Top Tips for Business Fundraising

14/08/2018

Every successful venture requires financial backing but securing funding is a complex and challenging process for any entrepreneur. Deciding which avenue to pursue for investment is a good place to start. Securing the backing of an investor means you will need to ensure all the correct and relevant legal documentation is in place in order to protect all parties involved.

So what steps should you take to complete the fundraising process? Zegal can assist you with every step of the process. So what are the key concepts and what should you be looking out for?

6 Steps to Secure Business Funding

  1. Create a Term Sheet to summarise the discussion around key terms of the fundraising
  2. Get clearance from your board of directors to proceed with the fundraising.
  3. Create a formal agreement to record the detailed terms of the fundraising, including rights attached to the class of shares to be issued.
  4. Get your shareholders to approve the fundraising .
  5. Create a Shareholders’ Agreement to define the post-fundraising rights and obligations of the shareholders.
  6. Create a Share Certificate for each investor at the end of the process.

There are 3 main solutions to fundraising. These are; issuing your investors with Preference Shares, Ordinary Shares or Convertible notes. Depending on which solution you follow, the Zegal app takes you through the process step by step enabling you to create the necessary documents to complete the process.

Fundraising by Preference Shares

This class of shares have specific preferential rights attached to them. Typically the preference will be a dividend paid in priority to other shareholders. A Preference Shares Investment Term Sheet is a record of discussions between the founders of a business and an investor for a potential investment by preference shares. This document also sets out the parties’ preliminary thoughts on certain provisions to be included in a Shareholders’ Agreement which will be executed at completion of the investment and will protect the interests of the company or shareholder.

It is important to note that investment by preference shares is highly sophisticated. If you are not familiar with how preference shares work or how this investment agreement operates, you must seek legal advice.

Fundraising by Ordinary Shares

Ordinary Shares represent normal equity ownership in a company but do not carry preferential rights. Ordinary Shares generally entitle the owner to vote at shareholder meetings and receive dividends. A Seed Investment Agreement (Ordinary Shares) is a contract by which funds are raised by issuing new ordinary shares to investors. Raising funds by a Seed Investment Agreement is simple and direct. The new investors have the same class of shares as the founders and therefore have equal rights.

Fundraising by Convertible Notes

A Convertible Note is a form of short-term debt that converts into equity. The investor would be loaning money to your startup and instead of a return in the form of interest, they would receive equity in the company. A Convertible Note Certificate is a certificate that evidences the investor’s title to the convertible note. It is issued after due payment of investment amount by an investor.

How do I get the Attention of an Investor to Fund my Startup?

When seeking the backing of an investor it is vital to put together a compelling executive summary to engage their interest. An executive summary should contain the following elements:

  1. A clear and simple hook
  2. A problem that you are addressing
  3. A tangible solution that strikes the imagination
  4. A well thought through business and economic model
  5. The size of the business opportunity
  6. Distinctive and defensible differentiation
  7. Intellectual property and protection
  8. Your team and your passion
  9. Funding required

It is crucial to conduct thorough research on your potential investors. Build an executive summary that will appeal to them and customise your pitch accordingly. Angel investors particularly, place great importance on the team and founders when deciding whether to invest in a startup.

Zegal can assist you with the necessary documentation when raising finance for a business venture. Sign up for a free trial today at www.zegal.com

Cloud Computing – A Smarter Choice for your Business

09/08/2018

How would you define Cloud Computing?

