On Sep 21st, 2016, DreamFunded CEO, Manny Fernandez, was awarded the first ever Shark of The Year Award by the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce during their annual convention in
Riverside, CA. SAN FRANCISCO, CA - During this year’s annual convention in Riverside, California, the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce awarded DreamFunded Co-Founder/CEO, Manny Fernandez, the Shark of The Year Award. Manny is the first recipient to be given this award by the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce(CHCC.) This award honors the recipient’s entrepreneurial spirit, deep understanding of the investment landscape, and innate leadership abilities driving startups towards success. The California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce works through a network of regional Hispanic Chambers and business associations, it represents the interests of over 800,000 Hispanic business owners throughout the State of California. It is the largest regional ethnic business organization in the nation. The CHCC promotes, support and encourage the advancement, development, and economic growth of Hispanic entrepreneurs and California’s emerging businesses. The CHCC also serves as a platform for the exchange of ideas, information, assistance, procurement opportunities, or any other form of business opportunities which might enhance Hispanic and minority owned businesses. Manny has been featured on several Hispanic media outlets such as Fox News Latino and CNN en Espanol to name a few. As an entrepreneur and angel investor, he sets the bar for other aspiring Hispanic entrepreneurs that lack the insider access to the network and capital of Silicon Valley. During his acceptance speech at the CHCC Annual Convention, Fernandez said regarding equity crowdfunding, “This is what I am bringing to you, it is for us to win, it is us coming together, organizing for capital. I have seen it, I know how it works I have the knowledge, but I need others who want to use it to raise money from their community.” Albert Clark who is a board member of the CHCC says “Manny has tremendous energy and is a phenomenal guy. He was one of our first sharks on the panel last year and I believe he will continue to be a shark for many more years to come.”
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Silicon Valley Angel Investor, Manny Fernandez was named “Silicon Valley Equity CrowdFunding Pioneer” by Menlo College at Wednesday night’s event, The Future of Investing: How Equity CrowdFunding is Shaping the American Dream.
On May 16th, 2016 for the first time in 83 years, billions of dollars of capital will be opened up for investment in startups and small businesses by ordinary Americans via FINRA & SEC approved funding portals. With many visionaries emerging in this new market, the award honors an individual who is paving the way for the advancement of equity crowdfunding as a viable alternative to traditional investment approaches. The Silicon Valley Equity CrowdFunding Pioneer Award recognizes innovation by enabling the next generation of creative entrepreneurs to access funding capital.
In 2014, Fernandez was the recipient of the Equity CrowdFunding Leadership award as well as San Francisco Angel Investor of the Year accolade.
Menlo College Professor of Finance, Soumendra De who presented Fernandez with the award Wednesday night on behalf of the Menlo Finance Club said of Fernandez, “One name has been synonymous with equity crowdfunding in Silicon Valley and that name is Manny Fernandez, co-founder and CEO of DreamFunded.com,” He continued, “Their involvement in equity crowdfunding is shaping the way people can invest into private companies and helping tech employees get the liquidity they have worked hard for.”
“It’s easy to see why he received the award,” said an attending startup entrepreneur, “His candid nature, obvious enthusiasm for helping entrepreneurs, and his vast knowledge has motivated me to turn my startup dream into a reality.”
After appearing on CNBC’s Squawk Box for the second time and CNN Latino earlier this year, Fernandez was excited to be back at Menlo College, “I have always loved speaking at Menlo College, they really cultivate a unique entrepreneurial spirit in their students that you don’t find elsewhere. In fact, I actually met my DreamFunded co-founder, Rexford Hibbs, while speaking here a few years ago.”
Fernandez will be a panelist at an upcoming equity crowdfunding panel for the Angel Capital Association (ACA) Summit. The panel, Syndication: Accredited Platforms and Angel Groups will be held in Philadelphia, PA. on May 11th.
TaskRabbit Quadruples Its Business, Says It Will Turn Profitable in 2016
By Jeff Bercovici San Francisco bureau chief, Inc. Magazine
One of the first on-demand services, the startup is no unicorn--and that's suddenly looking like an advantage.
