Seedrs Review

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Seedrs.com is no doubt one of our favorite equity crowdfunding platforms for start-up investing. The one thing we don’t like about it…They are still closed to US investors! If you are looking to invest in European start-ups this is the place to go to.

Keep reading for our full review of seedrs.com.

 

 

Patch of Land Review

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pologoPatch of Land is a unique real estate crowdfunding platform which offers debt financing on real estate projects.

We took a deeper look at their platform and offers keep reading for our entire patchofland.com review.

Patch of land offers unique debt financing offers to perspective investors financing various types of real estate projects.

 

 

SeedInvest Review

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We decided to take a look at a one of the leading equity crowdfunding platforms out there seedinvest.com

Keep reading for our full seedinvest.com review which covers their interface, platform features and offers.

Interface:

The Seedinvest.com interface was very clean and easy to navigate but we did feel that there was a lot missing in terms of a real dashboard to manage, analyze and evaluate your portfolio. Also much of the information was blocked and a special request was needed for approval on viewing these materials. This is probably because many of the start-ups listed are already past the initial seed stage and they have detailed financial information they don’t want to be viewed without approval. The homepage in the interface also shows off news and articles about and from the various companies seeking funds on their platform. Although this is nice, I don’t like that this takes up so much room we would like to see the offers or a more general dashboard when signing in.

Offers:

It would be impossible to really qualify the offers on the site as each offer would require a thorough evaluation. There are some great opportunities on their platform. For starters all the offers have gone through a process of being vetted by the platform and in many cases third party auditors such as crowdcheck.com

Furthermore most of the offers have been through some type of start-up incubator or accelerator program which adds not only to their credibility but also serves as a big vote of confidence for the management team. The last and possibly most important aspect is that the site shows who are some of the lead investors in the start-ups. These may include notable start-up investors such as Mark Cuban and others. This is truly a great value for someone looking to invest in start-ups by following the lead of other great investors.

The major downer is that the minimum investment for these offers is at $10,000 which makes it hard to gain real diversification in this space.

What We Love:

Here is one of the most exciting parts about their platform is that they used their very on platform to raise money for themselves. This is a true show of their belief in the process and quality of their platform. They also were chosen by real-estate crowdfunding platform patchofland.com to raise capital through as well. When people in the industry are using their platform then it shows they are the real deal!

Conclusion:

We generally cover real estate crowdfunding platforms as we believe in the value these offerings add to a diversified portfolio, and in there less speculative nature. Although start-ups remain very risky as you can read about our views on start-up investing if you have the appetite for start-ups then we suggest taking a look at seedinvest.com as it is one of the most secure and quality platforms.

Fundrise Review

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fundrise_logoIn order to give our viewers an insider take, we decided to take a look for ourselves at the entire Fundrise.com platform. Keep reading to see what we think about the platform, offerings and their research.

Three words- we love it!

Fundrise closed a $31 Million dollars round of financing and it is clear that they put that money to good use so far.

 

Usuability:

The site is very clean, easy to navigate and they have a great dashboard. The information is readily available and easy to understand.

Offerings:

In terms of the offerings they seem to have relatively high yields on their debt offerings but this of course depends on the risks. At the time we wrote this review their debt on their listed project was paying 14.4% compared to much smaller yields on other projects again this is relative to risk. The offers had a $5k minimum investment which is relatively low so we like that too.

Research:

The site is very transparent even showing you how well one investment looks compared to others across their platform (including past offerings) on a risk adjusted basis. The best part about the site is that they have created a very transparent risk rating for each offer. This allows you to easily compare the various offers while taking in the variations in risk.

The biggest downside is they only had one offer live at the time of publication. This could be for various reason maybe they only work on one offer at a time or maybe they simply have poor deal flow, it is possible that the deals get funded so fast that they just can’t keep up. I assume as the market increases their deal flow will increase offering investors more options. Until then hang tight! They claim they do a rigorous approval of each offering and make sure that sponsors are vetted. In terms of the legitimacy of the platform itself of course you need to do some due diligence on them as well but you can consider the $31 Million in venture capital investments that they secured as a very good vote of confidence for the platform.

Fundrise is a Crowdtrader favorite, sign-up and start investing.

CircleUp Review

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Although we regularly write about real estate crowdfunding platforms  we still decided to take a look at a great equity investing platform which focuses on early stage companies in the consumer goods sector. Keep reading for our full review of CircleUp.com.

