Paul Niederer: Proposed Rules on Investment Crowdfunding “Totally Unworkable”

Paul Niederer in SingaporePaul Niederer, a crowdfunding trailblazer, has been a consistent champion of the power and potential of investment crowdfunding.  The Australian Small Scale Offerings Board or ASSOB – has been regularly referenced for its knowhow and success in raising capital for small companies.  ASSOB has raised over $140 million so they posses the wisdom born of experience. Many Aussie crowdfunding followers had expected updated rules coming this Fall to help boost the young industry but Niederer has dampened enthusiasm as he believes it is saddled with too many limitations.  This past summer recommendations on alterations to current rules were forwarded by the Corporations and Markets Advisory Committee (CAMAC) – to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.  While hope was high the end result has apparently fallen short.

Crowdfund Insider recently asked Paul what his opinion on ASICs rules – in current form and he stated;

Rumour is that there will be another round of public submissions and implementation next July or the July after.  As it stands max $2 million, no more than $10,000 per annum split over 4 companies so $2,500 per company.”
“Totally unworkable.”
When asked how supportive have regulators and politicians been in improving the environment for investment crowdfunding in Australia, Paul responded;
“Virtually non-existent.  Malaysia, New Zealand and the UK are shining examples of better practice.”

Paul NiedererNiederer has been consistent with his criticism and has recently been quoted in StartupSmart.  His opinion on hundreds of people investing a limited amount ($2500) is blunt;

“For a new startup or growth company to do a whole raise in that area, they would have to be incredibly attractive to the general public, and it’s not something I’ve seen any evidence for,” he says.

“And in reality you’ve got to look at the fact that a startup doesn’t really want hundreds of investors. And the chances of them getting it are not that high, unless they’re targeting an exit in Silicon Valley.”

“CAMAC and participants should start looking at an Australian solution rather than the best potpourri they can manage from looking around the world at ‘best practices’.”

ASSOB Regional Funding Hubs CairnsPaul does not believe there will be a lot of new entrants into the investment crowdfunding space.

Meanwhile ASSOB is presently in the process of opening up regional operations.  They are bringing their service to various cities across Australia partnering up with local organizations thus extending their reach.  They began training their first regional partnership just this week and expect 5 to 6 to be operational soon.  When asked about the possibility of ASSOB growing outside of Australia, Paul confirmed they are already working with a group in Singapore.


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