Logo-PS-wEarth12/20/13   WORKING     Funding Glossary     DRAFT   13:18 MDT

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Source:  InvestoPedia.com, except as noted

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Accredited Investor.  Defined as:
    •
Individual with a net worth of at least $1 million, not including the value of his or her primary residence;
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Individual with income exceeding $200,000 in each of the two most recent calendar years or joint income with a spouse exceeding $300,000 for those years, and a reasonable expectation of the same income level in the current year;
    •
Director, executive officer, or general partner of the company selling the securities;
    •
Bank, insurance company, registered investment company, business development company, or small business investment company;
    •
Employee benefit plan (within the meaning of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act) if a bank, insurance company, or registered investment adviser makes the investment decisions, or if the plan has total assets in excess of $5 million;
    •
Tax-exempt charitable organization, corporation or partnership with assets in excess of $5 million;
    •
Enterprise in which all the equity owners are accredited investors; or
    •
Trust with assets of at least $5 million, not formed only to acquire the securities offered, and whose purchases are directed by a person who meets the legal standard of having sufficient knowledge and experience in financial and business matters to be capable of evaluating the merits and risks of the prospective investment. 
    
Exemption. 
– US SEC

Bridge Loan.  A short-term loan that is used until a person or company secures permanent financing or removes an existing obligation.  This type of financing allows the user to meet current obligations by providing immediate cash flow.  The loans are short-term (up to one year) with relatively high interest rates and are backed by some form of collateral such as real estate or inventory.  Also known as "interim financing,” "gap financing" or a "swing loan.”  As the term implies, these loans "bridge the gap" between times when financing is needed.  They are used by both corporations and individuals and can be customized for many different situations.  For example, let's say that a company is doing a round of equity financing that is expecting to close in six months.  A bridge loan could be used to secure working capital until the round of funding goes through.  In the case of an individual, bridge loans are common in the real estate market.  As there can often be a time lag between the sale of one property and the purchase of another, a bridge loan allows a homeowner more flexibility.

CrowdFunding.  The use of small amounts of capital from a large number of individuals to finance a new business venture.  CrowdFunding makes use of the easy accessibility of vast networks of friends, family and colleagues through social media websites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to get the word out about a new business and attract investors.  CrowdFunding has the potential to increase entrepreneurship by expanding the pool of investors from whom funds can be raised beyond the traditional circle of owners, relatives and venture capitalists.  In the United States, CrowdFunding is restricted by regulations on who is allowed to fund a new business and how much they are allowed to contribute.  Similar to the restrictions on hedge fund investing, these regulations are supposed to protect unsophisticated and/or non-wealthy investors from putting too much of their savings at risk.  Because so many new businesses fail, their investors face a high risk of losing their principal.

Debt Financing.  When a firm raises money for working capital or capital expenditures by selling bonds, bills, or notes to individual and/or institutional investors.  In return for lending the money, the individuals or institutions become creditors and receive a promise that the principal and interest on the debt will be repaid.  The other way of raising capital is to issue shares of stock in a public offering.  This is called equity financing.

Equity Financing.  The act of raising money for company activities by selling common or preferred stock to individual or institutional investors.  In return for the money paid, shareholders receive ownership interests in the corporation.   Also known as "share capital  This is when a company raises money by issuing stock.  The other way to raise money is through debt financing, which is when the company borrows money.

Hybrid Instrument.  An investment product that combines the attributes of an equity security with a debt security.  Generally, hybrid instruments are designed as debt-type instruments with exposure to the equities market.  Examples of hybrid instruments are convertible bonds, preferred stocks, equity default swaps and structured notes linked to an equity index.  Also called Hybrid Securities.  -- InvestorWords

In-House Financing.  A type of seller financing in which a firm extends customers a loan, allowing them to purchase its goods or services.  In-house financing eliminates the firm's reliance on the financial sector for providing the customer with funds to complete a transaction.  The automobile sales industry is a prominent user of in-house financing.  Many vehicle sales rely on the buyer taking a loan, in-house financing allows the firm to complete more deals by accepting more customers.  Whereas banks or other financial intermediaries might turn down a loan application, car dealerships can choose to lend to customers with poor credit ratings.

Initial Public Offering - IPO.  The first sale of stock by a private company to the public.  IPOs are often issued by smaller, younger companies seeking the capital to expand, but can also be done by large privately owned companies looking to become publicly traded.  In an IPO, the issuer obtains the assistance of an underwriting firm, which helps it determine what type of security to issue (common or preferred), the best offering price and the time to bring it to market.  Also referred to as a "public offering.”   IPOs can be a risky investment.  For the individual investor, it is tough to predict what the stock will do on its initial day of trading and in the near future because there is often little historical data with which to analyze the company.  Also, most IPOs are of companies going through a transitory growth period, which are subject to additional uncertainty regarding their future values.

