Crowdfunding t shirts

Oculus Rift and Ownership in Crowdfunding

Kickstarter-oculus-rift-ownershipKickstarter backers experienced a rude awakening when Oculus Rift was acquired by Facebook.

Monetary pledges, developer time and emotional investments in the virtual reality startup offer no legal recourse and no payoff for a company that is acquired for $2 billion. Only people with equity stakes — private stock — in the company enjoy the windfall.

It was just a matter of time until one of Kickstarter's projects blossomed into what investors call a "unicorn, " and began to beg the question — should companies using crowdfunding to launch a business also offer some stake in the company?

The answer, at least from President Barack Obama and Congress, was "yes." They decided that in 2012 when they passed the JOBS Act, which put equity crowdfunding on track for legalization.Oculus_rift_gallery-3 However due to a slow regulatory process that continues to drag, the average person is still unable to buy equity positions in startups.

Numerous companies are awaiting the finalization of the rules from the SEC, which regulates securities trading in the U.S. Once the regulation is in place, platforms will be able to offer anyone the opportunity to purchase small stakes in startup companies.

Oculus_rift_glasses-21Which means Oculus Rift pledgers might have been inline for a big payday if they had bought stock instead of a T-shirt.

The $25 pledge, the $40, 000 payoff

Kickstarter offers absolutely no equity positions in companies. Pledges go toward projects for various reasons, including presales of products (like Oculus Rift), goodies like T-shirts, or even just personal thanks.

Equity, on the other hand, gets much more complex.

An initial investment, known as a seed round, typically requires a company to give up 15% to 30% of its interest in the company, split between an employee option pool and investors.

Oculus Rift's efforts on Kickstarter netted $2.4 million when it set out to only bring in $250, 000. That indicates significant user interest in the product, but does not really help with a valuation.

Oculus_rift_glasses-9 Oculus_rift_glasses-13 Oculus_rift_glasses-24 Oculus_rift_gallery-7

Mailpile - taking e-mail back

by gnostic2012


Bjarni Rúnar Einarsson
posted September 5, 2012
The bad news is, PayPal have frozen our PayPal account.
This means roughly $45,000 of the $135,000 we have raised so far are in a state of limbo and we don't know when we will get access to the money.
Rest assured, we are not taking this lying down and intend to put pressure on the company both through the media and legal channels and we have asked our counsel, the Software Freedom Law Center in New York, to help us work this out with Paypal

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