After recently hearing about Sharewave, I wanted to track down the Sharewave team in an effort to hear more about the company and how they can help entrepreneurs interface with their investors. They were able to share some really interesting insight into how the platform works. It is definitely a service that every equity crowdfunder is going to want to know about. Read on below…
Who are Sharewave’s founders? Often times entrepreneurs are out to solve their own pains… is this the case with Sharewave or was there a different motivation?
We have a very experienced team, recently highlighted in a blog post at blog.sharewave.com. With the public company market dominated by high-frequency traders, scandal and more regulation, the number of privately held companies is increasing. That’s why we started Sharewave, to help all those privately held companies with their stakeholders.
What does Sharewave’s funding situation look like? Is this a self-funded venture or are there angels/VCs behind this company?
Sharewave has been entirely self-funded. We’re focused on getting our product right with early customers and we’ll raise a round to go to reach a bigger market.
Is your platform going to be more of an online repository like Google Drive, a social network for shareholders and entrepreneurs or a little bit of both?
Sharewave simplifies communication between privately held companies and their stakeholders. The platform allows privately held companies to focus on their business by organizing their information, visualizing their metrics and easily sharing it with their stakeholders.
How information is organized dictates how it’s visualized and shared. For example, online repositories aren’t great at providing companies with the flexibility to manage permissions on specific documents, especially for larger groups of shareholders. They also don’t keep an audit trail, so you’re often left guessing about who’s seen the latest version of a document, or who’s signature is still needed on something that’s time-sensitive. When we say organize, we also mean people and their investments. Getting this information in one place and in order can be tedious, so we’ve thought a lot about making this simple.
Visualizing company information is arguably the most time consuming. Building board presentations or generating quarterly reports shouldn’t be burdens, but opportunities to quickly understand your business and collect feedback from your biggest fans–your shareholders. We don’t think you should need (or have to hire) an MBA to report on meaningful business metrics, understand your capitalization, or model scenarios like “what will happen to the ownership structure if we raise more money?”
Lastly, sharing information should be simple, regardless of how many investors you have. That means your shareholders can self-serve personalized information on the fly, and also receive information you publish out over time with varying levels of permissions.
For the geeks in the crowd, would you care to share any details about the tech you’re using to build your platform?
We are very active in the open source community. Our CTO will be writing more about this at blog.sharewave.com.
Was equity crowdfunding and the JOBS Act a factor in Sharewave’s decision to create this product? Would you have launched if investment crowdfunding wasn’t right around the corner?
Yes, the JOBS Act started us on our journey. We see three parts to success in crowdfunding: acquiring and curating companies interested in financing, acquiring retail investors interested in investing and managing both companies and investors post-funding. For now, our entire focus is on post-funding.
What are the ultimate hopes for Sharewave? How large is the market for a product like this?
Ultimately we want entrepreneurs and private companies to spend more time leading their business and less time on it’s administration, no matter if they have one investor or one thousand. The challenges we’re addressing are difficult because they take time and can be a full-time job, but they shouldn’t be.
When can we expect Sharewave to go live? Any insight into a timetable?
We’re currently in a closed beta with a few companies, but our goal is to release a public beta this summer. In the interim, anyone can request an invitation at Sharewave.com.