Onevest beefs up network with new acquisition

By David Stevenson on Friday 29 July 2016

Savings and Investment

FounderDating snapped up to create largest network for business owners online  

The internet has provided a huge boost for transactional and funding based business models, but arguably the biggest potential growth opportunity is simply in connecting likeminded people. The rise of Facebook and its business orientated peer LinkedIn – now owned by Microsoft after a recent multi-billion deal – shows that the right social networks can generate massive potential value simply by putting the right people in touch with each other.

That’s certainly the plan behind Onvest’s remorseless rise stateside. This US based platform has spotted what it thinks is a big, relatively untapped market – putting entrepreneurs in touch with each other as well as experts who can help them grow their businesses and investors willing to stump up some early cash. Onevest already boasts platforms such as OneThousandAngels, a venture investing platform, as well as CoFoundersLab where entrepreneurs pay $15 a month for an annual entry pass into a wider community of start-up business professionals.

Onevest is now boosting its network of websites and platforms with the acquisition of FounderDating. Following this deal, the New York platform will become one of the largest and leading networks of entrepreneurs and advisors, in combination with Onevest‘s existing subsidiary, CoFoundersLab.

What’s the logic behind the deal? FounderDating already boasts a large and curated community for finding advisors and co-founders, which should fit well with the CoFounders network. In addition FounderDating also has its own Q&A platform FD:Discuss – which has bcome a major selling point for the proposition. According to FounderDating, the FD:Discuss offering has grown in popularity, boasting 3-4 answers in under a few hours to new questions and a 90%+ response rate.

In strategic terms, the social networking playbook is also obvious – combine team matching algorithms, to community discussion boards and a variety of certificate courses around how to create and scale businesses. According to Onevest, FounderDating’s community will be combined under the CoFoundersLab brand to create the ultimate platform where company creation and growth is fortified.

“We are thrilled to welcome the FounderDating community into our entrepreneurial ecosystem,” says Onevest’s Executive Chairman Alejandro Cremades. “Small businesses are the growth engine of our economy, not to mention the catalyst for innovation and change. We exist to provide entrepreneurs the resources, tools, and support they need to succeed. Together, we are committed to accelerate startup growth and empower even more people to positively impact their community and the global economy through entrepreneurship”.

FounderDating, was originally launched in 2012 by Jessica Alter. The platform, best known to help like-minded entrepreneurs find their co-founders and advisors, says it has become the “go-to place for early stage team building”.

CoFoundersLab, which Onevest acquired in 2014, is a platform where entrepreneurs can connect with potential cofounders and advisors to build strong founding teams. In the last two years, the platform has facilitated hundreds of thousands of introductions, leading to many successful startups such as Imperative or Revolv (acquired by Google). CoFoundersLab also recently launched CoFoundersLab Learning Center to educate entrepreneurs on everything from launching a business to raising capital.

This acquisition could be very timely. With crowdfunding set for rapid growth in the US following recent rule changes, Onevest now has access to two crucial customer bases – angels willing to fund businesses and entrepreneurs looking to get funding. This market is already the focus for the OneThousandAngels brand but the FounderDating buy will simply deepen this pool of available capital. Given the huge multiples paid by Microsoft for LinkedIn, this could make Onvest a target for a much bigger tech leviathan.

Sign up for our newsletters

Your daily 7am download of all things alternative finance and fintech.

Fintech and alternative finance headlines with an exclusive Editor's Note each week. Delivered Monday at midday.

AltFi's new weekly US newsletter breaking down the ins and outs of America's burgeoning fintech sector. Delivered Monday 9am EST/ 6am PST.