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SeedInvest, Wefunder, and Other Funding Portals are Beneficiaries of Updated Crowdfunding Rules, but Private Funds with Security Token Capabilities May Also Benefit

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Peter Gaffney from the Security Token Group (STG), which is focused on the emerging blockchain-based security token space, notes that the significantly outsized return potential of angel investing, venture capital, and private equity are “well-known” in the finance industry.

Gaffney explains that traditionally, direct access to early-stage investing at “significant magnitudes” was mainly reserved for ultra-high net worth individuals or UHNWIs (with a net worth of at least $30 million). These investment opportunities had also been limited to individuals, family offices, dedicated funds, etc. — “pretty much entities that can foot the bill,” Gaffney added.

But with the recent legislative updates, access to the early-stage startup ecosystem is becoming a lot more widely-accessible, Gaffney confirmed. He also mentioned that companies dedicated to “sculpting the future of capital markets” like Security Token Group and Vertalo “played a key role in opening the legislators’ eyes to the paradigm shift happening within this realm.”

Gaffney writes in a blog post that if you have not been staying up-to-date with regulatory changes and the ongoing progress, then you may want to look into the amended Accredited Investor and Crowdfunding guidelines to get a better idea of the evolving landscape.

While sharing key industry developments, Gaffney notes that Blockchain Capital has emerged as an established tokenized VC fund that’s now been around since 2013.

He adds that “much like any VC fund, the firm has access to direct investments in early-stage startups.” He also noted that the initial fundraising was carried out through a Security Token Offering (STO), so tokenholders “gain a right to fund distributions over the years and have the ability to trade their ownerships on secondary markets.”

He continued:

“One of Blockchain Capital’s venture investments is Coinbase, which is now set to IPO at an estimated $100 billion. How many other investment vehicles provide the opportunity for ordinary retail investors to have early ownership in an 11-figure valuation?”

He also mentioned that Blockchain Capital’s investment in Coinbase may serve as an example of the potential of tokenized investment funds for “non-traditional VCs and early-stage investors, and does not imply that all tokenized investment funds will capture investments of equivalent returns and results.” He clarified that “past performance is not indicative of future results.” BCAP “just so happens to be one of the most recent examples of a tokenized VC fund that has an impending portfolio company IPO,” Gaffney added.

While sharing some value adds, he noted that fund managers (token issuers) have the  “ability to close funds more quickly than the traditional fund formation structure.” He also mentioned that these new technologies provide “access to a large pool of smaller Limited Partners (LP’s), which may offer more flexibility and authority over investment decisions than a structure with only few high-ticket LPs.”

He pointed out that it’s also possible to “raise add-on rounds just as seamlessly as the initial raise via security token offerings, all while having a more concrete ‘feel’ of the market through secondary trading prices of the VC’s token.”

Meanwhile, the investors (tokenholders) are able to gain access to investment opportunities “in one of the most historically lucrative asset classes.” Additionally, they can “get exposure with a small sum of capital (i.e. whatever the price of a fund’s security token is) which makes the process less daunting and more feasible.”

Investors may also add to or decrease their investments in “real-time, as the token trades in secondary markets,” Gaffney noted. He also mentioned that there are “further opportunities for arbitrage as the token’s trading price can be compared to the book value of the fund, and decisions can be made accordingly.”

As of March 15, 2021, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) officially raised the Regulation CF (Crowdfunding) limits from $1.07 million to $5 million, and Regulation A+ from $50 million to $75 million, Gaffney confirmed.

He added:

“These amendments are pretty clear indicators of the shifting investment landscape, especially in the private sector. Crowdfunding platforms like SeedInvest and Wefunder are strong current beneficiaries of this progress, but there exists a deeper root that stands to benefit even more heavily — Private Investment Funds and Special Purpose Vehicles through security token capabilities.”

He continued:

“One of the pinnacles of blockchain technology is its ability to transact, verify, and store data of all sorts. This extends to handling capital investments, monitoring cap tables and ownership verifications, managing distributions and dividends, and end-to-end compliance requisites.”

He added that smaller-level investors who might have the right experience and abilities to raise their own funds are usually deterred because of the amount of time and monetary expenses involved with these initiatives. He also noted that where these fund managers might be spending almost all their time with research and due diligence on prospective investments (and working with portfolio firms like with current investments), their attention is “dragged” into issues that are not related to the actual investment process itself.

