. ising capital online can be a great way to a vast pool of potential investors. With the JOBS Act exemptions and many online funding portals available, it’s easier than ever to get started. Here are 7 Things You Need to Raise Capital Online in 2023.
1. Know Your Options
From Regulation D 506(c) offerings to RegCF and RegA+ offerings, it’s important to understand the differences between them. Each option has different requirements for time, cost, and resources. Plan accordingly for whatever option you choose by considering the trade-offs. Many issuers start with a RegD, then move on to a RegCF, and then a RegA+ because of the costs and compliance efforts required with each exemption.
2. Plan for a Higher Cost of Capital
Raising capital can be expensive. Especially when doing so online, you should plan on paying more than you usually would because of the additional costs associated with marketing, platform fees for using a crowdfunding platform, etc. These costs, along with fees for broker-dealers and legal counsel, can add up quickly, but understanding the potential costs will help you to plan accordingly. While raising capital online will cost more than a brokered or VC deal, you will retain greater ownership and control and suffer from less dilution, which may be a valuable tradeoff.
3. Find the Best Online Capital-Raising Platform
Before you embark on your journey to raise capital online, you need to find the right platform for your needs. You will want to make sure that you are working with the best platform possible. The first step is to do your research and find out which platform suits you best. You should look into the fees each platform charges, their customer service ratings, and whether or not they have any special features such as automated investing tools or portfolios with pre-set risk profiles.
Be wary of platforms that promise unrealistic returns or make promises about how easy it will be to raise capital in a short amount of time. Seek out platforms that have built up a good reputation and are transparent with their fees and services. Platforms do not raise money for you. Be sure to have a clear strategy in place before you launch your capital-raising campaign, and do not use a platform that promises too much. You can explore the list of FINRA-regulated funding platforms here.
4. You’re Responsible for Marketing
You’ll need to craft an effective message and have the resources available to get it out there – whether that’s through social media, email campaigns, print ads, or other forms of advertising. When you sign up for a capital raising platform, they do not help you with marketing or getting investors. This is left up to your organization or you can hire a marketing firm that is experienced in marketing for online capital raises. Ensure you know your target market and audience so that your message resonates with the right people who will invest in your cause or project. Researching trends in the current market can help you refine your strategy over time as well. Focus on building relationships with potential investors by providing value upfront before asking them for anything monetary related – this can go far towards building trust and credibility between both parties when marketing for your capital raise.
5. Launch with an Announcement and Target Multiple Investors
Announce the closing of your last smaller raise and its success when launching your next round. You can create a sense of urgency that will attract investors and help drive interest in your offering. This proven strategy can be rinsed and repeated as often as needed (though it can be overdone, and your audience will eventually catch on that this isn’t really the last chance to invest). Another way to maximize your chances for success when raising capital online is to target multiple investor types. While it’s important to target self-directed investors online, you can also retain marketing partners to reach out to family offices and institutional investors. By targeting multiple investor types simultaneously, you’ll improve your chances of raising more capital.
6. Focus on Marketing and Platforms
It is essential to have a well-structured marketing plan. That will help you reach your target audience and create awareness of your offering. It’s also important to focus on choosing the right platform for your capital-raising efforts. Consider your capital-raising goals, the platform you plan to use to meet those goals, and the availability of resources to help you achieve success. Will your campaign primarily use affinity marketing? Or will you utilize tools such as advertising, email campaigns, and social media?
7. Get a Valuation Report and a Securities Attorney
During the process of raising capital online, understand the value of your assets and make sure that you are compliant with security laws. A 3rd-party valuation report can give you a better understanding of your company’s worth and help inform investors about its potential. These reports are available from many reputable firms, and retaining one can help you to make a more convincing case for the worth of your company. It is also essential to hire a securities attorney to ensure you comply with JOBS Act exemptions. Without a lawyer experienced in securities law on your side, you could be risking legal violations and hefty fines.