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Step-by-Step Guide to Developing an RFP for Crowdfunding Software

Step-by-Step Guide to Developing an RFP for Crowdfunding Software
Step-by-Step Guide to Developing an RFP for Crowdfunding Software

What is RFP?

RFP stands for Request for Proposal. It is a document that organizations use to solicit proposals from potential vendors or service providers. The RFP outlines the project’s requirements, goals, and criteria for selection. It is typically used in the procurement process to ensure that the organization receives competitive bids and can evaluate different options to select the best provider for their needs.

Part 1: Information overview.

1. Purpose:

  1. Provide a background of the project;
  2. Provide a detailed overview of Company or Client requirements;
  3. Inform Suppliers of what needs to be included in their submission;
  4. Set out the evaluation criteria that submissions will be assessed against; and
  5. Outline the Procurement Process and timeframes for evaluating submissions and making a Supplier selection.

2. Background:

A company background is a clear summary of a company’s history, mission, and basic beliefs. It’s simply a brief story that introduces potential consumers, partners, or investors to your company and explains why it exists.

A company background often includes the following critical elements:

Founding: 

When and how the company was formed. This could contain the inspiration for the company’s formation or the founders’ tale.

Mission:

The company’s primary goal and the problem it seeks to address.

Milestones:

These are significant milestones or events that reflect the company’s growth and advancement. 

Values:

These are the guiding concepts that shape the company’s culture and decision-making processes.

3. Objectives 

The procurement objectives are to identify the most suitably skilled and qualified Supplier(s) who can meet the Company’s requirements and identify Supplier(s) who will:

  • Meet or exceed the requirements outlined in this document 
  • Are aligned with the company’s strategic vision and values 
  • Provide an environment for innovation through continuous process improvement, value generation and cost reduction. 

4. Procurement Process

4.1 Process Overview:

The Procurement Process, including the preparation of this document, the evaluation of the submissions and the selection of a Supplier, will be conducted in accordance with RFx Procurement. 

4.2 RFP timetable:

The anticipated timeline for the RFP process is as follows: 

Activity Date Time
Supplier Engagement
Request for proposal issue
Intention to respond
RFP close and due date
RFP Evaluation
RFP Shortlist and Best and Final Offer
RFP award
Proposed commencement of engagement

 

   ( Table 1: Time table )

4.3 RFx Procurement Activities:

Table 2 below provides a guide to Suppliers regarding the company’s step-by-step activities when preparing RFx documentation, evaluating submissions and the selection process.

Step Description of RFx Procurement Activity
1. Company identifies need and in accordance with internal requirements, engages with Procurement to conduct a Procurement Activity. The type of RFx selected is dependent on the Project complexity, associated risks, anticipated value and preferred outcome requirements.
2. Company’s Procurement drafts RFx documentation with an elected Technical Committee (consisting of internal subject matter experts and related personnel, as deemed appropriate). Any Scopes of Works / Statements of Works technical content are developed by subject matter experts.
3.  The Technical Committee will conduct initial market (Desktop Due Diligence) / business and internal financial analysis to determine preferred Suppliers for receipt of the RFx documentation.
4.  Company Procurement will deliver the RFx documentation to the pre-selected Suppliers.
5. The pre-selected Suppliers will be requested to respond formally to an Intention to Respond. A copy of a template document accepting the Intention to Respond will be issued and included in this RFx Introductory document, Schedule 1 – Attachments. If a Supplier does not respond within the nominated timeframe as specified in this RFx documentation, the company will assume this Supplier has no intention to respond.
6.  The Due Date, as nominated in the RFx documentation, is firm and final. It is at the absolute discretion of the company’s Technical Committee (consisting of internal Subject Matter Experts, Procurement and Legal representatives) as to whether an extension will be allowed. No submissions will be accepted by the company’s Procurement post-Due Date without prior written notification and acceptance by the company. 
7. The company’s Technical Committee (including Procurement) will conduct an individual evaluation of all submissions. This evaluation will be in accordance with the Evaluation Criteria as specified in this RFx documentation and each response will be rated according to the RFx Evaluation Processes.
8. Post-evaluation consolidation, the Crowdfunding company may elect to conduct any of the below:

1. award a preferred Supplier based on the initial submission and evaluation

outcomes; or

2. shortlist and invite one (1) or more Supplier(s) to participate

9. Upon completion of a BAFO evaluation, the Crowdfunding company’s intent is to select its preferred Supplier(s).

Any decision to appoint (or not appoint) is in accordance with the RFP Terms and

Conditions are outlined in this RFx Introductory documentation.

