Investors have been pouring money into startups after the corporate regulator ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission) licensed the first crowd-sourced funding companies.
Digital bank Xinja, one of the first crowdfunds to go live following the licence approvals last week, raised the $500,000 in less than a day through Equitise. The raise is currently sitting at $750,000.
“It’s more than I expected,” Xinja CEO Eric Wilson told Business Insider. The cash will go toward a $10 million series B raise of which $5 million has already been reached.
Seven companies have been issued Australian Financial Services authorisations to provide crowd-sourced funding. Equity crowdfunding enables Australian retail investors to invest as little as $50 or as much as $10,000 in a business.
Equity crowdfunding is worth $US2.6 billion in the US.
Wilson says crowdfunding is a key part of the company’s plan to change the way Australians do their banking. Xinja is not a bank yet but is working with regulators to become one. Cash from the current raising will be used to fund technology enhancements.
“It is fantastic that these regulatory barriers have been removed and Xinja can now access the funds needed to help build our product offerings and give the entrenched banks something to think about,” he says.
Equitise co-founder Chris Gilbert says early stage investment had previously only been available to high net worth investors or venture capitalists.
“This groundbreaking change means Australians can now put their money behind what could become the next Atlassian or Canva and support early stage local companies raising up to $5 million,” he says.
“We have led the charge to change this legislation for the past three and a half years to give all Australian investors the opportunity to invest in early stage companies.”
OnMarket, an app which provides access to IPOs with the same terms as institutional investors, says it is in discussions with a leading Medicinal Cannabis company to raise $2 million via equity crowdfunding.
“It’s time all Australians had a fair go and access to Australian businesses of the future. Previously, investing in businesses like Revvies would only be accessible to angel investors or venture capital firms but through equity crowdfunding investment democratisation is here to stay,” says OnMarket founder and CEO Ben Bucknell.
“Equity crowdfunding is an innovative way to fund someone else’s dream.”
Capital Labs, a subsidiary of iQX Limited, part of The iQ Group Global, is on of the seven to be the first ASIC-authorised equity crowdfunding platforms in Australia. it is dedicated to biotechnology and life science equity crowdfunding investments.
Dr George Syrmalis, founder and CEO, The iQ Group Global, says “tomorrow’s challenge is to create new medicines that can prevent incurable diseases; however today’s challenge is to get to tomorrow. Equity crowdfunding certainly enables today’s challenge.”
“Capital Labs will open new frontiers for retail investors and life science startups alike, by bringing biotechnology to the forefront as an asset class previously overlooked and misperceived.”