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股权众筹前应当准备些什么?

股权众筹正在逐渐成为一种常规众筹方式。由于这种方式可以接触到全球范围的广大客户,许多初创企业都开始将股权众筹作为股权融资的一个备选项。不过,作为一个技术平台初创项目,在开启股权众筹前,你需要做如下一系列考虑,才能确保最大可能地获得成功。

了解大环境——你的公司适合用股权众筹来融资吗?

开始准备股权众筹时,你要先确定你的公司是否适合通过股权众筹募资,这一点很重要。除此以外,你还要决定到底是使用债券融资还是股权融资。股权众筹最适合那些有着广大社会基础的公司。因为股权众筹的猛烈势头得到了移动技术界与社会媒体的大量支持,而这些社会媒体能够接触到大量的资金来源,所以得到足够的媒体曝光率与支持对于公司进行股权众筹是很重要的。如果你目前还没有这些的话,那可能你还不足以进行一次成功的融资。

做好准备,让你的企业提供股份并接受外部的股东

采用股权众筹融资的初创企业要进行完全信息披露。这意味着公司需要提供财务报告以供会计人员审核。除此以外,在发放股份之前,公司还需要制作一份招股说明书,其中涵盖投资公司的额外细节与包含的风险。

招股说明书以及其他披露材料的要求会因股权众筹发生的行政地域不同而有所区别。所以务必要对科技初创企业招股地区的法律环境有所了解,因为这将会影响到需要披露的细节程度。

根据美国《JOBS法案》第四条,初创企业可以采用两种等级的融资:一级与二级。

在一级融资中,公司至多可以筹集两千万美元的资金,并且必须接受证券交易委员会与州蓝天法的审查。换句话说,在国家一级上,初创企业必须接受证交会的审查;而在州一级,企业还要接受招股所在州的监管机构审查。在一级融资中,公司的财务情况不需要接受审计。

不过在二级融资中,情况就相反了。公司需要接受证券交易委员会的审查但不受州蓝天法监管。二级融资的企业至多可以募集五千万美元的资金。二级融资的企业需要雇佣一个注册登记人,并且财务状况必须接受审计。

一旦你的初创企业满足了你所采用融资方式所需要的信息披露与招股说明书的要求之后,下一步就是雇佣一个证券律师来起草一份股东合同。这份合同将列出你的初创企业与外部股东之间将存在的关系。

专注于合理界定的目标市场

能有效联结目标市场的公司更有可能通过股权众筹平台获取成功。由于传统的天使投资模式具有高度集中性,不少被目标受众予以高度期待的产品因为天使投资人不了解其潜在需求而难以获得资金。

这一现象可以从Oculus Rift吸引认证投资者投资的失败中窥知一二。这些鉴定合格的投资人之所以对Oculus Rift态度冷淡,是由于没有可靠信息证实它的市场需求。当Oculus Rift项目在Kickstarter上启动后,许多想体验虚拟现实的季度玩家立即认同这家公司的视野和展望,最后共有9522名支持者承诺投资2437429美元去实现这个产品。正是这些技术迷推动了一项项重要的技术创新,即使其他投资人看不到对这些技术的需求。众筹为产品集资开启了一扇门——基于目标市场估值获取投资。如果科技公司开展的众筹活动能成功向目标受众传递出产品价值高的信号,就有更大的可能性从目标受众那里获得资金。

制定强势社交媒体推广策略,制作高品质宣传视频

借助脸书、推特、领英等大量社交媒体平台,你可以触及到成百上千来自世界各地的用户。社交媒体市场策略的另一优势是使用免费。虽然在一些情况下使用付费广告是有意义的,但不妨同时采取某种社交媒体策略去吸引更多目标受众。

你需要通过社交媒体清晰生动地讲述企业故事,因为大部分潜在投资人也许永远没有机会亲自看到你的产品,他们只是在网上展开调查,然后决定是否往你的新项目里投钱。因此,对你而言很重要的一项能力就是证明你所推出的产品的价值且获得投资人的关注以在股权众筹环境下获得成功。

对技术初创企业而言,一个简约且蕴含价值的产品介绍视频是很重要的。因为大多数人都不明白产品的复杂机理,所以最好能够展现你产品的实用性,并关注与你的产品如何为投资者带来价值,这样潜在的投资者就更有可能接纳你的产品,并因此成为你初创企业的投资人。

让你现有的投资人参与新的融资过程,以“计划与准备”你的融资

股权众筹的关键是势头——如果你计划准备得当,你可以让你目前的所有股东、顾客与合伙人都参与进融资来。对于你的公司而言,关键是在开始众筹前获得至少30%的融资额,以此在人群中获得支持的态势。在众筹开始后黄金规则并没有改变,并且众筹会督促该公司密切关注,以确保公司在通往成功的战略之中蕴含这些法则。

Equity crowdfunding has been gaining momentum as regulated crowdfunding. With its ability to reach a large global audience, many start-up companies are beginning to turn to equity crowdfunding as an alternative to other private equity models. Before launching your tech start-up on a technology-based platform, however, there are a series of steps that you should go through to ensure the highest probability of success.

