All of us know that the Internet has no borders. For example the US Kickstarter platform decreed the success of the Italian UDOO project for a device that brings together Arduino and Linux. Many ideas that originate from the minds of makers take shape thanks to crowdfunding, and it matters little which part of the world donations come from.
But things could change in Italy in May, when Consob (National Commission for Companies and the Stock Exchange) drafts a consultation document on the new regulation for crowdfunding directed at innovative start-ups.
When it becomes law – on the basis of the provisions of the Decree on Growth 2.0 – the Consob document will regulate the operation of crowdfunding platforms created for the purpose of raising risk capital for directly funding the launch of new start-ups in the technology sector. What is more, the Italian regulation could become the second law in the world on crowdfunding, following President Obama’s Jobs Act in 2012.
A preliminary report by Consob has already pinpointed the most important requirements that will have to be met by those crowdfunding platforms intending to manage donations destined for innovative start-ups:
- they will have to be listed on Consob’s special new register;
- they must have registered offices and corporate headquarters or, in the case of EU subjects, a permanent set-up within the territory of the Republic;
- the subjects carrying out administrative, management and control operations must meet all the professional requirements laid down by Consob.
Such stringent requirements could complicate the crowdfunding process, but it should be remembered that this regulation only concerns funding destined for start-ups. It involves, therefore, campaigns for raising funds that as a part of their remuneration also includes shareholdings in the new business (“equity-based” model). Private financiers, however, accept the risk of possibly losing their investments if things go badly.
The announcement of this new regulation was made by Consob in a press release dated 29th March. This has been followed by a month of public consultations (until 30th April) during which it is possible to comment on the actual draft.
After all is said and done, the new technology start-ups could also include – and why not – those originating from the ideas of makers. The important thing will be to choose the crowdfunding platform that is most appropriate for meeting one’s needs. As reported by Wired.it Italy has no fewer than 22 of these:
Kapipal / Eppela / Starteed / Produzioni dal Basso / Crowdfunding-Italia / De Revolutione / Com-Unity / Kendoo / Finanziami il tuo futuro / Musicraiser / Cineama / ShinyNote / Iodono / BuonaCausa / Retedeldono / Fund For Culture / Pubblico Bene / Terzo Valore / SiamoSoci / We Are Starting / Smartika / Prestiamoci