According to Gaffney, this leads to hiring more team members to take care of these duties, or “spreading oneself too thin trying to manage the entire operation.” He points out that “either way, the current ‘process’ certainly has its fair share of misallocation of resources and could be improved.”

Gaffney concluded:

“Make no mistake, these updated fundraising guidelines are not excuses for everybody to pop up with their own investment funds, collect capital through a digital raise, and start throwing darts at every SaaS company they see. There will still be a diligence process both on the aspiring investment manager’s side and from the prospective investors’ side. Integrating blockchain technology and security tokens can simply ease the pain points associated with raising and managing funds, with the overall goal of improving the operations for every party involved.”

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/03/173352-seedinvest-wefunder-and-other-funding-portals-are-beneficiaries-of-updated-crowdfunding-rules-but-private-funds-with-security-token-capabilities-may-also-benefit/

Crowdfunding

KeyBank & Laurel Road Unveils Digital Bank Specifically for Doctors

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Laurel Road, a brand of KeyBank, announced earlier this week the launch of Laurel Road for Doctors, a digital bank specifically for physicians and dentists. According to Laurel, the goal of the new digital bank is to help ease the burden for doctors of paying down student debt, finding more balance between work and life, and planning for the future—many of whom have worked tirelessly through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“With Laurel Road for Doctors, Laurel Road and KeyBank expand on its existing suite of tailored digital banking and lending products and extensive experience working directly with doctors to create a platform that meets the distinct challenges of this community.”

. The online experience, from originations to servicing tools, will include new offerings such as:

  • Student Loan Cashback Credit Card: The only credit card that offers 2% cashback to pay down student loans with most loan servicers.
  • Student Loan Refi & Linked Savings: Link new savings accounts when refinancing student loans to build savings while obtaining an even lower interest rate.
  • High Yield Savings Account: Qualified borrowers can open an account and earn 10x the national average Annual Percentage Yield (APY), with $0 to open, no minimum balance, and no monthly maintenance fees to fast-track savings goals.
  • Financial Insights: Personalized data and guidance that allows doctors to compare against those in similar specialties on salary, debt and more, utilize educational content to build financial literacy, and access custom insights for budgeting.
  • Laurel Road Perks!: Exclusive offers, discounts and benefits through a newly established and growing partner network of premium brand partners such as P.volve, Sakara, Rent the Runway, Brooklinen, KidPass, Talkspace and The White Coat Investor.
  • Premium Care Team: Financial healthcare support specialists to provide personalized care seven days a week.

While speaking about the launch, Chris Gorman, Chairman and CEO of KeyCorp, added:

“We acquired Laurel Road in 2019 with the intention of scaling this digital born business. Through this new digital bank offering we are able to provide a secure online experience and customized banking solutions to meet the special needs of physicians and dentists.”

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/04/173861-keybank-laurel-road-unveils-digital-bank-specifically-for-doctors/

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Celsius Network Update: Offers Yield on Gold-Backed wDGLD Token

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Celsius Network, a cryptocurrency lending and borrowing platform, announced on Thursday it will add support for CoinShares wDGLD token. According to Celsius, customers will be able to hold wDGLD tokens in their Celsius wallets to earn weekly compounding yield or use their coins as collateral to get cash loans against their crypto.

“CoinShares and Blockchain.com launched the wDGLD token in November 2020 as a solution to bring digital gold onto the Ethereum network and extend its usability within the digital asset ecosystem. wDGLD is pegged 1:1 with DGLD, a gold-backed token built on the Bitcoin blockchain and is currently available in the Blockchain.com wallet, home to over 69 million created wallets.”

Alex Mashinsky, CEO of Celsius, spoke about the support by stating:

“It’s a win-win-win when we’re able to form mutually beneficial partnerships that also generate more value for our customers. At a time when dollars and other inflationary currencies are losing value at an exponential rate, adding wDGLD provides our users with yet another option to diversify their assets in a way that acts in their best interest.”

Founded in 2017, Celsius addresses the financial needs of today’s consumers worldwide through a democratized interest income and lending platform accessible through a mobile app.

“Built on the belief that financial services should only do what is in the best interests of the community, Celsius is a modern platform where membership provides access to curated financial services that are not available through traditional financial institutions.”

