Ebay/Craigslist VC venue

I posted a couple of days ago about how I would like to see a VC venue that is similar in structure to Ebay or Craigslist where potential Investors and Entrepreneurs can go to post their startups and invest in said startups(Post 1, Post 2). Jeff Nolan said it couldn’t be done easily. There are too many regulations involved. And he may be right.

However, I found a new(to me) site earlier today. The site is www.gobignetwork.com. Oddly enough, I found it through my adsense ads on my site. Talk about relevant ads! I took a quick look at it and it is in essence, what I was trying to explain. The one down side? It’s a pay site. In order to make any contacts with investors or entrepreneurs there is a minimum $14.95/month fee. And that only allows for 5 contacts a day. Not sure what exactly constitutes a contact. Entrepreneurs that wish to post a funding request are charged a $29.95 fee for a month listing. Take a look around it. Maybe it can be done afterall and maybe it could be done as a ad revenue supported site? I still see my vision as a free/minimal fee site, but GoBigNetwork.com is pretty close to the gist.

Update: Jeff Nolan was kind enough to point out that the terms of service declares the GoBigNetwork to be a “rolodex” and messaging system. Which is how they get around the SEC and other regulations.

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About Shane Ede

Shane Ede is an IT guy by day and a Entrepreneurial Blogger by night. You can follow him here on Thatedeguy or over on Twitter and Google+.

Comments

  1. I wonder if it’s the fee structure that actually covers them legally since people have to pay to get access to listings they have to go through an additional ‘shield’ of agreements. Anyways it does appear it’s quite feasible and could probably be done better than that site too.

  2. to clarify, in the earlier debate about this I never said it could NOT be done, but rather that you would have to comply with the same regulations that everyone else does.

    BTW, the “terms of service” is interesting reading because it specifically spells out what the service really is, a “rolodex” and a messaging system.

    The idea of an online marketplace for investments is not new, in fact there are a couple of really well known ones for buying and selling businesses in addition to investments. The thing that is different about your idea is that it moves into the very risky area of direct private equity for technology companies. You will notice that on gobig the seeking investments postings are primarily services companies and traditional manufacturing. Wonder why?

  3. Thatedeguy says:

    Jeff,

    I apologize. I realize that you did not ever say that it couln’t be done. I’ve edited the post to reflect that.

    Would you mind dropping links to the “well known ones”. I’d be interested in taking a look at them.

  4. There is also this site that lets you create your own classifieds community by zip code.

    http://www.northboard.net/

  5. Funding was only one of the reasons we opened up go big, although it’s certainly popular. Entrepreneurs needs lots of resources – advisors, partners, employees, and sometimes just people to bounce ideas off of. Having done quite a few startups myself I think the biggest headache is just not being connected enough.

    When you talk about a “deal platform” it gets quickly jaded. We certainly want to create a more open platform for startups to help find funding but we need to be careful about how we represent them.

    Regarding the fee-based part of our site, keep in mind that without a fee you get a lot of poor data in the system. You should see the posts that DON’T make it to the public site. Pretty frightening!

    The fee not only creates a revenue stream it also acts as a nice filter.

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