Investing as Easy as Ecommerce: Dalmore Group Leverages Tech to Streamline Crowdfunding Process

Dalmore Group is a newer entry into the online capital formation world. A broker-dealer that specializes in exempt securities offerings, Dalmore leverages technology to help companies raise the money they need while allowing the company to maintain all of the data affiliated with the investment crowdfunding process. Supporting the full stack of securities exemptions, including – Reg CF [Regulation Crowdfunding], Reg D, and Reg A+*, the company has captured significant activity in the last exemption, as displayed by recent platform performance.

At the end of November, Dalmore reported over $250 million raised for companies in the period from July to November 2023. October was a standout month at $70.2 million raised. At that time, Dalmore founder and Chairman Etan Butler said the performance was a “testament to the power of collective effort and trust in crowdfunding.”

According to Dalmore’s website, since it entered the sector, the company has helped over 1000 companies raise over $1 billion. In November, Dalmore reported more than 300 Reg A+ clients for 2023.

Earlier this month, Dalmore announced a new feature for issuers to raise money online, “Dalmore Connect.” This service enables companies raising money to launch their own “capital raise app, web app or marketplace.” Dalmore’s objective is to make investing and raising money online as easy as e-commerce. The company previously expressed global ambitions for its services.

CI recently talked with Butler about his vision for investment crowdfunding. Butler said the new paradigm does not force a company to accept the terms of a VC, which can be restrictive. It is also leading to more companies being funded. While 2023 has been a challenging year for everyone, Butler said you cannot hold innovation and entrepreneurship back, and regardless of global turmoil, their model is resonating with firms rasing capital.

Butler also emphasized the ability to tap into retail investors (using Reg A and Reg CF) – so not a couple of big checks but many smaller checks (and perhaps a few big ones, too).

While there have been critics casting doubt on the wisdom of smaller investors, Butler points to the fact that VCs do not always get it right. Think Theranos, think FTX – these are firms that were backed by some of the most sophisticated investors in the world, and they failed on basic due diligence. Heck – Theranos never had a working product. While VC failures are nothing to celebrate, the two exemptions allow retail investors to participate in the burgeoning private securities marketplace.

Butler explains that Dalmore is bringing a Shopify model to capital markets. A launchpad for issuers that can be self-serve with different features.

“We are very, very active in a pretty small industry,” said Butler.  “We think Reg A is the most sophisticated exemption to use, and we think Reg CF is the most sophisticated exemption to use for startups. Founders still do not understand this.”

While still a very young industry, Butler says more founders understand the benefits of raising money online, and they are seeing more series issuers – firms that raise repeat funding rounds. And this is not just for early-stage firms but for real estate, collectibles, debt, art, royalties, and more. Dalmore aims to make the process simple while compliant.

“We are making it really easy for people to digest private alts [alternative investments].”

While Dalmore has done well for Reg A+ issuers, Butler predicted an “explosion” of Reg CF issuers in the coming months. He sees Reg CF as a step-stone for Reg A or a Reg D offering.

Asked about compliance, a vital component of selling securities, Butler says his compliance team is about establishing best practices while they continue to innovate.

“You have regulators that are tasked to go and poke. To a lot of people, this bothers them. But this does not bother us. There has to be that element of transparency that is required. I think FINRA’s responsibility is to do their job to protect the best interests of investors, but I do not think they wants to stifle innovation. We are used to it.”

Simple does not mean easy. For Dalmore, it is all about reducing friction in the investment process and creating tools that align with the digital generation while adhering to the rules.

So what does he expect for 2024? Butler is very bullish on Dalmore and the industry in general. Butler alluded to some big announcements in the coming year, but for now, Dalmore’s focus on continuous improvement of the crowdfunding tech seems to be working out for the crowdfunding platform.

*Editors Note: Reg CF (Regulation Crowdfunding) may be used to raise up to $5 million with a notice filing to the SEC; Reg A+ (Regulation A) may be used to raise up to $75 million with an SEC qualified offering. Reg D can be used to raise an unlimited amount of funds but may only accept money from Accredited Investors.

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