Put simply, it is computing via the internet. Instead of relying on downloaded software stored on your own hardware, everything is stored on the internet or ‘in the cloud’. In reality, this means it is stored on other people’s hardware, in far off locations, with multiple backups. Yes contrary to popular belief, there is no such thing as an actual ethereal cyber cloud! Cloud computing provides multiple people in your organisation access to the same applications via the internet from any location. Social media, internet banking and accounting software all rely on cloud technology. Small businesses are increasingly using cloud based apps to provide everyday solutions and manage their workload. This technology has become the new normal and has fundamentally changed the way businesses work, enabling them to be smarter, more cost efficient and more profitable. Legaltech is no exception to this revolution. Businesses are able to provide their own affordable self-service legal solutions via cloud technology. Previously these services would have been inaccessible to SMEs due to financial constraints. As a cloud based platform, Zegal is enabling businesses to be proactive when using legal services. Legal protection can be easily put in place instead of waiting for something to happen and relying on expensive reactive provision. The benefits of cloud computing are countless, here are the top 10 reasons why you should embrace cloud technology at every opportunity.

1. Flexibility

The ability to access all of your apps remotely means that cloud-based services are ideal to enable a flexible workforce. As long as you have an internet connection you are good to go. Flexible working can be offered to your employees as a work-life balance benefit and an office can be set up anywhere you choose!

2. Minimal Set-up Costs

Cloud computing removes the need to finance your own expensive hardware. Cloud based applications are usually subscription based and therefore good for your cash flow. The initial set up is easy and ongoing management is simple. Cloud adoption appeals to every thrifty entrepreneur.

3. Increased Collaboration

Cloud-based workflows and file sharing apps greatly improve collaboration. Your teams can work smarter and more collectively by being able to access, edit and share documents anytime and not just when they are tied to an office. Making updates in real time and gives everyone full visibility of their collaborations.

4. Security

The loss of sensitive data is a serious business. When this data is stored on a laptop and it is lost or stolen there is not a lot you can do. Cloud computing gives you greater security. Your data is stored in the cloud so it is never lost. You can simply log on and access it from another device. You can even remotely wipe data from lost laptops so it doesn’t get into the wrong hands.

5. Operational Agility

Using cloud technology gives you a level of operational agility. You can quickly and easily scale up your cloud capacity as your business grows. Likewise, if you need to scale down again, you have the flexibility to do so.

6. Document Control

Cloud computing allows you to streamline your processes and implement rigid document control. This is crucial when you have a number of employees collaborating on the same documents. If everyone was working on their own separate version of a document and then it is a recipe for disaster. Storing documents centrally means improved visibility and only one true version of each document. In addition, global expansion means you may even have collaborators in different time zones. Centralisation is key to making this work.

7. Continuity

Preparing for a potential disastrous loss of data should be in every business strategy, but finance and expertise are often prohibitive. Cloud-based backup and recovery solutions are ideal for small businesses. Such solutions are far more cost effective and time efficient.

8. Software Updates

Maintaining your own system is expensive and time consuming. Cloud computing means that the servers are looked after by someone else. Software and security updates are automatically taken care of, so you don’t have to waste time and resources thinking about it.

9. Competitiveness

Becoming more competitive is the key to success. Moving to the cloud allows smaller businesses access to the latest business applications which disrupts the market and levels the playing field. Pay-as-you-go services means the latest technology is not exclusive to bigger, more established competitors.

10. Great for the Environment

Going green comes with many inherent benefits and adopting cloud technology reduces your environmental impact and improves your reputation. Your cloud use is tailored to your needs so you only use the energy you need. Requirements for wasteful printed material is also minimised. At Zegal, all your legal documents are e-signed and stored in the cloud so there is no need to waste time and resources printing them out.

Like the Sound of the Cloud?

If you want to streamline your business, work smarter, improve efficiency and ultimately increase your profits then adopting cloud technology is a no-brainer. Moving all your business functions into the cloud will future proof your business, give you an edge on the competition and greatly improve your working life. You’ve got your head in the clouds if you think otherwise!

Zegal is a cloud based platform providing affordable legal solutions to protect your business.
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What is Singapore’s New Data Protection Trustmark Certification (DPTM) All About?

30/07/2018

In a heavily publicized case, personal information of more than 1.5 million patients of SingHealth was stolen in a massive cyber attack on 21 July 2018. A few days later, on 25 July, the Singapore government announced the Data Protection Trustmark (DPTM) scheme, under which Singapore-based firms will be able to get officially certified for their data protection measures. The certification will assure clients or consumers that their personal data is being securely handled. So what exactly are the DPTM certification requirements and why might it concern your company?