Inventory Financing.  A line of credit or short-term loan made to a company so it can purchase products for sale.  Those products, or inventory, serve as collateral for the loan if the business does not sell its products and cannot repay the loan.  Inventory financing is especially useful for businesses that must pay their suppliers in a shorter period of time than it takes them to sell their inventory to customers.  It also provides a solution to seasonal fluctuations in cash flows and can help a business achieve a higher sales volume - for example, by allowing a business to acquire extra inventory to sell during the holiday season.  Lenders may view inventory financing as a type of unsecured loan because if the business can't sell its inventory, the bank may not be able to either.  This reality may partially explain why, in the aftermath of the credit crisis of 2008, many businesses found it more difficult to obtain inventory financing.

Investment Bank - IB.  A financial intermediary that performs a variety of services.  This includes underwriting, acting as an intermediary between an issuer of securities and the investing public, facilitating mergers and other corporate reorganizations, and also acting as a broker for institutional clients.  The role of the investment bank begins with pre-underwriting counseling and continues after the distribution of securities in the form of advice.

JOBS Act.  Basics; Changes; New … In process.  – US SEC

Mezzanine Financing.  A hybrid of debt and equity financing that is typically used to finance the expansion of existing companies.  Mezzanine financing is basically debt capital that gives the lender the rights to convert to an ownership or equity interest in the company if the loan is not paid back in time and in full.  It is generally subordinated to debt provided by senior lenders such as banks and venture capital companies.  Since mezzanine financing is usually provided to the borrower very quickly with little due diligence on the part of the lender and little or no collateral on the part of the borrower, this type of financing is aggressively priced with the lender seeking a return in the 20-30% range.  Mezzanine financing is advantageous because it is treated like equity on a company's balance sheet and may make it easier to obtain standard bank financing.  To attract mezzanine financing, a company usually must demonstrate a track record in the industry with an established reputation and product, a history of profitability and a viable expansion plan for the business (e.g.  expansions, acquisitions, IPO).

Microfinance.  A type of banking service that is provided to unemployed or low-income individuals or groups who would otherwise have no other means of gaining financial services.  Ultimately, the goal of microfinance is to give low income people an opportunity to become self-sufficient by providing a means of saving money, borrowing money and insurance.  Microfinancing is not a new concept.  Small microcredit operations have existed since the mid 1700s.  Although most modern microfinance institutions operate in developing countries, the rate of payment default for loans is surprisingly low - more than 90% of loans are repaid.  Like conventional banking operations, microfinance institutions must charge their lenders interests on loans.  While these interest rates are generally lower than those offered by normal banks, some opponents of this concept condemn microfinance operations for making profits off of the poor.  The World Bank estimates that there are more than 500 million people who have directly or indirectly benefited from microfinance-related operations.

Private Equity.  Equity capital that is not quoted on a public exchange. Private equity consists of investors and funds that make investments directly into private companies or conduct buyouts of public companies that result in a delisting of public equity. Capital for private equity is raised from retail and institutional investors, and can be used to fund new technologies, expand working capital within an owned company, make acquisitions, or to strengthen a balance sheet.  The majority of private equity consists of institutional investors and accredited investors who can commit large sums of money for long periods of time. Private equity investments often demand long holding periods to allow for a turnaround of a distressed company or a liquidity event such as an IPO or sale to a public company.  The size of the private equity market has grown steadily since the 1970s. Private equity firms will sometimes pool funds together to take very large public companies private. Many private equity firms conduct what are known as leveraged buyouts (LBOs), where large amounts of debt are issued to fund a large purchase. Private equity firms will then try to improve the financial results and prospects of the company in the hope of reselling the company to another firm or cashing out via an IPO.

Regulation A.  An exemption for public offerings not exceeding $5 million in any 12-month period.  Must file an offering statement with the SEC on Form 1-A.  Offerings share many characteristics with registered offerings:  offering circular similar to a prospectus; can be offered publicly, using general solicitation and advertising; purchasers do not receive “restricted securities,” so can resell up to $1.5mm of securities.  The principal differences from registered public offerings are: 
   • Financial statements are simpler and do not need to be audited;
   • No reporting obligations after the offering or Sarbanes-Oxley Act obligations;
   • Three formats, one of which is a simplified question-and-answer document; and
   • May “test the waters" to determine market before filing expenses.
All types of companies may use Regulation A, except SEC reporting companies, development stage companies without a specified business (e.g., “blank check companies”), and investment companies registered or required to be registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940.  
– US SEC

Regulation D.  Establishes exemptions from Securities Act registration.  The only filing requirement under each of these exemptions is the requirement to file a notice on Form D with the SEC.  The notice must be filed within 15 days after the first sale of securities in the offering.  Many states also require the filing of a Form D notice in a Regulation D offering.  The main purpose of the Form D filing is to notify federal (and state) authorities of the amount and nature of the offering being undertaken in reliance upon Regulation D.
   Some rules under Regulation D specify particular disclosures that must be made to investors, while others do not.  Even if your company sells securities in a manner that is not subject to specific disclosure requirements, you should take care that sufficient information is available to investors.  All sales of securities are subject to the antifraud provisions of the securities laws.  This means that you should consider whether the necessary information was available to investors, and that any information provided to investors must be free from false or misleading statements.  Similarly, information should not be omitted if, as a result of the omission, the information that is provided to investors is false or misleading.
   We address each of the Regulation D exemptions separately. 
– US SEC

