So, “how about that stock market?”
It’s no secret, the market is highly volatile right now. And, it’s not just the stock market. It’s the economy, gas prices, the real estate market – and even “recession-proof” cryptocurrencies – that has the entire world flipped upside down.
We’re in volatile times, folks. And that’s making it harder on investments.
Sure, “buying the dip” will certainly pay off at a later date, but how long do you have to wait and will those companies go bankrupt in the meantime?
Many Look to Alternative Investments to Offset Pain And Diversify Portfolios
According to a May 11 article at Reuters, “The S&P 500 (INDEXSP: .SPX), which is widely considered to be the main benchmark for U.S. stock market performance, declined 13.3% through April, the steepest four-month drop to start any year since 1939. The index continues to fall in May and was down 16% year-to-date as of Tuesday’s close, approaching the 20% threshold that some investors consider confirmation of a bear market.”
And while JP Morgan suggests “stocking up” on ETFs in today’s market, there are other ways to get in on the ground floor, collect even greater ROIs and really make a difference.
Undoubtedly, crowdfunding is one of these investments, and StartEngine is just one trading platform keeping investors pleasantly “divided.” It’s perfect for investors because it will withstand the weathering of volatile times with the only catch of how and when you can cash in on an investment.
Prices stay consistent until the end of each funding round, whereas stock prices are updated once fundraising is over – plus, only so many can invest, and there’s a cap to investment. This means low volume minus battling hedge funds and day traders. And a good number of these campaigns include extra shares, benefits and discounts.
The platform itself is very informative and does its best to provide investors with enough education on each company so that they can feel content knowing their investment is with a good cause. Videos, photos, social media streams, newsletters and a question/answers section are just a few features that each company feeds.
To Most Startups, Crowdfunding Will Mean Everything.
High-growth companies often offer shareholders five times the return of a medium-growth company, no matter the reach.
While investing in blockchain technology and crowdfunding presents unique risks as associated with liquidity, market and ongoing regulations, many of the startups found on this platform are in their earliest stages. This means that believing in a company early on could really pay off in the long term as companies grow and begin fulfilling their promises.
Funding is often one of the most critical factors in a startup’s success. 82% of small businesses fail due to poor cash management. They could never secure the necessary funding to make due on their expectations and begin cutting corners just to get by. Thus, CBInsights lists “running out of money” as the second most common reason for imminent startup failure.
Through regulated crowdfunding (Reg CF) and other means of fundraising, this number is exponentially improved through accessibility, accountability and required reporting with the U.S. Securities Exchange Committee (SEC). Most platforms won’t even release funds unless their initial goal has been obtained and they’ve demonstrated how each dollar will be spent.
NextLaw reports that “The new rules and growing number of Reg CF successes have made crowdfunding for startups more viable than ever. CCA reports Reg CF has now amassed over $1 billion in investment from 1.2 million investors backing 4500 companies in 450 industries. In 2021 alone, 1,117 companies raised $409 million through the third quarter.”
The company discloses that this has produced tangible results not only for the companies themselves but the communities where they thrive – and that just this year alone, Reg CF companies have created over 120,000 jobs, fulfilling employment shortages around the country.
Scott Harrigan, CEO of Securitize Markets and Forbes Business Council Member, expects more than 2,500 new issuers to enter crowdfunding in 2022, with Reg CF to reach more than $1 billion in 2022.
Global crowdfunding exploded from $8.61 billion in 2020 to a record $113.52 billion last year – a 1,021% increase in 2021. On top of this, the U.S. saw its own market double year-over-year through improved Regulation CF and A+ rules and classifications.
Crowdfunding activities are forecasted to reach new heights as we make it through 2022, as the entire private securities market is set to grow from $7 trillion in 2021 to $30 trillion in 2030.
Are you convinced yet? If so, check out this list of companies to start crowdfunding and making alternative investments in highly volatile environments.
