Category: Crowdfunding

The best crowdfunding platforms in Europe

This article will list and discuss the best Crowdfunding platforms in Europe. Perhaps the most famous case of Crowdfunding and Crowdsourcing to date is Barack Obama’s $750 million presidential campaign, completely raised through small donors in 2008. Following a recent boom in Crowdfunding platforms available online, a few platforms have now risen to the forefront of the industry, evolving the types and ways in which we can experience Crowdfunding; whilst other platforms failed to exist in light of heightened competition. Europe now being a regional hub for growing start-ups, this article will discuss the best Crowdfunding platforms available within Europe. These are naturally considered through the objective lenses of activity, total money raised, and the percentage of successful initiatives that these platforms have produced.

Access to traditional credit has been lacking, and thus Crowdfunding represents a new hope towards financing start-ups and innovative projects, by allowing one to fund projects and companies through smaller donations from the wider public.

Being the “lifeline” of SMEs and entrepreneurs of Europe, Crowdfunding platforms stand as the way to gain credit for ideas and projects by encouraging the participation and interaction of various actors in the professional and business environment. When the World Bank announced that Crowdfunding would value up to $90 billion between 2020 and 2025, and Forbes announced that Crowdfunding would value $90 billion by 2017, surpassing the trend of Venture Capital all together; the world (investors, start-ups, and regulators alike) realized it was time to join the trend.

The types of interaction one can experience between participants in these platforms vary immensely, allowing start-ups and investors to find which solutions fit their needs and desires the best: reward based Crowdfunding, credit based Crowdfunding, Crowdfunding through capital and Crowdfunding through donations.

These are often classed between two more common classifications: Financial Crowdfunding (focused on equity based Crowdfunding and Crowdlending) and Non-Financial Crowdfunding (focused on Crowdfunding through rewards and donations, also known as Crowdgiving).

Aside from our article on insights into the best Crowdfunding platforms available in Spain and in the United Kingdom, this list (organized in alphabetical order) will help understand the advantages and options available of the best platforms in Europe, particularly in light of the plethora of supplementary services and features platforms now offer to maintain a competitive edge.

Equity Based Crowdfunding


Anaxago: Based in France, this platform holds a large membership community of over 67,000 individuals and promotes entrepreneurship, collective intelligence and transparency. Interestingly, this firm only allows companies to raise funds for 95 days at a time, allowing investors to be in the know about the investment far earlier. Having fully financed 82 firms thus far, Anaxago specializes in finding the funds for high-growth potential businesses. Authorized by the Financial Markets Authority (AMF), Anaxago has already successfully facilitated nearly €47 million worth of investments through their platform.

Bergfürst: Having facilitated over €6.67 million into 9 projects through the website, this German platform allows investors to invest into real estate offerings through fixed interest rates. This allows investors to feel increased security and predictability in their investments, while allowing individuals to bridge the gap between bank (and other) loans and the real estate project through mezzanine capital. Already approved to operate as a bank, Bergfürst has already performed its first IPOs and carries a community of an impressive over 13,500 registered investors.

Companisto: Having invested over €32 million, this German equity based Crowdfunding platform has managed to become a leader within the market, controlling up to 20% of domestic market share. Having successfully funded 64 companies thus far, Companisto differentiates itself by offering various forms of payment, ranging from payments directly through one´s credit card to instant money transfers to bank transfers, allowing investors to be located anywhere in the world.

CONDA: As both an equity based Crowdinvesting platform and a Crowdlending site, this Austrian platform aims to promote local investments alongside regional partners offering expertise. Having successfully funded 58 projects already, through facilitating up to €13.07 millions of investments, CONDA holds a large community of over 6,600 investors. Recognizing not only the financial benefits of investing into start-ups, CONDA promotes direct communication between entrepreneurs and investors, allowing investors to not only feel part of the team, but also contribute to a larger extent.

