After Six Months, Mixed Sentiment On Crowdfunding In Italy

glassup-sportyIn June of 2013, we published a breakdown of equity crowdfunding in Europe. At the time, there was a lot of hype surrounding recent developments out of Italy, where the country’s regulatory body (CONSOB) was mulling over implementing rules for equity crowdfunding. It turns out there was some fire to that smoke, because Italy has now followed through on that rumor.

Six months on, Tim Wright and Daniela Castrataro – the duo behind Twintangibles – have posted a breakdown of early crowdfunding activity in Italy. The reaction is mixed.

On one hand, platforms have stepped in to meet demand on behalf of issuers starting with StarsUp and followed by Unicaseed. However, that is it. Two platforms. Wright and Castrataro dug into the why of that reality…

To try to understand what was happening and why there seemed to be such a delay we had a chat with some of the aspiring equity portal managers. What we found that key issues are – perhaps predictably – compliance issues and satisfying these requirements and translating the articles of the regulation into a real portal. It’s also worth remembering that these embryonic platforms are, in many cases, startups, and funding the costs associated with compliance can certainly take time. Many commentators in the media translate this delay into a message of “the regulation is too rigid” but the protagonists don’t always share this view, even those that are finding the approval process quite a protracted and painful one. On the question whether it’s easy to become an equity-based crowdfunding platform or not, the general answer was ‘no’ and it was generally answered with another question: Should it be?

Note that GlassUp – an Italian startup – chose Seedrs as their crowdfunding platform. Perhaps that speaks to the state of things in Italy. Promising, but in need of a jolt.

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