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ASIC awards seven crowd-sourced funding licences

Multiple hands holding up bundles of 100 dollar bills

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has kicked off its new crowd-sourced funding (CSF) regime by giving seven companies licences to act as intermediaries and provide CSF services.

ASIC Commissioner John Price says the move marks a significant milestone for Australia’s CSF regime, which is designed to provide start-ups and small to medium-sized companies with a new means to raise capital for their growth and development.

The regulatory framework to facilitate CSF in Australia was established when the Corporations Amendment (Crowd-sourced Funding) Act 2017 and associated regulations came into effect on 29 September 2017.

One of the key objectives of the regime is to reduce the regulatory burden on smaller companies associated with raising funds from the public via the issue of ordinary shares.

The first tranche of newly licensed intermediaries has now been added to ASIC’s register of AFS licensees. Their names reportedly include Big Start, Billfolda, Birchal Financial Services, Equitise, Global Funding Partners, IQX Investment Services and On-Market Bookbuilds.

Xinja Holdings, which hopes to become Australia’s first fully digital bank, is one of the first companies off the rank, using the Equitise platform to raise CSF.

ASIC has also issued guidance to assist companies looking to raise money through CSF and has published a template CSF offer document to help companies prepare their CSF offers.

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