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Regulation Crowdfunding Welcomes Non-Accredited Investors

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M. CRUZ (773 DIGITAL)

Regulation Crowdfunding is another step forward to allow non-accredited investors to participate in online investment opportunities. Born from Title III of President Obama’s 2012 Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, Regulation CF provides access to alternative investments through online equity crowdfunding.

Regulation CF platforms differ from reward or donation-based sites such as Kickstarter or Indiegogo by offering stakes in small and startup businesses. Platforms approved for Regulation CF provide conduits for emerging businesses to showcase their offerings to potential investors. Regulation CF is the first time non-accredited investors can crowdfund capital in early-stage companies, including those striving to make lasting impacts on society.

Pittsburgh-based Small Change last month became the first real estate Regulation CF portal approved by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. This allows Small Change to enable a broader range of investors to take part in offerings that strive to strengthen communities through real estate development.

President and founder Eve Picker explained that “every building has a purpose and can make a neighborhood better, and that is what we are setting out to do.” Since the company’s establishment in 2015, Small Change has already successfully funded several Regulation D offerings, which are available only to accredited investors. While the site will continue to offer under Regulation D, Picker believes that Regulation CF will be the catalyst for the company’s expansion.

“The first four Regulation CF projects that we have lined up are not in Pittsburgh,” she explained. “We want to let people invest locally where they live. There are so many people who love their communities and want to contribute to making them better, and now they will be able to do that.”

Three percent of America’s population qualify as accredited investors. Thus, when the Securities and Exchange Commission unveiled Regulation CF in September 2015, it opened a door of opportunity that had been closed to the majority of the population since the SEC was established in 1934. Ordinary people are no longer shut out of investment opportunities because their income or net worth does not meet the lofty accredited standards. For the first time in nearly a century, the playing field is level: anyone who believes in the potential of an investment can get in.

Picker isn’t alone in believing that small investors crave the opportunity to support game-changers. Allan Au, the head of Mr. Crowd, a Regulation CF platform providing financing to entrepreneurs, recently told Crowdfund Insider that if the vehicle had been available back in 2004, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg “would be very likely to raise funds from CF for Facebook.” What an opportunity that would have for small investors to support the growth of a visionary product, and to participate in some of the vast wealth it created.

While Regulation CF may expand a platform’s reach, it comes with strict stipulations. FINRA requires diligent separation of deals offered to both accredited and non-accredited investors from those offered exclusively to accredited investors. Unlike crowdfunding offerings to accredited investors, Regulation CF offerings may not display a prediction of returns and a company may not raise more than $1 million in a twelve-month time frame using Title III. All of these are designed to keep front and center the protection of non-accredited investors.

Coupled with Regulation A+, Regulation CF expands the online opportunities available to non-accredited investors. Regulation CF may enable Small Change to realize its founding mission of inclusive participation in high-impact real estate investment. “I was just thrilled,” Picker said of receiving the FINRA approval. “I felt lighter, like a great burden had been lifted.” Regulation CF is making online investment accessible to millions of Americans and companies such as Small Change are pioneers leading the way towards societal transformation.

Source: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/regulation-crowdfunding-w_b_12737030

Crowdfunding

P2P Lending Platform SeedIn Rebrands to BRDGE, Plans Expansion Into Indonesia

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Singapore-based P2P investment network SeedIn has announced its rebranding to BRDGE.

With the rebranding, BRDGE aims to better reflect the company’s mission to serve Singapore’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs) not just through financial support but with the long-term aim of providing the public with opportunities to support local businesses.

The announcement comes after BRDGE’s recent MOU signing with V3 Fintech looking to enhance the suite of liquidity solutions available to SMEs, and help to create awareness among SME communities on innovative ways to address liquidity challenges and funding gaps.

SMEs in general are much more sensitive to economic headwinds due to increased competition, fluctuating market demands, technological advances, and capacity constraints surrounding information, innovation and creativity.

However, these enterprises make up the bulk of Singapore’s economic success, contributing to nearly half of the country’s GDP and providing jobs for about 65% of the workforce.

Kevin Wong, CEO of BRDGE, said,

Kevin Wong

Kevin Wong

“Rebranding has allowed us to stay committed to our mission of serving as many SMEs as possible. It has also enabled us to grow Singapore’s fintech ecosystem by providing additional financing solutions to businesses seeking more options in funding, so that they can seize more opportunities for growth. We hope to take digital financing further, and to become not just another crowdfunding platform, but one that is able to exhibit foresight and build trust to help fellow local businesses and entrepreneurs grow.”

Since 2014, BRDGE is said to have helped fund over SGD72 million in capital to Singaporean SMEs.

BRDGE had also collaborated with media and technology marketing agency Unravel Studios for the #KEEPUPTHEGOOD initiative. The partnership was intended to help tide SMEs through this period, by providing resources to help them continue.