Offering: Regulation A+
Boxabl is one company that has rapidly been gaining attention from not just investors but the world in general. Called “The Instant House,” the company has raised more than $68 million with more than 80,000 reservations already in the works. Their houses are 3D built and scalable with factory mass production. Their homes average at around $50,000 and are single-handedly lowering the cost of homeownership around the country.
Boxabl has recently gained the attention of Tesla’s Elon Musk, who himself owns a Boxabl unit. The company is now seeking to raise $1.07 billion to build “The World’s Largest and Most Advanced Housing Factory,” with the mission of creating upscale housing and making it affordable for everyone.
Jet Token Inc.
Offering: Regulation A+
Earlier this month, Jet Token announced future plans to uplist to the Nasdaq, reserving “PJ” as its ticker while sticking firm to business goals and roadmaps and capitalizing on the future of a $200 billion private jet industry.
Jet Token is a charter membership program based in the Western U.S., specializing in the HondaJet Elite. It aims to revolutionize the private jet industry in a period of record demand, empowering travelers to conveniently look, book and fly any aircraft right from the palm of their hands. The company focuses on the technology that powers flight – the booking, trading, buying and selling of private and commercial aircraft – specifically, jets.
There’s no Expedia (NASDAQ: EXPE) for private jets.
The Jet Token platform allows its members to book and resell unused jet time without penalty through its unprecedented blockchain technology. Before Jet Token, owning aircraft, booking private flights, trading or selling aircraft time, and connecting private flights with commercial flights, all on the same itinerary in one convenient mobile application, had never been possible.
As a side note: Jet Token has already started taking deliveries pursuant to a multi-aircraft deal for HondaJet Elite aircraft from Honda Aircraft Company, LLC (NYSE: HMC). In addition, the two companies collaborate in marketing efforts and joint promotion of the HondaJet Elite and the Jet Token brand.
Battle Approved Motors
Offering: Regulation CF
Battle Approved Motors (BAM) is definitely a top pick on this list.
It’s not just performance. It’s about luxury. It’s about racing. It’s about the experience.
Empowering its drivers to take on the toughest terrains, each UTV is built for safety, equipped with Chromoly steel tubing and said to “offer race-level security” to its drivers. They’re completely electric and perfect for those who just want to go “off-grid” for a few days or so.
Whether you’re offroading with a group of friends – or glamping out in the wilderness, BAM’s highly anticipated electric UTVs are definitely worth checking out – we’re talking about the “where’s my wallet, I want to buy one now” type of sexy.
First of all, these UTVs are fast. In fact, they’re expected to be much faster than the highest performing offroad vehicle currently on the market. It’s said that they will go from 0 to 60 in under 4 seconds, with a horsepower of over 400.
They’re high-tech. We’re talking built-in touch screens and everything. And, let’s not forget, each UTV comes equipped with proprietary reinforced tubular frames, crash structures and roll cages and is built to handle extreme winter and summer conditions. Aftermarket parts are already included within the design itself – making them some of the safest mods to ever hit the market.
It’s one of the first high-end UTVs, customizable and designed specifically for the elite driver. “We are like Ferrari (NYSE: RACE) meets Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) — in the dirt,” explains Kenny Osborn, business development manager at BAM and the former owner of Black Rhino Performance.
And, what about the environment? These UTVs are zero-emission powerhouses, easily charged through off-grid power stations – included within the Battle Approved racing trailer itself. There’s no noise pollution, and it comes equipped with reliable, high-performing electric batteries.
Early investors earn a BAM Legacy Membership, which provides first access to its products and membership privileges to “the primary investor, his or her spouse, their children and children’s children.” This means that they’d forever have access to events, usage tracking, subscription plans and discounts on vehicles and parts.
Members will also have access to the company’s private testing facility, and primary investors are offered initial rights to the purchase of a future homesite on the Battle Ground – 200+ acres of what’s destined to become the “Disney World of Offroad Racing,” with plenty of space for sustainable living, racing and testing on-site.
