This week the final rules for the highly anticipated Title IV of the JOBS Act, Regulation A+, went into effect allowing small and medium-sized businesses (SMB’s) to raise up to $50 million with reduced state level filing requirements. While there is a buzz of excitement in the markets over these anticipated rules, there is also a great deal of work that will need to be done in order for businesses to fully capitalize on a Reg A+ offering.
As anyone who has ever traded on Over the Counter (OTC) markets likely knows from experience, just because you list it, investors will not necessarily follow. One of the most beneficial provisions of Reg A+ offerings is Rule 255, the “testing the waters” provision, which allows those executing a Tier 2 offering to preempt state-level registration and qualification requirements to determine interest before the offering has been filed. The testing the waters provision allows preliminary communication with little restriction using the Internet, social media, and other means of widespread communication. This is great news for companies eager to explore interest in the market, but does not take away the need for pre-offering preparation before going to investors.
In an Ernst and Young survey, almost all of investors (90 percent) reported management credibility and experience as the most important non-financial factor when gauging IPO success. Other top non-financial reasons for investment included corporate strategy and execution (73%), brand strength and market position (59%), and how innovative the company was (35%). While many companies have innovative, experienced management teams, they have not done a great job in painting their story to create a solid digital presence that validates what investors are looking for.
The right public relations strategy can tell a story that builds the brand, highlights the experience of the management team, demonstrates innovation, and often has the added benefit of drawing new customers and increasing sales. Sophisticated and unsophisticated investors alike, confronted with a broad array of investment opportunities, lean toward those where the potential is the most evident. While securing press coverage and reaching analysts for a private or smaller public company is challenging without a household name, there are steps that companies can take to increase their presence in the market.
For additional information on steps that companies can take to successfully prepare for their Regulation A+ offering Leverage PR has released a “white paper titled “Preparing for a Regulation A+ Offering,” which features insights from leading communications and industry experts to help companies prepare to launch their Regulation A+ offerings.
Joy Schoffler is the founder and principal of Leverage PR and a nationally recognized author and speaker in the field of innovative financial services marketing and communications. Leverage PR is a full-service integrated communications firm delivering strategic planning, media relations and communications strategies that help our clients meet their business objectives. As an active leader within the finance and technology communities, Joy sits on the boards of SXSW V2V and the Crowdfund Intermediary Regulatory Advocates (CfIRA), and also serves as a mentor for the Yodlee Interactive fin-tech incubator.