Thursday, May 21, 2015

Uh Oh: An Energy Company Is The #1 Crowdfunded Co. In CNBC’s Crowdfinance 50 Index

From Forbes:
Although oil prices have been trending upwards in recent weeks, many producers are still cautious and have cut back on exploration and drilling operations until prices rebound further. And yet it is an energy company, Ascenergy, that is currently ranked #1 on CNBC’s Crowdfinance 50 Index and has raised more than $3.5 million with another $2 million committed. This three-year-old energy startup has secured more financing than companies that operate in such hot areas as technology, healthcare or organic food.

Serial entrepreneur and founder and CEO of Ascenergy, Joey Gabaldon, tells us how he did it:
On choosing crowdfunding as a financing mechanism: We started with a “friends and family” offering in 2013 and raised about $900,000. Then we chose crowdfunding because it can be a very fast route to market without the expenses associated with other methods of fundraising. Most broker-dealers, for example, charge considerable upfront fees, monthly fees and success fees, while many crowdfunding sites charge nominal monthly fees from $100 to $300.

When selecting sites, we spoke with several other entrepreneurs, attended crowdfunding workshops and conferences and spent about a month reviewing more than 100 sites to find the three that we decided to work with. We started in July 2014 with Equitynet and Crowdfunder and then added Fundable.

We chose these sites because they are among the leaders in the crowdfunding industry. Crowdfunder has some excellent features to create a social buzz across their network, such as linking current investors to the offering. This provides transparency and “social proof” of the validity of the offering. They also periodically send newsletters on highly rated, vetted companies. Equitynet has other strengths, such as multiple ways to sort deals based on popularity, location, industry and funding traction. They also have a good business plan feature that helps investors vet the company....MORE