SMART Capital is about much more than money
In our world of finding and funding successful companies, we are sometimes asked the question, “How does crowdfunding bring real value to a start-up company compared to an investment in the business by a venture capital company?” The short answer is that beyond straight capital, and the possible side-effect of gauging market interest in the concept, it doesn’t. Money is money. Or, at least not in the same way an investment by Toronto-based Mill Street & Co. can.
There is no doubt that crowdfunding is gaining in popularity. A report titled “2016 Alternative Finance Crowdfunding in Canada,” cites money raised from crowdfunding, while growing slower than in the U.S. and the U.K, is still a growing opportunity for start-ups. Equity crowdfunding is expected to grow by about 275 per cent this year to $30-million, up from $8-million in 2015.
The allure of crowdfunding as an investment opportunity can be appealing, but start-ups today can be too focused on the capital side of the business without understanding where true value can lie when selecting an investment partner. The real value in building a business isn’t something that can be achieved through a crowdfunding campaign alone. Crowdfunding provides capital; it is about short-term gain regardless of long-term goals.
SMART Capital™ is an operating concept designed by Mill Street & Co. to ensure that there is a commitment to driving organic growth and building real value from the companies that it acquires. SMART Capital™ looks beyond the infusion of cash into a business, and provides the financial, operating and marketing acumen to support an exponentially stronger commitment to the long-term growth of a company. This is not about short-term profits derived by flipping companies after stripping them down. It’s about building them up to be market leaders and driving real value creation.
Mill Street & Co. is Sought After for the Real Value It Brings to a Business
Mill Street & Co. is comprised of professionals with proven experience in creating successful businesses and providing long-term financial rewards to stakeholders. Beyond capital, Mill Street delivers two key elements of extended value that should matter to those looking to grow their business through an influx of capital:
Mentorship: While crowdfunding and private equity injects much needed capital into a business, that’s usually where the non-financial involvement ends. There is often little operational interaction between a business owner and a traditional investor. Alternately, when Mill Street & Co. invests in a company, that is just the beginning of the relationship. The Mill Street team provides unlimited access to intelligence, coaching and mentorship across all critical business functions. For management, this is the most valuable component of a partnership that has proven time and time again to drive real growth.
Sustainability: Sustainable growth that drives long-term returns for partners is in the best interest of both business owners and their investors/partners when raising capital to fuel business growth. The difference between receiving initial capital through crowdfunding and traditional venture capital, compared to an investment by Mill Street & Co., is most noticeable when looking at sustainable growth opportunities that are focused on long-term success. Traditional investors are short-term focused and often realize their value by stripping away the long-term viability of a business, or making quick gains at the expense of a long-term vision. Long-term thinking allows a company to sustainably evolve and grow into its potential, creating significant real value for all stakeholders as a result.
While each company and investment opportunity is different, there is no doubt that for those looking beyond capital, partnering with Mill Street & Co. versus a traditional Venture Capital or Private Equity company, or attempting to raise capital through crowdfunding creates a strategic business partnership that will result in greater overall success and the realization of market potential.
About Mill Street & Co.
Mill Street & Co. is a diversified North American company that owns and operates a diverse group of North American companies, employing over 1000 exceptional people who create real value every day. Mill Street generates sustainable, long-term growth through the intelligent allocation of capital. Our partners rely on us to maximize shareholder value while minimizing dilution. It’s an approach to business management that we are proud to stand behind. An approach that we call SMART Capital™.