TheCrowdCafe Weekly Review – Say Hello to our First Collection, “University Crowdfunding.”

Jay OwenCrowdfunding

TheCrowdCafe weekly
• March 9th, 2014 •

Happy Sunday, All!

Welcome to this week’s edition of TheCrowdCafe’s Weekly Review. Each week I curate the top investment crowdfunding news from around the web. My promise to you: quality over quantity, always. You can subscribe here.

From TheCrowdCafe

Say Hello to our First Collection, “University Crowdfunding.”
We’ll be exploring how Universities are integrating crowdfunding in meaningful and creative ways. We opened the doors with a case study from Paul Spinrad, who wrote a beautiful piece on how Vassar College used crowdfunding to re-engage its Alumni.  Its campaign drew donations from every Vassar class going back to 1945. Gotta love when technology is used to empower (not replace) meaningful, human interaction!   

How Angellist is Growth Hacking its Network 
A look at how others are building out AL’s infrastructure, for free. And why this matters. I note that directly comparing AL to a FundersClub or EarlyShares (curated platforms) is a mistake in my view. A few readers reached out and asked me if not these platforms, then who is there most direct competition? Gust. I’ve written about Gust before. They recently re-vamped their platform and while they’re not transactional today it’s only a matter of time until they flip the switch, imo. (I recently asked their CEO, David Rose, but he wouldn’t budge on if, let alone when.) Anyhow, I say grab some popcorn. AL & Gust share the mission of making fundraising suck less for startups everywhere. And as they both build out their purely transactional platforms—toolkits any issuer can use—I think we’re in for an epic battle. One that may unfold in a very Google v. Apple, Android v. iOS kind of way.

Dun dun dun 😉 

On to this week’s news.


VroomBank, an auto-financing crowdinvesting platform went live. 
It was only a matter of time. Braeger Auto Finance Group is behind Vroombank, a crowdinvesting platform for accredited investors that gives them access to auto financing investments. It estimates its addressable market—the non-prime auto market—to be sized at $100 – $200 Billion.  We’re seeing new non-traditional asset classes come online every week. Collectibles, Sports & Entertainment, many, many more to come.

NASDAQ Private Market Launches New Marketplace for Private Companies 
Nasdaq launched its much awaited online private marketplace, the Nasdaq Private Marketplace (“NPM.”) It’s aimed squarely at later stage companies. Interestingly, however, they do indicate they have plans to do primary issuances. Going to write more about who’s who in moving later-stage private capital markets online this week.

CCFG Investments, a private real estate investment fund, opened its crowdfunding platform, Diversyfund. 
I’m working on a new database of investment crowdfunding platforms. I started with the idea of doing 1 a day for 100 days. Well that was moving dreadfully slow. So I’m shifting to rolling out new platforms thematically. This week I’ll publish profiles for every Real Estate platform. Needless to say… I have my work cut out for me :-).

LendAcademy’s Peter Renton announced his managed fund product for P2P markets 
For those not subscribed, LendAcademy is the best source for news and analysis on the P2P markets.

Platform News

Industry & Regulations

Thanks all for tuning in! Questions, comments and feedback are always much appreciated. I’m at [email protected]—or you can simply reply to this email to reach me. Until next week! Au revoir 🙂

Jonathan Sandlund

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