SMEs who receive funding will also be provided with complimentary support for one month to fulfill their marketing objectives.

BRDGE has also been actively connecting SMEs to opportunities and initiatives beyond funding, such as organising WeConnect, a networking event for SMEs to develop partnerships and engage one another.

Moving forward, BRDGE has also announced intentions to expand operations into Indonesia and is currently in the process of securing regulatory permission from the relevant authorities.

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Source: https://fintechnews.sg/44705/crowdfunding/p2p-lending-platform-seedin-rebrands-to-brdge-plans-expansion-into-indonesia/

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Financial institutions can support COVID-19 crowdfunding campaigns

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The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic adversely affected the financial outlook for millions of people, and continues to cause significant fiscal distress to millions more, but such challenging times have also wrought a more resilient and resourceful financial system.

With the ingenuity of crowdfunding, considered to be one of the last decade’s greatest “success stories,” and such desperate times calling for bold new ways to finance a wide variety of COVID-19 relief efforts, we are now seeing an excellent opportunity for banks and other financial institutions to partner with crowdfunding platforms and campaigns, bolstering their efforts and impact.

COVID-19 crowdfunding: A world of possibilities to help others

Before considering how financial institutions can assist with crowdfunding campaigns, we must first look at the diverse array of impressive results from this financing option during the pandemic. As people choose between paying the rent or buying groceries, and countless other despairing circumstances, we must look to some of the more inventive ways businesses, entrepreneurs and people in general are using crowdfunding to provide the COVID-19 relief that cash-strapped consumers with maxed-out or poor credit do not have access to or the government has not provided.

Some great examples of COVID-19 crowdfunding at its best include the following:

The possibilities presented by crowdfunding in this age of the coronavirus are endless, and financial institutions can certainly lend their assistance. Here is how.

1. Acknowledge that crowdfunding is not a trend

Crowdfunding is a substantial and ever-so relevant means of financing all sorts of businesses, people and products. Denying its substantive contribution to the economy, especially in digital finance during this pandemic, is akin to wearing a monocle when you actually need glasses for both of your eyes. Do not be shortsighted on this. Crowdfunding is here to stay. In fact, countless crowdfunding businesses and platforms continue to make major moves within the markets globally. For example, Parpera from Australia, in coordination with the equity-crowdfunding platforms, hopes to rival the likes of GoFundMe, Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

2. Be willing to invest in crowdfunded campaigns

This might seem contrary to the original purpose of these campaigns, but the right amount of seed-cash infusions to campaigns that are aligned with your goals as a company is a win-win for both you and the entrepreneurs or causes, especially now in such desperate times of need.

3. Get involved in the community and its crowdfunding efforts

This means that small businesses and medium-sized businesses within your institution’s community could use your help. Consider investing in crowdfunding campaigns similar to the ones mentioned earlier. Better yet, bridge the gaps between financial institutions and crowdfunding platforms and campaigns so that smaller businesses get the opportunities they need to survive through these difficult times.

4. Enable sustainable development goals (SDG)

Last month, the United Nations Development Program released a report proclaiming that digital finance is now allowing people from all over the world to customize and personalize their money-management experiences such that their financial needs have the potential to be more readily and sufficiently met. Financial institutions willing to work as a partner with crowdfunding platforms and campaigns will further these goals and set society up for a more robust rebound from any possible detrimental effects of the COVID-19 recession.

5. Lend your regulatory expertise to this relatively new industry

Other countries are already beginning to figure out better ways to regulate the crowdfunding financing industry, such as the recent updates to the European Union’s handling of crowdfunding regulations, set to take effect this fall. Well-established financial institutions can lend their support in defining the policies and standard operating procedures for crowdfunding even during such a chaotic time as the COVID-19 pandemic. Doing so will ensure fair and equitable financing for all, at least, in theory.

While originally born out of either philanthropy or early-adopting innovation, depending on the situation, person or product, crowdfunding has become an increasingly reliable means of providing COVID-19 economic relief when other organizations, including the government and some banks, cannot provide sufficient assistance. Financial institutions must lend their vast expertise, knowledge and resources to these worthy causes; after all, we are all in this together.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2020/10/23/financial-institutions-can-support-covid-19-crowdfunding-campaigns/

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Taking LSD Could Help Your Career

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You rely on Crowdability to bring you the best start-up deals. Now rely on us to bring you the most fascinating stories and trends from the world of technology. You won’t find this stuff in the mainstream press. Look for it every Friday morning.

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Top scientists are racing to develop a cure for the coronavirus. But meanwhile, a 14-year-old high school student might have beaten them to it. Learn more »

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Now You Can Surf the Web on the Moon

The population of the Moon is pretty small. In fact, it’s zero. So why is it getting wireless internet service? All the facts right here »

Taking LSD Could Help Your Career

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Source: http://www.crowdability.com/article/taking-lsd-could-help-your-career

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