More than 60 of you have become shareholders of French Morning Media Group in recent weeks. Thanks to them! For others, it's time to join them: the campaign ends in a few days and we all need to reach the floor ($ 50,000) to validate the campaign.
Many of you have asked us about this fundraiser. Here are our answers to the most frequent ones. (For the complete file, and to invest, visit the MicroVentures website here.)
- What do I get in exchange? You become a shareholder of French Morning Media Group, the American company that owns French Morning, Frenchly and Maudits Français. Unlike the well-known "crowdfunding" (Kickstarter or Indiegogo for example) which consists in giving money to support a project in exchange for various more or less symbolic advantages, equity crowdfuding consists of investing in exchange for "equity". In the case of the French Morning campaign, priority actions are proposed (in case of sale, for example, you will be paid before the other shareholders). So you will be the owner of a piece of your favorite site, but as we like to give gifts, we have also planned a long list of benefits, which differ depending on the amount invested (the list is on the site in the countryside).
- What happens to my money? At the end of your registration on the platform (which takes 5 minutes), you will pay the amount you want to invest. This amount is then placed into an escrow account managed on behalf of MicroVentures by Boston Private Bank. It is only at the end of the campaign that funds are released and only if the minimum has been reached ($ 50,000 in our case). Otherwise, the money is returned to investors. Once handed over to French Morning, the money will be used to open new editions in Asia (cities will be determined according to the amount raised but also the economic and political situation in the region in 2020). We will also invest in video, a sector that has been very successful in recent months. We now have millions of views monthly on YouTube and Facebook and want to monetize this audience success.
- You have already raised funds two years ago, what has become of money? We did campaign in 2017, which raised $ 300,000. The goal was to open our first editions out of the US, that's what we did successfully: Montreal and London now each have an audience of nearly 80,000 unique visitors per month.
- Why am I being asked how much I earn? During the registration process on the platform you will notice two intrusive questions: "net worth" (heritage) and "annual income". No tax inquisition here, but the regulation put in place in 2016 to allow equity crowdfunding for all requires distinction based on income. Objective: Protect the lowest income from excessive risky investments. Below $ 100,000 of annual income or wealth, only 5% of income or wealth (the lowest figure is retained) can be invested each year in equity crowdfunding. Above $ 100,000, the cap increases to 10%. Lastly, beyond $ 200,000 in annual income ($ 300,000 for a couple) or a million wealth, you are an "accredited investor" and can invest freely.
- How to invest? This is the beauty of equity crowdfunding: there is no legal minimum. In the case of French Morning, you can invest from $ 106. In our previous campaign, investments ranged from $ 100 to $ 50,000. The threshold of $ 25,000 gives you the right to be a member of the board of advisors of French Morning Media Group.
- Should one live in the United States to invest? No, the campaigns are open to everyone. For foreign residents, MicroVentures even has everything planned: thanks to the use of Transferwise, you can send your money with a minimum of expenses avoiding heavy credit card commissions or banks. You will also see that the registration form asks for your SSN (Social Security Number) or TIN (Tax Identification Number). If you do not live in the United States or have never invested, you have neither. In this case you can simply enter 0000 in the frame.
- What will be my return on investment? No return is guaranteed. By nature, investing in a startup is risky (that's why it's regulated). An investment in French Morning Media Group is medium or long term. We do not expect to pay dividends in the next two years. Our goal is to continue to grow the company to reach the critical size that will allow us to be profitable.
To find out more about French Morning's projects and why we decided to do this fundraising, visit the platform. It's also where you can invest. We are waiting for you!