Review of Symbid: My first investment in a startup

Time for me to personally test Symbid (see earlier coverage) and try out how smooth the process is and how easy it is to invest in a startup with Symbid.

No matter how remote you live – be it India or Argentina – you can invest in an internet startup online within minutes and get shares – all you need is a credit card

This article is a step by step review of the signup and investment process.

If you have not read the previous articles, watch the brief video on the Symbid homepage which explains the concept.
First step to use Symbid is the free registration. Most parts of the website can be used without a registration, but registration is needed to view detailed company information and to invest.

To register either click on “Join Symbid” via “Start Investing”. Instead of the registration form I expected to see, I got this screen:

It wasn’t obvious at first to me that I need to click on the symbid key symbol to reach the registration form (I did not want to use my Facebook or Twitter account). Next hurdle was the missing country field in sign-up (Symbid is open to international investors – seems they forgot adding it when opening to international). I solved it by adding country into the city field (city, country).

Once registered, I could add some information about me on the profile.

To start investing the next necessary step is to ‘upload’ money (minimum is 20 Euro which equals approx 29 US$). To upload money you first request a security code. They send an email with a link. After I clicked on it I could setup a personal 4 digit code.

With that code the process to upload money is started (‘upgrade Balance’). The selection allows for 20 Euro steps, as 20 Euro is the minimum unit that can be invested.

For my test investment I decided to upload an amount of 100 Euro. The upload is done via credit card through a payment gateway. I paid 103,49 which included all fees.

The next step is the fun part. Reviewing the pitches. There are more then 25 pitches, some with little information, some crazy ones and several interesting serious one.

The MaxClass pitch -headline  ‘MaxClass connects the class, home and school. This free social network for education recently went live and is growing quickly. Have a look!‘ – left a good impression with me. Maxclass provides market and financial information. Furthermore the company is not an unproven startup, but rather an existing company that has already launched.

MaxClass wants to raise 145,000 Euro and offers 10% equity shares for that. I allocated 60 Euro for investment (leaving me 40 Euros that I can invest in 1-2 other companies).

For each pitch there is a list of investors. But you can only see who invested, but not how much each person has put in. Here is a sample out of the 43 people that already invested in MaxClass:

Once funding is complete, I will own 1/24166 of MaxClass (or 0.0041%). This will take a while, since so far only 7,120 Euro of the wanted 145,000 Euro is invested.

That was pretty easy and I encountered no problems.

I’ll continue to report how I fare with Symbid. If you have questions regarding Symbid, just post them on Wiseclerk’s Symbid forum and I’ll try to answer them.

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