Wayne and I played hooky last week.
But we weren’t off playing golf or drinking scotch at a bar…
We were in midtown Manhattan, at a conference called Finovate.
Finovate is perhaps the biggest conference in the world that focuses on the future of finance.
At the event, a small group of hand-selected young companies unveil what they’re working on to an audience of more than fifteen hundred attendees.
In years past, presenting companies have included Seeking Alpha (now one of the word’s largest sources of financial news) and LendingClub (before it launched the Peer-to-Peer Lending sector and became a blockbuster IPO).
At the event last week, several intriguing new companies presented—but there’s one in particular you might already be familiar with:
Back in 2013, Wayne and I got excited about some pending new legislation:
“The JOBS Act” was about to open up private equity investing to all U.S. citizens.
We knew the potential returns for investors could be tremendous (Facebook’s first investor earned 2,000 times his money because he was able to get into the company while it was still a private “start-up,” and Google’s earliest private investors earned 3,000% on IPO day)…
But as the saying goes, with higher returns comes higher risk. The fact is, if you don’t know what you’re doing in these markets, you could lose a lot of money.
So we decided to create Crowdability, and we gave it a simple mission:
To protect investors like you when you step into the private stock market.
And So It Began
Initially, we wrote a handful of essays and white papers about early-stage investing.
But soon we realized that people needed a deeper foundation...
Based on the proven process used by professional venture capitalists and angels, The Playbook provides students with soup-to-nuts guidance about how to become a successful private market investor.
Thousands of people have enrolled, and the feedback’s been great.
But still, our students wanted more:
Once they knew what they were doing, they wanted an easier, more efficient way to do it. You see, a key part of being a successful early-stage investor is doing research and due diligence—and that takes time.
So, Wayne and I gathered up our technology team, and with the input of research groups from Columbia University and Citibank, Crowdability built a piece of software to automate the diligence process.
Simply put, this software provides a fast, easy way to avoid the riskiest start-up investments, and just focus on the ones with the most potential.
And last week, at Finovate, we publicly unveiled it.
It’s called CrowdabilityIQ.
Essentially, CrowdabilityIQ is a “stock screener” for early-stage private companies.
It provides ratings and rankings on hundreds of deals from across the web.
When we first set out to build it, the first challenge we ran into is that there’s no central place to see start-up deals online:
There are, literally, hundreds of different websites where start-ups are raising money. Some of these sites are like the New York Stock Exchange—in other words, they have strict listing requirements. But others are more like the Pink Sheets.
So the first thing we did was to build a piece of software that aggregates only the highest-quality deals, from the highest-quality websites.
And just by taking advantage of this simple feature—just by honing in on a subset of all available deals—investors can dramatically reduce their risk.
But we also built ways to narrow down the deals even further:
For example, CrowdabilityIQ allows you to search for deals backed by prominent venture capital funds or angel investors. This way, you’ll have the comfort of knowing you’re following “smart money” into a new investment.
Or, you could use one of the nine filters we built that allow you screen out the companies that, statistically speaking, have the highest risk of going out of business.
Other filters allow you to identify opportunities based on factors like the start-up’s valuation, sector, or location.
And each company listed in the CrowdabilityIQ database comes with a 10-to-15 page research report. The report includes detailed information about the company’s funding history, its key investors and team members, and far more.
Try it Out For Yourself
We were thrilled to be invited to present CrowdabilityIQ at Finovate…
As private equity opens up to all U.S. citizens, we believe a service like this is going to be critical to help protect investors like you.
So, at the end of our presentation at Finovate, we made a special offer so all the attendees could try it out for themselves:
90 days of CrowdabiltyIQ, completely free.
And as part of our public launch, we’d now like to extend the same offer to you: