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The JOBS Act: Equity Crowdfunding In Canada

William Carleton, Contributing Editor, VCExperts



Interesting tweet awhile ago from John Koetsier, linking to his article in VentureBeat about how non-accredited investment crowdfunding has been taking place in British Columbia for some time.

John's tweet and article say that BC is the only place in North America where equity crowdfunding for non-accredited investors is currently legal.

The tweet drew a response from a company called Fundrise, which stated that "Our current [crowdfunded] equity offering is available to non-accredited investors." I tweeted back to ask @Fundrise what exemption they are relying on, but haven't heard back.

It is true, as we have long blogged about here, that certain platforms are cobbling together regulatory compliance strategies from existing, and sometimes little used, securities exemptions, to perform what very much looks like equity crowdfunding. Bolstr comes to mind. Bolstr is finding a way to use Rule 504 of Reg D to crowdfunding effect.

It may be Fundrise is using 504, too. Or perhaps they have a different approach.

Equity crowdfunding for accredited investors is going to re-shape the angel investing landscape. As for crowdfunding for non-accredited investors, I put little hope on the Title III of the JOBS Act. If equity crowdfunding for non-accrediteds takes off in the US, it will be via the creativity of platforms that utilize existing exemptions, or new state laws or regulations that establish intrastate investment crowdfunding exemptions.


William Carleton

Bill is a member of McNaul Ebel Nawrot & Helgren PLLC, a Seattle law firm. He blogs every day at http://wac6.com.