Overview of Gold Eagle Funding
Interview With Itay Golan
Describe your product or service:
“Gold Eagle Funding Inc. is a ‘big data’ analytics aggregation platform that provides actionable information on securities crowdfunding to enable more informed investment decisions. We supply a deal flow of customized startup investment opportunities accompanied by vetting and analysis (including a probability of success analysis) of these target companies.
We are the only company that provides its users with access to all listed and registered crowdfunding private placements on the web. With proprietary technology, we track all crowdfunding private placements online and assist our users in finding a customized investment that meets their needs.”
Describe your company values and mission:
“We democratize opportunity and empower individuals to be on equal footing with the titans of Wall Street. By creating a marketplace for small startup investments where our users can research, share opinions and due diligence, [and] review and invest in startups — we enable our users to be a part of the seed investment space that used to be the exclusive playing field of deep-pocketed angels, VCs, and PEs.
The [four] most important goals of our brand:
- Be recognized as the go-to place for retail investors in this space where all portals present all their compan[y] offerings.
- Be valued as a true reliable source of quality reviews and analysis, as well as networking and interactive chat rooms, for users in this space.
- Become an exciting place for users to come to and learn about new ventures, new technologies and share it with the community.
- Become the social network place for this niche community.”
How are you funded? I.e. venture capital, angel investors, etc.
“Equity crowdfunding [and] retail investors.”
How big is your team? Tell us a little about them (I.e. co-founders, freelancers, etc.)
“Three co-founders: Founder Itay Golan has been a financial analyst for 10 years analyzing transactions. He has worked at investment banks, a rating agency, and a private equity fund. CFO Asaf Levy took numerous startup companies through successful funding rounds as VP of Finance and CFO. [He] scaled three tech applications and helped grow them from seed level to leaders in their field. COO Omri Chetrit Owner [operated] multiple ecommerce stores using a unique business model which generated more than 30,000 individual sales and revenues of over $1 million.”
Did you always want to start your own business? What made you want to become an entrepreneur?
“I am a serial entrepreneur and a constant dreamer. As someone who came up with several business concepts and had developed several ventures in the past, I was always very frustrated with the lack of financing options for small businesses. I thought that if the sharing economy enables us to share apartments and share rides, why can't we share ideas and share resources to start businesses.
I always wanted to be an entrepreneur, but when I ran upon the crowdfunding industry and the promise of democratizing opportunities to other entrepreneurs and to retail investors, the entrepreneurship calling was even more evident to me.”
How did you come up with your startup idea? How did you decide to actually act on the idea? What gave you confidence that you were on the right track?
“I learned that SEC regulations did not allow that. When Title III of the JOBS Act finally removed these restrictions, I thought it would be great to start a crowdfunding platform. Very soon, many portals came to existence and made me think that just like these portals help small businesses, there should be a marketplace that will help the retail investors in this space and make it easy for them to navigate this still nascent and confusing landscape of title III investment crowdfunding.
Thinking that there is no solution like ours in the industry and feeling the pain of not having it as an entrepreneur myself pushed me to take action. I knew I was on the right track once I started getting traction from companies that said they need our service, from platforms [that] wanted to partner with us, and from users who signed up. This prompted me to start an equity crowdfunding campaign on our own to validate the premise of the company and prove that there [is] investor and user demand for it.”
How did you come up with your company name? Did you have other names you considered?
“Crowdfunding Finder is a catchy name that encompasses what we are aiming to do: help investors find and identify crowdfunding opportunities.”
What is the greatest challenge you faced in starting your business, and how did you overcome it?
“Funding, Funding, Funding. I overcame it by planning for the long haul. Start slow[ly] at a low scale, prove the concept, and then solicit funding from the crowd.”
Who is your product or service made for? Who is your target market?
“Our target market is 1. Issuers (i.e. offering companies) 2. Equity crowdfunding platforms 3. Users (retail investors)”
What's your marketing strategy?
“Currently, all our marketing budget is for our Wefunder campaign.”
How did you acquire your first 100 customers?
“Word of mouth and through dedicated Facebook groups.”
What are the key customer metrics / unit economics / KPIs you pay attention to to monitor the health of your business?
“New daily users; new clients (paying customers — i.e., companies)”
What's your favorite book on entrepreneurship?
“‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.’”
What is your favorite startup or business podcast?
“‘Test. Optimize. Scale.’”
What is something that surprised you about entrepreneurship?
“As a military vet and a corporate person, I always thought that the more you plan, the better you'd execute. In entrepreneurship, over planning can make you rigid and 'married to an idea'. While persistence is super important in many aspects of work, when you actually start something from scratch, I find it as important to be agile and flexible and tweak/adjust your idea and your conceptions.”
How do you achieve work/life balance as a founder?
“There is no work/life balance. If you want your dream to work, you must put your all heart and soul in it. I do prioritize my family and family time is sacred to me and above all else. Other than that, I prioritize the business over regular leisure time.”
How do you stay motivated?
“It is an up and down battle. Obviously success is a good motivator, but I keep motivating myself from failures just as well. I try to remember the end goal and also why I am there from the beginning- which is not for fortune or fame but to really change the world. If I only thought about financial success, I would [have been] discouraged a long time ago because success does not come easy, and it may come easier in non-entrepreneurial activities. However, I keep reminding myself that I am doing it for a greater goal — to democratize opportunities [that] will fight inequality.”
Did you have to develop any habits that helped lead you to success? If so, what are they?
“Yes. Focusing on the goal and avoiding the side noise — the naysayers and all the unforeseen obstacles that arise along the way.”
What are you most proud of as an entrepreneur?
“Of just that — being an entrepreneur (whether I succeed or not), because being an entrepreneur is not an easy choice. We all have the alternative of getting back to a 9-to-5 job which may be more comfortable and less stressful but not as rewarding (mentally and perhaps monetarily).”
More on Gold Eagle Funding
We were fortunate enough to hear some valuable insights during our interview with Itay Golan, founder of fintech startup Gold Eagle Funding, that will inspire, motivate, and teach aspiring and established entrepreneurs alike.
We asked Itay Golan, founder of Gold Eagle Funding, to share the most impactful ways to support their startup, and this is what they had to say.