laws.

What Happens After I Take On Foreign Investors?

Now that you’ve got investors, you’ll need a plan for managing them. How do you keep them happy while still keeping your own interests protected? You’ll need to set expectations early on. Make sure everyone understands what they’re getting into.

One thing to remember is that you’re dealing with people who have different levels of experience. Some may be new to investing, while others may have been around the block many times before. It’s important to make sure that everyone understands the risks involved.

As you go through the process, you’ll also want to make sure that you have a clear understanding of the terms of the agreement. For example, you should know whether you’re going to issue stock, sell debt, or use other financing methods. As we mentioned earlier, you’ll need to be prepared to deal with taxes. If you’re issuing stock, you’ll need to decide whether you’re going to treat the shares as long-term capital gains or short-term capital losses.

Finally, you’ll want to make sure that your business plan takes these things into account. You’ll need to consider how you’re going to finance the project, how you’re going to manage risk, and how you’re going to handle any potential legal issues.

In Conclusion

In the end, working with foreign investors is a tricky situation, but with proper guidance from both experienced tax and legal professionals, it can be profitable for both you and your investors.

Hosting Webinars For Your Equity Crowdfunding Campaign

This article was originally written by our KorePartners at DNA. View the original post here

 

Why are webinars so important for your equity crowdfunding campaign?

Webinars are an incredible tool to help you connect with your investors, allowing them to ask any burning questions they may have. You can also repurpose these webinars to use for later content!

With everyone having access to the internet at their fingertips, there is no better time than now to start taking advantage of the many perks that webinars have to offer.

In today’s article, we are going to walk you through 8 important steps you need to know before hosting your first webinar!

Choose the Right Platform

Make sure your hosting platform (such as: Zoom, Google Meet, Vimeo) have all these qualifying features:

  • Event Registration Via Email

  • Q&A or Chat Features

  • Attendee’s Video and Audio Turned OFF

  • Screen Sharing

  • Automatic Email Reminders

  • Recordings

Set up a Registration Link

Keep your investors informed on what they’re signing up for, make sure to include the following in your registration page:

  • Date and Time of Event

  • Short Description of Event

  • Your Logo

  • The Speakers Attending the Event

 

Market Your Event

 

To encourage as many investors or potential investors as possible, it’s important to market your event across all channels (ad, social media, email, portal update)!

Make sure you’re sending out your initial announcement two weeks prior to the event, and follow up with a one week and one day out reminder.

Understand Compliance Rules

There are lots of things you are able to say and not able to say during your crowdfunding raise!

To ensure your webinar is compliant, you’ll want to have a firm understanding of the compliance rules based on what type of raise you’re running.

Create a Brief Pitch Deck Presentation

An important step in hosting your webinar, is creating a pitch deck presentation for the first 10-15 minutes of the event to get your audience engaged!

Things to include on your deck: team information, market opportunity, competitor analysis, unique differentiators, and existing traction.

Leave Enough Time for an Open Q&A Session

The purpose of these webinars is to allow existing and potential investors to learn more and ask their burning questions!

Be sure to encourage the audience to drop these questions in the chat, and then address them out loud. On the chance that your audience may be shy, come up with common questions before the event to keep them engaged.

Have a Call to Action

 

Every webinar needs a strong call to action.

 

Don’t forget to encourage investors to head over to your raise page and invest! Don’t be afraid to even point towards this call to action throughout the course of the event.

Post-Market the Event

 

For those who are unable to attend the event, make sure you share the recording!

 

You’ll want to post the video onto YouTube or Vimeo and share this link on your: blog, emails, portal updates, and social media!

KorePartner Spotlight: Nate Dodson, Managing Member at Crowdfunding Lawyers

Nate Dodson has over 15 years of experience helping clients with securities, financing, real estate, asset protection, and mergers and acquisitions. Not only has he served as an advisor in real estate transactions, financing, and investments, but he has also successfully developed ground-up commercial properties and participated on the GP side of approximately 4,000 multifamily units over the years.

Before his legal career, Nate worked as a stockbroker, giving him unique experience in investment sales, structures, and asset protection. By leveraging his industry expertise and the help from his long list of trusted connections, he has personally represented over $2 billion in real estate and business funding transactions over the years. While Nate’s full-time efforts are focused on the securities practice with and management of Crowdfunding Lawyers, he remains a partner at his diversified namesake law firm Dodson Legal Group, founded in 2007 and focusing on transactional, litigation, and family law work. Between both firms, their experienced legal teams have represented more than $5 billion in transactions.

