From 29 September 2017, ASIC will be accepting applications from crowd-sourced funding (CSF) intermediaries.
Under the new regime, eligible public companies will be able to raise funds from a crowd of investors with reduced regulatory burden. Fully paid shares will be offered through a CSF intermediary to link companies to the crowd of investors.
The criteria for companies using CSF are:
- assets and annual turnover of $25 million or less;
- may raise up to $5 million in any 12 month period; and
- investors are limited to $10,000 per company per 12 month period.
Intermediaries will play a huge role in the success of the CSF regime, by creating share platforms and systems that are efficient, easy to use and support both innovation and appropriate risk measures. As the system cannot work with intermediaries, ASIC has said that intermediary applications will be processed as a matter of priority.
CSF intermediary applicants must be AFS Licensees and will likely be required to hold an Australian Market Licence as well. The process will involve answering questionnaires from ASIC and providing an Information Technology Capacity Statement, as well as any other responses or documentation ASIC may require. ASIC has stated that they will only discuss issues relating to particular applications with the individual applicants themselves.
The application process will be available through the ASIC electronic ‘e-Licensing’ portal from 29 September 2017. ASIC will be processing applications in batches, with the first batch being processed between the start date and 27 October 2017. Applications after 27 October 2017 will be processed as soon as possible.