Regulation D, Rule 504.  Sometimes referred to as the “seed capital” exemption, provides an exemption for the offer and sale of up to $1,000,000 of securities in a 12-month period.  Your company may use this exemption so long as it is not a blank check company and is not subject to Exchange Act reporting requirements.  In general, you may not use general solicitation or advertising to market the securities, and purchasers generally receive “restricted securities  Purchasers of restricted securities may not sell them without SEC registration or using another exemption, which is further explained below under the heading “Resales of restricted securities  Investors should be informed that they may not be able to sell securities of a non-reporting company for at least a year without the issuer registering the transaction with the SEC.
   Your company may, however, use the Rule 504 exemption for a public offering of its securities with general solicitation and advertising, and investors will receive non-restricted securities, under one of the following circumstances: 
   • It sells in accordance with a state law that requires the public filing and delivery to investors of a substantive disclosure document; or
   • It sells in accordance with a state law that requires registration and disclosure document delivery and also sells in a state without those requirements, so long as your company delivers to all purchasers the disclosure documents mandated by a state in which it registered; or
   • It sells exclusively according to state law exemptions that permit general solicitation and advertising, so long as sales are made only to "accredited investors" (we describe the term “accredited investor” in more detail below in connection with our description of Rule 506 offerings). 
– US SEC

Regulation D, Rule 505.  Provides an exemption for offers and sales of securities totaling up to $5 million in any 12-month period.  Under this exemption, your company may sell to an unlimited number of “accredited investors” and up to 35 persons that are not accredited investors.  Purchasers must buy for investment purposes only, and not for the purpose of reselling the securities.  The issued securities are “restricted securities,” meaning purchasers may not resell them without registration or an applicable exemption, as explained below under the heading “Resales of restricted securities  If your company is not an SEC reporting company, investors should be informed that they may not be able to sell securities for at least a year without the company registering the transaction with the SEC.  Your company may not use general solicitation or advertising to sell the securities.
   Under Rule 505, if your offering involves any purchasers that are not accredited investors, you must give these purchasers disclosure documents that generally contain the same information as those included in a registration statement for a registered offering.  There are also financial statement requirements that apply to Rule 505 offerings involving purchasers that are not accredited investors.  For instance, if financial statements are required, they must be audited by a certified public accountant.  You must also be available to answer questions from prospective purchasers who are not accredited investors.
   You may decide what information to give to accredited investors, so long as it does not violate the antifraud prohibitions of the federal securities laws.  If your company provides information to accredited investors, it must make this information available to the non-accredited investors as well. 
– US SEC

Regulation D, Rule 506.  Is a "safe harbor" for the non-public offering exemption in Section 4(a)(2) of the Securities Act, which means it provides specific requirements that, if followed, establish that your transaction falls within the Section 4(a)(2) exemption.  Rule 506 does not limit the amount of money your company can raise or the number of accredited investors it can sell securities to, but to qualify for the safe harbor, your company must: 
   •
Not use general solicitation or advertising to market the securities;
   •
Not sell securities to more than 35 non-accredited investors (unlike Rule 505, all non-accredited investors, either alone or with a purchaser representative, must meet the legal standard of having sufficient knowledge and experience in financial and business matters to be capable of evaluating the merits and risks of the prospective investment);
   •
Give non-accredited investors specified disclosure documents that generally contain the same information as provided in registered offerings (the company is not required to provide specified disclosure documents to accredited investors, but, if it does provide information to accredited investors, it must also make this information available to the non-accredited investors as well);
   •
Be available to answer questions from prospective purchasers who are non-accredited investors; and
   •
Provide the same financial statement information as required under Rule 505. 
– US SEC

Rule 144.  In process.  – US SEC

Rule 701.  In process.  – US SEC

Rule 1001 (Calif).  In process.  – US SEC

Small Business and the SEC.  A guide for small businesses on raising capital and complying with the federal securities laws.  Includes Exemptions:  Non-Public Offering (Private Placement), Regulation A, Regulation D, Accredited Investor, Intrastate Offering, and Rules 144, 701 & 1001.  – US SEC

Venture Capital.  Money provided by investors to startup firms and small businesses with perceived long-term growth potential.  This is a very important source of funding for startups that do not have access to capital markets.  It typically entails high risk for the investor, but it has the potential for above-average returns.  Venture capital can also include managerial and technical expertise.  Most venture capital comes from a group of wealthy investors, investment banks and other financial institutions that pool such investments or partnerships.  This form of raising capital is popular among new companies or ventures with limited operating history, which cannot raise funds by issuing debt.  The downside for entrepreneurs is that venture capitalists usually get a say in company decisions, in addition to a portion of the equity.

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