You have not seen too many major mergers of the actual platforms in the Crowdfunding and Peer to Peer Lending space. One did happen in 2014 that created what is now one of the superpowers of the equity crowdfunding and business startup investment world. This colossal new entity is called OneVest.
OneVest Intro & Background
The much-talked about merger of RockthePost and CoFoundersLab back in July of 2014 created what is now one of the most impressive one-stop shops that we have seen in the P2P and equity crowdfunding space. We found that this powerful, still-new, combined company has so much going on that you can get lost on their website. It is not only about their more than 72,000 entrepreneurs in the platform's network, their over 40,000 LinkedIn members, their over 5,000 startup applications received by the platform, or the more than $23 million that they have raised for startups and businesses so far.
The platform and company does this fundraising function and does it well, but they are also involved in several other unique activities in the crowdfunding industry. They hold entrepreneur events all over the country every month. In a typical month, OneVest hosts an average of eight different city meetings through a combined effort of more than 60 Market Directors, Ambassadors, and volunteers. To date, they have held over 105 events for which over 16,000 entrepreneurs and investors have attended. No one else in the industry is getting investors and entrepreneurs together on this scale and with this impact.
OneVest also has a unique talent search and personnel matching service through one of the two companies that merged to form the company, Co-FoundersLab. Through this one of a kind platform service, more than 170,000 team introductions have already occurred, where advisors, co-founders, and team members were found and recruited. The numbers and impact this service is having on the startup world are simply breathtaking.
OneVest Founder and Management Team
Co-Founder and CEO Alejandro Cremades also Co-Founded RockthePost back in 2010, and served as CEO of that company from 2012. At the time of their RockThePost platform launch in 2011, they represented the very first small business crowdfunding platform. It took him less than a year to receive recognition from TIME magazine as among the best platforms for crowdfunding on earth, and from Forbes magazine as among the top 10 best digital tools for entrepreneurs. Before he started RockThePost, Alejandro was a lawyer with the King & Spalding law firm. Here he worked on what is among the largest cases of investment arbitration of all time with Chevron verses Ecuador, where $113 billion was in play.
Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of OneVest Tanya Prive also helped to co-found and serve as COO at RockThePost.
The third leg in the OneVest management team is CEO of Co-FoundersLab Shahab Kaviani. Shahab built up internet companies for many years and earned his reputation as a finder of startup talent with this company and platform. Before he served at CoFoundersLab, he helped to co-found SaaS business HyperOffice.
OneVest does not specifically make loans, but it does connect investors and entrepreneurs together and facilitate the funding and investment process between them. While most of the transactions performed via the service are equity investments, term loans may be possible if the two parties agree upon them. In 2014, Onevest handled directly online around $1.8 million in transactions for its 15,000 investors and 40,000 entrepreneurs. The majority of their transactions are handled offline by the parties engaging in the investments and funding.
How OneVest Works
OneVest requires that you as a prospective member fill in and submit an application to their investment committee which reviews them to make certain that you are a good match with their platform and company and that you will contribute value to their organization. This is on top of the accredited investor requirement that the SEC maintains until the changes in the law mandating investors to be accredited are affected and carried out early in 2016.
Once you become an investor, you choose which investments to participate in via opting in. You will be presented several opportunities for deals out of the platform's opportunities for investment. While $5,000 is the minimum that you can invest in a single company, the average size turns out to be between $20,000 and $30,000. OneVest does not presently have a maximum that you can invest in these startup ventures beyond what you deem to be appropriate.
The platform provides you with an in-depth memorandum of investment, due diligence materials for you to review yourself, the company financials, and corporate presentations. They believe that you grow and learn simply by reading about what these startups are doing to stay on the edge of breakthroughs and innovation. You are able to actually meet the various opportunity founders at their in-person events held every month and on livestream demo days. OneVest encourages you to interact with and pose questions to them in person and via the platform's easy to use messaging platform. You will also be able to meet Venture Capitalists and colleague investors at such exclusive events as dinners, demo days, and VIP conference events.
Once you are interested in a company and ready to make an investment, you simply tell OneVest the investment that interests you, complete the documentation, and wait for the wire instructions. Thanks to their digitally seamless platform, you actually receive your countersigned docs within a matter of minutes after turning them in via the platform. OneVest keeps track of each of your investments for you, so that your dashboard will always have the most current investor updates and documents on file for you.
• Multiple Monthly Events – The biggest meeting group for entrepreneurs in the country with an average of 8 different events held in various cities throughout the United States each month for entrepreneurs and founders.
• Education – Provides a platform for learning for new investors and company founders. This free learning portal offers more than 1,000 curated videos and articles for both investors and entrepreneurs alike. We found this to be an invaluable service for platform members.
