FastTrack files for bankruptcy

There is always a risk that the business you chose to support might fail. In fact, the rule of thumb is that if you want to find a growth opportunity for your money, you have to lose out on 9 of every 10 investments you make. Crowdfunding investments are high risk, particularly because you typically invest at a very early stage of a company’s lifespan. FastTrack – a former FundedByMe campaign that raised money back in December 2015 – has just announced that it has filed for bankruptcy with the Stockholm District Court.

Below is the update from Daniel Holmqvist, Chairman of the Board of Subito Services AB, sent to shareholders today (in Swedish):

Kompanjoner, aktieägare och styrelse!

Under veckan som gått har ansökan om konkurs för Subito Services AB inlämnats till Stockholms Tingsrätt. Det är vemodigt men samtidigt en viss lättnad efter en spännande berg- och dalbana som tyvärr aldrig fick tillräcklig skjuts.

Idén som vi fortfarande tror starkt på har med ambitiöst engagemang inte nått dit vi kämpat för. “Urverket” vår kodbas som skapade funktionen FastTrack lanserades sommaren 2015 med viss framgång. Drygt 70 restauranger skrev avtal och ville erbjuda sin kunder den moderna funktionen kostnadseffektivt. Dock konstaterade vi relativt snabbt att det krävdes betydligt mer än bara koden för att slutkunderna skulle använda funktionen. Vi summerar i efterhand att restaurangerna behövde avsevärt mer support än vad vi hade resurser för. En tydlig faktor till vår halvmarsch var att det löpande saknades pengar.

Förutom tillskott av kapital vid uppstart av verksamheten så har det gjorts två riktade emissioner samt en mindre via FundedByMe. Dessa tillskott har tillfälligt löst likviditeten men inte långsiktigt. Bolagets större aktieägare lånade även in 400’.- i samband med att ett kapitaltillskott om 5mkr signerades. Detta kapitaltillskott blev aldrig verklighet och vi kan i efterhand förvånas över tomma lovvärda ord utan ansvar.

Anledningen till ansökan om konkurs kommer helt av att Conevo som sedan start ansvarat för all programmering inte längre vill agera bank utan kräver sedan 14 dagar sedan full betalning på upparbetad skuld. Subito Services skulder enligt Conevo uppgår till cirka 700’.- vår uppfattning är att 350-400’.- stämmer men det är just nu en ickefråga. Direkt efter Conevos omedelbara betalningskrav stämde jag möte med deras ekonomichef för att diskutera vårt kritiska läge. Ett förslag lämnades från Conevo att skriva ned skulderna till 200’.- om omedelbar betalning kan göras. Subito Services största aktieägare har fått frågan om att lösa ev. konkurs genom ett akut kapitaltillskott om 200’.- utan full framgång. Med tanke på att det handlar om förhållandevis lite pengar och att det är bättre med lite än inget alls så är jag övertygad om att Conevo kan tänka sig ytterligare ett samtal.  Själv är jag beredd att gå in med 50.000 kronor, Kalle och Björn har flaggat för att gå in med egna tillskott för att undvika konkurs och istället likvidera verksamheten.

Om fler är intresserade så hör gärna av er till mig så ett sista förslag kan lämnas innan faktiskt konkurs.

Styrelsen är kallad till Stockholms Tingsrätt för edgångssammanträde den 25 oktober kl. 10.00.

Sammanställning kända skulder:
Conevo, enligt ovan
Leveko redovisningsbyrå, 18.000 kronor (Leveko är beredda att sänka skulden till 10’.-)
Fortnox, ekonomifunktion 600 kronor
INGA SKATTESKULDER

The ‘Crowdlottery’ campaign – an update

The ‘Crowdlottery’ campaign – an update

The path to success is paved with “failure”, says author Sarah Lewis in this interview with Forbes. Lewis points out that failure is a matter of perspective, and successful people or corporations can measure themselves against unmet goals and consider themselves failures. Forbes also writes that 90% of startups fail and, as grim as that sounds, the rest of the 10% change the world, become the Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Spotify of the future, because they had an idea, a few hard working entrepreneurs and investors who believed in them early on.

Crowdlottery, a campaign on FundedByMe that was fully crowdfunded in 2014 has just informed their shareholders that it can’t sustain it’s operations due to lack of funding and not enough growth. For us, this news is extremely sad as we have been in contact with the Crowdlottery entrepreneur and we know how hard he has been working to make his company fly.

