Showing 39 posts in Venture Capital/Funding.
A drink cooler that doubles as a blender and stereo system. A card game called “Exploding Kittens” for “people who are into kittens and explosions and laser beams and sometimes goats.” A motion picture starring Kristen Bell. These are a few of the inventions and initiatives that have received the most funding on Kickstarter, the popular crowdfunding site.
Kickstarter is an online platform that allows project creators to seek financial backing. If people like a project, they can pledge money to make it happen. Funding on Kickstarter is all-or-nothing - a project must meet its funding goal to receive any money at all.
I have previously written about the tax implications of Kickstarter campaigns here.
While there’s always a risk that a project won’t make it from concept to completion, most backers have an expectation that their monetary pledge will be used in good faith and for its intended purpose. Read More ›
You’ve likely heard of Bitcoin, the virtual currency that has made headlines over the last couple of years for its increasing popularity and wild swings in value. However, you may not have taken notice of other, lesser-known virtual currencies being developed by startup technology companies. But the U.S. Department of Treasury is watching closely.
Ripple Labs, which manages its own cryptocurrency called XRP, and which has raised over $34 million in venture capital from investors, was recently slapped with a first-of-its-kind $700,000 penalty by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). The fine comes as a result of a settlement with FinCEN and stems from violations of regulations under the Bank Secrecy Act and for failure to register with FinCEN despite operating a money service business. The company is also being penalized for not implementing an anti-money laundering program. Read More ›
Categories: News & Events, Venture Capital/Funding
What is crowdfunding? Is it legal? Learn the response to these questions and much more in this short video clip:
Categories: Crowdfunding, Venture Capital/Funding
The term “offer” is broadly defined under the securities laws as "every attempt or offer to dispose of, or solicitation of an offer to buy . . . for value." An offer, even without completion of the sale of securities, can run afoul of the securities laws.
An interesting case from 2011 punctuates this point and demonstrates the risks of unknowingly violating securities laws. Two advertising executives hatched an innovative, although imprudent, plan to purchase Pabst Brewing Company by offering to sell shares on Facebook and Twitter to cover the $300 million cost of the transaction. The campaign, which may have begun as simply a publicity stunt, was wildly successful, attracting five million pledging $200 million. A bit too successful, it turns out.
The SEC soon took notice and halted the campaign via a Cease and Desist Order due to a violation of securities laws by the ad men. They failed to register the public offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and could not meet an exemption. A settlement was reached and the men, who never actually collected any money, paid a fine and agreed to stop selling shares to the public.
The SEC, which has an entire enforcement unit devoted to Internet surveillance, is paying increasing attention to online activity. By law, public offerings - online or otherwise - must be registered with the SEC or meet an applicable exemption before promoters begin to offer or sell shares. Read More ›
On October 22, 2014, Governor Snyder signed Public Act 355 of 2014 into law. The cardinal rule of securities laws is that a person cannot sell a security unless the security is: (A) registered, or (B) exempt from registration. Public Act 355 creates a new exemption for secondary sales facilitated by a Michigan Investment Market. Read More ›
Since the passing of the Crowdfunding Act in December 2013, many questions concerning the applicability of the law have surfaced. This past month, the Michigan Municipal League launched CrowdfundingMI.com, a website pertaining to crowdfunding in Michigan. It is an excellent resource intended to answer basic questions and importantly, aimed to help local businesses connect with investors. The website provides general information, along with frequently asked questions, and tutorials regarding the benefits of crowdfunding Read More ›
This post will discuss the definition of an “accredited investor.” The distinction between accredited and non-accredited investors is important. Non-accredited investors cannot invest more than $10,000 under Michigan’s new intrastate crowdfunding exemption. Accredited investors, on the other hand, are not subject to the $10,000 investment cap. Read More ›
Part 1 of this series discussed the 12 basic requirements that must be met to utilize Michigan’s new intrastate crowdfunding exemption.
This post will take a deeper look at Requirement 2. As noted in Part 1, Requirement 2 states that the offer must meet the requirements for the federal exemption for intrastate offerings under Section 3(a)(11) of the Securities Act of 1933 (the “1933 Act”). Read More ›
Note: This post is Part 1 of a multi-part series regarding Michigan's new crowdfunding law
It's official, crowdfunding is legal in Michigan. So, what does that mean for your business? Let's start with the basics.
Federal and state law prohibit a business from selling a security unless: (A) the security is registered with the SEC, or (B) an exemption from registration is applicable. Registration is expensive, so nearly all businesses try to satisfy an exemption from registration. Historical exemptions have made it difficult for businesses to receive investment from "non-accredited" investors and flat out prohibit "general solicitation" (i.e., public advertising of the investment, including advertising on the Internet). Those historical difficulties, however, have recently been eased. Read More ›
Posting of Issuer Disclosures. In prior blog posts, we described the disclosure obligations imposed on the issuer (the company that is raising capital) under the SEC's proposed crowdfunding regulations. (Read: The SEC Crowdfunding Proposed Regulations: Overview of Offering Statement & Non-Financial Disclosure Requirements and The SEC Crowdfunding Proposed Regulations: Overview of Issuer Financial & Disclosure Requirements). The proposed regulations impose certain requirements on the funding portal to make sure that these issuer disclosure obligations are met. Specifically: Read More ›