• Raise Capital – 1,000 Angels is OneVest's first in the industry investor community that is by invitation only. It assists the brightest and best founders who are at the early stages of their business in raising funds to make it happen.
• Build up a Venture Investment Portfolio – They provide you with a variety of opportunities to get involved on the ground floor with companies that have potential for high growth. You can create your own portfolio without having to pay any transaction fees, carried interest charges, or management fees. You retain full control over all investments and the allocation of your money as well.
• Meeting Forum – The company hosts an average of eight different city events every month for some of the most exciting startups in the market and to help you get in on the ground floor.
• Co-Founders Lab Advisor and Talent Matching Service – We love this talent-matching service that helps put people looking to join a startup company together with those who are seeking someone of particular talent and skills to join their operation. They match up co-founders, team members, and advisors. This possibly unique service has been such a rousing success that OneVest/Co-Founders Lab has helped to make more than 170,000 Team introductions so far.
OneVest has a single office based in New York. Their corporate headquarters is found at 401 Park Avenue South, Suite 10-001, New York, NY 10016.
OneVest Interface Screenshots
The safety and security of your information is of great importance. While we do not see any danger in it being lost or stolen with OneVest, we do have some concerns about the possibility of it being sold to third party marketing outfits. This is because there are conflicting accounts of how privately your data will be held by OneVest, and this is somewhat alarming for those of you who do not want to receive all sorts of unsolicited offers via email or phone.
OneVest admits that it will likely need to gather important pieces of your personal and financial information when you are registering. This includes, but is not necessarily limited to, your name, mailing address, email address, date of birth, income, net worth, survey information and more. This is fine and standard in the industry, however it is not necessarily for them to disseminate this information for marketing activities. Per their privacy statement, their investment fundraising group 1,000 Angels and subsidiaries in fact can deploy your personal information to offer various appropriate marketing opportunities to you, as well as to share information on updates and general activities that are happening not only with the community and platform itself, but also with their partner organizations. They state that their goal is only to deliver content and communications that they feel will add value to your experience and interest you, but this is still sharing your personal and financial information with outside third parties without your expressed written consent.
OneVest does mention that you can remove yourself from this policy by emailing them and letting them know that you do not want to be contacted by and regarding third party opportunities. This resolves the problem if you are proactive, but it is still something of which we are not overly fond.
OneVest Complaints and Ratings
OneVest is a newer company because of the merger that happened in 2014. Because of this, it is not terribly surprising that we did not come across any ratings by the usual Better Business Bureau or Yelp ratings outfits. The good news is that we also did not see any serious complaints about their operations either.
OneVest Customer Support
It is always a good sign when a platform like OneVest is free with their contact information. OneVest releases their phone number, physical address location and mailing address, and email addresses for customer service purposes, and they are not hard to find on the site. The company does not offer any live chat support option. Much of their efforts in customer support show through the education they offer with their learning module platform. In education, they are one of the premier outfits working to help teach up-and-coming entrepreneurs and new equity investors. We found their 1,000 videos and articles they provide to their members on the learning platform admirable.
OneVest Costs & Fees
Using OneVest is completely free to investors. They do not charge registration or membership fees, management fees, or carried interest charges. Considering that they are managing your investments and providing ongoing support, updates, and documentation, this is exceptional service for free. Fundraising businesses obviously pay the operating costs of the platform, though it is not readily apparent on the site what percentage of funds raised that they must pay or how much is their subscription service for businesses.
Final Words on OneVest
Whenever you come across one of these crowdfunding or Peer to Peer Lending sites that is award-winning, you should take note. There is always a reason behind such recognition. OneVest has been honored by Inc. magazine as among the best websites available for entrepreneurs. On the international scene, they received finalist recognition at the South Summit out of more than 1,000 different companies that applied to the conference and award ceremony. It is hard to argue with a totally free equity investment and management service for investors. The proof is in the pudding with their successes the group has achieved already in only a year of post merger operations.
Pros of OneVest Review
- Provides a one-stop shop for investors looking for education, investment opportunities, and community.
- Hosts an average of 8 different city get together events per month for investors and entrepreneurs.
- Offers an almost unprecedented amount of educational articles and videos on crowdfunding and venture capital topics on their learning platform.
- Winner of several different awards and recognitions in their first year of combined operations.
Cons of OneVest Review
- While OneVest offers you due diligence materials, they have not taken any steps to verify the accuracy of the information provided on the offerings that are listed.
- Onevest takes no part in the negotiation of the financial equity transaction and no securities are executed through OneVest's platform.
OneVest Review Summary
OneVest is an impressive array of subsidiary companies and services they offer. Entrepreneurs and investors alike can benefit from an unparalleled educational platform, monthly meetings where they can meet and interact in person, a startup talent matching service, and the usual equity investment opportunities for funding and investing.