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Government calls for input on crowdfunding and equity review

Wednesday, 11 September 2013 | By Rose Powell

The government has begun industry consultation around a review to reduce the regulative hassle associated with crowdsourced equity funding for start-ups.


The review was announced with the employee share scheme review as part of the Advancing Australia as a Digital Economy: An Update to the National Digital Economy Strategy in June.


The consultation is being managed by federal agency Corporations and Markets Advisory Committee (CAMAC). They have released a discussion paper and are calling for submissions before November 29.


In a statement, CAMAC noted while crowdsouced equity funding was already theoretically possible in Australia, there were a range of compliance issues that needed to be addressed.


CAMAC’s deputy director Vincent Jewell told StartupSmart they were taking a “clean sheet” approach to the process and were anticipating considerable input given the interest in the area.


“It’s a very active area that’s attracting lots of interest. We know there are people out there wanting to make use of these options, and there is an eagerness to raise funds through crowdfunding. The enthusiasm and frustration with the legal impediments at the moment means I think there will be enthusiasm to have some input into the process,” Jewell says.


The discussion paper explains the current regulations and background of similar schemes in the United States, Italy, the United Kingdom and New Zealand.


“This is how people can have their say, and help influence how the policy turns out,” Jewell says.


The discussion paper released around the employee share schemes review has been met with some concern by start-up industry leaders.