EOS Venture: This French equity based Crowdfunding operator aims to aid SMEs to develop to help progress the economy. As a FinTech company, EOS Venture has a French Investment Service Provider (PSI) status from the ACPR (French Prudential Supervision and Resolution Authority) of the Bank of France, illustrating their knowledge of financial operations and investment. EOS Venture has special agreements with European banks which allows them to go beyond the €1 million threshold that French regulators place upon them, allowing EOS Venture to have successfully facilitate €6 million worth of investments thus far, with the goal to reach €20 million in 2016.

EquityStartup: This very new Italian equity based Crowdfunding platform offers companies consulting services from legal advice to business plans, and beyond. Furthermore, EquityStartup informs investors of opportunities such as tax benefits that they are eligible for through their investments – they are sure to provide the know-how that many of us may lack.

Happy Capital: This French platform is more than a website to buy shares through – Happy Capital provides one the resources to validate their potential market and offers expert advisory services after the fundraising is complete to make sure the projects truly grow to have a positive impact on the French economy. Their requirement of companies to be registered with the French Trade Registry prior to the fundraising creates an increased sense of security for investors as well, making it unsurprising that Happy Capital has, since 2013, successfully facilitated €4 million worth of investments into successfully funding 20 projects.

Invesdor: This equity and debt based platform from Finland has already €16.32 million invested within its registered start-ups. Having successfully funded 62 projects to date, its success rate stands at 43%. Invesdor´s competitive edge however is seen in its supplementary services, from offering legal advice, to auditing services, to branding development, and much more, highlighting their long-term commitment to helping the companies registered in Invesdor to grow and making it the largest cross-border Nordic equity crowdfunding platform.

Mynbest: As a Spanish equity based Crowdfunding website, Mynbest maintains its competitive edge by providing an auxiliary service in addition to linking investors and companies: Mynbest provides investors with reports so as to remain engaged with their investments and be fully equipped with the information necessary for full security of their investment, which explains why their very first fully invested project reached a value of nearly €100,000.

OpenCircleProject: This platform is developed and managed by Parnasse S.A, a financial and economic advisor accredited by the EN.A alternative market of the Athens Stock Exchange. Focused on funding projects, this Greek equity based Crowdfunding platform provides the tools to value one’s company if they lack the current know-how. Although very new to the industry, OpenCircle Project has already facilitated €300,000 worth of investments into two companies, and are launching a line of larger investments in September this year.

Seedmatch: With almost €29 million successfully invested into start-ups, of which 93 projects had been funded, it remains unsurprising that Seedmatch maintained a 95% success rate. This German company focuses on the potential that young start-ups have to develop the local and global economic environments. With nearly 49,000 members within its network, Seedmatch holds 61% of the German market share alone.

Wiseed: With up to €56 million invested within the company, this French Crowdfunding platform has been able to successfully fund 134 projects thus far by a member base of 72,600. However alternative to the traditional start-ups that one would be funding through other platforms, Wiseed has specialized into real estate, that is, Wiseed allows one to invest into a start-up, a real estate property, or to gain funds through cooperatives. Authorized by the Financial Markets Authority (AMF), Wiseed largely focuses on highly professional projects.


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FundedByMe: Offering both equity and debt based solutions, FundedByMe is an especially known platform within the arena of Crowdfunding. With over €24 million successfully invested into 453 start-ups, the Swedish company is home to a 69,200 member community from 178 countries and runs a 50% success rate. FundedByMe especially promotes its focus on cross-border investments, allowing collaboration from all over the world to occur.

MyMicroInvest: Based in Belgium, this company has managed to successfully fund 40 projects and carries over 34,000 members within its community. Furthermore, up to €23 million have been successfully invested through this Crowdlending platform towards 64 projects. To attract more investors, MyMicroInvest offers a unique transaction model where all investments made are bundled together and invested into the given company as one single entity. Not only does this bring more security to the investors, knowing that their money is not allocated if the start-up´s target is not reached, but also shows the platform´s commitment to backing all investments that it represents.

SmartAngels: This debt based Crowdfunding platform (although also offering equity based Crowdfunding services) was founded in France in 2012 with the aim to help investments flow into the growth of start-ups and SMEs. Having a large community of over 25,000 investors, SmartAngels has successfully financed 50 companies with a total amount of €25 million collected. Alternative to traditional Crowdlending services however, SmartAngels allows retail and professional investors to provide financing both through shares and bonds.

