In today’s changing climate, equity crowdfunding has activated an entirely different market compared with traditional investing. Instead of having to trade through a broker, people can now use Federally-regulated online portals such as truCrowd.com, to begin their investing experience. This means that an entirely new set of Americans can own equity in early stage startups, any of which could become the next ‘unicorn’. Before Title III of the JOBS Act came into effect in 2016 (for equity crowdfunding), only accredited investors had the ability to invest in early-stage business opportunities; leaving 99% of the American population – including a majority of accredited people who were not rich/connected enough to gain access – without the opportunity to invest in the Ubers of the world. Now that model has completely changed.
On the flipside, equity crowdfunding offers entrepreneurs an easier, low-cost way to raise money, without having to jump through hoops of fire for predatory venture capitalists motivated to keep valuations low. Equity crowdfunding is the overlapping center of a Venn diagram, which includes investors, money and startups. This ecosystem tends to fund ideas that aren’t always revolutionary, but tend to not fit the narrow VC model.
Equity crowdfunding is creatively changing the world around us by funding ideas that VCs won’t:
FoldiMate is a California startup that’s created a robotic laundry folder. This robot “folds most types of shirts, blouses, or pants from age 6 to adult size XXL, as well as standard size towels and pillowcases. It quickly and easily folds clothes into neat piles, ready to put away in just a few minutes.” Sounds pretty cool since most of us hate folding laundry!
The green rush is lucrative, which is why many investors have been stampeding to invest in the early days of the industry… ‘if’ they can get in. Companies like Harvest, Inc. were quickly moving to Canadian exchanges. But with equity crowdfunding portals like Fundanna.com, both cannabis entrepreneurs wanting to stay ‘USA’ and those everyday people looking for the opportunity to invest in early-stage cannabis companies like OrgHarvest, can do so.
Carbon emissions are a global concern and one UK-based manufacturer, PALLITE, is taking the bull by the horns. Over 80% of their product line is “made from recycled paper and unlike traditional wooden and plastic pallets”, all products are 100% recyclable at the end of their life. Since they’re UK-based, Americans can’t invest, but that didn’t stop PALLITE from securing a large amount of funding in their first week. They deserve a shout for that; not to mention that PALLITE is saving the environment for future generations! Just as important – in the context of equity crowdfunding – is that PALLITE is showcased as an example of what’s possible when funding is spread around to the masses.By Kirsten Campbell