October 23rd, 2014 by: Grow VC Group

Today Crowd Valley publishes Crowdfunding Market Report for Q3 2014, unveiling the latest trends of this fast-growing industry, as observed by the company during the last quarter.

Since the start of 2014, the international crowdfunding market kept developing fast, with new actors moving the first steps into the arena and many policymakers inserting the topic in their agendas.

In particular, in the third quarter of 2014, regulatory changes allowing online investments through crowdfunding portals have been taking place in Malaysia and in many US states. Peer to peer lending has been reaching new milestones with one of the biggest US players preparing for the IPO and the UK regulator officially recognizing it as an alternative finance source for SMEs to which bank loans are denied.

Read the whole article and download the report on Crowd Valley site.

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October 22nd, 2014 by: Grow VC Group

After the US and Europe, crowdinvesting is slowly developing in Asia as well. Most of the activity is concentrated around equity crowdfunding, with Malaysia’s new crowdfunding regulations and Japan’s crowdfunding bill, allowing companies to raise equity capital through crowdfunding portals. However, little is known about peer-to-peer lending in the area, which in Western countries is instead showing great potential.

As reported in a recent article on Crowd Valley’s blog, China has a large market for peer-to-peer lending, which after a rapid growth is currently encountering some difficulties mainly due to a loss of faith by lenders, a liquidity squeeze enacted by the Central Bank at the end of last year and also an intense market competition. However, according to a Chinese crowdfunding expert we interviewed, a good set of regulations for P2P lending would probably help this market to recover and establish itself as a valid source of capital in the area. A few P2P platforms are also operating in Japan, with the first one having started its activity back in 2007.

Read the whole article on Crowd Valley Blog.


October 21st, 2014 by: Grow VC Group

A historic shift is taking place in the world economy: record numbers of small and mid-size companies, microenterprises, and garage entrepreneurs are going global. Before content to sell in the giant U.S. market, now even the smallest American businesses are courting overseas shoppers. One attractive target is middle classes in emerging markets, a $30 trillion market by 2025. Aiding these globalizing companies are disruptive technologies such as digitization of products, 3D printing, Bitcoin, and ecommerce, all of which are shrinking costs for small businesses to do cross-border business.

Today’s exporters are smaller and younger than ever. Many are “born global” companies that internationalize very early in their life cycles, and sell in many markets all over the world. The shrinking of exporters is most intuitive in consumer products sold online: 97 percent of U.S. eBay sellers, most of which are micro and small businesses, also export, to an average of 28 markets – a stark contrast to the traditional pattern where 1 percent of American companies export on average to 1-2 markets. Exporters are small also in such sectors as IT, biotech, and cleantech, where U.S. technologies can be even better suited for emerging markets than they are for the U.S. market. One of countless examples is Sunsaluter that provides energy off-grid for underdeveloped markets, devised by a 21-year Princeton grad Eden Full. But also smaller “heartland” companies in manufacturing, food and beverage, and financial services, among others, have realized that overseas markets are often great fits for what they have to offer.

But problems loom. The export infrastructure writ large, from complex customs procedures to high fixed costs of international transactions and benefits of shipping large volumes in bulk, is created for the traditional engines of U.S exports, giant corporations.

Finance is a particular pain point. Exporting is a capital-intensive endeavor. Globalizing companies need substantially more money than the domestic companies, to cover the many up-front costs associated with going global, such as creating overseas distributor networks and rejiggering products to meet foreign standards. The costs of each transaction also grow in the international context: there are higher shipping, logistics, and trade compliance costs. Companies need quick access to working capital when needing to fulfill large international orders. And toughest of all is to secure growth capital to expand a company’s sales force and production capacity to serve the global buyer.

What’s in it for investors? As we laid out in our previous blog, access to globalizing companies, a high-growth, outperforming asset class with global growth prospects and mitigated downside. International upside at U.S. risk. With equity to exporters, everyone wins.

Read the whole article on TradeUp Blog.


October 20th, 2014 by: Grow VC Group

The post is written by Paul Higgins, COO of Crowd Valley Inc.

Last week on October 9th I took part in a roundtable discussion panel on Alternative Financing at the Invest in Photonics event in Bordeaux, France. The event is the primary European conference looking at investment across the photonics industry including applications in environment and energy efficiency, life sciences, consumer electronics, aerospace and transport, 3D printing and advanced manufacturing. I was joined by a sector-specialist serial entrepreneur and angel investor, a partner at a VC firm, B-to-V, with a focus on photonics, and a director of the French growth-stage SME stock exchange, Alternativa.

Previous panels represented both companies looking to raise capital and investors, including Venture Capital and corporate R&D funds. Both sides of the capital raising equation made the process in Europe sound challenging. The role of a photonics company’s CEO is now, according to several panelists, a full-time fundraiser. Meanwhile, the number of specialist funds in this area is decreasing and there was little evidence to suggest that Private Equity or larger development funds would support by taking an interest at lower fundraising levels. The average funding goal for the twenty photonics companies pitching at the event was €2.5m.

Read the whole post on Crowd Valley Blog.

Photonics Industry Conference.

Photonics Industry Conference.

October 14th, 2014 by: Grow VC Group

One year has passed since the SEC released Title II, which removed the ban on general solicitation and general advertising for private issuers. Since then the entire US crowdfunding sector has been waiting the famous Title III, which would eventually allow also non accredited investors to invest through equity crowdfunding portals. Nevertheless, even though Title III is still missing, the US market of equity crowdfunding has been flourishing with interesting numbers.

As reported in the last Crowd Valley Market Report, the most diffused asset class among the US securities crowdfunding portals is private companies. During this year, since the release of Tite II, an estimated total of 534 out of 3,361 private companies successfully hit their equity crowdfunding target, collecting all together $217.7 million equity capital, which averages $407,685 per company. Not a bad start, especially considering that this sum comes only from accredited investors and that it is estimated that only a minority of the existing 9 million US professional investor signed up on equity crowdfunding portals. Most of the equity crowdfunding activity (both raising capital and investing ) is done in California, New York, Florida, Texas and Illinois.

Read the whole article on Crowd Valley Blog.


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