EquityNet is an interesting dual mandate company in the crowdfunding space. On the one hand they offer the usual equity fundraising opportunities to businesses through investors like you. On the other hand, they provide an impressive suite of business planning services to help companies in all stages of startup and development better compete for funding and move down the path towards greater success.
EquityNet Intro & Background
Founded back in 2005, EquityNet remains one of the original crowdfunding pioneers from back in the days when even accredited investors had a hard time making equity investments through the crowdfunding process. The platform counts 100,000 individual investors, government support entities, debt providers, venture capitalists, angel investors, not for profit funding sources, incubators, and entrepreneurs and business people among its membership roster. The service boasts that it has helped raise over $200 million dollars in debt, equity, and royalty types of capital for its North American member businesses and entrepreneurs. We have to be impressed with these figures which represent a major force in the world of Peer to Peer lending and crowdfunding, and even are a significant figure in the traditional world of business finance.
We really like that Equitynet provides a substantial service to its entrepreneurs and businesses with their business planning and development efforts. They have numerous patents on their database for benchmarking businesses and analytics formulas. They utilize these to assist individual entrepreneurs to achieve a greater success rate of higher funding and to provide investors a better experience in finding the right projects in which to invest. EquityNet's under patent Enterprise Analyzer™ technology allows business owners and entrepreneurs to carefully analyze and fine tune their company's business plan in advance of interacting with the various investors on the platform.
EquityNet Founder and Management Team
Chief Executive Officer James Murphy handles the corporate strategy and develops strategic partnerships for the company. With EquityNet since 2012, he is also a member of the Board of Managers. Formerly, James served as Proton Enterprise's executive partner where he has been involved with numerous private equity deals, acquisitions, mergers, and business startups. Besides this, James has managed the brand of a foremost brain health product and assisted the neurologist in creating an enormous e-commerce and web-based community business that saw the neurologist's book spend in excess of a year on the New York Times best-seller list. James has also worked in international finance and business development, especially in Mexico and Haiti.
Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel Amos Richard worked at Web.com, back when it was called Interland, as Chief Security Analyst and also as System Administrator of their Linux farm. He also served as an executive with Vertical One, Inc., and later on as CFO for non-profit Restore Humanity.
Chief Information Officer Matthew Imhoff helps to handle the daily operations and corporate strategy for EquityNet. He has served with the company since 2009, providing leadership in Vice President and management positions. Matthew handles the operational side of the platform, including creating and designing improvements to the system, and manages project development from beginning to end. Previously he served as one of Ayrshire Electronics Product Engineers. He has also helped literally thousands of budding entrepreneurs to develop their business plans and fundraising efforts successfully.
Chief Technology Officer Dr. Joshua Eno takes care of the R&D of the firm's database, software, and statistical systems besides helping to create and manage their intellectual property. He started out at EquityNet in 2006, crafting the platform's unique Risk Quantification System, which he still works on ten years later. He has helped to both research and develop database software and general software for Wal-Mart, Oracle, Acxiom, the National Science Foundation, and numerous technology startup enterprises. Dr. Eno was a MatchMaker.com software developer before Lycos bought it in the year 2000. Following this, he served as Always24x7.com's lead software engineer. Dr. Eno is just further evidence that the management team at EquityNet has years of experience not just working at other companies, but more impressively at EquityNet itself.
EquityNet does not make loans at the present time. Investors who connect with businesses and entrepreneurs may arrange a term funding or bridge loan offsite. The individual interest rate, payment amount, and term of the loan is something that the parties work out together privately.
How EquityNet Works
EquityNet is fairly simple to use for investors. After you create your user profile and spell out the criteria for investments which is important to you personally, the proprietary software at EquityNet will present an array of investment possibilities that could be of interest to you.
At this point, you are also able to screen and browse through the thousands of different investment opportunities on the platform in a matter of minutes, thanks to their patented software and matching formulas. With their unique analytics, search screening technology, and business benchmarking you can participate in an effective and time-saving investor experience on the platform.
Once you see opportunities or entrepreneurs that appeal to your personal interests, you can examine their profiles and Business Plan Analysis™. You also have the choice to message the entrepreneur directly using EquityNet's messaging system. The platform will never divulge your personal contact data to the business owner, so you are able to determine the amount of contact and interaction that occurs between you. This protects your anonymous identity until you are ready to talk on the phone or through another means of communication. It is important to note that investments do not happen on the site itself. The company puts together investors and entrepreneurs who connect then agree on investment off site. They have helped businesses each raise between $10K and $10M via qualified investors.
