Impact investing crowdfunding platform Social Venture Connexion (SVX) rang the bell last week on the Toronto Stock Exchange, thus officially launching their new platform. The Ontario Securities Commission had issued an “exemptive relief order” earlier this year to allow the non-profit entity SVX to sell securities via their crowdfunding platform. The platform is designed to raise capital for social or environmental “impact issues”.
The platform simultaneously announced its first round of social and environmental impact issuers representing a diverse range of geographies, sectors and corporate structures. The ventures, all from Ontario, hail from Toronto, Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Kingston and Ottawa in sectors ranging from affordable housing and non-profit finance to sustainable fashion, organic food and renewable energy.
They include the rainbow of corporate structures, including non-profits, for-profits, co-operatives and charities. Collectively, they are looking to raise over $100 million in financing from local accredited investors.
The impact investing ecosystem in Canada continues to grow and challenges remain, but the 12 offerings raising funds on the system were viewed with excitement as indicative of the demand for this type of private platform.
- There is deal flow in Ontario. One of the biggest challenges in the impact investing marketplace has been the limited investment pipeline. These 12 impact issuers demonstrate that there is deal flow for interested, local impact investors to consider.
- There is a single access point for impact ventures, funds and investors to connect. Another key challenge in the Canadian impact investing marketplace is intermediation. There is finally a trusted, registered place for parties to connect.
- We can build on this momentum. Over the first year, we hope to register 30 issuers and 100 investors, and mobilize $2.5 million in capital for at least 10 ventures and funds on the platform.
The list of initial organizations on the SVX portal included:
- Community Forward Fund
- The Fair Trade Jewelry Company
- Frontenac Community Mental Health and Addiction Services
- Homestead Organics
- ZooShare Biogas Co-operative