The Assessment Process

Depending on the company’s choice, one of the three following assessment agencies will be assessing the company’s data protection practice: ISOCert, Setsco Services, or TUV SUD PSB. The company will be judged based on four principles developed by the Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC): governance and transparency, management of personal data, care of personal data, and individuals’ rights. Each principle has a few components, as set out in the overview of certification requirements published with the government’s official announcement on 25 July. Details of the components can be found here:
Overview of DPTM Cert Controls

The PDPC will further refine these assessment requirements based on feedback the Commision receives during the pilot program, which will last until the official DPTM scheme launches at the end of this year. Currently, eight companies, including DBS Bank, RedMart, and Singtel, have signed up to be a part of the pilot.

The assessment requirements are also said to incorporate principles in the APEC Privacy Framework and OECD Guidelines on the Protection of Privacy and Transborder Flows of Personal Data. This means that if your company hopes to attain other data protection certificates in the Asia-Pacific region after attaining the DPTM certificate, having the DPTM will facilitate that process. The DPTM alone, however, is a local certificate, only applicable to Singapore-based firms and recognized within Singapore.

The Cost, Timeline, and Effective Duration

Prior to the certificate’s official launch in 2018, companies can apply to participate in the pilot. There are two reasons why your company might consider doing so. First, if your company passes the assessment, it could attain the DPTM earlier. The certificate will remain effective after the pilot period, giving your company a competitive edge over others in your industry who might be late to the assessment process. Second, it potentially gives your company a chance to shape the official DPTM assessment requirements. If your company wishes to sign up to be in the pilot, it must do so before 30 September 2018. Find out how to apply here.

The DPTM logo lasts for three years, and the company will need to reapply after the logo expires. The assessment fee will range from $1,400 to $10,000, excluding GST, depending on the size of your organization.

Do Singaporean Consumers Actually Care?

The scale and impact of SingHealth’s recent personal data leak have likely heightened Singaporeans’ awareness of how important personal data protection is. On top of that, in a survey of 1,500 consumers conducted by the PDPC from February to March 2018, four out of five consumers indicated that organizations should have strong data protection policies and practices if they want to collect consumers’ personal information. Two-thirds of the survey’s respondents also indicated that they favor organizations with sound data protection practices.

Given all of these factors, the new DPTM scheme will be very relevant for your company if it collects personal information from customers.

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A guide (for beginners) on backlinks and where you stand

24/07/2018

If you know even a little bit about SEO then you would’ve probably heard the words ‘backlink’ or ‘link-building’ tossed around. You may not know what backlinks are but all you know is that they help SEO and to your dismay, you fear that your competitors may be leaving you behind in this arena. Well if you fall under this category then look no further because we’ve created a simple guide for the backlink beginners, why they matter and where your business stands compared to your competitors.

1. What is a ‘backlink’?

So, you want to get your pages to rank higher than your competitors and know just as much about link building as I do about ‘Dad jokes’. Well the first thing you should know is that a backlink is a hyper-link to your website placed somewhere (on any page) on another website.

If you’re running a specific campaign and want to monitor the traffic coming to your website, then you could generate a UTM link using a UTM generator. This new URL can be tracked to understand what kind of traffic you are receiving from this specific link.

2. Why do backlinks matter?

Search engines (take Google for example) will prioritise sites with a good quantity of these hyperlinks linking to them from other pages. Think of it like a ‘shout-out’. The more shout-outs you get from other sites, the more reputed Google will think your website is. And your goal – to get more shout-outs than your competitors because the more backlinks you have – the higher you move up the search result pages. Why do you want this? Greater exposure than your competitors.

This link can be the homepage (e.g. www.indagodigital.com.au) or a deeper link (https://indagodigital.com.au/about-us/). The deeper the backlink is the more credit the search engine will give your website.

