Why Are You Writing A Private Placement Memorandum (PPM) To Raise Capital? I feel like I have to put this out there as a corporate strategies consultant with a firm that is completely submerged in the industry of authoring business plans, private placement memorandums (regulation d rule 504, 505 and 506), facilitating direct public offerings to our database of investors and taking companies public on the OTCBB.
When I get calls about private placement memorandums it is typically one of two scenarios: 1. They want to raise capital and they are shopping around for the cheapest PPM author they can find. 2. They have made the mistake of using the cheapest PPM author they could find and now they can’t find an investor that will fund their 70 page stack of toilet paper.
It never ceases to amaze me when companies are trying to convince investors that they are ready for that next step in their corporate evolution, yet they are being penny wise and dollar foolish with the most technical document their company has ever had done. And why do people put the cart before the horse? I mean, why do people write the private placement memo before they know who their audience is? As a rule of thumb you should write for your audience.
A ppm that is being written for venture capital firms will demonstrate and cater to more of an equity control and technical audience whereas a ppm that is being written for angel investors, private investors and small private equity firms who want to be in and out of a transaction will typically want to buy low and sell high and will typically want to invest in companies that are going public in as short of a time as possible.
The investors in pre public companies and other ‘angel’ type investors have a minimal bankroll of $1m or less (usually) so they have to be in and out of a transaction fast, thus the need for a ‘selling shareholder offering’. This is a mandatory prerequisite for a company that wants to raise capital from angels and go public. With a selling shareholder offering you are setting up a scenario that ever investor dreams of.
You are giving them the ability to buy deeply discounted stock and 3 or 4 months later, when the company goes public, they can sell their stock into the market at an offering price that is typically 4 or 5 times what they originally purchased the shares at and the company is happy because the investor created a bridge for the company to go public and then created a public float.
Now, after reading this, you will see why writing a PPM before you know who your audience is and before you’ve contracted with a consulting firm is a critical mistake. Find a consulting firm that is well rounded as a capital raising facilitator and have them help you set a goal as an end result and then build your strategy from there.