Symbid: Although based in the Netherlands, this platform has been strategically spreading throughout Europe. This Crowdfunding platform continues to differentiate itself by bundling a start-up´s financers into one shareholder cooperative, allowing start-ups to communicate more efficiently with only one entity. Whilst Symbid has successfully facilitated a Crowdfunding volume of €13.2 million into 128 campaigns alone, Symbid has also facilitated alternative funding options to SMEs through The Funding Network valuing over €500 million in 2015 and over €900 million in aggregate funding.

Non-Financial Crowdfunding

Derev: As a reward based Crowdfunding platform, almost 42,000 members actively participate within its platform within which €3 million have been successfully invested. This Italian platform has impressed many from the early stages, having raised over €500,000 within the initial two months of the Crowdfunding platform´s launch in 2013. Furthermore, Derev recorded the highest value of funding for an individual start-up in Italy, reaching over €1.46 million.

Kisskissbankbank: Based in France, this non-financial Crowdfunding platform has successfully facilitated investments totaling almost €55.4 million. In this regard, Kisskissbankbank holds a success rate of 58% of nearly 22,500 funded projects on its platform. Dedicated to fostering start-ups focused on creativity, solidarity and innovation, this platform aims to support companies that go beyond mainstream trends.

Ulule: With over a million members based in 190 countries, this French platform accommodates to international investors. Having successfully invested over €60.7 million into nearly 14,600 projects, it maintains a 68% success rate. However Ulule differentiates itself by offering two different fundraising types: a project manager or start-up may decide to set a fiscal budget target, or they may instead choose to target a specific number of items to pre-sell. Ulule offers even more flexibility by allowing start-ups to raise funds both through donations and through a reward based collaboration.

Wemakeit: Having successfully invested 16.4 million euros already into funding 1,945 projects, this Swiss Crowdfunding platform has held a high success rate of 65%. In order to allow the companies enlisted in their platform to prosper, Wemakeit also offers consulting services throughout the process, thus reaching the monetary target is not the only focus of the platform, but instead a means to reach a more substantial goal.

The several types of platforms allow investors and start-ups (and individuals) to find which strategy works best for them. From equity based Crowdfunding, to Crowdlending, to donations and rewards (granting the non-financial Crowdfunding option); alternative financing and Crowdsourcing strategies continue to develop.

Interestingly, the rise of bonds within Crowdfunding, instead of traditional loans has caught the eye of many. Financial laws and regulations within France have readjusted to this wave, making privately bought bonds (and many more forms of Crowdfunding) more secure and regulated – unlike much of Europe. Within this cross-link between the public and the private markets, one sees that the main difference between a bond in the private market, as supposed to a publicly traded market, is that an investor may not necessarily have the opportunity to gain their money back before the bond matures in several years’ time (as there is no public market to trade these bonds in). Potentially high-risk, these bonds however carry a high interest rate and therefore provide the opportunity for higher returns. One begins to see that choosing a financing scheme may be dependent simply on the convenience of giving and receiving returns; or on the preferences of other actors involved; or on local financial regulations, as well as many more factors. In this light, one should dedicate themselves to finding the optimal balance between each advantage for themselves.

As an investor, one may choose to become involved in a platform where more collaboration and consulting can occur, allowing the financing scheme to feel more inclusive. However for those that are hoping for short-term investments, platforms with short funding rounds allow investors to dip their toes into the world of Crowdfunding a little first. Similarly, a start-up or any individual looking for financing may prefer platforms that either offer supplementary services (to make sure you reach the finish line) or platforms that offer flexible types of financing to accommodate to different funding targets and objectives. Whilst Crowdfunding is not a new innovation, the opportunities these Crowdfunding platforms have brought mark a highly promising new era of collaborative financing.

Having discussed and highlighted the best Crowdfunding platforms available in Europe, one thing remains clear: choosing the best platform for you is really the only obstacle.

