Crowdfunding Is Just Beginning

By Mark Roderick CrowdFunding Beat  Sr. contributing editor and crowdfunding attorney with Flaster/Greenberg PC.

For those of us who work in the Crowdfunding space, it can seem as if we’ve covered a lot of ground since April 5, 2012, the day President Obama signed the JOBS Act into law. At a conference in New York earlier this year, a panelist actually referred to Crowdfunding as a “mature” industry.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Crowdfunding is actually just beginning.

A couple weeks ago I received a promotional email from OurCrowd. Founded by Jon Medved, one of the most successful venture capitalists in the world, OurCrowd has developed into the most successful Crowdfunding portal in the world outside the real estate industry. Unlike most angel investors and venture capitalists, Jon understood that Crowdfunding is nothing more or less than the Internet disrupting the capital formation industry – his industry. Rather than resist the disruption, he built the most successful disrupter.

The email recites the impressive number of successful exits and IPOs of companies financed through OurCrowd (remember when Jon’s fellow VCs were claiming that a Crowdfunded company could never attract more financing?), and boasts that OurCrowd has signed up 15,000 investors. That’s a number many Crowdfunding portals would envy, for sure. On the other hand, it represents a market penetration of less than 0.2% among the roughly 8.5 million accredited investors in the United States, and a market penetration of less than 0.02% among the total population of U.S. investors, accredited and non-accredited. And that’s for the most successful non-real estate site in the market.

That’s not a mature industry, folks. By way of comparison to an industry that really is mature, I would say the Crowdfunding industry is about where the automotive industry was in 1912, when a few early adapters were driving these crazy machines with four wheels while their more respectable neighbors were driving proper horse-drawn carriages.

Today, everything about the automotive industry seems obvious, pre-ordained. But here are some of the things we didn’t know in 1912:

  • Whether consumers would use automobiles
  • How they would use them
  • How much they would pay for them
  • Who would make automobiles and their many parts
  • Who would distribute them
  • How automobiles would be regulated
  • Who would make money, and how
  • How automobiles would work
  • Whether the automobile market would segment
  • How it would segment
  • Who would build the automobile infrastructure
  • That a person with an orange wig would someday run for President

If you’re already in the Crowdfunding industry trying to make a living, realizing how little we know can feel disconcerting, even alarming. But try thinking of it this way: 98% of the innovation is yet come, almost all of the opportunities remain unexplored, the disruption of OurCrowd and others will be multiplied a thousand times.

One of the most influential essays of American history was Frederick Jackson Turner’s The Closing of the American Frontier, written in 1893, shortly after the Western frontier was declared closed by the U.S. census. Turner argued persuasively that the idea of a frontier had been central to the American national identify up until that time, and speculated how the national identify might change with the end of the idea.

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Markley S. Roderick concentrates his practice on the representation of entrepreneurs and their businesses. He represents companies across a wide range of industries, including technology, real estate, and healthcare.

 

 

 

 

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HEADLINE NEWS

Telegraph.co.ukCity regulator to crack down on crowdfundingThe GuardianIt took over regulation of crowdfunding in April 2014 and its proposed changes stem from a review of rules that it announced in July. The government has encouraged the growth of the sector, particularly peer-to-pee [...]

Entrepreneur3 Trends That Will Shape Crowdfunding in 2017 - EntrepreneurEntrepreneurThe market is evolving, and so are the products that help drive it. Consumers and backers alike are on the lookout for customizable solutions to everyday ...and more » [...]

Crowd-funding campaign to save fire-damaged historic Anglican school in MadagascarEpiscopal News Service[Anglican Communion News Service] An Anglican college in Madagascar is facing closure unless a crowdfunding campaign can help it break a decade-long “vicious cycle” of decline cause [...]

VentureBeatHow crowdfunding will transform inner citiesVentureBeatIt's been only six months since Regulation Crowdfunding was legalized, and it's already proving to be highly successful funding source for new businesses. 50 percent of companies that have closed on their fina [...]

International Business Times UKTop 5 failed crowdfunding campaigns: The biggest scams and shams from Kickstarter and IndiegogoInternational Business Times UKTop five crowdfunding fails: From James Bond gadgets to anti-gravity shoes. Backers beware: Crowdfunding projects don't alw [...]

Cycling WeeklyHerne Hill Velodrome launches 'The Big Finish' crowdfunding campaignCycling WeeklyThe Friends of Herne Hill Velodrome have started a crowdfunding campaign to raise the money needed to fit-out the venue's new pavilion. The group hopes to gain £75,000 in ple [...]

ForbesThree Tips For Chinese Startups Launching In The U.S. Market Via CrowdfundingForbesEntering international markets has always been challenging, but some Asia-based companies have a found a surprising new strategy: crowdfunding. Three of the largest crowdfunding campaigns this sum [...]

Crowdfund InsiderSo You Want to Equity Crowdfund: A No-B.S. Guide to Crowdfunding Your BusinessCrowdfund Insider“With Regulation Crowdfunding, you're now asking your core customers, audience members, users—people who believe in your idea—to fund you. But, instead of just getting [...]

Spectator.co.uk (blog)Buy-to-let, food prices, crowdfunding and pensionsSpectator.co.uk (blog)In the year that the Government increased stamp duty by 3 per cent for landlords, research by the estate agency Haart shows that the number of properties sold to buy-to-let investors dropped [...]

Every Accountant Should Know About CrowdfundingAccountingweb.com (blog)As an accountant it is very important that you should be knowledgeable about crowdfunding. Crowdfunding is one of the best ways for a business to get the capital they need in quick time. Usually in crowdfunding, a [...]

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