My short bio: I am the chief executive of OfferBoard Group, and Chair of the industry trade association CFIRA. I have more than 15 years of experience in entrepreneurship, financial law, technology and capital markets. As an attorney, I specialized in asset-based finance at the Wall Street law firm Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft. I am the father of 9 and was runner-up in one of NYC’s largest karaoke competitions.


My Proof:

Comments: 52 • Responses: 14  • Date: 

throwthisway6 karma

How concerned should one be that the companies looking for investment via offerboard were presumably unable to find private money - perhaps for good reason?

ChrisAtOfferBoard6 karma

That's a presumption that a lot of people mistakenly make about funding platforms -- that the companies tried to find private money and were unsuccessful, and are now using the platforms as a "capital source of last resort". That's just not true.

See our recent article on that exact subject here:

On OfferBoard, we don't list companies unless our brokers and investment bankers have: (1) individually committed to lead the capital raise for the company -- which indicates at least some level of confidence that there is capital to be raised in the private markets for that company and (2) gone through a diligence and commitment committee approval process.

Our investment criteria is expansive and for the sake of brevity, here’s a link to our page that answers this question in great detail

MattBaster5 karma

Holy cow! How were you able to pick nine different names for your kids?

ChrisAtOfferBoard7 karma

As with any naming involving (at least) two opinions, it was a (friendly) negotiation. As an example, I wanted Lucille or Lucia -- she ended up Lucy. Now I can't imagine her as anything but Lucy, of course. As Catholics, we used a lot of saints' names; there's quite a library of names throughout history.


So, I have this bank account, and it's pretty close to empty - A normal problem for me.

What would a man with your experience do?

ChrisAtOfferBoard8 karma

So much to say here. First, build a rainy day fund -- bad things happen when you actually hit "empty", so even if it's just $100 per paycheck, put some money aside so that "empty" isn't ever an option. Second, look at expenses that you can avoid or reduce significantly. Get your personal burn as low as possible. Think of it this way: reducing expenses = increasing short and long term freedom. Finally, invest the difference in your future. I don't care if it's a friend's startup or a 401(k) or a mutual fund or even your own custom ETF through a company like Motif -- just invest. An investment advisor (which I am not) can talk with you about your priorities and help you allocate.

SRD_Grafter4 karma

In your FAQs, you make multiple mentions of the Australian Small Scale Offering Board (ASSOB). As that is an Australian entity and probably deals with issues/laws that are specific to Australia, why should we, as an uneducated public, consider that good background experience for US based (as I'm assuming you are attempting to deal with US based businesses, as you cite the JOBS act)?

Other than experience, how are you differentiating yourself from other platforms in this space? Do you seen any push or desire in the equity crowdfunding space to increase the size of existing platforms (for example, one large space were there are a number of listings) or just a further expansion of the market (more smaller platforms, like what appears to currently exist)?

Have the final rules of the JOBS act been published? If so, how are you planning on changing your platform for them?

ChrisAtOfferBoard4 karma

ASSOB has the longest experience of any securities crowdfunding platform in the world. But you're right, they are not particularly relevant to US-based securities activities. To that end, we've built an incredible team in the US, which includes the former CCO of SecondMarket, the founding COO of LendingClub, a former Wall St. corporate finance lawyer (me) and a lead investment banker with over $1.2 billion in US private placement experience (supported by over 20 FINRA-registered brokers).

We're differentiating ourselves by (a) not focusing on startups; (b) building a substantial team of securities professionals; (c) going upstream to larger transactions (>$10 million) and (d) having a significant regulatory infrastructure, including owning our own broker-dealer.

I think there will be consolidation, yes, that will tend to reduce the number of platforms and increase their size.

The final rules have been published for Title II and Title IV of the JOBS Act (publically advertised private placements and small public offerings). They have not been published yet for Title III (crowdfunding). We have not yet determined how and whether we will change the platform when Title III is published.

JoshDom3 karma

I'm graduating with my degree in finance in less than a year. Do you recruit for any entry level positions?