Signed by Sara Jokinen

Crowdfunding platforms in the UK

We would like to introduce you to the most interesting, as well as successful, crowdfunding platforms in the UK. We will look together at what distinguishes the following platforms and we will analyse them objectively, according to their activity numbers, total money raised over their existence and successfully completed campaigns and projects on the platform.

The UK currently presents the widest range of alternative funding options at a European level for SMEs and the entrepreneurs who are increasingly turning away from traditional financing institutions, as The European Alternative Finance Benchmarking Report casts light on some interesting numbers and the outstanding average annual growth rates we will see later in the article. The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance and EY have teamed up to produce this report that highlights the novelty of the alternative finance sector in terms of innovation at both business models and technological platforms level.

Let’s have a more in-depth look at one of the most noteworthy “branches” of alternative finance, the Crowdfunding platforms. The crowdfunding platforms are based on the different types of interaction amongst participants: Equity Crowdfunding, Debt Crowdfunding, Reward-based crowdfunding, Donation Crowdfunding.

Alternatively, we can look at crowdfunding platforms from two perspectives: Financial Crowdfunding -investors are financially recompensed for contributing to the project- (in this category we would then have Equity and Debt Crowdfunding) and Non-financial Crowdfunding –investors would receive either the product, for example, or they could contribute to donating for a project, in which case they would not be expecting any physical or financial reward- (here we are talking about the Reward-based crowdfunding and the Donation Crowdfunding).

The following list offers you a glimpse into the particularities of each of the platforms we analysed, respond to the questions of what they do and how they work, but also pool some hard data on their performance thus far.

Following we are looking at:

  1. Equity Crowdfunding platforms
  2. Debt Crowdfunding platforms
  3. Non-financial Crowdfunding platforms

Within these three categories, we are presenting the most noticeable crowdfunding platforms in the UK, sorted in alphabetical order.

  1. Equity Crowdfunding – in this case, the investors purchase registered securities from mostly early-stage firms.

The Data for the UK: 111m (transactions in 2014 showed a spectacular 420% average growth compared to 37m in 2013), according to Wardrop et al. (2015).

Crowd2fund is the only FCA regulated platform to offer solutions across 5 models of finance: Donations, Loan, Revenue, Bonds, Equity. Crowd2fund relies on an alternative to traditional finance that offers a fast, fair and flexible solution. One of the latest projects on their platform raised £503,000 offering equity stakes to investors in Rezonence: BBC Worldwide Incubated Advertising Technology.

CrowdCube is definitely one of the most noteworthy equity (and debt) platforms in the UK, especially given that its user-base comprises a very wide range of investors (from professional investors and VCs to individual investors) backing up both early, as well as growth stage businesses. CrowdCube operates internationally and has some impressive global numbers, but they also provide us with an insight into their UK performance: £1,889,580 (average equity investment), 55% success rate in the last year (290 projects funded by selling £101,376,177 worth of equity stakes). What we found most interesting here is that the most popular sectors are Technology, Food & Drink and Consumer Products, which clearly indicates the appetite of individual investors for investing in businesses they believe in from a consumer point of view. One remarkable success story is The Pressery reaching their £150,000 target in less than two hours. Since 2011, more than 285,000 people have registered with Crowdcube, helping to raise over £165 million in 407 raises for businesses.

Growth Deck – This equity crowdfunding platform stands out in terms of customer service offered to investors and two strong teams for sound investment review, as well as sector review, catering to the best needs of their investor user-base, as well as businesses user-base. Growth Deck focuses on mediating funding for growing UK companies with a promise of Transparency, Trust, Expertise and Support. The platform currently counts on 3,751 investors.

Seedrs – Despite its name, Seedrs specializes in equity crowdfunding for companies throughout their lifecycle based in the UK, but it is also open to investors and businesses in Europe. On Seedrs, investments start at as little as £10, but the platform has seen 320 deals being completed since launch and is one of the leading of its kind in the UK. It is the UK equity platform with most users and has raised £150 million in total investments to date from 38,000 investors. The platform is highly comprehensive, with a wide range of articles and case studies, trying to provide the best help and information for their high number of individual investors.