Nobody expects every investment to become The Next Big Thing, but investing in early companies or growth companies increases the chance to be part of that or at least be part of change. We remind you that investing in start-ups and early stage businesses involves risks, including illiquidity, lack of dividends, loss of investment and dilution, and it should be done only as part of a diversified portfolio and after great consideration.

/Daniel Daboczy CEO FundedByMe

Read the words of Jasper Versteege and watch his video where he tells his story:

“Dear crowdlottery members,

Unfortunately we have to close down operations. We could not secure enough funding to continue. This means we have to fast-forward our draws in order to play out all tickets before the 27th of March (the date we would need to renew our license). After that we will cease all operations.

So from today onwards we will have a draw each 2 hours until all the remaining tickets are played out.

Good luck, and keep an eye on your inbox! 

Even though I couldn’t reach enough people to make it work, I still believe the world deserves a crowdlottery concept, a concept which is fairer and more transparent than the lottery systems governments offer, so hopefully we can make a comeback one day.

 Thank you all for participating and believing in the concept. I wish you the best of luck in all your endeavors. Power to the crowd!”

FrontOffice heads to Stockholm stock exchange from crowdfunding

FrontOffice head to stock exchange from crowdfunding

FrontOffice Nordic AB, a Swedish company reconstruction firm, announced this week that it has applied to be listed on Nordic Growth Market (NGM). This makes FrontOffice the first FundedByMe equity campaign to head for a public stock exchange from crowdfunding – and one of the first-ever Scandinavian equity crowdfunding campaigns that will give investors the opportunity to trade their crowdfunding shares on a regulated exchange, licensed by the Financial Supervisory Authority.

FrontOffice launched its crowdfunding campaign on FundedByMe on 25 November 2015 and it will run until 15 February 2016. The company has already secured 96% of the €533,000 equity goal from a total of 133 investors (as of now). Their goal is to be on this stock exchange by mid-April.

Read the full press release here and visit the campaign on FundedByMe here!

Regarding the “Jurase Park” campaign in Finland

The FundedByMe team wants to confirm that we declined to host the Finnish equity crowdfunding campaign “Jurase Park” on our platform due to lack of information and business plans, which is key to maintaining the high quality of our equity crowdfunding offering to the crowd.

For further information please contact the FundedByMe Finland Country Manager, Niclas Ahlström.

Stormfors Digital Agency on the crowdfunding creative process

Stormfors Digital Agency - the key to crowdfunding success

A while back FundedByMe was faced with a brand identity. We had grown fast and the brand needed a new identity. Our in-house team started looking for the right partner to help us identify the right crowdfunding creative process, tighten the screws and create a brand that would build trust, excite our crowd and help entrepreneurs find their audiences. We decided to partner with Stormfors, one of Stockholm’s leading digital agencies, and the result blew us away. We asked Stormfors to share their process with you. Below you’ll find an interview with the team from Stormfors – and be sure to view their beautiful presentation of the crowdfunding creative process here.

The industry of crowdfunding has grown exponentially since its inception, largely thanks to the viral power of storytelling. People have become experts in ignoring ads and banners.

But when commercial messages are woven into a story, you just can’t help getting sucked in.

Crowdfunding stories are even more relatable thanks to their inspiring and ambitious David and Goliath nature and because you can actively become a part of creating the story’s happy ending. The basic principles of storytelling success can be harnessed in all online communication.

The Stockholm-based digital agency Stormfors have successfully turned their business offer into storytelling, with interactive, in-depth case studies. These case studies vividly illustrate the process of how Stormfors are strengthening their clients digital brands. Click below to see an example and learn how Stormfors boosted FundedByMe.

Stormfors crowdfunding creative process

Our response to the Breakit article

Our response to the Breakit article

Vi blir alltid glada när Breakit eller andra medier skriver om crowdfunding. När vi satte igång med crowdfunding 2010 var det få som ville skriva om det eller ens försökte förstå potentialen i att kunna finansiera tillväxt genom att koppla ihop många människor med lovande entreprenörer som annars har svårt att hitta kapital. Sedan dess har vi kämpat konsekvent med att hitta det absolut bästa sättet att ta tillvara på kraften bakom de globala uppkopplade nätverken för att finansiera bolag. Vägen vi valt är att skapa en introduktion mellan dem som letar efter kapital och dem som söker bra möjligheter. Vi har blivit bättre och bättre och kan nu stolt se att vi har en stor del av den Nordiska marknaden och är mycket starka i Europa samt Asien. Den formella processen i investeringen, det vill säga att signera papper, att överföra pengar etc har vi alltid låtit andra hantera tillsammans med entreprenören. Det är ett klassiskt, vedertaget och analogt tillvägagångssätt som sker genom namnkunniga partners.