( Table 2: RFx Procurement activity )

4.4 Crowdfunding company ( Your company ) contact details:

Any questions, queries and the completed Intention to Respond must be issued, in writing and via email, to the Contact specified below:

Name Position
Email Telephone

 ( Table 3: Contact details )

4.5 Lodgement of Submissions:

All applicable documentation and supporting presentations and/or data must be received by the close and due date (as specified in Table 1). Each submission, consisting of submission and supporting attachments, must be submitted electronically, via email, to the Contact specified in Table 3.

The crowdfunding company will only accept submissions and/or supporting documentation in either of the following software packages:

  • Microsoft Word, Excel or PowerPoint;
  • Appropriate recorded presentation platforms/materials;
  • Online platform links; or
  • PDF (or similar).

Submission forms must be completed and issued in the format included in this RFP and must not exceed 15MB per email unless submitted via an online file share tool. 

4.6 Supplier Requirements:

Suppliers certify that, by submitting a response to this RFP, they have:

  • read and understood this document and its attachments;
  • read and agree to the RFP Terms and Conditions in Part E of this document;
  • complied with The Group’s Supplier Code of Conduct and Supplier Declaration & Warranty

(both included in Schedule 1 – Attachments);

  • agree to supply in their submission, appropriate precedent Terms and Conditions of

Agreement (Agreement) for company review; and

  • submitted their response competitively, honestly, with integrity, ethically and fairly.

4.7 Submission Evaluation:

The company will use the following criteria when evaluating each submission including, but not limited to:

No Criteria
1. Submission quality
2. Flexibility and customisation of the platform to suit requirements
3. Technical support
4. Security
5. Compliance ( Mention required compliance ) 
6. Independence – Ability for Cost Per Lead (CPL) to update without support
7. Integration into other platforms and systems ( Mention the other platform that needs to be integrated) 
8. User Experience (UX)
9. The Supplier’s ability to provide future development and innovation
10. Successful completion of and compliance with Due Diligence
11. Complexity and Consideration of Terms and Conditions of the Agreement
12. Best for business value

( Table 4: Criteria )

The above criteria are not listed in any particular order of importance and may be subject to change at any time. 

4.8 Required Information:

Section Description
Part A Overview of the RFP and submission requirements
Part B The Scope of Work
Part C Response Schedule
Part D Definitions (words as defined within this document)
Part E RFP Terms and Conditions
Schedule 1 Attachments

( Table 5: Required Information ) 

PART B: Scope of Work  

1. Background ( Equity Crowdfunding or Real estate crowdfunding )

Write a short description of your equity crowdfunding platform or real estate crowdfunding platform.

1.1 The role of a Crowdfunding software intermediary:

A CSF intermediary plays a significant role under the CSF regime, operating the platform through which investors invest and companies offer their shares. This role includes managing some of the risks identified by the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO)

Figure 1 below illustrates how equity & real estate-based crowd-sourced funding works, with an intermediary performing checks on the issuing company, operating an online platform (through which the company offers shares and Investors invest money in exchange for shares), holding Investor money and passing Investor money to the company when the offer is complete.