Celsius recently announced it now holds more than $5.3 billion worth of cryptocurrency assets.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/04/173860-celsius-network-update-offers-yield-on-gold-backed-wdgld-token/

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A Day in the Life of Madysson Bouchard, Indie Film Producer and Co-Founder of Sunday Breakfast Studio

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Whether you’re raising funds for a creative project or a new business idea, running your own crowdfunding campaign is no easy feat. It takes a healthy dose of passion, discipline, and commitment to bring your ideas and concepts to life, and get your backer community excited about them. Ever wondered what a day in the life of a creative entrepreneur on Indiegogo is like? We’re here to give you an exclusive glimpse into 24 hours of their day. 

Juggling creative projects, a film production company, and a crowdfunding campaign can be challenging, so we’re always inspired when we encounter a woman can do it all. Meet Montreal-based indie film producer and graphic designer Madysson Bouchard who co-founded Sunday Breakfast Studio.

Together with indie filmmaker Gregory Thomas David, she is running a campaign to fund Portraits of A Family — a film that adapts the true story of a Filipino-Canadian family, spanning over two decades, as they struggle to put the pieces back together after divorce and drug addiction has torn them apart:

“Portraits of a Family is the story of a family of four, including two first generation Filipino-Canadian boys, and the hardships they face within the span of two decades. We see this family at their lowest of lows, struggling through the complexities of divorce and the pain and frustration of drug addiction, but through it all they find a way, as individuals and as a unit, to remain strong, intact and full of love. Although this is a family drama that may sound familiar, and that many people can probably relate to, we are driven to create this film in order to show an authentic Filipino-Canadian experience that the film industry is sorely lacking.”

Your contribution will allow their production to start filming, and get this story out to screens everywhere, in a world where AAPI voices and images are missing some real representation.

The team at Sunday Breakfast Studio

Read on to see how Madysson spends 24 hours in her day, working as a creative professional in Montreal. Then scroll down for a brief Q&A to get to know her better, learn more about Portraits of A Family, and get inspired!

6 A.M. As a mom to a two-year-old boy, this is usually where my day begins. I’d love to say that I get up  early to do yoga and get a fresh start to my day, but it’s more along the lines of watching  cartoons while sharing cereal with my son. Although I could use some extra sleep on most days,  this is the hour in my day where I get to spend time alone with him and get a good fix of his tiny  cuddles before the day fully begins. 

7 A.M. The action begins. It’s time for our little family to get dressed, have breakfast, get ready  for the day and leave the house for daycare. As simple as it looks, this takes a full hour for us,  because best believe that a pregnant lady and a toddler are not the fastest when it comes to  getting ready! 

8 A.M. Once I drop off my son at daycare, I switch hats to become both a graphic designer and a  producer. Making an independent film is a lot of work, but so is taking care of a family. So, at  the same time as being a full-time producer for Portraits of a Family, I also have a full-time job as a graphic designer, which helps us stay afloat and develop my creativity. 

9 A.M. The time in my workday where no one is yet active and I get to catch up with the many emails I’ve received since the last time I checked. It’s usually the same: new design projects that  need to be finished within the week, or questions from actors, volunteers and sponsors.  Answering all of these takes no less than an hour, and it helps set the tone for the day, too.

Madysson Bouchard at work

10 A.M. It’s time to get down to business. As opposed to a producer on a regular production, I  have to wear many hats to be able to get things done. That means PR, graphic design, set  design, castings, finances, and many, many more! Our team is made of the director, who is also  my fiancé, and a handful of volunteers who give a few days a week to the project. When  something needs to be done, I usually take care of it! This is the time of the day where I map  out the needs of the production for that day and decide what to do and what to delegate. 

11 A.M. By that time, I usually have most of our PR needs answered for the day. Emails have been  answered and sent, our Inbox is clear, and our volunteers have been reached to know what to  work on that day. On busy days, the director and I spend some time watching new auditions  and writing notes for potential call-backs. When I have more time, I focus on creating visuals to  update the website, our social media platforms, or our Indiegogo campaign. 

12 P.M. Did I mention an Indiegogo campaign? That’s right! All of us spend a lot of time sending the  campaign to friends and family, as well as posting it on different groups and to communities  who can offer support. We also have a newsletter thanking personally all donors which I send  from the Sunday Breakfast Studio email at this point of the day, every day. 