Crowdfunding Lawyers is a boutique law firm focusing exclusively on representing securities transactions across the United States. As a specialty-focus law firm, the firm works with investment sponsors/operators and their advisors to develop capital funding strategies, investment offerings, and securities platforms. By taking a unique team-based approach to the firm’s client services, their clients work with a multitude of experienced, dedicated securities attorneys in the representation of Regulation D, Regulation A, Regulation CF, and S1/S3 public (IPO) offerings. The firm has provided services to 1,000+ clients, and its attorneys have, with CFL or through prior engagements, many billions in capital transactions over their respective careers. Because Crowdfunding Lawyers’ focus is limited to federal securities laws, they regularly coordinate with local attorneys and tax counsel to ensure well-rounded representation for clients. However, the firm’s attorneys have considerable experience in real estate, business, regulatory, and finance transactions and activities.

Nate’s experience with crowdfunding makes him a valuable addition to the KoreConX ecosystem. He is passionate about providing regulatory clarity across jurisdictions to ensure raises are compliant and efficient. His ultimate goal is to help investors and businesses succeed in the digital age.

We took some time to speak with Nate and learn more about himself, his organization, and his thoughts on the future of crowdfunding.

What services do Crowdfunding Lawyers provide for Regulation A offerings?

We handle the legal process from beginning structuring throughout the qualification process for Regulation A offerings. We never expect our clients to come to the table with anything other than their plans and ideas. After structuring, we draft all the documents and form any needed entities. Our goal is to file Form 1-A with the SEC within 45 days of engagement.

Because our services are comprehensive, we’ll start with consulting on our client’s business plans and advise the best strategies and structure for funding through a Reg A offering. We also introduce our clients to great vendor partners and team members, like KoreConx.

To meet our self-imposed 45-day timeline, we ensure that we have complete information, including broker-dealers, if involved, or financial audits and introductions are made when appropriate.

How is a partnership with KoreConX the right fit for your company?

We love working with KoreConX and refer to them regularly to serve as the transfer agent for our Reg A offerings. It is essential to have a good transfer agent system involved, as they manage your investors and investment opportunity administration.

KoreConX is not an attorney. Crowdfunding Lawyers is not a transfer agent. Both are necessary for your success with your Regulation A offering.

What excites you about this industry?

Our entire team has a passion for the investment industry, but we’re not a diversified firm. We have a team of very qualified attorneys that solely focus on securities transactions. All of our attorneys come from prestigious law schools and have worked in the legal field for years. If they are newer in the securities realm, it’s only because they have so much experience in startups, entrepreneurship, real estate, investing, and corporate law. Our attorneys have similar impressive pasts and a drive for our client’s success. 

As an example, I worked as a stockbroker until the internet stock bubble burst around 2000, selling investments on the phones before crowdfunding became available after the JOBS Act of 2012.

What services do Crowdfunding Lawyers provide that are different?

We always spend substantial time in the initial stages of representation, where we get to know our clients and their business. We strive to structure your opportunity so that you can meet both market expectations as well as investor expectations, and our client’s primary goal is to get funded faster.

While we focus heavily on real estate funds and syndications, approximately one-third of our clients are focused on business and investment funds. With our real estate fund representations, we often represent Regulation A offerings for REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts) and series LLC offerings. Our clients can replicate their traditional syndication model with Reg A series offerings by breaking down the Regulation A offerings into unique project-specific classes. This is where our clients can continue to offer a real estate syndication model with all the benefits of placing offerings through Regulation A, which is a different twist on setting up a $75 million blind-pool fund.

 

KorePartner Spotlight: Scott Pantel, President & CEO of Life Science Intelligence

With the launch of the KoreConX all-in-one platform, KoreConX is happy to feature the partners contributing to its ecosystem. 

 

During the capital raising journey, many things must be in place to increase the potential for success. One of these critical factors is having the right team to assist with gaining information on your demographic is vital to a successful capital raise.

 

As the President and CEO of LSI, Scott Pantel knows the importance of this, which is why Life Science Intelligence was formed. Scott knows that the most important and strategic business decisions must be made based on data and insights from trusted advisors. LSI is proud to be the go-to-market research firm to support those making these big decisions because of their experience in the Medtech field. With a team of economists, analysts, and market researchers, LSI provides deep knowledge of the healthcare industry, guiding clients with actionable data to identify significant trends in medical devices, diagnostic, and digital health technologies that are rapidly evolving in the industry.