RFP for crowdfunding platform

RFP for the crowdfunding platform

Figure 1: A basic illustration of equity or real estate-based crowdfunding  

2. Objectives

The Scope of work of this project is focused on key processes and associated obligations for conducting a capital raise on the web-based crowdfunding platform. These obligations are primarily in relation to:

  • Ensuring investors meet anti-money laundering and know your customer regulations (Investor identification and verification)
  • Securely accepting financial transactions
  • Providing a communication facility for Investors to post questions about an offer
  • Timing rules associated with payments
  • Migration of existing Investor data and
  • Secure management of Investor data.

3. Statement of work

The Statement of Work below describes your company’s minimum requirements needed for a successful submission and reward of work. 

3.1 Actor

An Actor for this document is an actual person who will use the platform.

3.1.1 Administrator:

The Administrator monitors the platform and ensures that it is operating and configured correctly. They can create and manage users, there will be predefined roles for users, however, the Administrator can modify the permissions allocated to a user, following types of users can be created :

  • The Offeror (listing company)
  • Capital Raising Partner
  • Investor Relationship Manager
  • Deal Administrator

3.1.2 The Offeror:

The Offeror is the listing company looking to raise capital. The Offeror should be able to submit their interest in listing on crowdfunding platforms as well as view raise statics via their dashboard.

3.1.3 The Investors:

The Investor is the applicant looking to invest in a deal through the Equity or Real estate crowdfunding platform. All members of the public can view active deals however an applicant must create an account before accessing the deal documentation (Offer Document). There are three (3) types of Investors which can use the platform:

  • Retail investors
  • Sophisticated Investors
  • Institutional Investors

For the platform to receive Investors money the platform must conduct the following;

  • Create Investor account
  • Verify Investor identity
  • Conduct background checks on investors in line with KYC / AMLregulation 

3.2 User requirements

Table 6 below defines the minimum user requirements needed for running a crowdfunding platform:

Requirements Particular
  1. Host Offers
The platform must allow the Administrator to create an investment offer

(application). Details which need to be included are:

 

  • Minimum and maximum raise amount;
  • Progress of raise including:
  • Length of offer including a countdown (in days);
  • Number of investors who have invested
  • Percentage of progress.
  • Promotional videos and images;
  • The Offeror’s leadership profiles;
  • Offer documentation (PDF);
  • Content blocks – images and copy;
  • Links to Offeror’s social accounts and website
  • Terms and conditions, acceptance of risk warning and other
  • compliance requirements.
2. Investor account For applicants to invest in a crowdfunding platform the applicants must create an Investor account and verify their identity before they can invest. The

platform needs verify:

– Identity via KYC / AML
– Accreditation 

3. Communication Facility The platform must provide a communication facility for each crowdfunding offer while the offer is open. The communication facility allows potential investors to:

 

  • Make posts about the offer
  • See posts about the offer
  • Ask the company making the offer, or the Crowdfunding platform, questions about the offer.
  • Notify investors about the new offer via email or system notification. 
4. Handling applicant money and payment methods Money which the platform receives from Investors for a specific offer must be held in trust of the licensee from the period the investment is received to when the offer is closed. 
5. User Dashboard All users described in section 3.1 require dashboards summarizing investment / Investor data unique to their user.
6. Customisable content pages Customisable marketing and content pages

 

  • Home, About, Contact and Raise Funds
  • Promotion of previous successful deals
7. Integrations The platform needs to be integrated into the following external software. ( Need to add all the third-party API names which you would like to integrate into your crowdfunding software ) 

3.3  Future User Requirements:

Table 7 below defines the anticipated future user requirements {Your company Name } plans to implement over the years. These requirements will be offered as the crowdfunding platform expands its service offering:

User requirements Particular
Secondary Market Facilitate the transaction between buyers and sellers of privately held

securities through a tokenized marketplace.

4. Assumption:

The company requires all Suppliers to provide a response to this RFP assuming the below:

  • The platform will be mobile-friendly;
  • All visitors will have access to 24/7 support
  • The Supplier will provide Administrator training & support
  • The solution will conform with all regulatory and legislative requirements. 

