The current crowdfinancing environment got a huge kick of momentum earlier this Monday when the general solicitation rules for startups changed to allow them to ask publicly for money. The problem in this swarm of crowdfinancing options? Unless there is a well established and highly curated brand for this type of stuff, a potential investor or a potentially fundable team probably doesn't know where to go.
It's like suddenly there are thousands of planes in the air, but you don't know which plane is going where, or why. And nobody is sitting down at a control tower to make sure the machines are on their way, in the right way.
Enter Crowdnetic, which is a Microsoft-supported startup that hopes to rationalize all of that by being a kind of mission control for the crowdfinancing industry.
From their website:
Crowdnetic is a leading provider of funding portal platform technology and market data solutions to the private equity and crowdfunded securities industry. We operate the industry’s premier centralized hub for real-time market data aggregated from platforms across the globe.
Founded in 2011 by experienced financial technology and data industry experts, Crowdnetic is committed to creating a productive and sustainable marketplace for web-based private raises. Bringing over 15 years of experience in building complex, data intensive customized solutions, the leadership team has been instrumental in revolutionizing the equities industry through developing market data and analytics solutions. We are now bringing our expertise to the increasingly intricate crowdfunding space.
We sat down with Luan Cox, Founder and CEO of Crowdnetic, to find out her point of view on the industry and technology-enabled financing.
Why are you building this startup? What does it do?
Crowdnetic has built a real-time data and technology infrastructure for the global crowdfinance industry (including p2p lending and security-based crowdfunding). Our platform and solutions efficiently connect intermediaries/portals to millions of investors around the globe by providing media portals and financial institutions with real-time, aggregated and normalized online private offerings and transactions data. We provide the much needed market data transparency and deal flow distribution required for this new asset class to thrive.
What does a product marketing team need to understand from engineering about how to sell the product?
A product marketing team needs to understand the various delivery methods for our data feeds solutions in various API formats (XML, JSON, Ruby, and PHP). Additionally, they should understand that we provide hosted data solutions and customizable crowdfunding portal technology (built using Ruby On Rails).
What impact or legacy do you hope to make in the market and in the business world?
By providing this emerging marketplace the much needed market data transparency, our objective is to help ensure integrity in the private markets while striving to bring prosperity back to entrepreneurs and small investors.
What advice do you have for anyone wanting to start a business in your country?
During this remarkable period of history, theU.S.capital markets are undergoing a dramatic transformation where a surge of financial innovation, guided by shifting trends in communications and a changing regulatory landscape, is sweeping across Wall Street and giving rise to a new investing methodology: Crowdfinance. There has never been a more opportune moment for entrepreneurs raise capital from likeminded peers.
How do you work with investors, or do you currently use any outside money at all?
We greatly value our shareholders for they are our biggest cheerleaders. We work for them and constantly strive to earn their trust and confidence. Although we are a private company, we provide our shareholders with a great deal of transparency and constantly keep the lines of communications open.
Why would an entrepreneur turn to Microsoft for help in building scale, a team, or using software?
Microsoft is a renowned technology leader. It is an honor to have the opportunity to tap into Microsoft’s vast resources including its brain capital.