Tuesday, 7 July 2015

When three is a company -- SEBI consultation paper on equity-based crowdfunding in India.

As SEBI tries to regulate equity crowdfunding, the Internet promises to play disrupter.

Roughly a year ago, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) issued a consultation paper setting out its proposal to regulate equity-based crowdfunding in India. Comments were solicited from the public. Earlier this week, SEBI announced that it was working on the norms and that a decision may be taken soon.

A quick review of the SEBI paper gives us pointers to what the possible regulations could be. Under the proposed terms, three entities, namely, the crowdfunding platform, the investor, and the issuing company, would be regulated. The issuing company is restricted in terms of its size, the amount of funds to be raised and its age. The investor is restricted in terms of its accreditation, minimum net worth and, in case of eligible retail investors, the maximum investment that may be made overall or in a single crowdfunding event. Crowdfunding platforms are also restricted in terms of who may set them up and the checks and balances to be put in place.

Read the op-ed article in TH dt. 7th Jul 2015