5. Response Expectations:

The Supplier is to outline their strategy and approach to deliver the project including

  • Proposed methodology and approach
  • Outline the project team
  • Outline the organisation’s expertise about the scope of work and deliverables
  • Proposed timelines and project duration
  • Exclusions
  • Estimated/fixed fee (broken down)
  • One (1) professional reference contact details for a project of the same or similar structure
  • Access to websites developed and managed of the same or similar structure
  • Any third-party outsourcing (if any).

PART C: Response Schedule

For Suppliers’ submissions to be considered complete and accurate, Suppliers are required to complete and/or execute and submit the following documentation.

  • The Group Supplier Code of Conduct
  • Intention to Respond
  • Supplier Declaration & Warranty
  • Provide a clear proposal outlining and addressing all details detailed in this RFP
  • Supplier Terms and Conditions of Agreement (including Service Level Agreements).

Please ensure all attachments included are named to reflect the referring section of the Response Schedule.

PART D: Definitions

In this document, unless the contrary intention is evident, the following definitions apply:

  • “Affiliates” means any Related Body Corporate of a party, or any officer, employee, contractor, agent, consultant and professional adviser of the party and its Related Bodies Corporate
  • “Agreement” means the contract(s) (if any) entered and the successful Supplier(s) in the form of the Supplier standard Precedent Agreement Terms and Conditions.
  • “BAFO” means Best and Final Offer.

“Confidential Information” means each of the following types of information, in any form or medium, whether disclosed or obtained before, on or after the date of this document:

(a) Information about the business or affairs of the company, including data, know-how, designs, sketches, photographs, plans, drawings, specifications, layouts, ideas, concepts, reports, manuals, prototypes, methods of manufacture of any work, trade secrets, source and object codes, business and marketing information, arrangements and agreements with third parties, present or potential customer information and lists and formulae, relating to its Affiliates;

(b) information which is designated as confidential by a company or which is confidential by its nature;

(c) information which is developed from the information described in (a) and (b) above; and

(d) information about the terms of this document or the commercial arrangements, discussions or negotiations between the parties.

  • “Contact Person” means the {company name } employee named in Part A of this document. 
  • “Goods” means the items to be supplied by the successful Supplier(s) under an Agreement described herein.
  • “Last Date for Questions and Queries” has the meaning given in Part A.
  • “Last Date for submission of Intention to Respond” has the meaning given in Part A.
  • “Procurement Process” refers to the process being undertaken described herein.
  • “Response Schedule” means the file contained in Part C and included as an attachment in Schedule 1 –  Attachments.
  • “Timetable” means the process relating to this requirement, including the timetable set out in Part A.
  • “Services” means the services to be provided by the successful Supplier(s) pursuant to an Agreement, described herein.
  • “Scope or Statement of Work” means the requirements Suppliers must meet in the performance of specific Services, more particularly described in Part B and supporting Schedule attachments (if any).
  • “Supplier” means a Person or entity that submits or considers submitting a response to this RFP and Supplier means all of them.
  • “RFP Terms and Conditions” are as described in Part E.

PART E – RFP Terms and Conditions

1. General Conditions

1.1 Proposal conditions:

These conditions govern the Procurement Process, outlined in this document, in relation to this request made by {company name}  for the Scope of Work defined.

1.2 Scope:

During this Procurement Process, {company name} may vary the scope of the Services at any time, by notice, in writing to you.

1.3 Information provided by {Company name}:

All information provided by {Company name} is provided in good faith to assist you in preparing your submission. {Company name} makes no representations or warranties regarding the accuracy or completeness of the information. You acknowledge that {Company name} is not liable for any loss, damage or expense suffered by you as a result of any inaccuracy or inadequacy in any information {Company name} provides to you, or any reliance on such information by you.

1.4 Investigations and Enquiries:

You must make all necessary investigations for you to become thoroughly informed about the subject matter of the proposal and the Services to be supplied to {Company name}. It is your responsibility to interpret and assess the relevance, accuracy and adequacy of the information provided. You will be expected to have examined all information which is relevant to the risks, contingencies and other circumstances which could affect your submission, and which is obtainable by making reasonable enquiries. You may request clarification or elaboration from {Company name} Key Contact of any of the documents or other information provided herein. All requests must be in writing and {Company name} is not bound to provide the information requested.

