Category Archives: Crowdfunding Interview

Podcast: The Business Credit & Financing Show Focusing on How to Avoid Crowdfunding Legal Pitfalls with Mark Roderick

MSR Podcast OCt 2018

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN | Also available on iTunes & Spotify

During This Show We Discuss…

  • Your potential legal liability using crowdfunding platforms
  • When a potential investor can sue the project creator
  • The “3 flavors” of crowdfunding you should know about
  • Legal issues with flex versus fixed funding
  • How the new tax law affects crowdfunding
  • 20% tax deduction in crowdfunding transactions
  • Getting crowd funding for real estate investing
  • What you should know about peer-to-peer lending
  • Issues with bonuses you may offer to donors
  • What to know about the SEC’s role in crowdfunding
  • What an opportunity zone fund is and how they work
  • Why trusts invest in crowdfunding projects
  • Other big investors who are investing in crowdfunding campaigns
  • Potential legal pitfalls in peer-to-peer lending?
  • And much more

Mark Roderick is one of the leading Crowdfunding and Fintech lawyers in the United States. Expanding on his in-depth knowledge of capital-raising and securities law, Mark represents many portals and other players in the Crowdfunding field. He writes a widely read blog, crowdfundattny.com, which provides readers with a wealth of legal and practical information for portals, issuers and investors. He also speaks at Crowdfunding events across the country and represents industry participants across the country and around the world.

THE iFUNDING MOBILE APP: AN INTERVIEW WITH SOHIN SHAH

Sohin at desk croppedSohin Shah is the COO and co-founder of iFunding, and created iFunding’s mobile app, the first in the Crowdfunding market. Sohin also created Valuation App, which allows finance professionals to analyze businesses and start-ups. His prior experience is at New York investment banks and he holds a Masters in Finance & Risk Engineering from NYU.

Q:        Before getting to the iFunding mobile app, what’s your sense of technology innovation in real estate overall?

A:        Impressive but uneven. There is a lot of technology for the consumer looking for a home or apartment – the Zillow/Trulia merger is an example of scale in that segment. Also, developers looking to purchase properties wholesale have sites like Auction.com, and larger institutions are increasing their data and automation for deal assessment through services like Compstak and Reonomy. But there’s been surprisingly little innovation available to the individual investor who wants to participate in real estate projects and profits.

Q:        What can an individual investor do with your mobile app?

A:        Anything she could do on our website, from browse opportunities to review documents to actually invest. We can also send an alert to your app to let you know when deals are available.

Q:        Can I switch back and forth from mobile to website?

A:        Absolutely. We made it as seamless as possible going both ways.

Q:        I have to ask you: was the mobile app really necessary? Do your investors log in from mobile devices? Or is this a gimmick?

A:        You would be amazed. Already, about 25% of the visits to ifunding.co come from mobile devices, roughly two-thirds of these from smart phones and one-third from tablets. We realized our customers want to get information and make investments when it is convenient to them, from the couch to the hair stylist.

Q:        But are people really moving tens of thousands of dollars into investments via smartphone?

A:        Yes, definitely. Although we don’t have hard data, those completing the entire investment process by mobile device have probably invested with us before. They know what they want and are looking to roll their money into the next deal before someone else fills that slot. Keep in mind that some of our deals fund with a day or hours, so mobile access at any time is valuable to top investors.

Q:        Why do you think people might be skeptical investing significant dollars by phone?

A:        Sometimes people have a tendency to underestimate the individual investor and what they become comfortable with. Think about banking by phone, or sending funds by PayPal. What we’re learning in Crowdfunding is that individuals really do want the power to control their own destinies. Our mobile app is just one more tool helping them do that.

Q:        Can you use the app to just browse properties and learn about investing?

A:        You sure can. Many people do. We provide a lot of educational content and try to help investors make smart decisions. When you’re traveling or have idle time, instead of playing a game on your phone, why not learn more about real estate and empower yourself financially?

Q:        Did you build the app yourselves?

A:        Yes, our technology team built it. I had the experience of building Valuation App and we had all the industry knowledge in house, so that made sense for us to design and program it.

Q:        Is the mobile app secure? As secure as your website?

A:        Yes, definitely. In fact, no user information is stored on the mobile device – you could drop your phone in Grand Central Station and have no worry about compromised information. All information is on our secure servers and downloaded to the mobile device through an encrypted connection only when you use the app, then erased when you quit.

Q:        Do you plan to add more functionality in the future?

A:        We update the app several times a month based mainly on customer suggestions. The future will see more eye-catching features, though you can imagine we haven’t planned an “Apple Watch” version just yet.

Q:        So what’s it called and where can I get it?

A:        It’s called “iFunding – Real Estate Investing through Crowdfunding.” It’s available on iOS and Android devices. You can download it for free at bitly.com/ifundappios and bitly.com/ifundappandroid.

CROWDFUNDING.BIZ INTERVIEW

CFBizJosef Helm runs a terrific site called crowdfunding.biz focused on the Crowdfunding industry. This week Josef interviewed me as part of his Crowdfunding Industry Spotlight series. He asked how I got into the Crowdfunding industry, my advice for those getting in today, my hopes and expectations for the future of Crowdfunding, and a bunch of other illuminating questions.

If you’re interested, my interview is here. But as long as you’re at the site, take a look at the eight other people Josef has identified as industry leaders, people like Richard Swart and Joy Schoffler. Responding to the same questions, you might find their answers more interesting.

I’m honored to have been selected. Josef, thank you for what you do in this space.

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