By Sandi Gilbert
In 2012, our team of ex-bankers, entrepreneurs and technology geeks had an idea. Wouldn’t it be great if companies could raise capital and close private placements on-line? After all, our team had investment banking experience, were long time entrepreneurs and had built businesses that embraced technologies that made products better and made the delivery of services more efficient. We knew how complicated and time consuming a paper based capital raise was. So, how hard could it be?
In 2014, after extensive research and development, we deployed our first solution, a crowdfunding platform called SeedUps Canada. It was licensed by an Exempt Market Dealer and was the first Canadian platform to execute private placements on-line, embracing the new world of equity crowdfunding. By August of 2016, we recognized that crowdfunding in Canada was off to a slow and complex start, so we left the crowd behind and turned back to our entrepreneurial roots, and focused on helping early stage companies access the resources they need to plan and execute a strategy for long term business success, be that capital, mentorship or connections.
We learned a few things in our ‘first mover’ stage. We knew we had a winner with our technology. The fact that you could actually execute a subscription agreement on-line was exciting for issuers, their lawyers and their agents. Our original vision of bringing technology to the private capital markets was a reality. We just needed to refine the model to match the needs of the industry.
So, with a major client onboard, we re-engineered the on-line process to meet the needs of issuers and their agents and last month, deployed DealPoint, a SaaS solution that streamlines the execution and closing of private placements. The platform offers ‘white label’ solutions where issuers and their agents can present details about their exempt offerings in private, branded dealrooms accessed by ‘invitation only’. Investors are directed to dealrooms to execute subscription documents, initiate the opening of registered plan accounts and complete investor onboarding in accordance with their own internal policies and procedures.
Imagine, dealing representatives armed with iPad’s rather than notepads. They can walk through the on-line investment process together with their client, or send them a link to do it on their own. Investors are presented with the appropriate subscription agreement and other supporting documentation based on their exemption and their jurisdiction. When they complete an on-line conversation, the documents are generated and presented for signature. It’s the right document every time.
When the investor has executed their documents, the dealing representative and CCO login to the compliance console where they conduct a review of the investor paperwork and document the suitability process. When the private placement is fully subscribed, the issuer, their agent and their legal counsel access data and documents to proceed to close. The platform has API integrations to facilitate the uploading of completed documents to external investor dashboards, making the entire process seamless and transparent. Private capital – simplified.
We’re excited to bring DealPoint to market. We’ve launched, but we aren’t done. The power of moving online means that it has become easier to connect, to access information and interact seamlessly. DealPoint provides increased transparency among all stakeholders involved, making raising private capital faster while driving costs down.
With DealPoint, all stakeholders have an integrated solution that makes it easy to move the private capital raise on-line. The company plans to deploy more technologies for the exempt market. Our goal is to listen to the needs of the industry and continue to develop and deploy fintech solutions that support the private capital markets. For more information or a demo of DealPoint, go to DealPoint.ca
Sandi is a strategic, visionary entrepreneur and founder and CEO of Crowd Capital, a fintech firm that develops strategies and deploys technologies for the private capital markets. The Company's solutions help entrepreneurs, their advisors and agents navigate the complex world of raising capital, saving time and money by reducing paperwork and streamlining the capital raising process. Sandi is a board member of NACO Canada, Canada’s association of angel investors and is a frequent speaker at industry events.