 

We took some time to speak with Scott to learn more about him, his company, and his thoughts on the future of market research, advisory, and raising capital.

 

Q: What does your company do, and how are you making a difference?

A: We’re a Medtech-focused market research and advisory company. We help early-stage companies all the way up to the largest healthcare companies in the world, and their investors, make the best strategic decisions possible. We do this through independent research, consulting, advisory and partnering events.

 

Q: What excites you about the Medtech, Life Sciences, and Biotech Industries?

A: The thing that excites me most about Medtech is that we get to have an impact on people’s lives. The innovators in our space save lives and reduce suffering. To borrow a quote from our 2020 Keynote Speaker and Co-Founder of Auris Health (acquired by J&J for $5.8B), “Medtech is the best and original impact investment sector.”  The innovators in our sector are literally changing and saving lives.  I also get excited to see that patients are increasingly becoming more involved in their healthcare decisions. The convergence of medical devices, data, and smart technologies improves patient outcomes and is slowly but surely making our healthcare system more efficient. We have a long way to go, but I believe we are on the right track, and we will see some quantum leaps in medical technology over the coming years.  

 

Q: How do you see the LSI Medtech event impacting your company and industry?

A: This event connects the innovators with the capital sources they need to commercialize life-changing and saving technologies.  Innovations need capital and strategic partners to scale and get to the market.  Our event connects all of the stakeholders in the Medtech ecosystem so that good things can happen and we can get technologies to market faster.

 

Q: Why do you think education on RegA+ plays such a vital role in expanding access to capital for Medtech companies?

A: Most of the companies we work with are totally unaware of what is available in terms of tapping the private markets and leveraging equity crowdfunding. The market is slowly but surely catching up, and we believe inside of the next 12-18 months, we’ll be seeing a huge uptick of healthcare companies taking advantage of the various Regulations that came from the JOBS Act. Specifically, we believe Reg A+ will see exponential growth within healthcare/Medtech companies.

 

Q: What impact do you think RegA+ can have on Medtech companies?

A: It is already having a huge impact. Companies are starting to jump in. In the last six months, I’ve personally gotten involved in supporting five Medtech companies that collectively raised over $200M. And it is just beginning – we are at a turning point, and the markets have a huge appetite for impact investment opportunities. This is a perfect setup for CEOs and founders that are running Medtech startups that are building solutions that can save a life or reduce suffering.

 

Q: What advice would you give a young Medtech entrepreneur as they begin their journey in capital raising and building their company?

A: Do your homework and see if a Regulation A+ capital raise path makes sense for you. Surround yourself with talented people that are committed to your vision. Stay positive and be willing to adjust as you go. 

 

KoreConX Partners With LSI Emerging Medtech Summit 2022


Medtech and Life Sciences main event will be held next March in California. KoreConX is one of the supporting sponsors.

KoreConX is pleased to announce its partnership with LSI Emerging Medtech Summit 2022, which will be held March 15-18, 2022, in Dana Point, California, USA. This is a major event managed by Life Science Intelligence (LSI) in the Medtech environment and will bring together investors, strategic partners, and experts within the Medtech, Life Sciences ecosystem.

Oscar A Jofre, Co-founder and CEO of KoreConX, highlights the importance of this partnership and event to the sector: “We at KoreConX are delighted to be part of this huge event focused on an industry that is flourishing like Medtech. This sector is critical to saving lives with its innovative solutions and healthcare impact. We are confident that this particular segment will reap the biggest benefits from Regulation A+, and we are honored to sponsor this summit. Also, we will be there in-person for the first time after two years, so we are more than excited to join LSI and our partners to be part of this.”

“A major current trend in the medtech industry is the democratization of capital through programs like Reg A+. We are embarking during a monumental time where we can finally achieve this grand goal and bring companies to market that have a fundamental impact in our lives,” says Scott Pantel, CEO of Life Science Intelligence.

This event will also feature the participation of an icon of the JOBS Act movement, David Weild IV, considered the “Father of the JOBS Act”. He will be giving a keynote address to stimulate and encourage everyone in this industry who wants to raise money using Regulation A+.

LSI is part of the Medtech ecosystem of KoreConX’s partners focused on Life Sciences companies. They are an essential part of this vertical, as they offer valuable insights to help investors and executives make decisions based on data provided by their team of market researchers, economists, and analysts.

