OSC Crowdfunding Proposal

The Ontario Securities Commission's proposed new exemption for crowd funding is understandably complex for the average entrepreneur.  Who is the new exemption aimed at? How much capital can be raised? How often can it be used?  Today, let's look at the proposed investor and offering size limits.  The OSC proposes that no one investor may invest more than $2,500 in any one investment; furthermore such an investor could not invest more than $10,000 in a calendar year using this exemption. The rationale expressed by the OSC  is that a low investment limit minimizes an investor's exposure. On the entrepreneur's side, the proposal puts a $1,500,000 cap on the total amount of capital that any such issuer may raise in a 12 month period. Assuming each investor used the maximum investment allowed for an issuer trying to raise the maximum capital, the issuer would need 600 hundred investors. The National Crowd Funding Association of Canada (NCFA) reported on a survey conducted of a UK crowd funding portal. The average issuer raised $400,000 and had under 100 investors.  This means the average investment by each investor was about $4,000. This is well over the $2,500 limit proposed by the OSC. Not surprisingly, the NCFA is proposing a limit $5,000 per single investment. The NFCA is also urging that the $1,500,000 limitation be raised to $5,000,000, noting that this cap is being proposed in the USA for that country's federal legislation. The OSC closed commentary on its proposed new exemptions, including crowd funding on June 18, 2014. It is now digesting those comments. No word yet on when the new rules might come into effect.

Posted on July 1, 2014 and filed under Crowdfunding.