More established companies looking to crowdfunding: Almerico
Kendall Almerico knows a thing or two about successful crowdfunding campaigns, and he will be sharing some of those insights on June 1-2 at FundIt 2017, the crowdfunding, compliance and fintech conference taking place in Washington, D.C. at the Liaison Capitol Hill Hotel.
Mr. Almerico has three decades of experience as a practicing attorney (currently with Dimuro Ginsberg in Alexandria, VA) and has been recognized for his crowdfunding expertise by several publications. Forbes said he is one of the country’s top Regulation A+ attorneys, while both VentureBeat and Inc. list him as a national top 20 crowdfunding expert.
Through his company BankRoll Ventures, Mr. Almerico plays a key roll in the ongoing success of high-profile crowdfunding campaign Equity for Punks, a $50 million raise being conducted by unconventional craft brewery BrewDog USA. He is also working with Stacy Bendet and Alexandra Lebenthal to help women business owners raise capital through BankRoll Women. He is a believer in the idea that a campaign is more likely to be successful if it comes with a ready-made affinity group that believes in the product and will serve as ambassadors to promote it.
Look for change in the Regulation A+ marketplace as more established companies start using it as a way to test new product ideas and communicate with their fan base, Mr. Almerico believes.
“They look at it as another way to raise capital. It’s a great way to reach out to your fan base if you’re not a public company and strengthen those customer relationships.”
No one reaches out to their fan base better than BrewDog. Established in 2007 by two men and their dog in the United Kingdom, BrewDog has grown into a company with more than 32,000 shareholders, 540 employees, a line of more than 65 unique brews, and 44 bars. And the dog is still there too.
Companies looking to be successful can learn from BrewDog’s experience, Mr. Almerico said.
“People view this as an investment and not just a crowdfunding campaign. They are not just giving their money to get perks.
“They are asking if there is growth potential here.”
Mr. Almerico agrees with those who believe the equity crowdfunding industry suffers from a shortage of “poster companies” best positioned to illustrate the potential of the capital raising tool. These are ones with easy to understand concepts, who are near to market and who offer investors a clear exit strategy. That is why real estate has been the most successful crowdfunding sector to date.
BrewDog also checks off all he boxes, Mr. Almerico said. Since 2010 they have raised tens of millions of dollars through a series of crowdfunding rounds and the company is now valued at $1.24 billion. Those who invested in the first round realized a 2,765 per cent return.
“It’s a validation you can invest a small amount in one of those companies that has potential and have an exit,” Mr. Almerico said.