FundedByMe har utvecklat sin plattform helt enligt nuvarande aktiebolagslag och i nära dialog med ledande advokater, Finansinspektionen, politiker, investerare och kunder. Vi har vidare brottats med fördomar och förlegade uppfattningar om att det inte är fördelaktigt att ha många delägare eller att det skulle vara komplicerat att ha många delägare, men vi har gång på gång visat hur effektivt det är när många delägare motiveras att verka tillsammans för ett bolag och vilken kraft det finns i crowdfunding jämfört med traditionell finansiering som varken räcker till eller det stora flertalet entreprenörer har access till. Vi har tusentals nöjda kunder och success stories som gladeligen delar med sig av erfarenheten från crowdfunding, något som jag är mycket stolt över. 

Då enormt många entreprenörer brottas med att hitta riskkapital och de flesta dörrar är stängda för exempelvis förstagångsentreprenörer, kvinnliga entreprenörer, entreprenörer med fel bakgrund, utbildning, ålder eller bostadsort har både vi som driver FundedByMe och många svenska politiker försökt säkerställa att bra entrepenörer kan hitta bra investeringar för att kunna bygga bolag som i sin tur skapar jobb och tillväxt.  

Vi är därför mycket glada att Finansinspektionen äntligen kommit med en rapport där de går igenom de rådande frågeställningarna. Inget i den rapporten är några nyheter för oss på FundedByMe, inte minst eftersom vi har en ständig dialog med Finansinspektionen kring hur crowdfunding ska kunna utvecklas och bli det nya trygga, stabilt och effektiva finansieringsverktyg som världen behöver. Som det också tydligt står i rapportens inledande stycke så är Finansinspektionens tolkning att nuvarande reglering eventuellt behöver kompletteras om fenomenet crowdfunding växer. Det vill säga att nuvarande aktiebolagslag sannolikt behöver utvecklas och förbättras för att möta nya tider, med nya metoder, med globala nätverk och med annorlunda verktyg och processer än tidigare. Men man måste samtidigt vara mycket tydlig i sammanhanget att FundedByMe fullt ut följer nuvarande svensk aktiebolagslag och varken bryter mot några lagar eller regler. 

Och aldrig att vi kommer att vara obekymrade om att bryta mot lagen, såsom artikelrubriken säger. Tvärtom kommer FundedByMe att fortsätta leda utvecklingen av fenomenet crowdfunding i dialog med alla berörda parter och alltid inom ramarna för gällande lagar och regler. 

/ Daniel Daboczy

Read the original Breakit article here:

Meet crowd investor Magnus Collin

Here at FundedByMe we have a number of serial crowd investors who love what we do almost as passionately as we do. Magnus Collin is one of them. We asked him to share his crowd investor secrets and his tips for upcoming campaigns he has his crowd investor eye on.

Crowd investor Magnus Collins

1. Introduce yourself – what is your background, passions and day job?

I am a 40 year old IT and process improvement professional currently working for a software company focusing on secure product data collaboration solutions. I am a husband and a father of two wonderful children who make sure I am fully occupied most of the time. I have a thing for alternative investments and I am also a serial crowd investor.

2. How did you first get familiar with crowdfunding and why does being a crowd investor appeal to you?

For me it really started two years ago, when I somehow ran into a very compelling campaign for Jascha on FundedByMe. I had earlier bought into some tech gadget Kickstarter rewards-based campaigns. I find it appealing to, by investing, actually supporting someone else’s dream and passion coming true and also the fact that it feels more personal to invest in smaller companies, with the possibility of creating a mutual “relationship”. Joining in early also gives the opportunity to take part of the potential growth generated by good ideas, concepts and products – something earlier in most cases only possible for larger investors, business angels and family members or friends of the entrepreneurs.