1 P.M. Time for a well-deserved break. Although working from home allows us to spend time together,  my fiancé and I like to put everything aside during lunch time, including work-talk. We fix  ourselves a quick meal, share a few thoughts and stories, and go right back to work. 

2 P.M. After lunch, I usually have a few meetings scheduled. Some people like to get the day started  with meetings, but I’d rather have time to prepare first. As a graphic designer working  remotely, zoom meetings are the best way for me to fully understand the client’s needs and get  a complete brief. And as a do-it-all producer, I often have to answer questions regarding  auditions, funding, pre-production and logistics. 

3 P.M. Only one hour left before we have to go get our son. It’s a short 15 minutes from our house, but  once he’s home, we put our computers, and the workload that comes with it, aside. So, it’s  crunch time to send the last few emails before I go MIA for a few hours. I send draft projects for  approval, requests for the next day, update our Excel tables and make sure all the data,  information and visuals made during the day are available to everyone on our drive. 

4 P.M. Picking up my son has to be one of my favourite moments in a day. Even at his young age, he  has loads to tell us; including what he did with his friends, what games he played and where he  went. It’s a good reminder that he has his own world, too, filled with just as many adventures  as us. We usually play some more once we get home and I get things ready for dinner. 

5 P.M. Now that I’m pregnant again, dinner can be tricky. It happens that I can’t stand being in the  kitchen, and that’s where my fiancé takes over. The rest of the time, though, I make dinner and  the boys (yes, even my son) get involved by mixing, cutting or washing the dishes. Now, just like  the morning, this is kind of a hectic time in our house because we also try to fit in a bath and a  small story time for our son. 

6 P.M. Usually means we’re really close to my son’s bedtime. We tidy up the last few things he  might’ve left around, make sure he has everything he needs, and then up in bed. For us this  also means we have time to wind down and rest a little bit until he’s 100% asleep. 

7 P.M. You’d think that my workday would be done by the time I first put away my laptop, right? Well,  it’s not the case! The dishes are down, the little one’s asleep, and we go right back to work. As I  said, being a producer is a full-time job, and with another full-time job keeping me busy during  the day, I have to find time to work on the film, and that happens to be at night. As exhausting  as it sounds, there’s nothing better than working on your own projects.

8 P.M. At night, most of my focus goes towards visuals and logistics. Since everyone is pretty much off the grid, it’s the perfect time to work on the social media calendar, on our budget sheet, our  prop list or design the costumes. In this production, I act as pretty much every department’s  head, and make sure we’re respecting our tight schedule and budget.  

9 P.M. And still going! With the TV on in the background, I write a list of the things that need to  be done the next day. It can be hard to balance two full-time jobs as well as being a mom, and  keeping a house clean, but this is where my fiancé comes in. As the director of Portraits of a  Family, he wears just as many hats as I do and shares the full load.  

10 P.M. On most days, this marks the end of our workday. We work until we have to, but seeing how  early our son wakes up, it’s safe to say that bedtime shouldn’t be too late. I usually take a few  minutes to relax and leave the day behind before going to bed. 

11 P.M. And it’s lights out! Although this schedule is pretty packed and often asks us to juggle  many things at once, it’s one that I chose and that I’m happy to have. I wouldn’t change one  hour of my day, nor would I change any of the many hats I put on.

Now that you’ve gotten a glimpse of what their day is like, get more inspiration in our exclusive Q&A with Madysson below!

INDIEGOGO: How and why did you become a film producer? Was it something you always intended  for yourself? 

MADYSSON: I studied in fashion marketing and business finances for 3 years. I had many jobs in the fashion  industry, including visual merchandising, designer, stylist, etc. When I met Gregory and learnt  about his passion and ambitions when it comes to making films, I wanted nothing more than to  support him. Throughout the process of helping here and there, I realized that producing a film  regroups a lot of the things I am good at and love doing. It was never in my plans, but it all  makes sense now.

INDIEGOGO: What makes your Indiegogo film project unique? 

MADYSSON: Portraits of a Family is one of the rare Filipino-Canadian stories out there. There are very little  films being made in Canada that are made by and showcasing Filipinos and their culture. And  because of that, it makes it an important project to a lot of people as it would be a chance for  the Filipino community to hold leading roles amongst the cast and the crew. This is definitely  something to be a part of. 