Syndicate Room – Our favourite aspect of the Syndicate Room equity crowdfunding platform is the “investor-led model”, which means individual investors can only invest in projects that already have an angel investor or an early-stage investor on board. Thanks to this approach, we see once again the pursuit of crowdfunding platforms of providing fair investment opportunities to individual investors and reducing the inequality of information and subsequent inequality in terms of opportunities that tend to separate professional investors and individual investors in the case of traditional financing. The equity crowdfunding platform has raised £55,394,577, funding 86 projects successfully.

grafico plataformas crowdfunding_uk nuevo

  1. Debt Crowdfunding platforms – This kind of platform implies debt-based transactions between an individual or an institutional investor and existing businesses (mostly SMEs). This kind of crowdfunding platform is seeking to provide a fair alternative for investors and businesses alike to obtain returns and financing at better rates and terms than traditional financing methods. The main difference we would like to point out thus far between equity crowdfunding and debt crowdfunding is that, while equity crowdfunding often features seed-stage or very early stage startups, debt crowdfunding usually provides financing to growing businesses, who have a record of their past operations and development processes and can provide investors with a sound proof that guarantees the business will be able to generate future returns and ultimately pay back the debt financing obtained.

The Data for the UK: €998m (2014) 253% average growth rate (2014 compared to 2013), according to Wardrop et al. (2015).

Funding Circle – The platform focuses on providing an alternative financing method exclusively for small businesses. Although its main activity is in the UK market, the platform provides loans to small businesses in the USA, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands too. The platform discloses numbers such as 55,000 investors in the UK who have lent to businesses, £2 billion across these five markets and an estimated 7.1% yearly return. The average loan amount on Funding Circle is £60,000.

Funding Knight –This British-based crowdlending platform offers three choices for entrepreneurs looking for a loan: a business loan, a property bridging loan and a green energy loan. The platform connects investors and businesses at a rate that works for both. Run by a dedicated team, the online crowdlending platform offers a wide range of articles and information on alternative finance and we think their efforts to educate the audience is benefiting both sides. FundingKnight has financed 224 projects, for a total of £30,712,000.

Rebuilding Society – With numbers such as £9.7 million in loans and more than 150 projects finances, Rebuilding Society focuses on the idea of community and strives to “rebuild society” by cutting out waste and employing money in an efficient way that benefits the society and its actors, rather than the intermediary institution as it is often the case in traditional financing methods.

grafico plataformas crowdfunding_uk debt

  1. Non-financial Crowdfunding platforms

The Data for the UK: €34m (176% average growth rate (2014 compared to 2013)), according to Wardrop et al. (2015).

BloomVC Bloom VC is a reward-based crowdfunding platform that caters for any kind of early stage start-up business, community, arts or culture that needs a small amount of cash to get going. The average “promise” of a member is £46 and through the power of getting together like-minded people, BloomVC has seen 43% of the published projects being funded, out of which 85% have exceeded their targets.

BuzzBnk Launched in 2011 as the first crowdfunding platform specifically for social enterprises and charities, BuzzBnk has successfully funded 139 projects with a total of £1,051,229. The crowdfunding platform informs us their projects seek to raise amounts varying from £1,000 to £30,000 in units of £10 to £200. BuzzBnk prides itself on welcoming social enterprise and charity projects indifferent of their size. The crowdfunding platform has had projects as small as £600 and as large as £100,000.

Crowdfunderis the rewards and community shares sibling platform of equity crowdfunding platform, CrowdCube. Crowdfunder defines itself as UK’s fastest growing crowdfunding platform and their numbers verify the statement: 500,000 members of the Crowdfunder community have contributed to turning 40,000 projects into reality and a total of £25 million raised so far. What we have found most interesting is that the Category with the largest number of projects is the Community one (£1,792,751 funds raised so far in this category), which indicates again a strong tendency for like-minded people to gather and initiate, as well as support, projects aimed at improving their lives within the society. The next category in popularity is Business projects, followed by Charities, Sports, Food & Drink and Film & Theatre.

