The crowdfunding trend is in acceleration mode. Today Angellist raised $24 million from everyone but Obama (though Obamacare is sure to slow Angellist down). The space is expanding and morphing so quickly that you can’t throw a blanket over it anymore.
Woops – Felix Salmon is trying. Here is his rant. Felix is paid to fight the trend with his keyboard.
Felix says you should just avoid equity crowdfunding sites as a matter of principle. That’s such bad advice on so many levels.
As disclosure, I have some skin in the crowdfunding world. SocialLeverage has an investment in Giveforward (crowdgiving). I would argue the crowd is not idiotic here, but mostly fantastic!
I have long had a personal investment in Angellist. I called Naval a few years back and just asked nicely. He was not raising capital, just building an awesome product and company that I wanted to be a part of as more than a user. He warned me the terms would suck. I knew I might be the idiot. Nothing has changed today. It is my version of jumping out of a plane (truly idiotic).
I would argue that the OTC and Bulletin Board markets are way more dangerous and littered with idiots. On Angellist I get the same documents as the people I invest with, can see their faces and profiles and can communicate directly with almost everyone in a syndicate and management with a few clicks. I wish the stock markets were this dangerous!
Felix is wrong because the train has left the station. All we can do now is educate. It has NEVER been easier to educate people. Of course, some people don’t want to be educated, they want to gamble and the crowdfunding markets will crush them. They will sue. Lawyers are licking their chops today. They will be there to pick away where they can. The system will be the system.
Fred Destin has this more interesting and educational post about Angellist and crowdfunding. It’s a revolution.
Finally, I don’t see much press about the mighty $GOOG that led this round of funding for AngelList. The $GOOG that bought WAZE a few months back to seal maps domination and also bought a huge option in the awesome $UBER a few weeks back.
Between Google, Twitter, LinkedIn (and hopefully Stocktwits) – the financial markets can be fully reimagined. The big three have left the financial markets alone for the most part, likely because the regulation would make it easier for them to get into the weapons business. Gaming is further evolved and less regulated than the financial markets. It has been an easy bet assuming that financial regulations will continue to protect the incumbents and aunt Betty. The thing is you can’t protect aunt Betty with increasing regulation. She has a smartphone and some Bitcoins and wants to learn.
Don’t listen to the rants, do yourself a favor…roll up your sleeves and learn how to use these incredible tools. They are the future of markets.