I’m sure you have all seen this picture before. In case you’re not familiar, no… this is not the Venovate team. This was the Microsoft team back in 1978, with founders Bill Gates (bottom left) and Paul Allen (bottom right).
What made this picture funny and viral was the question attached to it. The question read: “Would you have invested?” Fast forward to 2014, the more appropriate question for this iconic picture is: “Could you have invested?” COULD instead of WOULD, and the answer was no, you could not.
Until 2012, it simply wasn’t legal, unless you knew this team and were somehow connected to them. This was due to an SEC ban on general solicitation for private investment opportunities.
Inspired by the Microsoft 1978 story, we thought it would be fun to recreate that picture for the Venovate 2014 team. Here we are.
Now, let’s take a closer look at at these two pictures and zoom in on some key differences about the circumstances of both companies. For starters, and in all modesty, the Microsoft 1978 team overshadows most startup teams that came before or after them.
Having said that, there are three key reasons why investors and fundraisers historically have been unable to effectively connect:
- The first is access to opportunities
- The second is transparent information
- The third is an efficient transaction process
With the introduction of Venovate Marketplace, we are addressing all three of them. Venovate took advantage of the 2012 JOBS Act and we have built the first truly transparent and efficient marketplace that brings together accredited investors with alternative investment opportunities.
Let’s talk about our first benefit: access.
We offer investors a wide variety of opportunities. On our platform you can find a range of private companies, raising a Series A or B round for example. In addition, we just started the due diligence on JBH Consulting, a fund management firm raising several millions for their natural resources funds in Kansas. And we already completed that same review process for Stallion Capital Management, a fund management firm raising $25 million for their real estate fund in Austin, Texas. Their fund is now live on our platform.
With that variety of opportunities, we are a one-stop-shop for alternatives. Meaning that there is no need for investors to join multiple platforms.
And on the other side of the market, for fundraisers, Venovate Marketplace offers access to a large pool of investors. They partly came from our strategic partners who bring to the table over 330,000 investor accounts with over $17B in assets. These investors have invested in private securities before. They are accredited investors, and they are experienced investors.
Now let’s dive into our second benefit: transparency.
Traditionally, information has been sparse and inconsistent from opportunity to opportunity. Our platform offers a largely standardized format for defining and presenting opportunities. Making them easier to review and compare. Also, as a FINRA broker dealer we do due diligence on every opportunity we list – and present the findings in a report for all potential investors to review.
Transparency is also key when it comes to investor accreditation. We verify that investors meet the accreditation criteria, so fundraisers know they’re dealing with people who can follow through on their commitment to invest. We check directly with the IRS for instance, to make sure the investors meet the minimum income requirement. Or, we verify the investors’ net worth with their financial institutions. If an investor is not approved, we restrict their access to opportunity details. More transparency for fundraisers = less noise.
And then the third benefit we mentioned: an efficient transaction process.
The transaction process usually takes a long time for fundraisers, and can be very messy. We believe our platform can cut that down from 10 months to 10 weeks. How? We facilitate the transaction process to take place online, from start to finish – and even beyond. Following the initial commitment, we are organizing as much as possible online, through e-docs and e-signatures. And even a fully integrated banking backend with escrow accounts that collect and disburse the monies committed by investors.
And think of this from the perspective of the investor: electronic issuance of shares, and an investor relations area, for ongoing updates on progress. Online, all in one place.
In summary, Venovate Marketplace delivers three clear benefits: access, transparency, and efficiency. So, if you are an accredited investor, financial advisor, fund manager, or private company –Venovate Marketplace is for you.
And perhaps one day, you too can share the story with your friends and family that you did invest in the next billion dollar idea, right here on Venovate Marketplace. Specifically, I am pleased to announce that you can now invest in us, Venovate, right here on our own platform.
How’s that for a general solicitation?