The Black Bread Company
Offering: Regulation CF
Big on flavor and low on additives, the Black Bread Co. is an African American-owned and operated business that manufactures and sells gourmet bread products. As a black-owned business, this startup taps into an under-represented segment of not just the bread industry but the CPG industry, as well.
Three best friends from the Southside of Chicago started the company and reinvest its profits into disenfranchised communities through mentoring programs, job security and donations.
Their bread embodies their pledge to provide their customers [#BreadWinners] with high-quality, fresh products, free of dangerous additives, and to reinvest into the generational progression of marginalized communities while empowering and encouraging creativity in young entrepreneurs – a definite cause worth investing!
The global bakery market was estimated to be worth $331.37 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach The global bakery products market is projected to grow from $416.36 billion in 2021 to $590.54 billion by 2028.
Offering: Regulation CF
Who wouldn’t want to spend the night in a treehouse – especially as adults going on our own glamping adventures? The O2 Treehouse was developed to reintroduce people to nature, to get them into the woods and to refamiliarize them with everything that’s good in this world.
The company itself seeks to expand upon the travel and hospitality markets, capitalize on the ecotourism industry and promote home-sharing markets within its Treewalkers Franchise Network.
People are tired of the mundane 4 walls of a stuffy commercial building. They want adventure, memories and something unique to experience. Many have suffered from cabin fever in lieu of the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, and this is one way they get to embrace it. O2 Treehouse is where nostalgia meets adulting, where thrill meets comfort and where the investor can become a major part of the “treehouse revolution.”
Offering: Regulation CF
By 2030, more than 145 million electric cars, buses, vans and freightliners expect to hit the public roadways. Not included in this mix is the multi-billion-dollar electric UTV industry, which is now considered one of the fastest-growing electric vehicle (EV) sectors globally – estimated by Yahoo! Finance to grow to $9 billion by 2025, while the entire electric vehicle market reaches more than $396.9 billion by 2028.
The entire world is preparing for a major EV boom, and demand from the battery sector is expected to rise by 30% annually until 2030, as reported by Electrek. The problem is that the global energy transition — or the “great battery race,” as Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) calls it — is necessary for total electrification. There’s a possible shortage of battery materials soon on its way.
That’s where Redivivus steps in to provide environmentally friendly, cost-effective and full-service lithium-ion battery recycling services to electric vehicle manufacturers through its Redi-Cycle™ technology.
According to the company, “The total global nickel demand for superalloys and stainless steels is approximately 1.617 kilotons at the current market price of roughly $32 billion. Redivivus is planning to open two plants, and if and when it does, it expects that its novel, no-burn metal recovery process could potentially supply 0.3% of the total available market in 2026.”
Redivivus has joined forces with Arcimoto (NASDAQ: FUV) and Power.Global, 2 EV powerhouses, in 2021 and agreed to recycle Lithium-ion batteries for both companies in an attempt to create a more sustainable solution for the future of electrification.
This process recovers battery materials in a mostly closed-loop process for secondary markets, reducing the reliance on metal mining and reclaiming each of the elements from the batteries: Copper, Aluminum, Steel, Plastics, Nickel, Cobalt, Lithium, Graphite and other materials.
This approach also allows the company to produce a complete solution for battery materials classified as dangerous goods – and an immediate process to safely reclaim materials found in existing and upcoming battery waste.
Offering: Regulation CF
Stroke is the #1 cause of long-term disability and has a market size projected to double between 2010 and 2050.
Saebo’s award-winning rehabilitation products offer stroke survivors a second chance at overcoming paralysis and regaining a much improved overall quality of life. They’re designed with the patients’ unmet needs in mind – developing life-changing products for in-home neurorehabilitation.
As healthcare costs skyrocket, Saebo’s affordable home-based rehabilitation products improve patient recoveries while lowering the short- and long-term costs of care.