LSI Emerging Medtech Summit 2022 will take place March 15-18, 2022, and attendees can participate in person or online. KoreConX will be represented by its Co-founder and CEO, Oscar A Jofre, its Chief Scientist & CTO, Dr. Kiran Garimella, and its CRO, Peter Daneyko. Visit their website for more information: https://www.lifesciencemarketresearch.com/medtech-summit-2022

About KoreConX

Founded in 2016, KoreConX is the first secure, all-in-one platform that manages private companies’ capital market activity and stakeholder communications. With an innovative approach and to ensure compliance with securities regulations and corporate law, KoreConX offers a single environment to connect companies to the capital markets and now secondary markets. Additionally, investors, broker-dealers, law firms, accountants and investor acquisition firms, all leverage our eco-system solution.

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Media Contacts:
KoreConX
Carolina Casimiro
carolina@koreconx.com

KorePartner Spotlight: Andrew Bull, Founding Partner Bull Blockchain Law  

With the recent launch of the KoreConX all-in-one platform, KoreConX is happy to feature the partners contributing to its ecosystem. 

 

During the capital raising journey, many components must be in place to increase the potential for success. One of these critical factors is ensuring that a capital raise meets regulatory compliance requirements. This means that having a knowledgeable securities lawyer on your team is vital to your capital raise.

 

Andrew Bull knows this as a founding partner of Bull Blockchain Law. He and the company assist investors and businesses by providing regulatory clarity across jurisdictions to ensure raises are compliant and efficient. Bull Blockchain Law is a blockchain and cryptocurrency law firm specializing in digital assets, broker-dealer services, FinTech, advising, and more, and is one of the few law firms entirely focused on this subject. 

 

Since discovering Bitcoin in 2011, Andrew has become an industry thought leader and ran one of the first cryptocurrency mining companies in the US. He began his firm in direct response to a lack of clarity around laws in the blockchain industry.

 

We took some time to speak with Andrew and learn more about himself, his firm, and his thoughts on cryptocurrency’s future.

 

Why did you become involved in this industry?

To provide legal clarity regarding the regulatory compliance requirements for accessing capital from all types of investors. The emerging world of Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency gives a new way to supply these things to the industry and assist a new style of investor.

 

What services does your company provide for RegA offerings?

Bull Blockchain Law provides legal guidance, document drafting, and regulatory filings to ensure our clients have the best possible chance to have their Reg A Offering approved by the SEC.

 

What are your unique areas of expertise?

Blockchain, tokenization of assets, NFTs, tokens, and any economic representation facilitated through digital issuances. My background in Blockchain includes extensive legal and academic experience, including running one of the first Cryptocurrency mining companies in the United States, which helps in the scope of legal expertise I can provide.

 

What excites you about this industry?

With the recent expansion of the fundraising thresholds in the U.S. and Canada, I’m excited to see the large influx of new projects access capital and provide more opportunities to retail investors.

 

How is a partnership with KoreConX the right fit for your company?

KoreConX leads the industry in practical compliant fundraising solutions. As a law firm, we emphasize compliance and regulatory compliant digital solutions that facilitate the most efficient path for our clients. Having this partnership undoubtedly benefits us as well as our clients.

Securities in Real Estate – A Beginner’s Guide!

This blog was originally written by our KorePartners at Crowdfunding Lawyers. View the original post here

 

Over the past few decades, real estate investing has seen a dramatic shift from individual private investors to syndications of commercial, multifamily and development projects. This has contributed to the substantial growth of the global real estate securities markets. This shift has been largely due to the increasing adoption of the modern real estate syndication structures amid growing investor demand for passive income.

Real estate developments and multifamily opportunities generally require enormous resources and large amounts of capital for acquisitions of and operations. Investors get excited for real estate investing when they expect above-stock-market returns through passive income investing. The passive income can come from rental operations and capital gains on sale. Such investments are generally securities, which are regulated by the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) and State securities regulators.

Private securities may take the form corporate shares, bonds, or futures/derivatives, and even promissory notes with private lenders may be categorized as securities. To make things even more confusing, some real estate investments are considered securities and others are not.

At a high level, the test for whether an investment contract is a security is referred to as the Howey Test and it considers whether the investment structure includes:

  • Investment of cash or assets
  • From a group (i.e., more than 1) of similar-interest passive investors
  • With an expectation of profits
  • From the efforts of others (e.g., management)

All securities are investments but not all investments are securities.

When should you care?

The starting point for analyzing whether securities law governs an investment real estate transaction is applying the “economic realities” test originally described by the US Supreme Court in the 1936 case SEC v. W.J. Howey. To apply this test, summarized above, it is important to consider if multiple people will put resources into a venture with an assumption that benefit will be procured through the efforts of another person.

