In December, AngelList, a platform that matches startups with end investors, opened the possibility to allow accredited investors to actually invest in startups with a minimum of $ 1,000. AngelList also partnered with SecondMarket to create an investment vehicle for these investments. The company has announced that, since December, they have received 1100 fully online investment commitments totalling more than $ 6 million. And today, AngelList is opening the platform to all startups with top-tier investors.
A Spanish / European perspective
There are several aspects that draw the attention of professionals who are related to alternative financing platforms. The evolution in the USA is diverse and, as usual, ahead of that in Spain:
1. In the USA, the SEC is in charge of regulating this activity. This is very positive because it gives investors greater confidence, which is the main barrier to overcome when promoting the activity of these platforms.
2. Crowdfunding has a problem of the future relationship between investors and the investee company. As there is a very large number of investors, it is necessary to regulate or establish guidelines for the relationship between shareholders and promoters. In the USA, this is solved by incorporating all the small investors into a single vehicle, and it is this vehicle that maintains the relationship with the investee through its representatives.
3. It is also worth highlighting the possibility offered in Angellist for small investors to participate jointly with larger or more professionalised investors. This aspect would also help to overcome uncertainty when making the investment decision.
Other possible developments in crowdfunding
Currently, the platforms of crowdfunding are focusing on funding startups. In the case of AngelList they must be companies less than 2 years old and normally in technology or innovative sectors.
In Spain, there have been several high-profile operations. From ABRA INVESTwe have participated in ANPRO21 with the Thecrowdangel platform. SME-oriented platforms in traditional sectors should also flourish as a way to facilitate credit or as a new source of financing.
On the other hand, platforms with a sectoral specialisation are also starting to appear, such as Mosaic aimed at financing renewable energy projects, initially solar energy.
Diego Gutiérrez Zarza