WASHINGTON, Nov. 9, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- After serving in the U.S. Air Force for nine years, attorney Mark L. Rockefeller was ready for new challenges. He returned from Iraq in May 2008, just as the financial crisis was starting. After an academic stint at Columbia University, he joined a Wall Street law firm. But he felt something was missing, and he personally longed to help the military community that had become like family.
Tens of thousands of military veterans were leaving the service and starting businesses. But banks weren't lending to support this special breed of business owners. In 2013, Rockefeller partnered with Mickey Konson, a senior executive and credit expert at Capital One. Together, the two created StreetShares.
In a recent conversation, Rockefeller shared details about the offering and how investors can benefit from doing good.
What's the big idea?
StreetShares offers Veteran Business Bonds, through which individual investors fund a pool of capital, for which they receive a 5% fixed interest rate. StreetShares in turn lends that capital out, along with institutional capital and capital from its own balance sheet, to military veterans and other main street business owners.
StreetShares is not a bank with expensive overhead and branch offices. Rather, StreetShares is an online lender that can efficiently assess risk and deploy capital to qualified businesses. Military veteran business owners are able to secure funding for their small businesses at rates that are often lower than the rates offered by other institutions.
Tell us why you started StreetShares.
After leaving military service, veterans go into business at a higher rate than the rest of the population. But they can run into difficulty getting small business loans because they often lack the capital that banks and other traditional lenders require. StreetShares provides the critical funding they need, and at lower interest rates than they typically can find elsewhere. And Veteran Business Bonds are a major source of lending capital for StreetShares.
How do investors benefit?
Investors get a flat 5% return. It's a three-year note. If you would like to withdraw earlier than that, there is 1% penalty. However, on every anniversary of your investment there is a two-week window when one can withdraw penalty free. For details, please see StreetShares' Offering Statement available at SEC.gov or accessible through our site at StreetShares.com. StreetShares has also put an Offering Summary together as a great place to start learning about Veteran Business Bonds.
What protections do investors have?
StreetShares is not a traditional peer-to-peer lender. Investors are not taking pass-through risk on any particular underlying loan made. Rather, the funds are diversified across the entire portfolio.
StreetShares can make this commitment because all loans are underwritten with by an experienced underwriting team looking at cashflows and small businesses with demonstrated ability to pay back their debt.
But beyond that, there is something special. We're not a bank. We're not a hedge fund. Veterans know that when they borrow money, it's coming from fellow veterans and patriotic supporters. In essence, we harness the loyalty within the military community and channel that to make financial transactions safer. That's our secret sauce.
StreetShares, Inc. (the "Company") has qualified with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") for a Regulation A offering of StreetShares Notes, also known as "Veteran Business Bonds." The only offering to sell securities is found in the Company's Form 1-A and amendments and supplements thereto (collectively, the "Offering Statement"), which can be obtained from the SEC EDGAR filing website. No decision to invest in StreetShares Notes should be made without reading the Offering Statement. Neither the SEC nor any state securities regulator has passed upon or endorsed the merits of any investment decision in StreetShares. The Company does not give investment, legal, or tax advice. You are urged to consult your investment, legal, and tax professional before making any investment decision. Note: The default term for StreetShares Notes is 36 months, with the option for the Company to call, redeem, or prepay at any time. This offering is being conducted as a continuous offering pursuant to Rule 251(d)(3) of the Securities Act, meaning that while the offering of securities is continuous, sales of securities may happen sporadically over the term of the offering as we are able to process subscriptions. As a result, the active solicitation of investors, whether via the StreetShares platform or otherwise, may at times be briefly paused, or the ability to subscribe may be periodically restricted to certain individuals to allow the Company time to effectively and accurately process and settle subscriptions that have been received. Subject to SEC Rule 251(d)(2)(i)(C), non-accredited investors who are natural persons are limited to investing the greater of 10% of their annual income or net worth and non-accredited investors who are non-natural persons are limited to investing up to 10% of the greater of their net assets or revenues for the most recently completed fiscal year. Additionally, the Company's current per-person minimum investment amount is $25, and the maximum is $500,000 (subject to adjustment through the StreetShares Referral Program). The Company's minimum and maximum investment amounts are subject to change at the Company's discretion. StreetShares Notes are a non-deposit investment product. Not FDIC insured. No guarantee. May lose value.
Nothing contained herein shall be relied upon as a promise or a representation of past or future performance. For informational purposes only. THIS DOES NOT CONSTITUTE AN OFFER TO SELL OR THE SOLICITATION OF AN OFFER TO BUY ANY SECURITIES. Copyright © 2018 StreetShares, Inc. All Rights Reserved.