FrontFundr, a Vancouver-based equity crowdfunding platform, announced that David R. Beatty has been appointed as chairman of the company’s board of directors. The company also announced it will be shifting some of its services to help a wider range of companies raise capital.
“The appointment of such an experienced business leader reflects our transition into the next phase of mainstream financial services.”
The company told BetaKit that its crowdfunding offering has moved from helping solely startups, to allowing all pre-IPO companies to use FrontFundr’s platform. It is also continuing to expand in private capital markets, FrontFundr added, from startups that are looking for seed capital and growth companies looking for expansion capital. Founded in Vancouver in 2013, FrontFundr now operates its bilingual online investing platform in eight provinces, including Quebec.
“FrontFundr is still very much committed to supporting the startup community and giving the Canadian population the opportunity to invest in private companies that they believe in,” said Victoria Bennett, marketing manager and campaign coach at FrontFundr. “But a much broader range of companies at different stages of maturity are looking to the platform to access capital. Investors benefit from being able to review all the information online in their own time.”
In 2013, Beatty was inducted into the Order of Canada the nation’s highest civilian honour and in 1994 he was made an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. He has served on 39 different boards of directors and been chairman of nine public companies in five different countries.
Beatty served on the board of BMO for more than 20 years, including seven terms as chairman of the risk review committee. In 2018, Beatty was granted the International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN) Lifetime Achievement award. ICGN is an investor-led organization that includes more than 200 asset managers, which the FrontFunder said manages over $42 trillion CAD.
“As Canada’s largest investment crowdfunding platform, we have democratized investing in private companies,” said Peter-Paul Van Hoeken, FrontFundr’s founder and CEO. “The appointment of such an experienced business leader as David, reflects our transition into the next phase of mainstream financial services. I look forward to working with him to take our position as leading online private capital markets platform to the next level, unlocking investing in private companies to the wider investor community and building out our trusted brand.”
Since investment crowdfunding was legalized in Canada in 2015, FrontFundr’s platform has allowed Canadians to invest in early-stage and growing private companies. In March 2018, the company announced a partnership with SeedUps Canada to help early-stage entrepreneurs prepare for investment. Last April, the company said that it had raised a combined $10 million for Canadian companies to date.
“I have been impressed how FrontFundr, and most recently SMV Capital Markets has led the way in opening access to capital for private companies and investing in the private capital markets for all Canadians,” said Beatty. “I look forward to working with the team to make this the norm for businesses seeking capital and individuals looking to get access to investment opportunities in private companies.”
Image courtesy FrontFundr.