The concept is simple: Post an idea for a new project (making an album or film, for example) or for a charity at a site like Kickstarter or Indiegogo and watch the dollars flow in. In most cases, donors don’t pay until a preset fundraising goal is met.
There have been two famous examples of crowdfunding in recent months. The first was Pebble Technology’s plea for funds last April to build a “smartwatch” that connects to an iPhone or Android handset. Within a month the company raised $10.27 million to develop the product.
In another case, the Internet masses rallied around a bullied school bus monitor from Greece, N.Y., this spring after brutal video emerged of her being taunted mercilessly by a group of devil-spawn middle schoolers. Outraged netizens raised more than $700,000 to give the 68-year-old grandmother “a vacation of a lifetime.”
These are just a couple of the most straightforward examples of crowdfunding. Starting around Dec. 31, however, startups and other small businesses should be able to start raising investment capital from a new class of crowdfunding investors who don’t have to meet lofty net worth or salary thresholds now required by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Incredibly, this came about courtesy of an out-of-the-blue bipartisan bill called the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act that passed — and was signed into law this spring — amid one of the most noxiously divided congressional sessions ever seen.
The legislation, designed to clear away regulatory hurdles for small businesses and fast-growing startups to raise capital from private investors and in public capital markets, is poised to be fully implemented by the end of the year.
There are two major components of the JOBS Act that will have an impact on crowdfunding. The first updates an existing ban on “general solicitation” for the Internet age. In my layman interpretation, the JOBS Act, once implemented by the SEC, should allow companies to discuss the potential benefits of making an investment via online platforms. Currently, such “solicitation” is not allowed online.
Second, the JOBS Act changes who qualifies as an accredited investor. Currently, only those who can demonstrate a net worth of more that $1 million (excluding a residence), or those who have annual household incomes of $200,000 (single) or $300,000 (married), can invest in private companies.
The JOBS Act will lower that bar, allowing those with incomes of less than $100,000 to invest up to 5 percent of their income in private ventures each year. Potential investors with incomes between $100,000 and $200,000 would be able to spend 10 percent each year.
The new law also calls for loosening reporting requirements included in Sarbanes-Oxley in some circumstances. And it allows for limited communication between banks’ buy and sell sides regarding newly public (and pre-IPO) “emerging growth” companies that meet certain requirements.
Critics of the new law, who are all over the political map, worry that it marks the opening salvo in a broader effort to erode investor protections passed over the past decade — but that’s a whole other kettle of fish for lawyer types and policy wonks to debate.
For now, let’s focus on crowdfunding. (For a comprehensive overview and analysis of the JOBS Act, see www.mofo.com/jumpstart.)
So how will the JOBS Act play out in the real world? Like anything facing Murphy’s Law, the Law of Unintended Consequences, or any other other immutable folk wisdom, it’s impossible to say for sure. But here are a few (moderately) educated guesses:
Crowdfunding will have a local impact. Chance Barnett, the co-founder of Crowdfunder.com who is also a frequent commentator on how the law will shift investor funds from Wall Street to Main Street, says we’re looking at a seismic change in how local companies find startup capital. He is fond of citing a statistic that says if Americans moved just 1 percent of the $30 trillion they hold in long-term investments to small businesses, it would amount to more than 10 times the venture capital invested in all of 2011.
In practical terms, that means the talented local chef or entrepreneur who wants to open a new restaurant or business, but can’t get a loan from a bank, can instead turn to an online community for either a loan or capital partners.
Crowdfunding will become part of a larger startup strategy. Few people expect crowdfunding to become the sole vehicle through which a legitimate startup raises capital. It should be part of a larger whole. The major venture capital companies that have backed some of the world’s most successful startups have unmatched skills and financial resources when it comes to launching successful companies. That’s not likely to change.
What crowdfunding does is expand opportunities to raise money and solicit counsel from a wide array of grass-roots evangelists.
Crowdfunding platforms will be part eBay, part E-Trade. Startup jockeys like to talk about companies that are pure plays — those that have a single business focus. But as the SEC finalizes rules for crowdfunding, it increasingly seems as if there’ll be no pure plays when it comes to equity-based crowdfunding.
Companies in this space will have to come up with some hybrid model in which they act like both an information portal for startups and small businesses seeking capital, and as a registered broker-dealer that has the regulatory approval to handle securities transactions for pre-screened investors.
None of this is set in stone, of course. So in the vein of the line heard at weddings, “Speak now or forever hold your peace,” the SEC is accepting public comments on the JOBS Act for the next 2½ months.
Why we will have crowdFunding ?
The answer is simple , IPO market has collapsible in United States and we need to collect funds from the %99 since the %1 is not willing or does not want to take the chance .