Is making Equity Crowdfunding available to all a good thing?
Part of the challenge is the enormous amount of ignorance surrounding this suddenly hot topic. There are thousands of companies that “the crowd” can fund without restriction, including Apple, Google and Facebook. These are “publicly tradable companies”, and what makes them so are the extensive rules surrounding disclosure, transparency, trading and other aspects of their corporate existence.
But since there are millions of other companies that do not fall into this category, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission provides certain limited exceptions to allow individuals to invest in non-public companies.
Chief among the [highly imperfect] criteria used to determine whether companies can solicit and accept investments from specific individuals without providing those investors the protections required of public companies are income and/or asset tests. While by no means ideal, these rules are there for very good reason.
Perhaps the single biggest challenge faced by equity crowdfunding is the fundamental difference betwee “investing” and “supporting”. A quick, impassioned discussion of this can be heard in my recent keynote at CROWDFUNDx:
*original post can be found on Quora @ http://www.quora.com/David-S-Rose/answers *(No tags for this post.)
Written by David S. Rose
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First, it’s important to understand that the four platforms you list fall into two very distinct groups.
Kickstarter and IndieGoGo are project-based crowdfunding platforms through which anyone can contribute money, either as a donation or with the promise that they will receive a tangible ‘reward’ of some kind if the project is successful.
Gust and AngelList are equity-based platforms, used by Accredited Investors to facilitate the investment of money for an ownership interest in