Having seen the types of alternative finance an entrepreneur can rely on at the time of using a crowdfunding platform, we are confident our readers have gained a better grasp of crowdfunding platforms and initiatives and can now align their entrepreneurial interests with searching the right type of funding from like-minded individuals who will be able to support and create a real community around one´s ideas.

We would say crowdfunding platforms (be it equity, debt or non-financial rewards) are as much about the raise of funds as they are about raising awareness and receiving support (not restricted to financial support), issues of great interest to the innovative minds of entrepreneurs and community leaders.

Signed by Vicky Corneanu

You have found funding, and now what?

For many entrepreneurs, the process for obtaining financing can be expensive, lengthy and require a lot of dedication.

Normally, after obtaining funding, the entrepreneurial team is engaged daily in growing the business (which is normal) and this can cause for the investor to be “left out” and fail to keep him/her fully informed about the developments in the company.

You can see on our channel a video that speaks a little of that context:

The current situation of many startups that pass through the funding processes is:

Platforms for funding put their efforts in connecting projects with investors. However, once the relationship between them is created, they do not offer tracking solutions at the height of the responsibilities that are generated.

So, how is the post-investment communication managed?


  • Through press releases, offering partial and incomplete information
  • By direct contact with each investor, in some cases, which often proves to be time-consuming

Good communication is important in order to:

  • Improve investor relations
  • Take advantage of the knowledge of investors (Smart Capital)
  • Facilitate reinvestment
  • Save time in the process of due diligence, reporting, audit, etc.

With a good communication, all stakeholders in the ecosystem win. Success in this field makes investors invest more.

If the investor is satisfied and feels cared about, he/she will return to invest in new rounds of the company or in other rounds of other companies that stand out for good company – investor communication. Betting on good communication with the investor is a very good cover letter for the investor, makes you differentiate your project from others that may be, a priori, more interesting but, at the same time, more opaque.

Current process of communication between companies and investors:

Standardized communication process by Private Investments Network:

As a startup, you can register on the platform for free, in order to use it as a repository of information organized and ready to be audited and to communicate with your shareholders or potential investors. In addition, you can have a section with private access for your stakeholders on your website, free of charge during the first year of life of your startup.

If you want to know more, send us an email at and you will be advised how to take full advantage of the tool.

Here you can see a video about some of the things that you can do with the help of our web platform:

Do you agree with these ideas? Have you already gone through problems in communicating with your investors? Tell us about your experience by leaving a comment here.

Financial Crowdfunding and the law

Before focusing more deeply on the subject that concerns us, it’s worthwhile to distinguish the differences in kind between financial and non-financial crowdfunding activity. The activities corresponding to the latter (which include donation and reward Crowdfunding) fall mainly under consumer protection. There is also a more ambiguous form of reward based crowdfunding, which is one based on royalties’ attribution. In the countries where it has appeared, it is usually not regarded as a financial product.

The regulatory complexity considerably increases for the financial forms of crowdfunding (equity or debt). In this field, Crowdfunding’s fundamental logic resides in the involvement of the mass – which means anyone interested in the proposal – which clashes with the financial laws developed in the past 80 years: the willingness to protect private investors, being less qualified than professional ones to understand the risks of financial products.

The result of this conceptual clash between traditional financial laws and crowdfunding needs is causing sudden changes in the Law throughout the world and it is not yet fully stabilized. For these reasons, we will focus on the laws applied to crowdfunding within the financial activity.

Crowdfunding’s fundamental logic resides in the involvement of the mass – which means anyone interested in the proposal – which clashes with the financial laws developed in the past 80 years: the willingness to protect private investors, being less qualified than professional ones to understand the risks of financial products.

Due to the USA’s leadership in crowdfunding, we will start by quickly reviewing its evolution in this field. The Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) act of April 5th 2012, one of Obama’s first administration flagship legislation, provided, inter alia, the possibility of creating exemptions applicable to crowdfunding to facilitate access to financing for small and medium enterprises.