3. Which campaigns on FundedByMe have you invested in? What made you want to get involved?

I have made 21 investments so far on FundedByMe – they are Jascha, InstrumentChamp, FundedByMe, Goodio Cools, MowJow, Mobitrotter, Lovetagged, Åre Natural Mineral Water, Virtuous Vodka, Isbjörn of Sweden, Give, Commons, NOA Potions, Mormor Magdas Glass, Eggs Inc, Zeifie, Fikabox, Marita Huurinainen, Fast Track, Someone.io and BrewDog.

Must admit that some of my investments have been made based on an interest in supporting the founder or an idea rather than believing fully it will become the next big thing, but the major part of the campaigns I have entered I think had great potential. Some of the ventures have not followed through as expected, ran into technical or product positioning issues and more or less paused their activities – so you have to consider the risk. The companies I did invest more in was Jascha, InstrumentChamp, Isbjörn of Sweden, NOA Potions and Mormor Magdas Glass. What differed was that I had a stronger believe in the product and the team behind, but it was also dependent on current availability of capital to invest.

4. What do you expect to get out of these investments on the long run?

Dreaming of one or two of the investments turning out to be the next unicorn, but to be more realistic about it – hoping to be able to spread risk and still overall exceed at least the Nordic stock exchange indexes.

5. What is the most important tip you’d give other investors considering crowdfunding?

All early stage ventures are high-risk and often very dependent on the founders’ combined drive and endurance. Also be aware that pre-valuation of some of the companies can be “questionable” short-term and are often based on a prognosis with rather aggressive expansion plans. Examine the figures, ask questions and add also your believe in the product, concept and most important the people involved to the equation, even more important of course if investing more.

6. Are there any new investment rounds on FundedByMe that you have your eyes on at the moment?

Currently looking into Galagowear and Sofie Bly – both already established brands and ready for expansion. Also interested in FrontOffice Nordic, I believe the concept has great potential.

7. Finally, what is your favourite feature about FundedByMe as a platform?

FundedByMe makes it easy becoming an early-stage investor and has also been able to attract very interesting new companies seeking capital.

Follow crowd investor Magnus on his (new) blog here and find him on Twitter here.

Fat Cat and FundedByMe – not a partnership made in heaven.

To date, FundedByMe has helped more than 420 companies raise more than €15 million from more than 60,000 registered crowd investors. While we act as a ‘dating site’ where investors and entrepreneurs can meet one another and ‘fall in love’ – things do sometimes go wrong. 

Fat Cat Campaign

With the Fat Cat campaign (open on the FundedByMe platform between November 2014 and closed in January 2015), despite our best efforts, it unfortunately did.

From the FundedByMe end, we followed our usual strict diligence strategy for fact and identity checking the creators of the campaign before allowing the Fat Cat campaign to go live on the platform. At first it seemed like a campaign made for success – bloggers were driving traffic to their page and the entrepreneur seemed engaged and active. 

Soon, however, we realized that all was not as it seemed. While we kept our side of the agreement, once the campaign was successfully closed our initial invoices were queried and then went unpaid and our emails remain unanswered. 

Unhappy Bloggers

But more than our outstanding invoices, the bigger concern is that Fat Cat offered shares and other rewards to bloggers who helped them drive traffic to their campaign on our platform. They have not honoured these promises, despite receiving an immense outflow of support from their digital community. We take these allegations very seriously and have, to date, not received any feedback from the Fat Cat founders, despite numerous attempts to get the full truth.

Hereby, FundedByMe wishes to publicly apologise to any bloggers who were negatively affected by the activities of Fat Cat in relation to their campaign on our platform. We wish to distance ourselves from Fat Cat and its owners and will continue to do so until these allegations have been cleared up. As we are not allowed to handle any transactions nor issue shares on the FundedByMe platform, our ability to affect this situation is limited.

What we do have is a very active social network and we can ask for their help to publicly urge the Fat Cat owners to honour their promises made to industry leaders who used their social media powers to drive traffic to the Fat Cat campaign. 

And, while you’re at it, please pay your outstanding invoice from FundedByMe too.

Happy Holidays – and an overview of crowdfunding in 2015!

Thank you for helping us make crowdfunding in 2015 the best  yet. Here’s to a fantastic new year filled with success and happiness – cheers! From all of us at the FundedByMe team, MERRY CHRISTMAS!

