Joanna Schwartz, CEO of the Miami-based equity crowdfunding platform EarlyShares, recently sat down with the Miami Herald Newspaper to discussing the crowdfunding industry and which direction she believe its heading.
Founded in 2011, EarlyShares is an equity crowdfunding platform that is ready to transform how capital is allocated to small businesses in the U.S. It considers itself the funding website of the future and is where small investments ignite big ideas.
Also discussing Title III, which was presented earlier this year for non-accredited investors, Schwartz noted in the past that while EarlyShares is fully ready for the new rules, it is not happy with the final guidelines and will remain a platform for accredited investors. “We’re good. We like to say we are Title III agnostic. This is too good of an opportunity we are sitting on, we are really early in the growth cycle. We’re in the first hit of the first inning of the first game of the season. If you think about it, 80 years of regulation has been undone only two quarters ago. Granted we are in an age of super fast adoption, but private capital raising is a $2 trillion industry.”
During her interview with the Miami Herald, Schwartz added, “I came to EarlyShares with a lot of enthusiasm for Title III, but we’ve shifted our focus entirely to Title II. Title II (which allows general solicitation) not only gives entrepreneurs a valuable new way to raise capital, it poses huge opportunities for accredited investors. Individual investors were largely barred from participating in the private finance market for 80 years under U.S. securities laws. The ability for them to now find and fund private deals is unprecedented and is opening up exciting new avenues for high-potential investments.”
“Title III could be completely transformative if it’s implemented the right way by the SEC — and EarlyShares would welcome the opportunity to bring more individuals into the private investing community — but the initial rules have too many challenges as proposed. I don’t foresee the SEC implementing Title III within the next few months, but EarlyShares will only offer Title III opportunities if the rules are modified to be more advantageous for investors and issuers.”
In regards to EarlyShares’ next move, Schwartz said, “EarlyShares’ recent expansion into real estate has proven extremely popular with our investors because these deals offer them cash flow, returns and appealing investment horizons. We look forward to growing our roster of active, quality commercial real estate deals and announcing some strong new partnerships in that vertical.”