As you can see, link building is a major influencer for your website ranking and can therefore mean the very difference in your page either showing up on the first page of an organic search results or as far back as the hundredth.

3. Who are these ‘competitors’ you speak of?

Whatever industry your brand resides in – it’s important to understand that you will be competing with other businesses who offer the same service as you. And while the endgame is beating your competitors’ backlink acquisition numbers, before you can beat them you need to identify them and what their position is.

This is done by generating a simple share of voice report of your industry. What is a share of voice? Just another piece of digital marketing jargon? Not exactly, a share of voice (SoV) is the representation of your brand’s visibility for one or more keywords in comparison to other websites in the same industry. In other words, a SoV report will show you who ranks for how many keywords in which industry.

The share of voice report will display a lot of other sites so may need to cull the non-competing sites. This can be done by removing any non-commercial (Wikipedia), editorial (New York Times), or social communities and review sites (Trip Advisor). The remaining results should be a list of sites offering identical services as your business.

4. So… where do I stand?

A SoV report will allow you to highlight the top nine industry players in terms of online brand visibility. Your goal is to have a higher SoV% than your competitors by ranking for more keywords than them.

The image below highlights how a SoV may seem for the Australian finance industry. For demonstrative purposes of a SoV report, the green and red figures highlight the SERP’s visibility change over the four-month period.

Credit: Indago Digital

Share of voice is a whole chapter in itself and rather than go off-track, have a read of this expert guide in your spare time. With all this information at hand, you should now know where you stand amongst your competitors. If you wish to increase your SoV then here’s a guide on how to spy on your competitor’s backlink strategy to build your own.

This article was written by Jay Bedi, a content writer and distributor from Indago Digital. Jay’s work spans from content marketing to entrepreneurship. He is also keenly interested in the Australian & American film industries.

Unusual Strategies To Improve Your Team’s Productivity

17/07/2018

Productive workers are no doubt one of the top priorities of companies today. However, good managers already know that workers are more productive when they are part of an engaging company culture or when they can enjoy a healthy dose of work-life balance.

While these strategies have certainly been tried and proven true, they should not be your only strategy when it comes to boosting your employees’ productivity. Instead, why not take your team’s productivity to the next level by considering these unusual strategies!

  1. Decorate your office with flowers

Most offices would already have some potted plants tucked away at office corners. However, the key here is to add a touch of colour to the office space by filling the office with flowers. There are plenty of research which have found that simply gazing at flowers can help people feel more energized, let their creative juices flow and feel happier – all of which will certainly help boost your employees’ productivity!

  1. Invest in quick and healthy meals for your employees

Lunch options are certainly your employees’ own individual choice, but a great way to let them beat the post-lunch drowsiness is to treat them to healthy meals every once in a while. With the plethora of affordable food delivery services such as Deliveroo, Ubereats and Food Panda, offering your employees healthy meal options does not have to take a toll on your company’s funds.

  1. Host regular comedy lunches

As the saying goes, “A day without laugher is a day wasted”. Of course, there are plenty of studies which have shown that laughter is linked to increased productivity and enhanced performance within the workspace. Be it hiring an office comedian or holding regular comedy lunches, it will certainly help to cultivate a light-hearted workplace culture and encourage humorous interactions at work – all of which will certainly make your employees happier and ultimately, more productive. 

  1. Install treadmill desks

Of course, such an option would definitely require your employees’ consent first. After all, no one will want to turn up at work the next day only to discover that they have to be marching on a treadmill the whole day. On the other hand, this idea will definitely be welcomed by employees who relish the thought of squeezing in some quick exercise while at work. Not only does this help your employees to keep in shape and enjoy greater mental alertness, it will certainly contribute to productivity within the workplace as well.

These ideas may seem out of the blue but they have certainly been proven to effectively boosting your employees’ productivity. After all, these seemingly wacky ideas are also a great way to keep your employees on their toes in anticipation as well!

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