The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has issued licences to seven companies as part of the new crowd-sourced equity funding regime.
ASIC has announced Australian Financial Services (AFS) licence authorisations have been issued to Big Start, Billfolda, Birchal Financial Services, Equitise, Global Funding Partners, IQX Investment Services and On-Market Bookbuilds.
The grant of these new authorisations allow the companies to use the CSF regime to raise capital by making offers of ordinary shares to investors through on-line platforms.
ASIC Commissioner John Price said that this marked a significant milestone for crowd-sourced funding in Australia.
‘ASIC has been assessing applications as a matter of priority, as suitable intermediaries needed to be licensed before fundraising under the new regime could commence.
Intermediaries have an important gatekeeper role which will be key to building and maintaining investor trust in crowd-sourced fundraising, so we are pleased to have now issued the first tranche of authorisations,’ he said.
The CSF regime provides start-ups and small to medium sized companies with a new means to access capital to develop and grow. CSF offers are subject to fewer regulatory requirements than other forms of public fundraising.
In September, the Corporations Amendment (Crowd-sourced Funding) Act 2017 and associated regulations came into effect – establishing a regulatory framework to facilitate crowd-sourced equity funding in Australia.
The regime was designed to reduce the regulatory burden on smaller companies associated with raising funds from the public via the issue of ordinary shares.
ASIC has issued guidance to assist companies seeking to raise funds through CSF (Regulatory Guide 261 Crowd-sourced funding: Guide for public companies (RG 261). ASIC has also published a template CSF offer document to help companies prepare their CSF offers.