1.5 Ownership and Intellectual Property:

All documents and data provided to you by {Company name}, issued in relation to this request, belong to and remain the property of {Company name}. All intellectual property rights in the documents and other information supplied to you by {Company name} (or any person on {Company name} behalf including its Affiliates) shall be, and will always remain, the property of {Company name} and shall only be used for the purposes of preparation and submission of proposal responses. Any submission by you shall become the property of {Company name} and will not be returned to you, even if your proposal is not successful.

1.6 Confidentiality and Public Announcements:

This Procurement Process must be treated as Confidential Information by you and your employees. This request must not be used by you or your employees for any purpose other than the preparation of a submission of a proposal. You must not make any public announcement in relation to this Procurement Process or your proposal unless you first obtain {Company name} prior written consent. This applies even if you are advised that you are the successful Supplier.

1.7 Access to Premises:

You acknowledge that, if you, your employees, agents and or contractors enter {Company name} premises for any reason, including those outlined in Part A, section 4.2 of this document, they do so at your own risk.

1.8 Rights

{Company name} reserves the right to:

(a) vary the terms of the Procurement Process

(b) vary the timing and processes referred to in this document

(c) terminate the Procurement Process, at any stage

(d) alter {Company name} approach during negotiations;

(e) add or remove any Supplier

(f) negotiate or not negotiate with one (1) or more Suppliers or any other person

(g) cease negotiations with any Supplier

(h) enter into a contract or other binding relationship outside the Procurement Process

(i) enter into a contract on terms different to those specified in this document; and/or

(j) cancel, add, or amend the information set out in this document at any time. 

{Company name} will not be liable, or in any way responsible, for:

(a) any losses, costs, expenses, claims of damages resulting from the exercise of any of {Company name} Rights referred to in clause 1.8 above or under the Procurement Process; or

(b) any failure to inform a potential Supplier of a change relating to this Procurement Process or any other matter arising by {Company name} exercising its rights under the Procurement Process.

2. Proposal response

2.1. Binding and irrevocable offer

Your submission to this request will constitute a binding and irrevocable offer by you to provide the Services to {Company name }  in accordance with this request. The submission must remain fixed and open for acceptance by {Company name} for 90 days from the Closing Date. A proposal cannot be withdrawn or varied after it has been submitted to {Company name} except with the written consent of {Company name}.

2.2. No contractual relationship established

This request is an invitation to treat only and not an offer to acquire any goods and/or services (including the Services). Submission of a response does not create a contract for the provision of the Services in any way unless and until the proposal is accepted by {Company name} and the parties execute a definitive and binding agreement for the provision of the Services by you to {Company name}. The issue of this request and the submission by you of a response does not create any obligation on {Company name} to buy any goods and/or services (including the Services) from you, or to enter any binding legal relationship with you.

2.3. Requirements for proposal response

A proposal response must comply with the following requirements:

(a) The proposal must be in the form of the proposal response attached as Part C.

(b) The proposal must reference the {Company name} Proposal number listed on this request.

(c) Proposals are to be submitted in accordance with the methods specified in Part A.

2.4. Extension of closing date

{Company name} may extend the time for lodging proposals at its absolute discretion at any time prior to the Closing Date by giving written notice of the extension to all parties (whereupon the “Closing Date” shall be amended to refer to the revised date set out in {Company name} written notice).

2.5. Late proposal

Any proposals received after the Closing Date may be rejected and/or returned by {Company name} (in its absolute discretion), except that {Company name} may (at its absolute discretion) determine to consider a proposal if it is satisfied that the integrity of the Proposal Request process has not been, and will not be, compromised by doing so.