• Full Analysis of Business Plans – the platform fully analyzes your business plans, taking into consideration your individual revenue streams and present funding commitments. The proprietary formulas help the platform to tell entrepreneurs if they will have sufficient customer bases, funding levels, and even the necessary competitive edge to successfully deliver results on a given business plan.
• Professional Reports – The platform helps businesses to put together a business plan presentation using graphics and reports so that investors reading it will be able to fully comprehend the business vision.
• Development Help with Future Business Plans – Their software for business analysis goes beyond just analyzing a business plan. Using their proprietary formulas and business benchmark technologies, the platform can locate weaknesses and strengths in the business plan and allow entrepreneurs to perform “what-if” scenario tests.
• Rapid Communication Between Investors and Business Owners – EquityNet prides itself on its speed of communication that it promotes with its technologies of putting together business owners and investors like you.
• Full Profiles on Businesses and Investors – Investors and business owners alike will love this feature that gives tremendous amount of insight and information through its profiles.
• Interface for Deal-Making Discussions – The platform facilitates discussions directly between business owners and investors and helps them to share plans and project ideas so that they can strike an equity funding deal or a loan agreement to be transacted off of the platform and site.
EquityNet's corporate headquarters is found at 5 West Mountain Street, Fayetteville, Arizona 72701. They also operate a private office for fundraising out of New York City, New York. Information on the exact address is not available to the public, per EquityNet.
EquityNet Interface Screenshots
EquityNet maintains an extensive security protocol, as you might expect from a crowdfunding and P2P company with this number of years of experience and success. They deploy security measures that cover business and personal information in the areas of integrity, safety, and privacy. The data center is patrolled and monitored 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Data and network security includes VeriSign SSL encryption, firewalls protection, and a secure payment gateway through Authorize.net.
Data management for users includes daily database backups and redundant servers. Pages are encrypted with SSL certificates that are personally verified by the VeriSign network with high grade page encryption standard. Bank account information is never at risk, as EquityNet does not handle any financial transfers beyond credit card payments from entrepreneurs for monthly subscription fees.
EquityNet Complaints and Ratings
BBB gives EquityNet its highest possible rating of A+ The reasons for this are based upon:
- The number of years that EquityNet has been in business, since 2005.
- Small numbers of complaints registered with BBB, particularly for a business of this size.
- Handling of the only two complaints lodged against EquityNet.
- The closure of these few complaints.
EquityNet Customer Support
The customer support on EquityNet is a mixed bag. They do offer customer support via a phone number and email addresses. While they do not offer live chat support, they do schedule demos of their software capabilities for business supporters. We note that customer service is said to be better for business subscribers who pay versus those who are free members.
EquityNet Costs & Fees
Investors do not pay any fees to join, take part in, or invest in businesses and startups on the platform.
Businesses can be members for free, and most of the platform is free to them too. Some sections require that they pay a monthly subscription fee. These plans start at $109 per month and go up from there. We are impressed with how reasonable this is, considering that the company does not collect any percentages of funds raised nor levy any management fees, since they do not handle any financial transactions or investments on anyone's behalf.
Final Words on EquityNet
Without any doubt, EquityNet proves to be among the most premier of crowdfunding outfits for investing in businesses and startups. For businesses who are really serious about coming up with the right business plan to obtain the funding they need from the investing crowd, this is the platform to contact. You investors looking for many thousands of deal opportunities from which to select will love the vast selection and incredible search filter technology. The only downside to the platform is that it does not facilitate the terms of any deals nor allow for any financial transactions on the platform or site itself, but rather acts as an intelligent conduit to get you together with these business investment opportunities on your own.
- Provides proprietary services of matching investors up with entrepreneurs.
- Business plan analysis and help is substantial and particularly valuable for businesses.
- Investors get to both participate and invest in funding opportunities and deal at no cost.
- Does not handle any financial transactions or help to set terms of deals, equity investments, or loans.
- There have been complaints about investor profiles that are faked because of less good due diligence performed on the investors who join.
EquityNet offers something for everyone interested in the crowdfunding and P2P scene. Businesses can get analysis of and help with their business plans and presentations, as well as connected with investors who have money to invest or lend. Investors obtain a no-charge platform to connect them with an enormous number of deals and investment funding opportunities.