ChrisAtOfferBoard3 karma

We have a formal internship program. Feel free to email [email protected] and ask for more information.

crowdguy3 karma

Hi Chris! How is crowdfunding different than traditional funding methods and why is it better? What are the requirements to invest via crowdfunding?

ChrisAtOfferBoard2 karma

Crowdfunding has several features that make it different than traditional funding methods, but the following are key: 1) it's an open network, rather than a closed one; and 2) it uses the internet and other social tools as a primary mode of distribution. That makes it better in lots of ways. Some significant improvements: it gives access to funding and funding opportunities to a broader spectrum of people and it increases the speed (and possibly the scale) of the transaciton.

ChrisAtOfferBoard2 karma

With respect to the requirements for investing via crowdfunding, it depends on the type of investment being offered. Investment "crowdfunding" can be done under Regulation D (private placements) or Regulation A+ (small public offerings). There are draft rules that have not been finalized at the SEC for doing "Regulation CF" offerings, which is actually called "crowdfunding" in the law.

challenge43 karma

Hi Chris! Thank you for making time to be with us today.

If you could give one piece of advice to everyone soliciting funding through OfferBoard what would it be?

ChrisAtOfferBoard2 karma

Crowdfunding requires a crowd. The best thing someone looking for funding can do is continue to build their own crowd -- that will be useful regardless of the route to funding they take.

Seek professional advice, both legal and financial. Securities crowdfunding involves securities laws, and getting something wrong can be disastrous.

benfridman3 karma

Could you explain the difference between equity and debt crowdfunding?

ChrisAtOfferBoard2 karma

The debt crowdfunding markets (Lending Club, etc.) are more mature than the equity crowdfunding markets, as they've been in development longer (5+ years longer).

With respect to the difference between equity and debt themselves, equity investment does not require repayment -- the investors are compensated by an ownership interest in the company. Debt investment requires repayment over time or at one point in the future, with interest.

iamhotpkt2 karma

What sets you apart from the likes of Indiegogo, Kickstarter, and Patreon?

ChrisAtOfferBoard6 karma

Those sites do not sell securities. When you support an artist on Patreon or invest in a designer on Kickstarter to get (a promise of) a future product or a band on IndieGoGo to get (a promise of) a future album, you don't own anything. You aren't an investor in the company, or artist, or band. On OfferBoard, you invest in the company. You own part of it.

This came up most prominently in the case of OculusRift. People who had "invested" in the company on Kickstarter thought they were owed a return when the company sold to Facebook. But they weren't -- they had given the company money in exchange for a promise of getting an Oculus Rift headset. They weren't investors. They weren't owed anything when Oculus' founders sold the company for $2 Billion.

Bigmikesmith232 karma

Hi Chris! How has crowdfunding impacted other forms of investing in entrepreneurial projects?

ChrisAtOfferBoard2 karma

Crowdfunding has impacted the traditional Reg D private placement markets in several ways. It has increased the number of participating investors, among other things. You can get a much higher level of detail in the report OfferBoard did on "The First Year of the JOBS Act", available here:,

danling892 karma

Hi Chris, how did you enter the crowdfunding space, and what made you a believer in it?

ChrisAtOfferBoard3 karma

I was running a family office and the father of the family told me he wanted to figure out how to fix some of the things that were broken about the small capital markets. It used to be that a company had access to the public markets when it was raising $10 million. That's just not true any more -- it's so expensive to be a public company that people aren't doing it like they used to. We used to have a significant number of city stock markets -- those don't really exist anymore except in name. We set out to change that. That was November 2011, five months before the JOBS Act became law.

I'm a believer in the crowdfunding space because I have seen the changes it has already brought about, even as a nascent marketplace. And I believe that investment crowdfunding is just the Internet applied to securities markets -- and that the transformative change that was brought about when we applied the Internet to retail stores (Amazon) or garage sales (eBay) or video rental (Netflix) will come in the securities markets (OfferBoard).

ChrisAtOfferBoard1 karma

Thanks to everyone who joined and asked questions! For more information, please visit and

[deleted]-7 karma


ChrisAtOfferBoard8 karma

I've done skydiving and bungee jumping, but never cliff diving. I'll consider it. Thanks! :-)