Recently, I helped my company Cartogram list an investment offering on a public funding site – Flash Funders.
One should understand the difference between crowd funding and 506(c). A 506 (c) offering is open to only accredited investors and it’s the responsibility of the manager of the offering to verify accredited status of investors. The nice thing about this offering is that Flash Funders will pool any investments less than the minimum in a LLC, so the entrepreneur does not have the daunting prospect of having to manage a big investor pool. Model is similar to an Angellist syndicate, but the key difference is that companies can list themselves, rather than needing an investor to syndicate. This is different from crowd funding sites like Kickstarter or Indiegogo as those entities don’t deal with equity and one does not have to be accredited investor to invest in Kickstarter or IndieGogo.
We found the Flash Funders tools very good and their team was quite responsive to us. They reviewed our documents thoroughly and pointed out a few gaps that we were able to fix easily. Going through the exercise itself has been very useful for Cartogram – especially in how much to reveal to a public audience and how to structure the presentation so it’s effective when just browsed. Sensitive information can be left out and provided to a prospective investor during due diligence.
We are in this era of greater access for entrepreneurs to fund their companies now. I listened to Naval Ravikant in a recent Tim Ferris podcast and he had some interesting things to say. His observation is that the communication and information revolution is breaking down the validity of the company as an organizational entity. Somehow, I believe that to truly build great things, the company structure is vital. How does one create a bold mission and attract people to that mission if everyone is just working virtually or free lancing? I am unable to fathom that, but who knows what the future holds.