The Coalition Government welcomes ASIC's ground-breaking issuance of the first batch of licences allowing seven intermediaries to help small and innovative companies to raise funds from a crowd of investors, following commencement of the Government's equity crowdfunding framework in September 2017.
This framework, which was a landmark reform of the Turnbull Government, has removed regulatory barriers enabling Australian entrepreneurs to obtain the capital they need to turn good ideas into commercial successes. It will help Australia be a country of new innovative businesses, which is good for jobs and good for consumers.
This new source of funding creates opportunities, especially for small businesses in the early growth stage. This is all about delivering more jobs, higher wages and greater growth for our economy by ensuring Australians are able to harness new and innovative ways of developing and growing businesses.
Consistent with ASIC's approach of batching licence applications, the first batch of crowdfunding intermediary licences has been issued to: Big Start, Billfolda, Birchal Financial Services, Equitise, Global Funding Partners, IQX Investment Services and On-Market Bookbuilds. The Government looks forward to more new entrants.
Companies will now be able to raise funds through offers hosted by these intermediaries, with the first offers expected to be available shortly.
Eligible public companies will be able to raise up to $5 million in funds through equity crowdfunding, with retail investors able to invest up to $10,000 per issuing company per year.
More information on the existing CSEF regime for public companies is available on the ASIC website.
The Coalition Government is continuing to build on the equity crowdfunding framework, with legislation to extend the regime to proprietary companies currently before the Parliament, opening up a new source of capital for even more Australian small and medium businesses.
The equity crowdfunding regime complements the Government's suite of innovation and FinTech policies including tax incentives for angel investors in start-ups, the introduction of Open Banking and development of an enhanced regulatory sandbox for new and innovative FinTech products and services.