Published on March 31, 2016
We have reviewed the following sources and believe they are informative, reliable, and unbiased. We will update this list frequently, but URLs are subject to change without notice (last updated August 24, 2016).
Crowdfunding Platform Search & Deal Aggregation
Stratifund, based in Minnesota, aggregates and rates (using an algorithm) offerings under Title III (Regulation CF) and Title IV (Regulation A+). The principal founder is Alex Thaler. The offerings are searchable and sortable. https://www.stratifund.com/.
Access, based in San Francisco, aggregates debt and equity offerings under Regulation D Rules 506(b) and 506(c), and Regulation A and A+. http://www.accessinvest.com.
CrowdsUnite, based in NY City, lists and rates all crowdfunding sites globally, allowing search by four categories: debt, donation, equity, and rewards; then by subcategories such as country, industry, etc. The CEO is Alex Feldman. http://crowdsunite.com/
CrowdWatch, owned by Crowdnetic in NY City, provides robust search and data for Reg D Rule 506(c) equity/debt offerings and raises (since Sept 2013 when the ban on general solicitation was lifted) https://www.crowdwatch.co/hosted/smart-admin/landing
CF4ALL, based in NY state, provides a search engine for a limited number of rewards- and donation-based crowdfunding platforms and projects. It plans to add equity-based platforms. The president is Peter Einstein. http://cf4all.com/cf4all/index.php
Educational Websites for Angel Investors
“A Brief History of Crowdfunding: Rewards, Donation, Debt, and Equity Platforms,” by David M. Freedman and Matthew R. Nutting. Updated regularly (PDF) http://www.freedman-chicago.com/ec4i/History-of-Crowdfunding.pdf
“Basics for Crowdfunding Investors” (equity only), published by the National Crowdfunding Association. http://www.nlcfa.org/investor-information.html
Financial Poise (based in Chicago) offers webinars on various topics relating to crowdfunding and the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, as well as broader investment topics, mainly for sophisticated investors. https://www.financialpoise.com/financialpoisewebinars/webinar_section/accredited-investors/
“Crowdfunding from the Investor’s Perspective” is a one-hour webinar available on demand. Recorded in March 2016, it covers peer-to-peer (P2P) lending, Regulation D and Regulation A+ offerings, Title III equity crowdfunding, and intrastate securities crowdfunding. Panelists are Charles Sidman (ECS Capital Partners), Jordan Fishfeld (PeerRealty), and Alex Davie (Nashville securities lawyer). Attendees can earn CPE and CLE credit.
Crowdfund Capital Advisors (founded by Sherwood Neiss and Jason Best) provides research and reports on equity crowdfunding. http://crowdfundcapitaladvisors.com/research/
Angel Resource Institute (ARI) was founded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and operates in close association with the Angel Capital Association in Overland Park, Kansas. The ACA focuses on angel investor groups that limit their membership to accredited investors only. The ARI offers full- and half-day courses, seminars, and workshops for early-stage investors throughout the United States and 14 other countries. http://www.angelresourceinstitute.org/education.aspx
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) provides the following resources:
Investor tools (including calculators), listings of registered brokers and investment advisers, publications, research, etc. http://www.sec.gov/investor#.VGpKQslDW5M
Investor.gov, a site with fundamental education on the securities markets, investment basics, avoiding fraud, due diligence, how to use EDGAR (researching public companies), how to read 10-K and 8-K filings, etc. http://investor.gov/
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) provides “Investor Education Modules” in English and Spanish. http://www.finrafoundation.org/resources/education/modules/
FINRA also provides research tools for investors, including the BrokerCheck database, fraud detection “meters,” investor newsletters, and other resources. http://www.finrafoundation.org/resources/tools/
Specifically regarding Title III equity crowdfunding, on May 16, 2016, FINRA published “Crowdfunding and the JOBS Act: What Investors Should Know,” including four good investment tips, here. It also published a short guide to Title III funding portals here.
The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) provides investor education and related resources http://www.nasaa.org/investor-education/
The NASAA site includes an “advisory” on crowdfunding: http://www.nasaa.org/12842/informed-investor-advisory-crowdfunding/
Professional Associations (nonprofit)
- Crowdfunding Professional Association (CfPA.org)
- National Crowdfunding Association (NLCFA.org)
- Crowdfund Intermediary Regulatory Advocates (CfIRA.org)
Model Term Sheets for Angel Deals
Here are some of the most reliable model term sheets for offerings of preferred stock in the $250,000 to $1 million range:
- The Kauffman Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Resource Center recommends a “Series Seed Term Sheet” for offerings of preferred stock. Available at www.seriesseed.com/posts/documents.html.
- The Angel Capital Association (http://www.angelcapitalassociation.org/), which represents accredited investors and angel groups, and the National Venture Capital Association (www.nvca.org) provide model term sheets for preferred stock offerings. The ACA model is annotated with explanations and options.
- The Crowdfunding Professional Association provides a model term sheet for Title III equity crowdfunding offerings, available at www.cfpa.org.
- Techstars, a high-tech accelerator, provides a model term sheet for a preferred stock offering, composed by the law firm Cooley LLP. Available at www.techstars.com/docs/.
- The Gust Series Seed Term Sheet is a model for preferred stock offerings, provided by Gust (www.gust.com), the platform for startup financing used by angel groups, VC funds, and entrepreneurs. It is available as Appendix D in David S. Rose’s book Angel Investing (Wiley, 2014).
Model term sheets for convertible debt are used primarily in the high-tech sector. Here are some reliable sources of model term sheets:
- A convertible debt model is provided by the Startup Company Lawyer, a website hosted by corporate and securities lawyer Yoichiro Taku, a partner in Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in Palo Alto: http://www.startupcompanylawyer.com/?s=term+sheet.
- Techstars provides a model term sheet for convertible debt offering, composed by the law firm Cooley LLP. Available at http://www.techstars.com/docs/.
- Y Combinator, another high-tech accelerator, provides an alternative to convertible debt known as “simple agreement for future equity,” available at http://www.ycombinator.com/documents/.
- The Gust Convertible Note Term Sheet is available as Appendix C in Rose’s book Angel Investing.
We will post reviews of recommended books on angel investing, securities crowdfunding, investment fundamentals, and related subjects.