Understand the Environment – Is Equity Crowdfunding the Right way to Raise Capital for your Company?

Before focusing your company’s equity efforts towards crowdfunding, it’s important to make sure your company is a fit with raising capital through an equity crowdfunding platform. Additionally, you’ll need to decide on the offering type of either equity or debt you want to use to raise capital.

Equity crowdfunding is best suited to companies with a strong social following. As equity crowdfunding’s momentum has been highly supported by advances in mobile technology and social media that make access to funding portals highly ubiquitous, it’s paramount that your company have a large social media presence and following. If you don’t yet have that, then you might not be ready yet for a successful campaign.

Prepare your Start-up to Offer Shares and Gain Outside Shareholders

Start-ups using equity crowdfunding portals are subject to full disclosure. This means that firms must provide financial statements that are reviewed by accountants. In addition to providing financial statements, companies issuing securities are required to file a form known as a prospectus, which outlines additional details of the investment and its associated risk.

The prospectus and other disclosure requirements vary depending on the jurisdiction where equity crowdfunding is taking place. It’s important to understand the legal environment where your tech start-up intends on issuing shares, as it will affect the level of disclosure you must provide.

Under Title IV of the JOBS Act in the United States, start-ups can raise equity under two Tiers: Tier 1 and Tier 2.

Under Tier 1, companies can raise up to $20 million and are subject to SEC review and State Blue Sky law review. In other words, start-ups must be reviewed by the SEC at the national level, as well as by the regulatory bodies of each state they intend to issue shares in. Under Tier 1, companies do not have to have their financial statements audited.

Under Tier 2 however, the opposite holds true; companies require SEC review but are not subject to State Blue Sky law review. Companies under Tier 2 are allowed to issue up to $50 million. Start-ups issuing under Tier 2 are required to use a transfer agent, and must have their financial statements audited.

Once your start-up has met the disclosure and prospectus requirements under the jurisdiction you intend on issuing shares under, the next step is to hire a securities lawyer to draft a proper shareholders’ agreement. This agreement will outline the relationship that will exist between your start-up and external shareholders.

Focus your Efforts on a Properly Defined Target Audience

Companies that can effectively connect with their target market will likely realize success on equity crowdfunding platforms. Because traditional angel investing is highly centralized, many products that are highly desired by their target audience aren’t funded, since angel investors don’t understand the hidden demand for them.

For example, Oculus Rift failed to receive funding from accredited investors; these investors were disinterested because of a lack of proven demand. When Oculus Rift launched on Kickstarter, many seasoned gamers who wanted to experience virtual reality were on board with the company’s vision. As a result, 9,522 backers pledged $2,437,429 to bring the product to life.

It’s these technology enthusiasts that back many great tech innovations, even if other investors don’t see the demand for them. Equity crowdfunding opens up the door for products to receive funding based on merit, as gauged by their target audience. If tech company crowdfunding campaigns can deliver high value to their target audience, then they’re much more likely to receive funding from them.

Prepare a Strong Social Media Outreach Strategy and Produce a Very High Quality Video

With a plethora of social media platforms to choose from, such as Facebook ($FB), Twitter ($TWTR), and LinkedIn ($LNKD), you have the potential to reach hundreds of millions of users around the world. Additionally, a social media marketing strategy is free to pursue. While it may be worth spending on paid advertisement in some cases, it’s always worth investing in a social media strategy that offers substantial reach to your target audience.

You need to be able to effectively tell your company’s story over social media. Many of your potential crowdfunders will never see your product in person. Instead, they’ll conduct research online, and decide whether or not they want to invest in your start-up. For that reason, it’s crucial that you are able to justify your product’s value and capture investors’ attention in order to realize success in the equity crowdfunding environment.

With technology start-ups, it’s crucial that the video showcasing your product is simple, elegant, and packed with value. Since most crowd members won’t understand the intricacies of the product, it’s best to showcase the practical aspects of your product, and go into how that product will deliver value to its target consumer. If your video can illustrate this value-added, then prospective investors will be more likely to receive your product positively, and as a result, become more likely to invest in your start-up.

“Plan and Prepare” your Offering by getting your Current Investors Involved in your new Offering

The key to equity crowdfunding is momentum – if you plan and prepare properly, you can get all your current shareholders, customers and partners to be engaged in your offering. The key for your company is to get to 30% of the offering on your own prior to launching, to build great momentum with the crowd. The Golden Rule has not changed since it has started, and it requires the company to pay close attention to make sure that it has this in its strategy to be successful.


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林晨超未央青年

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