3. Information to be included in the proposal

3.1. Price

All pricing and costing information is to be submitted in the form requested in Part C

3.2. Insurance

You will be expected to have in place insurance arrangements appropriate to the services being provided. The proposal response must set out details of the insurance that you currently hold which at a minimum must include:

(a) public liability insurance $20m per claim and in the aggregate

(b) professional indemnity insurance $20m per claim and in the aggregate

(c) product liability insurance $20m per claim and in the aggregate

(d) workers’ compensation insurance as required by law.

3.3. Contract

Suppliers are requested to provide {Company name} appropriate Terms and Conditions of Agreement for consideration, review and negotiation. If you are selected as the preferred Supplier, the Agreement (subject to any agreed amendments and once signed) will exclusively govern the relationship between you and {Company name} in relation to the provision of the Services.

3.4. Non-Solicitation

In consideration of {Company name} entering into the Agreement and to reasonably protect the goodwill of the business of {Company name}, you must not (directly or indirectly, or through any interposed body corporate, trust, principal or agent, and whether as shareholder, beneficiary or in any other capacity) do any one or more of the following:

(a) in the course of carrying on any trade or business, claim, represent or otherwise indicate any ongoing

association with {Company name};

(b) solicit, canvass, induce or encourage any person who is then an employee of {Company name} or a Related Body Corporate to terminate, alter or modify their employment relationship with {Company name} or the Related Body Corporate, as the case may be

(c) without the prior written consent of {Company name}, solicit, canvas, approach or accept any approach from any person or entity which is then a client or customer of or a supplier to {Company name}, with a view to establishing a relationship with or obtaining the custom of or supply from that person or entity.

3.5. Declaration & Warranty

The proposal must accompany the completed and executed Supplier Declaration and Warranty as included in Schedule 1.

4. Evaluation of Proposal

4.1. Process of evaluation

{Company name} will consider all complying submissions. The evaluation process may be conducted in a manner as specified in Part A section 4.

4.2. Evaluation of proposals

The criteria that will be used by {Company name} to evaluate your submission are outlined in Part A. Any submission that does not comply with these conditions may be considered to be a non-complying submission and may be rejected by {Company name} at its discretion and without further review. {Company name} may (at its absolute discretion) also consider non-complying submissions, provided that the Supplier has provided a complying submission and has clearly outlined why the non-complying submissions represent the best value for {Company name}.

4.3. Questions/queries during the proposal request process

A Supplier may raise queries with the {Company name} Key Contact prior to the Last Date for Questions and Queries. The {Company name} Key Contact will use reasonable endeavours to respond to any queries prior to the Closing Date. {Company name} may provide a copy of the query and/or {Company name} response with all parties if it is appropriate to do so to ensure the integrity of the Procurement Process. Accordingly, parties should phrase their queries in a manner that does not disclose any innovative solutions/methodology and the like that the Supplier would not wish to be shared with other parties. A Supplier must discuss the Procurement Process with the {Company name} Contact and must not approach any other {Company name} employee, agent or representative for the purpose of raising queries during the Procurement Process.

5. Appointment of Suppliers

5.1. Appointment of successful Supplier

If you are selected by {Company name} as the successful Supplier, you will be notified in writing.

5.2. No right of recourse

Any decision made by {Company name} in relation to the award of the contract will be final. A Supplier is not entitled, in any jurisdiction, to challenge any decision by {Company name}. {Company name} is not liable for any costs or expenses incurred by you in preparing and lodging a submission irrespective of whether or not you are successful.

5.3. Non-exclusive appointment

It is possible that more than one party will be appointed as the successful Supplier. The appointment of a

Supplier is non-exclusive and does not restrict {Company name} right to contract with other persons for the supply of the Services or services similar to the Services.

—————————- END OF TERMS AND CONDITION—————————

SCHEDULE 1 – Attachments (Documents required by a supplier for RFP)

Title Document name Version Date Attachment
Supplier Code of Conduct Supplier Code of Conduct V1 Included below
Intention to respond Intention to respond V1 Included below
Due Diligence Form Due Diligence Form V1 Included below
Supplier Declaration and Warranty Supplier Declaration and Warranty V1 Included below

 

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