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We are facing an unprecedented situation with COVID19, one that is causing large scale disruption the world over. It’s a very serious situation that demands everyone’s undivided attention and care. 

Along with discussing the challenges, however, I think we can all agree it is equally important to look at how we overcome them. In times like these it is important to help and support each other in any way we can. As part of my own efforts to help, I’ve outlined my thoughts on raising capital during these difficult times. 


Crowdfunding is resilient

When it comes to private market investments and managing a challenging investment landscape, it often pays to look at the UK as an example. The private markets - and crowdfunding in particular - really took off over there in the years immediately after the 2008 financial crisis. This was a time when many other industries were stagnating. UK crowdfunding also weathered the economic fallout of the 2016 Brexit vote. It’s an industry capable of bucking the trend when it comes to cultural or political fallout, and it may be no different this time around too.

Yes, there are challenges, and yes, we need to make sure we address them. But when it comes to the private markets, including capital raising and equity crowdfunding, I firmly believe we are able to continue to find ways to help companies raise the capital they need. Because we know it is essential to do so.  


Tech as a tool in difficult times

We’ve designed and developed FrontFundr as an online investing platform, because we wanted to ensure all Canadians have equal access to the private markets. This applies from an ideological perspective, as we firmly believe all investors should have access to promising companies, it shouldn’t be limited to a select few insiders.

There’s a practical element to this too. We wanted to make it as quick and easy as possible for people to invest in the private markets, hence why FrontFundr is an online platform. All you need is a computer and an internet connection to invest, any time, any place.

Likewise, as most other companies, we have adopted a work from home policy for all our employees, until further notice. But we are taking advantage of the tools at our disposal to ensure we maintain continuity - Zoom, Slack, and good old fashioned phone calls too can all be used to help mitigate against the situation. 


How to raise capital in a crisis

This brings me to my last, and perhaps most important, point. Investment crowdfunding is a momentum game, and it’s easy to see why companies looking to raise online might now be thinking about holding off. That’s only natural. But my message to you is that when it comes to the world of private markets, there is no reason not to carry on as before. The technology to do so is before us and at the ready. 

I’ll be covering this in more detail in a series of upcoming webinars (details coming very soon - stay tuned!). If you’re at all concerned about how the current situation will affect private markets and ongoing crowdfunding campaigns, I encourage you to attend. We will be joined by a panel of expert speakers on the topic and there will, as always, be time for Q&A at the end. 

By : Peter-Paul Van Hoeken

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