INDIEGOGO: What’s your biggest piece of advice for women who want to make movies? 

MADYSSON: There’s never too much planning. They say you can never make a movie in a cheap, fast and  good way. You always have to choose two; it’s either cheap and good, but a slow process, or  expensive but you get to do it faster. You will know which one is right for you. We knew that  money would be our biggest challenge, and so we’ve scheduled every month for over a year,  from development until production and beyond. Make sure you know the schedule by heart,  because it’s easy to forget deadlines or important steps when there is so much to do. 

INDIEGOGO: What are the film influences behind your movie?

MADYSSON: A lot of the inspiration for Portraits of a Family comes from these films: The Squid and the Whale, Moonlight, After the Storm, A Separation, and Boyhood. From the look to the thematic  feel of these five movies, we can find similarities in what we’re trying to create. None of them  are Filipino movies, hence why our film is an important one to make. 

INDIEGOGO: What tools would you recommend to anyone starting their own business,  crowdfunding campaign or project? 

MADYSSON: I wouldn’t have been able to learn everything that I know without the book Producer to Producer by Maureen A. Ryan. She’s a genius when it comes to explaining everything a  producer has to do in the most efficient way. Every step is described along with the resources  to get further help. I would also say to always keep two copies of everything. If you register your IP for a film, make sure to also scan the official paper and keep it on a Drive. Same goes for schedules, contracts, and so on. Anything can happen and some papers are too valuable to lose, such as permits and official documents. Our team shares everything through the same Drive, and communicates using apps like Teams, or Slack. 

INDIEGOGO: What’s your favorite Indiegogo campaign? 

MADYSSON: I really liked the East West Eats Cookbook campaign by Ellen Lee. It featured many chefs from The Bay Area and helped a student project at the same time, plus the recipes looked great. We have a Filipino recipe book ourselves as a perk and we can never have too many!

To support Madysson and Gregory in making Portraits of A Family happen, check out their Indiegogo campaign page or follow them on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. To learn more about her other creative projects, you can follow her on Instagram.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://go.indiegogo.com/blog/2021/04/a-day-in-the-life-of-madysson-bouchard-indie-film-producer-and-founder-of-sunday-breakfast-studio.html

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Pine Labs Reports that CIMB Bank, HSBC Bank, Others are Using its Buy Now Pay Later Solution, Now Also Available in Malaysia

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Pine Labs, an Asian merchant commerce solution provider that’s backed by payments giant Mastercard, has introduced a Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) solution in Malaysia.

Pine Labs aims to offer a technology-focused offline payments platform where several different credit card issuers can use a common terminal to provide BNPL offers to clients.

AFFIN BANK, AmBank, CIMB Bank, HSBC Bank, RHB Bank are now using Pine Labs’ BNPL solution.

Pine Labs reports that it has managed to achieve success with its offline BNPL platform in India where it claims a 95% market share. During late 2020, Pine Labs had revealed that it was planning to introduce its BNPL platform through a partnership with Mastercard. The company said it would launch the service in Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam.

Kush Mehra, Chief Business Officer, Pine Labs, stated:

“It is an excellent product and a win-win proposition for everyone involved including consumers who get affordable buying options, merchants who are getting an enticing proposition to woo customers back to the stores and boost their sales, and banks and brands who get to build their brand loyalty. This integrated solution that we launched with Mastercard will now be further expanded to newer markets in the region.”

As covered, Pine Labs is an India-headquartered merchant commerce platform that’s focused on expanding its services to Southeast Asia, thanks to key organizational changes.

As previously reported, Pine Labs offers a merchant platform that includes technology and financial solutions for merchants to help them in increasing their revenue, reducing the cost and complexity of running a business, and managing the risks involved. The company connects financial institutions and consumer brands to empower merchants to deliver value to their retail customers.

Pine Labs and its tech platform power both offline and online “last-mile retail transactions, provide customer insights to merchants for targeted sales and offer risk-managed financial solutions for merchants’ business growth.” Today, more than 1 million merchants in India and several other Asian countries, use Pine Labs’ solutions to “run accessible, affordable, speedy and risk-managed last-mile retail operations.”

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/04/173848-pine-labs-reports-that-cimb-bank-hsbc-bank-others-are-using-its-buy-now-pay-later-solution-now-also-available-in-malaysia/

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