With a proven track record and 17 awarded patents, Saebo has grown into a leading global provider of rehabilitative products and a network spanning six continents and over 40 countries, including over 600,000 patients served and $44 million in net revenue to date.
Designed for elbow, hand, shoulder, hip, knee, foot and cognition, the best part about Saebo’s line of FDA-approved and non-invasive devices is that they are rather affordable, even to those without insurance coverage.
WOWCube® Entertainment System by CubiOS, Inc.
Offering: Regulation CF
It’s like the Rubix Cube on steroids and one of the coolest technologies on this list. The WOWCube® is an immersive reality console and gaming platform that allows players to interact with an object they can twist, shake, tap and tilt.
Games for the WOWCube® Entertainment System are already available in the Apple (NASDAQ AAPL) and Google Play (NASDAQ: GOOGL) stores, but the company is creating its own marketplace full of games, apps and tools – the CubiOS, Inc., which is currently in the pre-revenue stage of development.
Cubios WOWCube® Entertainment system was named one of The 100 Best Inventions of 2021 by Time, received an Edison Award in 2020, CES Innovation Award in 2021 and is a certified-STEM toy, teaching science, technology, engineering and mathematics to children of all ages.
According to the company, “The global Educational Toys market size is projected to reach $29.4 billion by 2027 while WOWCube® system has a strong IP portfolio with multiple patents granted and pending in multiple countries. The full software stack is developed from scratch and protects the device from replication.”
The company has created a software development kit (SDK) and proprietary WOWStudio so that 3rd-party developers can begin developing programs – meaning investors aren’t investing in a device but rather an entire gaming ecosystem.
Zoe Immersive Inc.
Offering: Regulation CF
Zoe Immersive is an award-winning software company launching an immersive, Edtech platform that allows just about anyone to create, share and monetize interactive 3D learning experiences.
Partnering with companies like Meta (NASDAQ: FB), Unity, including Unity Learn, and HTC, Zoe has reached millions of users in the virtual reality (VR) space through marketing and distribution, creating sophisticated, no-code tools for the next generation of creators.
Seizing upon the “creator economy,” Zoe operates primarily in the global edtech sector, a $254.8 billion industry in 2021 and expected to grow to $605.40 Billion by 2027. The global VR market will reach $26.86 billion by 2027, the augmented reality (AR) market $340.16 billion by 2028.
Zoe has also built strategic relationships with several advanced learning institutions as a conduit for recruiting and testing the onboarding of Zoe Marketplace Creators – many of which are already generating recurring revenues of over $15,000 a month.
The company has won an Epic Mega Grant to further its development toolset and was selected as an Elite 200 company by GSV and Finalist at The 2022 GSV Cup (GSV Summit is the gold standard of conferences in EdTech).
Flying Ship Technologies, Corp.
Offering: Regulation CF
The global supply chain is broken. Between sanctions and tariffs, no-fly zones and the lack of adequate infrastructure, maritime trade is brutal in “normal” times – let alone in a post-pandemic response of high trade demand and little product availability.
Let’s not forget, a failing global economy and food supply shortage essentially leave most ships in danger of being raided – especially in war-torn regions like Russia or Ukraine. A lack of adequate manpower is another issue that needs to be tackled.
The logistics market has seen a surge in the need for time-critical, price-sensitive goods. It’s a market that’s growing at a 6.5% compound rate of growing interest (CAGR) and will reach almost $13 trillion in annual revenue by 2027.
As it is now, most maritime routes are mapped out based on friendly waters and shipping-efficient costs. But in many cases, ships must travel the entire perimeter of a region – even if it’s a continent – just to get someplace a few hundred miles away.
Places, such as the Suez canal, become overloaded and jammed packed with traffic – making it almost impossible to deliver goods that have some sort of expiration date.
