Wall+Main remains in hibernation!
Thank you for your interest in Wall+Main. The headline above reflects the current state of our company, but not the final chapter. In the event you are interested, here’s some background leading up to where we are today.
On April 5, 2012, President Barack Obama signed The Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act into law. Approximately a year later after a significant amount of effort by a great team of seasoned entrepreneurs and company builders, Wall+Main launched in the summer of 2013 with one of the most successful crowdfunding campaigns worldwide at the time. We broke new ground by crowdfunding ourselves and raising $400,000 in less than 60 days. Our game plan was to leverage this Phase One “donation/reward” crowdfunding platform as a springboard for two complimentary future platforms. Phase Two was going to be an “equity for accredited investors” platform and Phase Three, the most important, was going to be an “equity for unaccredited investors “platform.
Our vision was to enable entrepreneurs to utilize one, two or all three of our platforms simultaneously to raise capital to launch and grow their companies. Another important element of our vision was our plan to also provide a broad array of professional and operational products and services to help the entrepreneurs and their companies build successful companies. As entrepreneurs and operators with a long and collective history of building successful companies, our view was that only helping entrepreneurs raise capital was not a formula for long-term success — for them or for us. Our goal was to provide both capital and the right tools to help them succeed!
We were on schedule to leverage the success of the Phase One campaign with the launch of Phase Two (our “equity for accredited investors” platform) in early November of 2013, followed shortly thereafter with our Phase Three (our unaccredited investor platform).
In late October, however, just a few weeks before our Phase Two launch, the SEC surprised the market by publishing a draft of the crowdfunding rules for “equity for unaccredited investors.” Unfortunately for us – and for entrepreneurs everywhere — those rules had significant “showstopper” problems for crowdfunding portals like Wall+Main.
After significant consideration and advice from legal and professional counsel, we made the difficult decision to delay the November launch of Phase Two and put the company into what we thought was a short term hibernation until it became clear whether the final rules would fix the major problems in the draft. At the time, industry experts expected those final rules for Title III Crowdfunding would be approved by the end of the first quarter of 2014. Everyone was wrong! It took until May 16, 2016 (for those counting — over two years!) before the final approved and published rules for equity crowdfunding for unaccredited investors was legal.
Despite the setbacks, we remain eager to continue our quest to leverage what we have built and learned into a high quality significant business. But it is still not clear whether the final rules will enable crowdfunding portals to build big enough and profitable enough portals to justify our raising the capital, re-building our team, and bringing the system out of hibernation to re-launch the business.
So we are content to sit on the sidelines a little longer. We will be studying the new rules as published (and likely amended), and we will follow closely the experiences of those who have entered the equity crowdfunding space to determine whether or not the original and significant opportunity we envisioned truly exists. If we determine that the answer is “yes,” it is our intention to bring Wall+Main out of hibernation and continue to pursue our vision.
We continue to believe that investing should not be the sole purview of wealthy investors or a select group of companies capable of navigating today’s fundraising realities. As soon as we make a final determination, we will announce it here at wallandmain.com.
Michael D London