Auction-Based Crowdfunding Platform to Launch Jan. 2015

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Texas-based crowdfunding organization, MassCatalyst, to launch online auction platform in January 2015.

MassCatalyst is a Texas-based, investment crowdfunding platform scheduled to launch in January 2015. The MassCatalyst platform will facilitate both equity and debt crowdfunding ventures for startups and mature companies alike.

MassCatalyst previewed its company back in September at TechCrunch Disrupt (San Francisco), yet the platform launch couldn’t be more timely. In October, the state of Texas approved rules governing intrastate crowdfunding, which will allow non-accredited investors to take part in investment crowdfunding. Texas is the latest in a series of states seeking to eliminate wealth and income requirements for investors. MassCatalyst founders Bobby Katoli and Jonathan Startz believe that the federal equivalent (i.e., Title III of the JOBS Act) isn’t far behind.

How is MassCatalyst different from other crowdfunding platforms? Donation-based platforms like Kickstarter have paved the way for more advanced models of investment crowdfunding. Unlike other equity and debt platforms, however, MassCatalyst uses a unique auction system—the first known of its kind in the United States. The auction model allows investors to bid on the price per share for equity or the interest rate on debt auctions. The end result is a dynamic and genuine free marketplace for investments in private companies.

Two companies, Glass-Media and Curious Marketplaces, will launch crowdfunding campaigns with MassCatalyst in January 2015. Glass-Media is a marketing company, specializing in interactive projection-based storefront displays, while Curious Marketplaces facilitates community-based, online marketplaces. MassCatalyst has several other companies within the registration phase that it will be presenting to investors early next year.

For more information, please check out the MassCatalyst website (http://www.masscatalyst.com). Starting Dec. 15, investors and businesses can register and begin exploring the platform. MassCatalyst has also launched a YouTube channel called The Crowdfunding Channel with the goal of helping to educate the public on the industry and fundamental principles of investing (http://www.youtube.com/MassCatalyst).

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