Skopje. Macedonians can invest in shares of companies in the Croatian and Bulgarian Stock Exchange and more funds from investors from these countries will be poured on the Macedonian market, Goran Markovski, director of KB Publikum Invest, company for management of investment funds said in an interview with, cited by
After the establishment of the common trading platform SEE-link on the Macedonian, Bulgarian and Zagreb Stock Exchange, where shares will be listed of nearly 400 companies, Markovski claims that this move is sure to increase the visibility and attractiveness of these markets for the institutional investors.

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Last week, 1Crowd was in the news for closing its first investment of $150,000 in Pune-based advertising technology firm ProximiT. Run by Zeva Capsol Pvt Ltd, the crowdfunding platform was founded in September 2015 by four former bank executives - Anil Gudibande, Anup Kuruvilla, Amit Ratanpal, and Natasha Kothari - with the objective of connecting investors with promising early-stage ventures. Gudibande is an ex-Citigroup and Royal Bank of Scotland executive while Kuruvilla earlier worked with Citibank, Chase Manhattan Bank and ABN Amro/Royal Bank of Scotland. Ratanpal is founder and MD of investment company BLinC Management Advisors while Kothari has earlier worked with Royal Bank of Scotland.

In an interview with, Gudibande speaks about 1Crowds potential investees and its plans to set up incubation centres across the country. Edited excerpts:

What are your other investments in the pipeline? What are the segments you are looking at?

1Crowd co-invested in ad-tech startup ProximiT along with 20 investors. That was our first transaction. We are about to close two more transactions in about two weeks time. Funding has been raised for both the transactions, but they are in the documentation stage now. We have a fourth transaction thats just been launched. We are geared to do two to three transactions a month with the kind of resources 1Crowd has today. We expect to see a very busy calendar.

These four transactions are in the media and digital space, health-tech, fin-tech, and social space. We are a sector-agnostic platform. We are looking to do a wider variety of transactions.

What is your ticket size?

Theres no ticket size as such. It all depends on the market scenario and that particular opportunity.

Is 1Crowd looking to raise money?

1Crowd is a fully self-funded platform. Currently, all the founders have put in their money and thats sufficient enough to pay for all these transactions.

How many investors are there on your platform?

We have about 300 investors on our platform. Most of them are high-net worth individuals (HNIs) individuals who have registered on the platform as angel investors. Weve also got investors from Hong Kong, Singapore, and Dubai. 1Crowd has a mix of both Indian and foreign investors.

There are several crowdfunding platforms in India now. What is unique about 1Crowd?

What differentiates 1Crowd from others is our ecosystem that has been built around "commoditised" fundraising. Our ecosystem spans the entire spectrum deal origination, structuring capital raising, guidance on building business plans and financial models, screening proposals, due diligence, providing access to investor members, deal closure, mentoring, post investment monitoring and exit. Startups get access to a pool of mentors who can help nurture their business. We have also tied up with other service providers such as legal firms, accounting firms, chartered secretaries and more as we dont want startups to waste time looking for services in these areas.

Our co-investing model is extremely important and differentiates ourselves from other crowd funding platforms. We sit on the board of these startups and actively engage with them. For instance, in case of ProximiT, I am on the board of this startup.

How does 1Crowds business model work?

1Crowds business model is one where we are completely aligned with the investor. Its a carry-based model and that is the crux. Our cash flows come only if investors make money, then we have a carried interest. The money we (1Crowd founders) invest in a startup comes from our capital. We invest money in return for a stake. Over a period of time, we would have cash flows of our own too. Our contractual obligation to all our investors is that1Crowd will co-invest in every transaction. We will not show them a transaction where we will not be putting in money ourselves.

What are your other plans for 2016?

1Crowd is also looking to set up 8-10 incubation centres in India over a period of time and have sector-focused centres. Theres lot of activity in the fin-tech, health-tech, ad-tech, Internet of Things (IoT) markets; so these are the areas where we are looking to offer expertise. For incubation centres, groundwork is afoot right now, and by Q3 we should see the rollout. These centres are expected to incubate 10-12 startups in a year.

RICHMOND, Va. -- North Carolina lawmakers recently passed HB2. The law requires people to use the bathroom of their birth gender. Under the Public Facilities Privacy amp; Security Act, in schools and government buildings people must use the bathroom that corresponds with their biological sex, defined as the one stated on a persons birth certificate.

That puts some transgender people, who do not identify with the gender on their birth certificate, in an uncomfortable position.

The owner of a Richmond furniture store said she planned to protest North Carolinas new lawwhile attending a massive furniture expo in the state April 15.

For us it's not a political issue, it's a human rights issue, Sarah Paxton, the co-owner of La Diff in Shockoe Slip, said. It just doesn't make any sense that you would write legislation that permits you to discriminate.

North Carolina is still considered a major player in the furniture industry, and the High Point Furniture Market takes place there twice a year. Paxton said she and others go to find the trendiest couches, tables and chairs to sell at their respective shops.

"It's a multi-million-dollar, if not billion-dollar enterprise for them," Paxton said.

But, Paxton said she seriously considered not going this year after North Carolina's Governor Pat McCrory signed HB2 into law.

The furniture industry and all of our customers accept diversity, we celebrate diversity. I mean our name is La Diff for Pete's sake. We love things that are different and embrace things that are different," Paxton said.

The state legislature passed the new law after the city of Charlotte approved an ordinance that allowed transgender people to use restrooms aligned with their gender identity.

North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore has defended the law, saying its about defending privacy.

Charlottes anti-discrimination law would have allowed a man to go into a bathroom, locker or any changing facility, where women are -- even if he was a man. We were concerned. Obviously there is the security risk of a sexual predator, but there is the issue of privacy, Moore said.

Now government leaders across the country are banning non-essential travel to the state by state or city agencies, and the NBA suggested it could pull its 2017 All-Star Game from the state. Businesses like American Airlines and PayPal condemned the law.

Claire Gastanaga, the Executive Director of the ACLU of Virginia, said the backlash extended to Virginia.

"A lot of us like to go to the Outer Banks and a lot of people are now reconsidering whether they want to invest money in a place where other members of their family might not be welcome," Gastanaga said.

While Paxton said she would still attend the furniture market to support its vendors, she said she planned to protest.

"We're going to go to demonstrate, wearing our equality t-shirts, having lanyards made and buttons," Paxton said.

CBS 6 reporter Melissa Hipolit asked Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones if he planned to institute any bans on travel to North Carolina for city employees.

Spokesperson Tammy Hawley sent us the following statement:

"This is the first this has been brought to my attention. I will certainly make the Mayor and Administration officials aware of this effort and see if there is any interest or even any need to impose anything similar here. At present, all nonessential travel is already suspended because of budget reasons."

Hipolit also asked Governor Terry McAuliffe's spokesperson Brian Coy the same question.

He said he was unable to catch the Governor to ask him the question on Tuesday, but did write "I can tell you that he is committed to making Virginia more open and welcoming to all people no matter whom they love. He would oppose any legislation like that being discussed in North Carolina, and will, in fact, veto here in Virginia legislation that is intended to make it easier to discriminate against LGBT Virginians."

News Hour:

Coca-Cola Co. said Thursday that it spent more on health research and partnerships than it previously disclosed as part of its push to be more transparent, reports Houston Chronicle.

The company first disclosed its spending on health-related efforts after coming under fire for its funding of the Global Energy Balance Network, a group that said its mission was to fight obesity. That group has since disbanded.

In an effort to be more transparent and mend relations with its critics after the fallout, Coca-Cola said it would disclose all its spending in the US on scientific research and health partnerships and regularly update the information on its website.