How does TradeUp work?
TradeUp is the first-in-class crowdfunding platform for globalizing companies. It is used by companies, entrepreneurs, global investors, government entities, trade associations, export consultants, business incubators, and other stakeholders of the business and international trade communities to analyze, capitalize, and advise privately-held businesses that are seeking growth through international expansion, whether exports, overseas projects, or foreign direct investments. To see how TradeUp works visit www. tradeupfund.com/??
Who uses TradeUp?
Companies, business owners and managers. TradeUp specializes in capitalizing and resourcing companies that are seeking to start and/or step up their international sales and presence. Any company or entrepreneur in any stage or type of private businesses can use TradeUp to access a loan, equity investment, or royalties-based financing. We are at the moment accepting applications from companies with U.S. address; however, we are opening our services to companies also from elsewhere in the course of 2014.
Companies that seek funding through TradeUp need to seek funding need related to growing sales not only in the U.S. market but also in international markets. Financing international growth is not a one-size-fits all business: situations, markets, companies all vary. At TradeUp, we get it. We help globalizing companies raise flexible and patient capital that accommodates each company’s unique aspirations.
Companies’ financing needs vary, and may involve one or more of the following: growth capital, financing for overseas business development and marketing, working capital to fulfill export orders, expansion capital to increase production, overseas project finance, and more. We can also support companies that need capital to purchase imports.
TradeUp is not applicable to publicly-traded companies.
Investors. Individual investors, investment groups, venture capitalists, angel investors, government entities, multilateral development banks, and banks all use TradeUp to invest in globalizing companies.
Export advisors, service providers, and other stakeholders. Export consultants, trade credit insurance firms, government entities, trade associations, business incubators, various service providers, universities, and other members of the international trade and business “ecosystems” all use TradeUp.
What is EQUITY crowdfunding?
TradeUp is in the equity crowdfunding business. Equity crowdfunding is different from rewards-based crowdfunding. In rewards-based crowdfunding, anyone can invest in a business in exchange for a reward, such as the company's product. In contrast, equity crowdfunding (or "crowd investment") enables companies to raise significant debt and equity from accredited investors, such as angel investors, venture capitalists, private equity funds, corporate venture arms, other strategic investors, and banks.
Crowdfunding is rapidly growing; an estimated $2.7 billion was invested through crowdfunding platforms in 2012, of which some $1.6 billion was invested in the United States. Investor profiles are very diverse, ranging from angels to venture capital firms and banks. Crowdfunding started as donation- and rewards-based investments. Today, however, equity- and loan-based crowdfunding platforms such as TradeUp are growing increasingly popular.
Crowdfunding platforms also help activate vast networks of friends, family and colleagues through social media websites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to get the word out about a new business and attract investors.
Why is TradeUp in the crowdfunding business?
At TradeUp, we simply put 2 and 2 together: since crowdfunding enables companies to gain visibility across multiple types of investors globally, why not use crowdfunding to capitalize high-growth companies that tend to be constrained for credit: small globalizing companies.
Why do you focus on globalizing companies? Why not just any companies?
Great question. Extensive academic research carried out around the world is practically unanimous in that globalizing companies are an elite set: countless rigorous studies demonstrate that companies that import, export, and/or invest overseas outperform the broader market in revenue, productivity, job-creation, and stability. Yet in survey after survey in the United States, Europe, and other markets, these globalizing companies also cite limited access to capital as a leading obstacle to expanding their international sales.
Our purpose at Trade Up is to fill this financing gap, and catalyze the globalizing companies.
How likely am I to raise funding ON TRADEUP?
Companies that use TradeUp are much likelier to obtain funding for international growth than those who do not. This is because TradeUp dramatically increases the company’s visibility across multiple investors and lenders globally. In addition, we bring the company to investors specifically attuned to globalizing companies: our investors “get” what it is like to do business successfully in foreign countries, and are inherently interested in internationalizing companies.
Also, if and when you so wish, we can help optimize your company’s profile and overseas business plan for enhanced funding success.
For all companies onboarding our platform, TradeUp guides you through an educational process of what information and criteria investors look for. TradeUp’s business and market analytics and benchmarking offer investors and companies an intelligent and efficient funding process.
WHAT TYPES OF FINANCING CAN I RAISE ON TRADEUP?
You can raise $10,000-10 million in debt, equity, or royalties-based financing on TradeUp. You name the terms and the valuation, and communicate directly with investors on our site.
HOW MUCH DOES TRADEUP COST?