Since a joint land venture might have different levels of investors, lenders, and stake holders, the Howey Test should be applied independently for each stake holder. As an example, there may be a first lien lender, a second position lien lender at materially different interest terms, a preferred investor that receives a designated rate of return, and common investors that receive the profit.

In the example above, the lenders would not be investing in securities because there is no commonality between them. It’s a similar evaluation of the preferred investor, assuming there is only one. Common investors expecting to receive profit would be purchasing securities and the sponsor would be responsible for complying with securities regulations (e.g., qualifying for an exemption from registration yet) for this group.

However, we can tweak one variable and each transaction can be considered a separate securities transaction. If there are multiple lenders sharing the same position loan or multiple preferred investors, then those are separate securities transactions similar to the common interest investors.

Let’s give illustration of how a single transaction may actually be BOTH a securities transaction and a non-securities investment. Let’s use an example of private loan for the acquisition of real estate. If it is a single source loan (one lender on note), the receipt of loan proceeds by the property owner would not be construed as a securities transaction. However, if the lender pooled together funds from multiple private lenders or investors for the purposes of making the loan, then the pooling of funds would still be considered a securities transaction. The property owner would have no obligations to maintain the securities exemption but the lender who is pooling investors would.

To put it in layman’s terms, whether a real estate venture is a regulated security depends on whether the investors depend on another’s efforts to earn a return. Unfortunately, since the application of the Howey Test actually depends on numerous guidelines and regulatory interpretations, court decisions frequently neglect to offer significant guidance. Likewise, the SEC will issue “no action letters,” which is the SEC’s response when asked for guidance on whether they would take action given a set of circumstances. There are thousands of these letters to consider, but they are also very fact-dependent, and therefore don’t always provide as clear a beacon as we would like.

This leaves the investment sponsor with few alternatives:

  • Hope they don’t get caught and accept investments without guidance
  • Hire an experienced securities attorney (e.g., Crowdfunding Lawyers) to evaluate and assist in the development of the investment program

Difference between a non-securities real estate transaction and a securities offering 

Real estate investments are often not securities when evaluated under the Howey Test for a variety of reasons.

Owners of a condo association are not purchasing securities although each member may have a similar passive interest in the building. Condo association members are generally expecting to reside at the property or rent out their portion rather than seeking profit from the activities of the leaders of the association.

The acquisition of rental properties is generally not a security when acquired by an individual since there is not commonality with other investors. However, if two or more investors acquire the property together, they may be purchasing a security if pooling their money to be managed by someone else.

When it comes to multifamily acquisitions, most often there are securities being offered to a multitude of qualified investors on similar terms, with the investment being managed by the investment’s sponsor. These syndications are securities and require either securities registration or exemption from registration under the appropriate securities exemption. Regulation D of the Securities Act of 1933 is the most commonly relied upon securities registration exemption but there are other exemptions from registration that should be considered when developing a capitalization plan.

Another common securities structure includes tenants in common (TIC) investment opportunities, which are often promoted in connection with 1031 tax-deferred exchanges. A straight-forward analysis of TIC investments includes: direct property owners with a non-divisible interest in a property along with other owners, a manager responsible for daily operations, and a TIC agreement binding the property owners’ activities to certain voting approvals.

Many people ask if having an investment opportunity with fewer than 35, 10, 5, or even 2 individuals is not a security. However, there is no specific number of financial backers that disqualify an investment from being a security as long as all prongs of the Howey Test are met. Even a solitary piece of venture property, deeded to two individuals, can be categorized as a securities offering if the conditions bring it inside the applicable lawful definitions under government or state law.

Compliance, Avoidance and Hope

Although conforming to securities requirements has become simpler and there has been a recent broadening of exemptions available to securities issuers, it continues to be a highly technical area of the law. Some investment sponsors seek to avoid securities requirements by giving every investor critical autonomy and control. In some cases of joint ventures, franchises, or general partnerships which generally require active participation and unlimited liability to the investors. There are some reliable strategies to structure an opportunity so that it is not a security, but a cost/benefit analysis is important to determine if, as an investor or promoter, the benefits are worth the risks.

When an offering structure is within the gray area between security and non-security, regulatory agencies can and often will step in with an investigation or audit to ensure compliance. Hence, investment offerings designed to avoid securities requirements by shifting independence and control to investors may undermine the project’s success and create unnecessary scrutiny for the participants.