Florence De Maupeou of FPF Discusses European Crowdfunding, Forthcoming Event in Paris

Financement Participatif France (FPF) is the association that represents the investment crowdfunding industry in France. With the advent of ECSPR or European Crowdfunding Services Provider Regulation, the industry of online capital formation has pushed into the second stage of securities crowdfunding.  Under the new EU rules, a platform may sell securities across all EU member states, raising up to €5 million in a year. This change will be transformational for the industry while aligning with the concept of the single market. As France is the second largest economy in the EU, it is home to many platforms and is well-positioned to benefit from these new rules.

Next week, the FPF will host an online capital formation-focused event called the Place to Crowd, which positions itself as the European event for crowdfunding.

CI will be present at the event, and this week we connected with FPF Director Florence de Maupeou for an update on the Place to Crowd and the industry in general. We asked de Maupeou about what type of attendance she anticipates for the event. She shared that they have been able to bring together crowdfunding ecosystem players from all around Europe for the Place to Crowd, including, Estateguru (Estonia), Seedblink (Romania), Mintos (Latvia), Oneplanetcrowd & Lendahand (The Netherlands), Klear (Bulgaria), Bergfürst & Exporo (Germany), CrowdFundMe & Walliance (Italy), Seedrs (UK), AngelHub (Hong Kong)… But also technology service providers, lawyers, regulators, …

The topics that will be addressed at the event include; Europeanisation, scaling your startup, taxation, renewable energy, real estate, dealing with the risks…as well as ten workshops.

We asked her about ESCPR and how the rules are progressing as the deadline for compliance is November 2023 – extended for a year from the original November 2022.

“Indeed, it is one of the main subjects of this event: to understand how crowdfunding platforms are doing in their application for the ECSP license, if there are specific issues or requirements from the national regulator… At the end, the question to answer is: “Is there a pan-European regulation or as many interpretations of the rules as there are European countries?”

So where do we stand today? de Maupeou said that only 18 licenses have been delivered so far, including platforms in the following EU countries.

  • 7 in The Netherlands
  • 4 in France
  • 4 in Spain
  • 1 in Belgium
  • 1 in Romania
  • 1 in Latvia

She said that platforms need to hurry, adding that the observation – at least in France – is it is a cumbersome procedure, with requirements that sometimes go beyond the European Regulation and are not justified with regard to the activity carried out by the platforms.

“In addition, in France, platforms can raise up to €8 million per project with the current national status. They are, therefore, not always in a hurry to obtain ECSP status.”

As each EU member state must create its own requirements for a platform to be approved under ECSPR, we inquired if there was one jurisdiction that could be more competitive, offering a more streamlined approval process. She said that this should not be a question as the harmonisation of the regulations should be the same for all European jurisdictions, stating there “should be no competition between jurisdictions.”

So are they any requirements under ECSPR that need to be improved? Like, perhaps, the funding cap. de Maupeou said the conflict-of-interest rules impose restrictions that are too strict and sometimes unsuited to the platform’s business model. She said it must be reviewed in light of existing practices. Clarifications must be made to ensure that the requirements are proportional to the activity of the platforms. The maximum amount that can be raised obviously needs to be increased.

 

 


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