StartEngine Hops Aboard the ICO Freight Train.
StartEngine is one of the more active investment crowdfunding platforms in the United States. A full stack crowdfunding platform, StartEngine offers securities under Reg CF, Reg A+ and Reg D (506c). StartEngine seeks to cater to early stage companies whatever their funding requirements may be. Debt, equity, convertibles or SAFEs, StartEngine can handle the offering. But now StartEngine is entering a new funding vertical: The red-hot Initial Coin Offering sector.
Initial Coin Offerings, or ICOs, have experienced hockey stick like growth. Offering bespoke “Tokens” tied to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ether, issuers have raised incredible sums online. Tezos, based in Switzerland, raised an astounding $232 million. FileCoin, listed on AngelList backed Coinlist, has raised over $200 million with an offer that is still live.
Recently, the ICO sector hit a bit of a speed bump in the US. The Securities and Exchange Commission announced it would regulate ICOs that it deemed securities. Using the DAO offering as an example, the SEC said that any ICO marketed to US investors must file for an exemption. If not, expect an enforcement action. Some issuers have decided to pass on US investors. Others, like FileCoin, filed with the SEC to become compliant with existing regulations. Regardless, ICOs are here and quite active with new issuers cropping up by the day.
Now some issuers are creating Tokens they believe are not securities and thus are not required to file an exemption. But many, if not most, have tied their tokens to the crypto-freight train giving investors a speculative rush when they participate. StartEngine, one of the largest FINRA approved Reg CF portals, has raised in excess of $37 million since platform launch. Co-founded by CEO Howard Marks and Chairman Ron Miller, the pair are no strangers to early stage companies and the challenges of entrepreneurship. Miller has founded and sold five different companies. Marks founded both Acclaim Games and Activision (think Call of Duty). When Marks left Activision it reportedly had a $20 billion market cap. Acclaim was sold to Disney.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Investment #Crowdfunding Platform @StartEngineLA expects first #ICO to list before end of year” quote=”Investment #Crowdfunding Platform @StartEngineLA expects first #ICO to list before end of year”]
Recently Crowdfund Insider contacted Marks about regarding his perspective on the emgering ICO market and discovered he was, indeed, planning to launch an ICO vertical. Really, this should not come as any surprise. Marks’ long history of operating in the digital realm and his coding experience, coupled with the rise of ICOs, is a clear equation for opportunity matching demand. Crowdfund Insider communicated with Marks to better understand his expectations for ICOs and his investment crowdfunding platform. Our discussion is below.