Since the JOBS Act became law in 2012, the crowdfunding industry has spawned multiples businesses and an ecosystem made up of investors, entrepreneurs and communicators. That’s right, communications, or in this case investor relations, is the key to getting funded or not.
The key to a good conference call and the power to webcast that conference call to hundred and thousands of participants is no small task. For a public company, their quarterly conference call and web-stream are regulatory requirements and act as a tool to speak to Wall Street.
As crowdfunding for equity becomes a reality, hopefully soon, we will see the opportunity for traditional investor relation tools to be used as part of the crowdfunding for equity platforms such as at GATE Technologies, SeedInvest and CircleUp where one of those tools IS being USED for large scale conferences to potential investors, current shareholders, the media, and other stakeholders.
Currently, the investor relations conference call market in the United States is approximately 14,000 calls per year. These calls are separated with different service providers each handling the call portion and another company handling the web stream.
The majority of quarterly calls are handled by IR service providers Thomson Reuters (which was recently acquired by NASDAQ OMX) which bundles services from Intercall AND BT, with in-house streaming providers. Other teleconference services offering operator assist calls are Chorus Call and Premiere Global. The news wire services such as PR Newswire, Business Wire, GlobeNewswire and Marketwire also bundle other company services for their investor relation clients.
The second part of the call is the stream, and additionally, these bundles include streaming partners like On24 and Onstream. THESE ARE in addition to the internal services at NASDAQ OMX/ Thomson Reuters, InterCall and others.
Enzo Villani, CEO of Sustain Integrated Communications and the former co-founder of the NASDAQ Corporate Solutions said, “Investor relations conferencing should be integrated and seamless. These players are reselling the same services, we need innovation in this space.”
Recently, we spoke to Cinchcast CEO Alan Levy, who has pioneered a new, patented platform that combines the conference call and the web-stream. Cinchcast is a new player in the market and is currently the power behind blogtalkradio.com, which conducts 40,000 streams per month – more than 17x than the entire market. The platform is web based with mobile apps and the ability to host your own call, or use an operator assisted call. Cinchcast is delivering a disruptive model that allows for large-scale conferencing and streams simultaneously at 50% less than the competition.
Levy commented, “I think that the market is very open to changing the way it does things because of the challenges and high price tags they are facing with traditional providers. I also think that the widespread adoption of cloud-based technologies across the enterprise has helped to support this.”
Companies seeking to speak to investors, conduct webinars and other programs can leverage this new disruptive product and service that can be used as DIY (Do-it-yourself) or operator assist. Whether for crowdfunding, private share transactions, private equity LP calls or hedge fund marketing, Cinchcast is creating a disruptive service that is going to challenge the market share of the current providers.