Firmology’s Meet & Greet series takes an inside look at the technology available to small business owners and entrepreneurs, straight from the founders who built them.
Name: Tanya Prive
Title: Co-Founder and COO
Company Name: Onevest
Company One Liner: Startup investing platform (equity crowdfunding)
Location: New York, San Francisco, and Maryland
Best Way(s) to Contact Me: Twitter @TanyaPrive1
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
I started my career in the financial media space at Forbes and FOX News where I played various roles over the course of four and a half years. I was mostly focused on growing their audiences by forming partnerships with large portals, like Yahoo and MSN, in addition to generating ad revenue.
In 2010, my co-founder and I created RockThePost, now Onevest, which was the result of a merger between RockThePost, a leading startup investing marketplace, and CoFoundersLab, the match.com for co-founders.
We started this business out of frustration for the current state of early-stage investing and fundraising.
In addition to my role at Onevest, I write for Forbes’ entrepreneurial channel.
What does your company do and what problem does it solve for businesses?
Onevest is a startup investing marketplace that offers a one-stop shop for entrepreneurs looking for a co-founder and/or funding. Onevest also allows investors to invest in early stage, high-growth potential startups that they believe in and want to support. Onevest solves a few problems for entrepreneurs and investors in a single place.
For entrepreneurs, we help to:
1. Connect with investors by providing access to thousands of investors, family offices, and funds registered on the platform.
2. Publicly fund raise by advertising. By publicly advertising that a startup is fundraising, that startup is able to reach a much broader group of investors. Onevest’s state-of-the-art investor accreditation verification system helps ensure that investors are accredited and fundraising activities are in compliance with securities regulations.
3. Streamline fundraising from the beginning of the process to the end. Onevest is the one-stop-shop solution for entrepreneurs because we host your due diligence documents and you get to set control permissions, you can update your investor followers at scale with milestones and press coverage, and you get to collect investments directly online.
For investors, we help to:
1. Access vetted startup investment opportunities.
2. Streamline the investment process from start to finish.
3. Help mitigate risk by safely keeping investor funds in escrow until certain funding goals are met.
4. Ensure that the transaction is done in compliance with the securities regulations.
How did you come up with the idea for your company?
I remember the specific moment- it was 2010 and my co-founders and I were driving back to New York City and we got stuck in heavy traffic. With nothing else to do, we engaged in what would be a life-changing conversation, though we didn’t know just how life-changing it would be at the time.
We were discussing how fed up we were with the current state of early stage investing and fundraising. Essentially, the way companies raised money and whom they raised it from hadn’t changed for the past 50 years or so. For the most part, the venture capital and super angel circles are tightly led by a small number of ivy league dudes, who unfortunately (in their defense, it is human nature), like to fund their like peers, making it an oligopolistic elite boys club. Plus, venture capital funding growth has been somewhat stagnant (only approximately 1,000 new startups per year got VC backing when over 6 million startups would launch). We felt compelled to disrupt this space by democratizing access to startup deals and capital.
In April 2012, Congress passed a law called the JOBS Act that allows everyone, not only the upper crust wealthy 1% of Americans, to invest in startups. Although the new law is not yet actionable (the Securities & Exchange Commission needs to design and publish the final securities regulations around it), we believe that what we are doing is coming at the right time in history and is solving a major pain point, that both investors and entrepreneurs face.
What makes your company different from your competitors?
Being one of the largest entrepreneurial communities in the world, Onevest understands that both startup investing and fundraising require steep learning curves for new comers. At Onevest, our main focus is education, which empowers our community to make informed decisions that are in their best interest.
Additionally, we have over 200 partnerships with some of the leading institutions in the startup ecosystem (TechStars, MIT, Harvard, etc.), which we leverage in one way or another.
What are the most important considerations businesses should have when choosing technology to help them power their business?
1. Is the company properly funded?
2. Do you trust the people that run it?
3. Does it address your specific business need?
What other companies or entrepreneurs within the technology space do you admire and think businesses should know about?
Ah, many. Just to name a few: Liquidity has developed this cutting edge water filtration system that I believe can really make a big impact on available drinking water in developing countries; Pristine developed software for Google Glass that allows doctors to collaborate on surgeries from remote locations; Style Lend, a YC company, launched a peer to peer clothes lending business and they are seeing 46% month-over-month revenue growth.
Anything else Firmology readers and business owners should know? News? Upcoming features? Special deals?
Lots, but if I had to pick two things:
I am very excited about the new regulations that are going to allow every American, potentially 319 million people, to invest in innovation and small businesses which has accounted for 65% + of the net new jobs over the past 17 years.
Second, as a part of our commitment to really take the lead on the educational front for our members, Onevest is launching a highly curated content site geared to provide valuable insights from experts in the field for both entrepreneurs and investors called LOV.
Firmology Readers: Let’s hear your thoughts!
1) Have a question or comment about Onevest? Drop Tanya a note in the comments below.
2) Who would you like to see on Firmology’s Meet & Greet series? Are there other questions we should be asking? Are any of the questions above unclear or could be asked in a better way? Let us know in the comments below or email us at contact@