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FundersClub, Where Folks Can Back Startups Online, Says It's Beating the Pros

Here's the caveat: Most of its returns are still on paper.
Grocery shopping bags belonging to Instacart, a startup backed by FundersClub

Grocery shopping bags belonging to Instacart, a startup backed by FundersClub

Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The 2012 Jobs Act let regular Americans invest in startups, spawning a glut of crowdfunding sites offering real ownership stakes in return for cash, rather than the new smartwatches or electric skateboards available on pioneering platform Kickstarter.

One of these "equity crowdfunding" firms, FundersClub Inc., says it's beating most of the pros. In its first three years, returns outpaced the median venture capital fund and much of the industry's top quartile of investors, according to data provided by the company citing Cambridge Associates, which measures VC performance for pension funds and other institutional investors.