We charge a monthly subscription of $99 for companies raising less than $250,000, and $199 for companies raising $250,000-$500,000,and $499 for companies raising more than $500,000.
For a flat additional fee ranging from $199 to $999, we can also up-level your business profile and international growth plan, to bolster your odds of accessing financing. We can also to assist you to go to market.
WHAT REGULATIONS DO I NEED TO MEET?
The equity crowdfunding landscape is relatively new and evolving. With the ongoing implementation of the JOBS Act, there are currently 2 primary areas of crowdfunding legislation that matter to you:
General Solicitation – Title II of the JOBS Act, implemented on September 23, 2013, removed the 80-year-old ban on general solicitation, a company’s ability to publicly advertise that it is seeking investment. This enables companies terrific flexibility in raising capital and promoting their offering, but there are some key rules and guidelines aimed to protect both companies and investors. The basic rules:
First, federal securities laws currently require that Companies must complete and file a Form D with the SEC no later than 15 days after the “date of first sale” of the securities. Certain states also require a notification filing, and may require the filing be made in advance of an offer or sale. It is the Company’s responsibility to determine the filing requirements that apply to its offering. TradeUp does not make any filings for any company nor advise as to what the filing requirements may be.
The SEC is currently considering proposed rules to require an advance filing of Form D at least 15 days before starting general solicitation, and a requirement to file an amended Form D within 30 days of the closing of a fundraising round.
Second, companies must take reasonable steps to ensure that their investors are accredited. For more on the basics of Title II and general solicitation, see the full SEC rules.
Accredited Investors – Currently, only accredited investors are legally allowed to invest in private companies under the private placement rules that apply to the platform. “Accredited investor” is defined to include certain institutions, and individuals with a net worth exceeding $1mm excluding the value of a primary residence, or an income exceeding $200K for the past 2 years (or $300k jointly with a spouse) with the reasonable expectation that the income will continue in the current year. The SEC is currently reviewing this definition. If non-accredited investors are permitted to invest on equity crowdfudning platforms, the number of available investors in the U.S. will grow dramatically, from 3.4 million to almost 234 million, with an estimated combined net worth of over $50 Trillion.
There are other rules that apply to the offering an offering materials. Compliance with all federal and state securities laws is the sole responsibility of the issuer making an offering, and issuers should consult with counsel. TradeUp does not take any steps to verify the adequacy, accuracy or completeness of any offering information nor the compliance of an individual issuer’s offering with federal or state securities laws.
How long does it take to raise funding?
Every case is different. Companies with turnkey business plans and strong profiles can raise funding within weeks, sometimes even days. Others might spend 6 months to a year or longer. The more time and effort the company dedicates to its profile and a crisp description of the purpose of funding, the more it will get out of TradeUp experience and typically also faster.
How many investors will I have in the round?
You will have the ability to set the minimum investment amount for an investor, and this will determine the maximum number of investors you will have in the round. However, investors often make investments above the minimum amount, so that you may have fewer investors than the maximum number.
Who is eligible to raise capital at TradeUp?
We run a background check on you and your company, and assess your investment materails. Once a review has been conducted, your company may be listed on TradeUp. A percentage of prospective companies are accepted on the site. We work with companies that have a viable financial track record, strong management teams, and attractive international growth prospects. Typically, but not always, the companies on TradeUp have at least $500,000 in revenue in the previous twelve months.
How do I get started?
The TradeUp “How it Works”-page shows the TradeUp process for each type of user. If you have any questions on the process or how to get started, contact us at xxx.xx.
What types of investors use TradeUp?
A range of investors use TradeUp. Among investor types are angel investors and groups, individual investors, banks and non-bank lenders, government agnecies, multilateral development banks, and venture capital and private equity firms.
Why should I use TradeUp to invest?
TradeUp offers sophisticated investors attractive investment opportunities in a segment with the most dynamic companies in the United States: globalizing, export-driven companies. Companies on TradeUp are pre-screened and their business profile and international plans are readily analyzed, enhancing the quality of deal flow. TradeUp also offers savvy investors a unique diversification opportunity: exposure to companies based in the United States with U.S. risk profile and with international growth potential.
Through us, investors and their investee companies can also extensive advisory services and a community of experts to help guide the companies to thrive in global markets on a sustained basis.
How are investors on TradeUp verified?
The TradeUp site will provide tools to assist Companies to take reasonable steps to verify that investors meet the criteria for accredited investors. The tools will involve a screening procedure before the investor is allowed to access deals.
What if I have a question that I don't see here?
Feel free to contact us at here.