In the past six months, as valuations for many of the biggest on-demand companies have stalled or backslid, it's become painfully clear that there's a world of difference between a service that's growing fast and one that's on track to become profitable.
As other startups have pursued a strategy of raise fast and spend fast, TaskRabbit, one of the first on-demand offerings, has played the role of tortoise, not hare. While its slower-growth approach hasn't made it a billion-dollar "unicorn" yet, it has brought TaskRabbit to a place most of those unicorns have never seen: the verge of profitability.
CEO Leah Busque credits her fiscal restraint to the company's beginnings during the financial crisis. "I've always operated the company in a very capital efficient, very unit-economics-driven way," she says. The former IBM engineer conceived TaskRabbit--a platform for hiring freelancers to do small jobs--in Boston in 2008, on a cold night when she didn't want to leave the house to buy dog food.
For TaskRabbit, the biggest change came in 2013 when it began operations in London and used the expansion to test out a new model. Instead of an auction model, where consumers post jobs and contractors bid on them, in the new system, contractors post their hourly rates, taking a step out of the booking process.
The move wasn't immediately popular with "taskers," who complained they were essentially being asked to make blind bids. "We knew it was going to be tough," Busque says. "We definitely went through a transitional period where we knew we would have to hand-hold the community."
For the taskers who went along with it, though, the result was a 400 percent increase in earnings, the company says. Because the company still allows workers to set their own rates, it has never been vulnerable to the kind of worker-misclassification lawsuits that have dogged on-demand startups like Uber, Instacart, and now-defunct Homejoy.
In 2014, the company adopted the new model in all 19 of its markets, paving the way for a 2015 in which TaskRabbit's revenue also quadrupled. A tightening of the company's focus on home services like cleaning and handyman work and a somewhat more aggressive use of paid channels for user acquisition, with advertising now bringing in 35 percent of new business, helped fuel the growth. Add it all up and TaskRabbit says it is in line to become profitable in 2016.
In the newest iteration of its service, this week TaskRabbit is launching "Instant Matching," which lets you book a job within five minutes and have it completed within 90 minutes. Busque says speeding up service is a natural evolution of the product as its users book more of their jobs through mobile devices. "I founded the company before the words sharing economy even existed," she says.
"We've seen the whole arc and the whole landscape really shift and change over the past seven or eight years, which has been a lot of fun for me as a founder."
DreamFunded co-founder & CEO was recently a guest on Nashville’s WWTN radio show to discuss DreamFunded.com and equity crowdfunding trends. Manny is a notable Silicon Valley angel investor and founder of SF Angels Group in San Francisco. He is an expert on equity crowdfunding and won the equity crowdfunding leadership award in 2014. After identifying the crowdfunding trend emerge in early 2011 Fernandez co-founded equity crowdfunding platform DreamFunded.com to capitalize on the huge new market.
Helsinki, Finland - Well-known Silicon Valley angel investor and entrepreneur, Manny Fernandez was a featured keynote speaker at Europe’s famous Slush Conference in November.
In front of a packed house of over 2,000 angel investors, entrepreneurs and media correspondents, Manny Fernandez took to the Green Stage to educate the audience with his expertise on raising money using equity crowdfunding. Fernandez discussed his experiences in the Silicon Valley; highlighting the knowledge and tactics that some of the most successful angel investors and entrepreneurs in the world have utilized to raise millions of dollars online.
Fernandez became a prominent figure in the Silicon Valley angel investment community after founding SF Angels Group in San Francisco; a 32 member angel group in the heart of San Francisco. One of the early angel members was a former business partner of Ron Conway. After receiving significant international interest from angel investors to co-invest with SF Angels Group, Fernandez co-founded DreamFunded (www.DreamFunded.com), an equity crowdfunding platform that incorporates Fernandez’s angel investing background and his equity crowdfunding expertise.
During Slush, Fernandez invested an undisclosed amount into the popular Finnish equity crowdfunding platform, Invesdor in the hopes of “creating a strong funding structure by building a bridge between Europe and Silicon Valley” said Fernandez.
This partnership between DreamFunded and Invesdor creates a working tie between Silicon Valley’s brightest tech startups and Europe’s prominent angel investors.