Friday, 19 February 2016
Intelligent TV - We don't think so.
You know how Western sets have façades but nothing of any substance behind them?
Well Intelligent TV http://www.intelligentcrowd.tv/ and its aptly named 'Seed and EIS Hour' very much reminds us of this.
This on line operation is not regulated and has strange looking 'specialist' commentators from the US. It is the sort of place you would expect Simon Dixon or Max Keisser to pop up.
This is how it works.
They run a short series of 'pitches' in their Seed hour, which members or really anyone, can watch and then intimate by clicking a box that they are interested in investing a given amount. The 'TV' aspect is horribly amateur and the pitches are generally of the lowest order - a few with placements on ECf platforms but a large number just hanging around hoping that enough people click them. If enough people do, then who knows what happens next. Maybe these names are forwarded to ECf platforms or the business can approach a platform with them as evidence of traction.
All very odd, as the site isn't and is not required to be FCA regulated. So despite promoting investment and indeed encouraging it, it is deemed to be outside the regulation boundary.
To take an illustrative example they are promoting the City Am Horse Alpha pitch that recently bombed on Investden and which Investden threatened to sue us over -
They have the ex Crowdcube Tigmus pitch listed - it failed to get anywhere near to its £300k target on Crowdcube but it says nothing about this here.
According to ITV you can still express an interest in these pitches and it makes no mention of the history of failure.
It claims that Snugs has just completed on Crowdcube but there is no record of this company on the CC site apart from their raise last year. - PS this claim has been changed by ITV and the Snugs pitch now says it used a private placement. So they can admit they were wrong! No charge guys but do try to get it right first time in future.
Again they claim that Facewatch has completed recently on Crowdcube but the Facewatch pitch completed last year.
So unless these are behind the scenes private deals facilitated by the platform, what is going on?
This is like having a cement mixer which periodically spews out pitches, some successes and some failures and then ITV come along and put the failures back in again and again and again....... It is all very hazy and exactly what ECf does not need.
One of the pitches currently listed is an ex client of ours - to remain nameless. This business was not ready to get any funding let alone ECF funding and had indeed been promoting a large overseas order which had time lapsed. Naturally we declined to hep them. It is indicative of the type of business these guys promote.
Some pitches claim that they have been fully funded but it is almost impossible to verify the information unless they are old ones from existing platforms. It is just another me too platform trying to make a quick buck out of ECF. Its endorsement by some senior members of the ECf community like Julia Groves and Modwenna Rees Mogg is unfortunate.
Its lack of rigour in its pitch selection and clarity in its objectives is even more so. Clearly the boundary ropes need to be moved outwards to capture operations like this one.