Offerings:

CircleUp.com could be called a niche platform in that its offers are basically consumer brands only. This means you are funding companies that sell an actual product. In general these companies will be more established as they have running operations and not just an idea. This isn’t really seed investment to start a company but more of an early stage investment in a private company. The offerings will usually be generating revenue which allows you to make a much better assessment of future earnings and company valuation. This model helps mitigate the risk that is normally accompanied by investing in start-ups. What we love about CircleUp.com is that we feel this niche is specifically suited for crowdfunding as it can properly take advantage of many of the opportunities to rally the crowd behind a specific product or consumer good. To read more about this you can check out our article Crowdfunding vs. VC or Angel funding  on the various advantages of using crowdfunding to raise capital as opposed to VC or Angel funding.

Interface:

The platform allows you to also see how popular these companies are amongst the investors and who the investors are which should give a good indication of how these companies will be received by the larger public, another factor which helps mitigate risk. The offerings are a mix of equity and convertible notes. Again they are looking to build a community around and within their platform which becomes a drag for anyone who wants to keep their privacy in terms of investing. They try to force you to integrate your social media profiles and they keep a lot of the deal specifications hidden until you do.

Conclusion:

A very good platform if you are looking for a stable investment in high growth potential private companies. They also offer the ability for you to invest through a IRA/Roth allowing your investments to grow tax free. If you are looking to fund the next big tech start-up though, this isn’t the platform for you. This is a great option though to add to a diversified portfolio of crowdfunded equity investments as it is a relatively lower risk investment compared to non-real estate crowdfunding investments.

For a great addition to your real estate investments check out CircleUp.com or read more circleup.com reviews.

 

Crowdfunder Review

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crowdfunder-logoCrowdfunder.com is a growing equity crowdfunding platform which offers many different investment opportunities in various start-up and early stage companies. The minimum investments are usually significant starting at $10k. The companies offer a mix of convertible debt and equity. The platform is easy to use although the dashboard could be a little more visible, you need to look to find it. The platform uses a mix of a social media within their investment platform. This allows you to check who is investing in which companies and to connect very easily with the active company managers who are active within the network. The downer to this is that the companies raising capital have representatives who start pursuing the end user. I am not sure that this is the best method for a company to pursue. In my opinion they should focus on the investing aspect and not on building a social media network. But if you like that kind of interaction then this is a great platform to join. The financial information and forecasts for the companies should also be more accessible. Currently you need to request approval to get access. This is a bothersome step added to the due diligence process.

TycoonRe Review

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We decided to take a look and review a niche real estate investing site Tycoonre.com. Here are our thoughts on their platform, offers and technology. Keep reading for our review and breakdown of tycoonre.com.

User Friendly:

We were not impressed with the setup of the site interface. There is a dashboard but it is somewhat hidden. Most investment sites as soon as you  login to your account take you straight away to the dashboard, showing you your holdings etc.  This is a simple change that can be made and we hope to see this improvement. What we didn’t like is we were experiencing broken links on some pages.

Offerings:

The investments at the time of this review are only in residential single family homes and for debt with a buy and hold strategy. These are not really the high grade institutional grade investments opportunities that you might be looking for. But I do think they have promise in terms of their strategy as they have very low minimum investment thresholds on these offers of $1k which is the smallest of any the platforms we reviewed. These debt crowdfunding investment offerings might be a better alternative to people looking to engage in peer-to-peer lending with the guarantee of an asset backed loan providing more security than a unsecured loan.

Conclusion:

The site has potential especially for the small investment minimums and although some of the investments might be a bit riskier the small minimums allow investors to gain needed diversification.

 

Click here to sign up and start investing with tycoonre.com .

 

 

 

CrowdStreet Review

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Although you may not have heard of them yet Crowdstreet.com is a great platform to look at. They aren’t as well known and don’t have huge sums of VC  capital backing them as some other crowdfunding investment platforms do  but they have done an outstanding job creating their platform. We decided to take a closer look at what they offer on their site keep reading for our review.

Userfriendly: The site is pretty easy to navigate once you get in, but there is a big problem as their homepage is missing a login tab. You need to go to their Join link in order to be prompted for your login credentials if you already have an account. This can easily be fixed and I assume they will make the change. The information on each offer is very transparent and clear with visible buttons to submit questions. Additionally the information of the executives of each sponsor are clearly visible with a bio on each which helps give the investor a good idea of who is backing the project. We especially like a detailed breakdown of projected investment returns based on your investment this is a nice touch for prospective investors.