FundedByMe Team overview of crowdfunding in 2015

Some FundedByMe highlights – crowdfunding in 2015:

  • We raised a total of €6,900,000.00 on the platform
  • We attracted some of the best people in the business to join our team
  • The largest single investment was €260,100.00
  • The smallest single investment was €10
  • The quickest round closed raised €990,000.00 in 5 days
  • The fastest €100,000.00 raised was in 3 minutes
  • An average of 23% of investments were international from 74 countries
  • We launched our new product, Loans
  • Awarded Finance Monthly’s ‘Crowdfunding firm of the year’ award
  • Invited to Nasdaq New York to speak about crowdfunding

In 2016 we will:

  • Be closing our A-round (more info to come!)
  • Be launching some very noteworthy campaigns
  • Be saying goodbye to Reward-based crowdfunding
  • Expanding into Asia
  • Further building our partner network to better serve our entrepreneurs and investors

Read more about our plans here.

FundedByMe and BrewDog launches a record-breaking crowdfunding round in the Nordics

FundedByMe and BrewDog launches a record-breaking crowdfunding round in the Nordics

FundedByMe and BrewDog, the popular Scottish craft beer brewery that uses
crowdfunding as a core strategy for growth, have joined forces, embarking on a quest to
bring craft beer to the Nordic countries in the biggest equity crowdfunding round ever.

“This is a match made in heaven – not only do we love craft beer, we also share the
conviction that crowdfunding is the future! Equity crowdfunding is growing extremely fast
– at a double-digit rate – and is predicted to be bigger than VC’s and business angels
together, within five years. BrewDog is a forerunner, and serves as great proof that
crowdfunding is so much more than just financing – it is a way of inviting people to play
a vital role in the success of your business, a strategy to achieve extraordinary growth”,
says Daniel Daboczy, CEO and co-founder of FundedByMe.

BrewDog has broken world records by raising over £10 million via its latest crowdfunding
round, Equity for Punks. More than 40,000 people have invested in the brewery to date. The
company also provides a secondary market of its own, offering shareholders the possibility
to trade shares once annually. Partnering with FundedByMe is clear indication of BrewDog’s
mission to grow its company into the Nordics, where it already boasts a loyal following. It is
featured on the shelves at Sweden’s ‘Systembolaget’, Finland’s ‘Alko’ and Norway’s
‘Vinmonopolet’ (government owned monopoly chains for alcoholic beverages).

Since launching in 2007, BrewDog has had an annual growth rate of almost 170 percent,
and is opening new bars on a monthly basis. The brewery launched its latest venue in Soho
London just last week, and now operates 38 bars world wide, including three in Sweden,
one in Finland and one in Norway. BrewDog’s beer is shipped to 55 different countries
around the world, including Mexico, China, South Africa and New Zealand. These
achievements have only been possible thanks to BrewDog’s rapidly expanding community
of passionate shareholders. With the financing from the ongoing Equity for Punks round, the
company is firmly set on launching in the US, the biggest craft beer market in the world.

“With this record-breaking crowdfunding round on FundedByMe, we’ve set out to boost our presence in the Nordics. We want to give those Vikings better access to brilliant craft beer – and maybe break a couple of records
as we go. This is our biggest crowdfunding round ever. Crowdfunding should no longer be
seen as a niche alternative, but a proven, workable option for change-makers”, says James
Watt, Captain and Co-founder of BrewDog.

This investment round is currently open to the public on FundedByMe,
where the company’s prospectus detailing the offer, benefits and projections is available in
English, Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian and Danish. FundedByMe and BrewDog are planning
on hosting and participating in events in Stockholm, Helsinki, Copenhagen and Oslo during
the campaign’s duration. BrewDog offers all shareholders additional benefits including
discounts in BrewDog bars and online, free birthday beers, and of course an invitation to the
annual general meeting, essentially a beer tasting and music festival combo in Scotland.

About BrewDog
Bored of the industrially brewed lagers and stuffy ales that dominated the UK market, school friends
James Watt and Martin Dickie established BrewDog in 2007. They decided the best way to fix this
undesirable predicament was to brew their own beers. Both only 24 at the time, BrewDog’s
cofounders leased a building, got some scary bank loans, spent all their money on stainless steel and
started making hardcore beers. “We are dedicated to making cool, contemporary and progressive
beers showcasing some of the world’s classic beer styles. All with an innovative twist and customary
BrewDog bite.”