We’re pleased to announce that StartupYard is offering qualified investors an opportunity to invest in our next accelerator round, StartupYard 2016/2, (the 2nd in 2016).
We’re offering members of our community the chance to invest exclusively via FundLift, the recently launched Czech investment crowdfunding platform backed by Roklen, the investment bank. This will be a non-public offer open to a maximum of 150 investors. For the first time this gives you the opportunity to invest alongside professional investors who have committed a minimum of one million Czech crowns each. The minimum amount of investment is 25,000 Czech crowns (Yes, it does not add up with 150 investors as some of you have kindly indicated you would invest substantially more).
Where Does the Money Go?
For now, the funds being raised will be invested in accelerating up to 10 startups in our upcoming acceleration round, focusing on the Data Economy. In addition, up to 7 of these will receive a direct investment of 30,000 euros (half at the midpoint of the round, and half at the end). Investors will own a proportional stake in each of the startups we select and accelerate for this round.
Why Not Invest Directly In Startups?
Of course, we want those interested and able to invest in early-stage startups to consider investing in any of our portfolio companies directly. That should go without saying. If you want to invest in individual startups, you should do so.
At the same time, there are barriers to entry in angel investing that many with an appetite for investment find too cumbersome. Legal knowledge of investment, assuring transparency, and vetting startups is a challenge for any small scale investor. What’s more, startups who are worthy of investment often are selective of early investors, looking only for those with experience and a track record in angel investing. We advise startups to protect themselves in this process, by working with investors who are proven and recommended by others.
More and more, accelerators like StartupYard bridge these gaps: connecting qualified and trusted investors with equally qualified and trustworthy startups. An accelerator also spreads an investor’s risk to a selection of startups in several verticals, keeping their investments diverse.
You can see this as an opportunity to build your brand among startups as a potential investor; someone who is willing to invest, and has shown their capacity to take appropriate risks in order to do so. Angel investing isn’t for everyone, but it can be for more people.
This is a way of getting started. You shouldn’t expect to get rich quick as an angel investor, nor can you count on getting anything back, but investing through StartupYard can provide assurance that your investment is used appropriately, and that it has the best likelihood of success. We also ensure that startups follow industry best practices in legal and finance, and larger institutional investors, including VCs like Credo Ventures and Rockaway Capital, are also invested in the outcome of our decisions. In short, StartupYard can provide some protections against the pitfalls of angel investing that many are already familiar with.
There would be no StartupYard without investors willing to take risks. While we offer enormous value to angel investors who pick individual companies from our portfolio to invest in, that portfolio would not exist, if we did not have our own committed investors supplying initial funds. An accelerator needs funding- just as a fire needs oxygen. In order to accelerate, or to expand our services to startups, we have to have funding in place.
How to Invest?
FundLift is not a donation platform like Kickstarter. It is an investment platform and you will be investing using Roklen as a licensed securities broker. In order to invest, a person must meet some legal requirements, including a full anti-money laundering process which is part of an EU regulation. Prospective investors should apply to open a brokerage account through FundLift, and follow a verification process on the platform before being allowed to invest. It may sound daunting but worthwhile. Once you become an investor, your investments will be duly recorded on your account and Roklen will administer all payments, change of ownership and key reporting until such time when we exit all investments and return money and profits to you, our investors.