Interview with Janis Blazevics from CrowdedHero

I recently had an interview with the CEO of CrowdedHero, and we talked about the field of equity crowdfunding, how their platform is different, and where he sees the field going in the future. Enjoy!

Can you introduce yourself & CrowdedHero? 

I am CEO of Crowdedhero with a solid track record in banking and client servicing. CrowdedHero is a group of young and passionate enthusiasts who have found the blue ocean in the investment industry and are willing to provide investors to invest in companies with great future value. 

Why do you think equity crowdfunding is better than other asset classes (‘classical’ real estate, investing in the stock market ...)?

 It will not be fair to say that some of the investment products are better than others. Equity crowdfunding is an alternative investment product to diversify portfolio. It gives opportunity to invest in companies, where previously it was not possible because of the closed investment rounds and value of minimal ticket size. Additionally it gives a great opportunity for companies to offer their customers to take part in ownership of the company that they love. 

How is CrowdedHero better/different from other equity crowdfunding platforms? 

Our focus is different. We are providing opportunities to invest in companies with close to positive cash flow, high potential to receive dividends and realistic Exit scenarios in the next 5 years. We achieve that by making in-depth technical analysis of any project that signs up via our platform. 

The usual interrogation I have in my audience is that at the end of the day, with equity crowdfunding the investor doesn’t really know that he/she will be paid back (by not receiving any dividends and/or if the company never exits), and therefore it’s a risky investment. What would you answer to address that? 

One of the main aspects our analytic team is looking for is to unboard a company that will be ready to pay out dividends in the near future. As one of our shareholders (Mr.Sandris Rugums) has 25y + experience in M&A world we feel confident about the projects we onboard to understand and predict exit possibilities for such a business. Our goal is to have at least 20% expected return of investment per year. In other words, with attractive funds business should grow and company share value should increase by 100% in the next 5 years. 

Regarding risks on CrowdedHero, can you tell us more about how you pick companies that you list on your platform? 

We have developed according to new EU regulation investment principles. Our due diligence process consists of 4 stages. In the final stage Project should be approved by the investment committee. When identifying the right company for our onboarding process we strongly look for exit possibilities in the next 5 years and dividend distribution that folds out in the interview with major shareholders and company managers. 

Still regarding risks, a lot of platforms are currently getting regulated, either with an investment brokerage license (IBF) or under the European crowdfunding provider license (ECSPR). What are the plans of CrowdedHero in this sector? 

We are in the final stage of getting the license in Latvia. We want to be as transparent as possible to minimize any risks for our investors. This licensing brings some challenges regarding KYC process complication. Our priority is to minimize risks as much as possible, because among CrowdedHero investors are also our friends, business partners and even family members. 

Where do you see the field of equity crowdfunding going in the coming years? 

Alternative investment volumes will grow every year and will become a significant way to fund the businesses. I believe investment projects will also connect people with the same ideas across the world. 

What would be your advice for someone starting investing in company equity? 

Avoid early stage startups and define for yourself a reason you want to invest in a specific company. Make your own due diligence, diversify your portfolio across different industries, platforms, countries. 

What are the plans for CrowdedHero in the coming years? 

First, we will add business loans (SME sector) to our portfolio, we also want to implement secondary market functionality. Future plan is to expand our business to Asia and other emerging markets. 

What are the best ways to get more information online about CrowdedHero?

 Through our platform investors are welcome to communicate with project owners directly. You can also reach us on social media or write us an email at [email protected] - we will be happy to answer all of your questions.