House Passes New Insider Trading Bill

If you’re an Uber driver and hear a couple of corporate executive types worrying aloud that their company’s stock is about to tank and you short the hell out of it, can you be convicted of insider trading?


With the passage by the U.S. House of Representatives of HR 2534, probably not.

In order to clarify who is liable for insider trading, the Insider Trading Prohibition Act states that you cannot trade “while in possession of material, nonpublic information” if you know, or recklessly disregard, that such information has been obtained wrongfully, or your trade “would constitute a wrongful use of such information.”

It is not be necessary that, while in possession of such information you know the specific means by which the information was obtained or communicated, or whether any personal benefit was paid or promised by or to any person in the chain of communication, so long as you are “aware, consciously avoided being aware, or recklessly disregarded that such information was wrongfully obtained or communicated.”

And you can be indicted if you tip off someone else if it’s “reasonably foreseeable” that your friend will trade on the data or give it to someone who will.

The bill might even stop Congressmen from trading on inside info.

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Life After Crowdfunding Failure

The South African fintech firm My-iMali attempted to crowdfund a minimum of 7.5 million Rand (1 Rand = $0.068) up to a maximum of R25 million for a 20% equity piece on the crowdfunding platform UpriseAfrica.


My-iMali is an app that permits businesses to save thousands of rands in bank fees by depositing employee pay on the digital app instead of using a traditional direct bank deposit. The employee then uses a debit card to utilize the money.

The firm’s crowdfunding failure was apparently due to the fact that it was, at the same time, trying to negotiate a deal with a venture capital firm.

In the end, the VC deal was struck – terms were not disclosed.

So, the crowdfunding attempt may not have raised the cash but did provide some publicity for the firm. However, it’s likely that the valuation agreed with the VC was, shall we say, less rich than what the public was being offered.

So, there is life after crowdfunding failure, even if it’s not as lucrative as one would have hoped.

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New Feminist App To Crowdfund

In a story out of “Silicon Valley,” rife with “coder-bros” who tried to sabotage the founders’ work, comes the new app Smashboard.


Soon to be crowdfunded, the app uses the blockchain to permit victims of sexual assault to report the affront and communicate with a community of therapists and lawyers to seek assistance.

The blockchain allows the victim to remain anonymous and to “time stamp” the record of the assault and does not require them to constantly repeat the traumatic experience each time they deal with a new person or institution along their path to recovery.

If a survivor desires to reach out to verified journalists or others, all conversations are encrypted over a secure server.

The app has other features as well, including a feminist news feed, tipline and a database of mental health experts.

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Too Good To Be True Financing For Startups?

Attention entrepreneurs!

If you need capital but don’t want to give away equity, sign personal guarantees, have your credit checked or even pay interest, look to the venture capital backed startup Uncapped.


According to UKTN, “Uncapped is pioneering a new approach to business finance, allowing founders to raise crucial working capital between £10k and £1m at a flat fee of 6%.”

And this fee is payable only out of revenues, so if sales fall off, your payments can go to zero.

No pitch decks required, only an online payments based business with at least nine months revenue history.

Uncapped does, however, have access to your company’s bank account so it can suck out payments when available.

Is it a viable business model? The underwriting will tell.

(No endorsement implied).

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Charity Sites Fires Promoters

Where there’s opportunity, you will usually find cheats.

Venture capital backed Chinese charity crowdfunding platform Shuidichou uses “off-line promoters” to find people to raise money on its site.


According to PitchBook, the company has raised ~$74 million in venture capital from nine investors through its Series B.

Just recently, it’s reported that Shuidichou has banned these promoters who visit hospitals to find patients to put on the site seeking donations for medical expenses.

The ban is apparently due to the promoters telling the patients to ask for more money than necessary to cover their bills and that the site won’t vet their campaigns, contrary to its terms of service.

The promoters work on a commission basis of $14/new sign up and a bonus of $70 for every 25 new campaigns.

As we saw from our own mortgage crisis, this type of comp often leads to cheating.

This is not the first time the company has found itself subject to criticism.

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Crowdfunding Surges After Duke Buzzer Beater

What do we know about number 1-ranked Duke Men’s Basketball? Almost impossible to beat.

But this week, with seconds left to play, Nathan Bain, a point guard on the Stephen F. Autin Lumberjacks (a team Duke paid to be humiliated in a pre-season warmup game), stole the ball, drove the court and made a layup, winning the game!

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Per Newsweek that was “Duke’s first non-conference home loss in 150 games, a streak that goes back to 2000.”

It also put Mr. Bain into the hot sports spotlight.

Bain is from the Bahamas where his home was crushed by Hurricane Dorian.

The college put together a crowdfunding page for his family that was getting no attention. Until Bain’s play was repeated on ESPN.

The family’s goal was $50,000 to rebuild. As of today, the crowdfunding page has hit $133,705.

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Crowdfunding Plumber To Aid Elderly

This from the United Kingdom website that we don’t ordinarily read “Heating, Ventilating & Plumbing,” is the story about the plumber who has started a crowdfunding site to help the elderly.

In what is predicted to be one of the coldest winters on record in England, plumber James Anderson is crowdfunding to raise up to £30,000 to provide free boiler repairs to the elderly and other low income families.


Of the money raised, £30 will be used to reimburse the service person for his/her expenses and if s/he does additional work s/he will donate 2% of their fee to keep the service going.

The target goal should provide this free service to about 1,000 needy families. I

t is estimated that there were many fatalities tied to the tough UK winter last year.

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