Flying Ship Technologies is combating all of that, building unmanned, autonomous, green wing-in-ground-effect vessels to deliver goods efficiently to hard-to-reach destinations. By combining green technologies and 21st-century aerodynamics, these ships dramatically decrease the cost of piloting vessels, improve energy efficiency and eliminate greenhouse gas emissions.
With aero-marine hybrid technology, these Flying Ships will deliver goods up to ten times faster than boats, at a quarter the cost of airplanes.
Thanks to their green propulsion systems, they produce net-zero CO2 emissions. They can travel over dangerous waters, fly and hover over land. They have fewer regulations than standard aircraft and have more options for coastal delivery than other ships out there.
Offering: Regulation A+
Every so often, StartEngine hosts its own campaign – raising money for the site and marketing initiatives – as it grows and continues to deliver first-class solutions for startups in the digital age.
Please keep in mind that this and all other investments are speculative, illiquid, and involve a high degree of risk, including the possible loss of an entire investment.
While there is a rigorous process for vetting each startup, one should always use caution and do their own due diligence before going “all-in” on any one stock. But given the nature of our current markets – it’s a risk that most are willing to take.
Since August of last year, we’ve seen a dramatic downturn within the stock market, with many popular stocks seeing a decline of 50% or more in just a short matter of time. No matter the news – whether good or bad, whether from “The Fed” or the companies themselves – the markets seem to just keep on declining. It seems every time something good happens, something else is ready to counteract with “one step forward, ten steps back.”
A few of the triggers that have led to today’s volatility:
- New regulations in China and the threat of delisting Chinese stocks in U.S. markets
- The threat of impending inflation and companies preparing with price increases
- Logistics-related issues, coupled with supply and demand
- New Covid variants and other airborne illnesses
- Wars and rumors of war
- The reversal of age-old court rulings
- Potential tax increases
- On-again, off-again promises to pass infrastructure plans
- Grid hacking and ransomware
- Elon Musk’s tweets about crypto-mining and social media
- Sanctions, added tariffs and other trade restrictions with certain countries
- Bans on Crypto in China, Turkey and other nations (as well as individual states and cities in the U.S.)
- Threat of additional lockdowns
- Potential crypto regulations
- Threats of vaccine passports and travel regulations
- Various world councils on industry, global regulation, climate control and currency exchange
- Mass website and app outages
- Trading restrictions
- Short-selling wars between hedge funds and the retail investor
- Special unemployment programs were limited and then completely shutdown
- PPP and EIDL programs ended
- Threat of student loans returning (High-inflation private loans were never put on hold)
- The trucker strike in Canada seemed to slow down some markets
- Policy changes in Government
- No more stimulus, no more “free money”
- The exodus to NFTs
- Anticipated pull back, or “rug-pulling” from the Federal Reserve
- “Diamond-handing” with retail investments tied up in margin, “stonks” and crypto
- New investors hesitant or unable to continue trading
- “Experts” capitalizing on “FUD” for a few clicks, likes and shares
Reg CF is the smallest of the securities exemptions created by the JOBS Act, which also created Reg A+ and Reg D 506c.
Reg A+ is essentially a mini-IPO, and it must be qualified by the SEC, whereas issuers may raise up to $75 million from both accredited and non-accredited investors.
Reg D 506c is for accredited investors only, but issuers may raise an unlimited amount of money from an offering promoted online.
Reg CF was initially set to $1.07 million, in the latter part of 2021, the Securities Exchange Committee (SEC) started by allowing firms to raise up to $5 million through a “crowdfunding” status, which makes this securities exemption more viable for promising seed-stage funding rounds to reach $2 million on average per campaign.
Crowdfund Capital Advisors (CCA) notes that 50% of all Reg CF investments made in the last 5 years occurred in 2021 – a dramatic increase from the previous year.
DISCLAIMER: The author of this article holds stock in one or more of the below-mentioned companies. This article is meant to inform and educate. It does not and should not constitute financial advice.