As the world of technology grows with digital design and 3D printing, innovations abound–and the seeds are planted for many new businesses. But with that comes a need for capital. And no matter how many times you may hear that it’s a great idea to follow your passion, have faith in your ideas, and to ‘run with it,’ every astute business person knows that without enough capital, you may be stepping onto a sinking ship before you even begin.
So in a world that’s all about money, money, money, how are new designers of all ages and experience supposed to hedge their bets, get their products in front of the world, get them through R&D, and then also manage–and pay for–the entire manufacturing and production process? As new and wonderful as 3D printing is to technology, so is crowdfunding to the world of financing. And Seedrs is one of the large European crowdfunding organizations we’ve watched take companies like MyMiniFactory to further stunning financial victory in meeting goals even after already establishing their businesses quite spectacularly.
We watched throughout the late summer and fall of this year as the London-based company who is perhaps the largest social media platform for 3D printable objects altogether worked successfully to raise a total of £500,000 (approximately $767,500) via Seedrs. The campaign gained wide publicity, and MyMiniFactory was able to raise their funds in as little as two weeks–even surpassing their goal–to follow through on an expansive new business strategy.
With over 270 deals to date, Seedrs campaigns raise up to £3.5m per month on average. And now, they are coming to America. With a beta platform test beginning in the US in just a matter of weeks, Seedrs will be offering US accredited investors the opportunity to invest in selected campaigns.
While their formal launch won’t actually be expected to commence until 2016, the team reports that they have been working throughout all of 2015 to streamline their beginning operations in the US, with the green light appearing following Friday’s vote by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to implement Title III of the JOBS Act. This is an agenda Seedrs has been supporting, with good reason.
Seedrs CEO Jeff Lynn has even been responsible for providing an expert testimony to subcommittees of the US House Oversight & Government Reform Committee in September 2011 and the US House Financial Services Committee in May 2014.
“I have had the privilege of being involved in the lawmaking process for U.S. crowdfunding ever since the JOBS Act was introduced in 2011, and I am very pleased to see that the SEC has finally adopted rules implementing Title III,” said Lynn. “We believe this heralds the emergence of equity crowdfunding as a vibrant form of finance in the United States–just as it has become in the UK and Europe–and Seedrs is perfectly positioned to take advantage of the sector’s growth. The beta testing we are announcing today will be our first foray into the market, and we look forward to growing our presence there significantly in 2016.”
Investors in the US will be able to invest in ‘selected campaigns,’ currently. Another note of interest is their recent acquisition of California’s Junction Investments, which is a similar type of crowdfunding company and business model. The Seedrs team sees Friday’s vote as a big step forward for early-stage and growth-focused businesses that wish to use equity crowdfunding as a platform to raise capital for their businesses.
With the largest crowdfunding platform from Europe headed on to US soil, a whole new population of enthusiastic investors will soon benefit, reaping the rewards–along with the innovators central to the program–as those involved are able to invest as little or as much as they like. Backed by star fund manager Neil Woodford, Lord Rothschild’s Augmentum Capital, Faber Ventures and over 1,000 of their own customers, Seedrs goes down in history as the first equity crowdfunding platform in the world to gain regulatory approval.
Have you used Seedrs in the past? What were your thoughts? Let us know in the Seedrs & 3D Printing forum thread on 3DPB.com.