No. You must be a Vermont resident to invest in Vermont companies through Milk Money. All companies raising capital on the Milk Money website set up their offerings under the Vermont Small Business Offering exemption which allows them to avoid SEC filings and other legal requirements (and expenses) by accepting only investments from Vermonters.
In the US, an accredited investor is roughly defined as an individual with annual salary of at least $200,000 for the past two years and reasonable expectation of the same in the current year (or $300,000 combined annual salary, if married) AND/OR have a net worth of at least $1 million, excluding primary residence.
After you email or mail us a copy of your Vermont drivers license you will receive a link from Milk Money that will allow you to see current campaigns.
Before a business can launch a campaign, it will pay a one-time fee to Milk Money for 1.) buiness plan and capital needs analysis, 2.) the use of our platform, and 3.) Milk Money staff time to upload and optimize its campaign. Milk Money does not take a percentage of the money that is raised, and it does not charge investors any fees for using our site. A business may also choose to engage Milk Money after its campaign to provide on-going investor relationship management services. The cost for this is a reasonable monthly fee.
Not yet. We are exploring this option, but we also feel a little uneasy about giving people the ability to make investments with what is essentially “borrowed money” on credit cards. With that said, we’re open to suggestions and welcome your insight and opinion on this issue so please feel free to email us at email@example.com.
Your return on investment is dependent on the ultimate success of the company you invest in. There is really no way to predict how much you will get back from your investment. It is possible that you could lose all of your investment if the company is not successful, and you need to be aware of that and comfortable with this scenario before making an investment.
This first depends on whether a company is issuing Equity or Convertible Debt. In the case of Convertible Debt, you do not have actual ownership in the company until and unless it converts into Equity at some point in the future.
If the company is issuing Equity, your percentage ownership will be based on the valuation of the company (found in the Offering Documents) and the amount of money you invest.
A security can take many different forms. Most campaigns on Milk Money will offer either equity (stock) or a form of debt called Convertible Debt.
Equity can come in the form of Common or Preferred Stock. Common Stock is the same class of stock that is typically issued to the founders/owners of a business. Preferred Stock, as its name implies, usually comes with “preferential benefits” such as dividends or liquidation preferences over Common Stock.
Convertible Debt is when a company borrows money from an investor or group of investors, and the intention of both the investors and the company is to convert the debt to equity at some later date. Convertible Debt is useful for early stage companies raising small-ish amounts as a bridge financing mechanism to later, bigger rounds. Unlike a traditional loan, repayments are deferred for a period of time during which interest accrues. At any time during this deferral period, a “conversion event” may trigger the conversion of debt into equity. A typical conversion trigger is a future equity offering by the company, in which case the Convertible Debt (including the original principal plus accrued and unpaid interest) would convert into whatever equity the company is offering to new investors.
To be in compliance with the Vermont Small Business Offering, we need to verify that investors are Vermont residents. A drivers license check is the fastest, easiest, most secure and least invasive way to confirm your residency. We are also exploring if we can verify residency via voter registrations. We expect to make a change along these lines line the very near future.
If you have not registered with Milk Money, these pages are hidden. Click here to register. And after you register and we confirm your VT residency, we will email you an access code to view campaigns.
If you have registered and are having trouble using your access code, please call us at 802-899-9797 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are no guarantees, investing is inherently risky.
Milk Money does its best to present what we believe are viable businesses with good opportunities – BUT there are no guarantees that a company is a good investment. You need to do your own evaluation of the company’s business plan and financials on their campaign page, meet the entrepreneur if you have a chance, consult a financial advisor/tax advisor/attorney for their expert guidance, and trust your gut. If something bothers you about the deal, don’t invest. On the other hand, if it just “feels right” this can be a valuable guide – as long as you’ve done the diligence work to back it up.
Please see our Basic Guide to Due Diligence for more help with this.
You can invest from a Self-Directed IRA (SDIRA) which is a type of IRA that allows for investments in non-traditional assets like real estate or private investments (FYI-all Milk Money investments are considered private since they are not registered with the SEC). SDIRAs are required to be held with a custodian, of which there are several in the U.S. but none in Vermont…yet. We are working with a Vermont-based financial institution to explore the possibility of them setting up as a custodian for SDIRAs.
Federal law prohibits raising money from non-accredited investors but under the recently enacted Vermont Small Business Offering Exemption (VSBO), non-accredited Vermont investors can invest in Vermont companies.
Changes to the Vermont Small Business Offering (VSBO) exemption in July 2015 opened the opportunity for accredited investors from outside Vermont to invest in Milk Money campaigns. An accredited investor is roughly defined as an individual with annual salary of at least $200,000 for the past two years and reasonable expectation of the same in the current year (or $300,000 combined annual salary, if married) AND/OR have a net worth of at least $1 million, excluding primary residence. Accredited investors must alert Milk Money of their out-of-state residence before making an investment so we can make any required filings with their home state’s department of financial regulation.
Unlike Kickstarter and other crowdfunding sites that collect donations for the promise of a t-shirt, music CD or other gift, campaigns on Milk Money offer the chance to participate in the financial success of a company. This typically comes in the form of Equity (i.e. stock) or Convertible Debt. See “What are the different types of securities offered through Milk Money?” above for more information.
There is no limit on the number of companies in which you can invest. Please note: you are limited to $10,000 per company per year. You might want to diversify your portfolio which means spreading small amounts of investments across a number of different companies. Like the old saying goes: don’t put all your eggs in one basket.