The SEC today paved the way for a new era of venture capital investing by stating it won’t pursue enforcement action against FundersClub, whose platform lets any accredited investor fund startups in exchange for equity. Before, some thought FundersClub’s founders could face jail time for violating finance laws. FundersClub’s model could be used by others to raise capital online for startups before the JOBS Act goes fully into effect.
FundersClub is a Y Combinator-incubated startup that has raised $7 million to build its online venture capital system. Its website hosts profiles of different startups looking to raise money. Any accredited investor (someone who earns over $200,000 a year or has a net worth over $1 million) can choose to invest as little as $1,000 in startups with open rounds on FundersClub. These investors can cash out if the startup is acquired or IPOs, or if they do a stock offering on the secondary market, and FundersClub gets a cut of the money.