The interface could use some work in terms of creating a more investor friendly dashboard. We would like to see a more traditional dashboard which will showcase the holdings of the portfolio and performance this seems to be missing.

 

Offers: There were only three offers up when we reviewed crowdstreet.com but based on those offers as well as their previously funded offers it seems like they have a great mix of real-estate options. They have funded or are funding large residential, commercial retail, office, various development projects as well as a mix of investment fund options. They include offers for both equity investments and Mezzanine Debt investments. The big downside is that the minimum on the investments is $25,000 which is larger than many other platforms making it difficult to diversify your investments.

 

 

Conclusion: Crowdstreet.com has put together a great platform with a big mix of offers. If you are patient and willing to wait for the right offer to come along and are able to meet the $25,000 minimum then this is for sure a great platform to check out. We feel they have done a great job with the resources they have at hand and as they grow we expect the platform to improve greatly both in terms of their tools for investors , the number of offers and hopefully they will be able to drop their minimums a bit : )

Check out crowdstreet.com and start investing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

EarlyShares Review

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EarlyShares is another great crowdfunding platform launched in 2012 and run by CEO Joanna Schwartz.

We took a inside look, continue reading our full review of EarlyShares.com platform and offerings.

Interface:

The Earlyshares.com interface and dashboard is very good, clean and easy to navigate. We were a bit disappointed as the dashboard seemed to be missing any tools for real investment analysis. This includes projections of specific offerings as well as overall portfolio performance. The site is also missing out on showing the percentage of funding the specific offering has already received. This is a indicator as to how well investors perceive the offer and can give perspective investors some great guidance. We give the interface a B+ .

Offerings:

The offerings on EarlyShares.com really meet our expectations for a number of reasons. First of all the have the best mix of any platform we have seen. They give you a little of everything on their platform. Whether you are looking for growth stage private companies, real estate investment funds, commercial Class A real estate offerings or real estate development projects they have it all. They also include a mix of equity and debt offerings for the real estate investments. Of course a great variety of each would be better nevertheless they have managed to bring it all together. The minimums vary greatly as some investments have a minimum of $5,000 while others request a minimum investment of $250,000. The returns seem solid and we look forward to seeing more great offerings. We give their offerings an A .

Due Diligence:

We were a bit disappointed about their due diligence although they claim that they only accept 5% of the offerings that apply to raise funds on their platform and say they thoroughly vet the offers this seems to be limited in scope. When you actually look into any particular offer they have a disclaimer stating  “All elements of the Offering – including the Legal Docs, Investment Terms, and Due Diligence – were the responsibility of the Issuer. EarlyShares and its partners have conducted only a qualification screening and regulatory compliance check on the issuer.” This is a bit disheartening but I think this is more a legal formality for protection than an indication of how well the offer has been checked. Since EarlyShares.com has a partnership with crowdcheck.com a third party site which offers outside auditing of the sponsors and all of their sponsors go through this auditing process, this certainly adds to the credibility of the offers. We give their due diligence a B+ as well.

Conclusion:

Although there are some things that earlyshares.com could still improve on they are off to a great start and have a great basis for a site that can really shape the face of equity and debt crowdfunding. We were a bit annoyed by there hyper focus on social media throughout the dashboard trying to get you to invite, share and link your social media at every turn. It is important to keep an eye of EarlyShares.com as they are a pioneer in offering a little but of everything on their site. The main question is will they be able to attract the high quality offers that a more specific equity platform would be able to garner as well. If you are trying to raise money for a real estate project will you go to Earlyshares.com or focus on a site that is totally dedicated to real estate crowdfunding such as fundrise.com or realcrowd.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

RealtyShares

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realtyshares-cb_861c906964a1c61ed80b9cb711d21454This is also one of our favorites. A very clean and easy to use site they have both equity and debt offers with some of their yields reaching 12.5%. It is also worth mentioning that they accept bitcoin as a form of payment from investors. I love the dashboard with their portfolio summary this really gives a good snapshot of what your investments look like and their performance. They have tailored this like any other brokerage site which makes it very attractive for savvy investors. In our opinion their dashboard is the best one out there. The biggest downside is they don’t have up many offers, at least at the time of publication. We would like to see a handful of options at any given time and this is missing.