The SEC (Security and Exchange Commission), has been mandated to write the implementing provisions of the law. Being by definition the defender of the traditional view of investor protection law, it is understandable that it considerably delayed the finding of a formula for the implementation of the Crowdfunding section, called title III (The Jobs Act has 7 parts called titles) due to its intrinsic antagonism with the Crowdfunding logic. The result has been the development, as in the case of blue sky laws of the early 20th century about market regulation, of some intrastate exemption in most US states. In late May 2015, the web had counted 24 states with approved exemptions, 13 awaiting approval, 12 without such process and California that denied its exemption law without creating an alternative. The delay not only put the US in a competitive disadvantage compared with the most developed countries of Europe (especially the UK), but it also worsened by the operational complexity with multiple local laws.

The big surprise came from the same SEC, on June 19th, 2015, when it implemented the title IV of the JOBS act on capital formation for small businesses. Under this section, it opened the door for American start-ups to raise up to $ 50 million of accredited and non-accredited investors. This means a Copernican revolution from the financial Law of the last 80 years. Although it opens the door to many doubts and risks, it creates, for those companies that will know how to use it, a formidable opportunity of extremely competitive direct financing (in comparison to the laws elsewhere in the world).

The big surprise came from the same SEC, on June 19th, 2015, when it implemented the title IV of the JOBS act on capital formation for small businesses. Under this section, it opened the door for American start-ups to raise up to $ 50 million of accredited and non-accredited investors.

The situation of the laws applicable to crowdfunding activities in Europe is following a slightly different evolution than the one in the USA, although with similarities. Unlike the US government will (which has set a precursor path with the JOBS act probably anticipating the need perceived by the majority of the market more or less a year), the desire to promote this new type of company financing set by the European Union and its representatives did not even reach the European regulatory field.

In the slowness of its operation, several enquires were launched to try to channel the process. One of the latest ones was the public consultation on the revision made by the directive of the prospectus that was carried out in May and reaped a large number of responses.

Some national governments did not wait for the emergence of a community framework and were much more proactive in promoting Crowdfunding. The UK is the paragon of this attitude, followed by France in a less efficient manner. Both have structured this new market in recent years. In the first half of 2015, several countries have chosen to try to enter into this group. It is clearly the case of Austria, to a lesser extent of Germany and, much less, of Spain.

Others are still debating between the vision of opening to a controlled risk-taking with crowdfunding, and the traditional perspective of bureaucratic regulations intended to protect investors. Several countries seem even entrenched in this attitude, such as Denmark and other northern European countries as well as several countries in Central and Eastern Europe.

We could talk about an oil spill effect, which started in the United Kingdom and is progressively spreading across the continent, often losing strength with the distance from the spill epicenter.

The result for all the parties involved in this type of transaction is more than confusing. There are differences in many aspects of the adopted laws on crowdfunding. The main ones are:

  • The statutes of Crowdfunding platforms and their activity authorizations are contradictory from one country to another. Hence, some fall under the rules of the financial services firms and plan to use the European passport (Mifid) to offer their services throughout the Union, while others have a ban on providing services abroad.
  • The levels of prospectus exemptions vary from 0 to 5 million euros.
  • The determining criteria for an accredited investor also vary significantly.

The result of the absence of best practices creates competitive regulation advantages for some and confuse everyone, especially in a world in which many investors try to hunt the best investment opportunities across the continent.

The result of the absence of best practices creates competitive regulation advantages for some and confuse everyone, especially in a world in which many investors try to hunt the best investment opportunities across the continent.

Given the pace of the crowdfunding laws and European regulatory disparity development, all the experts from the sector are invited to comment on this post with information that deepen on the subject and we commit ourselves to translating these comments into the other languages on our blog.

François-Eric Perquel


  1. Review of Crowdfunding regulation, Tax & legal workgroup of the European Crowdfunding Network (ECN)
  2. Information from the EECA (European Equity Crowdfunding Association)

Welcome to Private Investments Network’s Blog

Welcome to Private Investments Network’s Blog. This corporate blog tries to show different aspects (more or less complex) of investors’ relations of private companies. Our intention is to bring us closer to equity investors, to CEOs, to CFOs, to advisors, to lawyers, to family offices, and, in short, to all the professionals related to the legal and financial management of private companies.

“This blog will highlight different aspects (more or less complex) about the investors’ relationship in private companies.”

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