Crowdfunding / crowdinvesting / crowdlending
FinTechs belonging to this category operate crowdfunding, crowdinvesting and crowdlending platforms on which money is raised to invest in various projects, mainly start-up companies and real estate projects.
Crowdfunding is not a defined financial service, but generally used to describe donation-based crowdfunding (the investor donates the money to the project), reward-based crowdfunding (the investor receives an often symbolic consideration for his investment), equity-based crowdfunding (crowdinvesting: the investor participates in the profits of the financed project or acquires shares or debt instruments) or lending-based crowdfunding (crowdlending: the investor is reimbursed at the end of the project with or without interest).
Attitude of the country towards crowdfunding, crowdinvesting and crowdlending platforms
The crowdfunding mechanism has become increasingly common, standing out in markets such as real estate, among others, where it is presented as an investment alternative. However, since its inception, Cumplo (a crowdlending company) has been resisted by the formal financial system. As soon as its operations began in 2012, the Superintendence of Banks and Financial Institutions (succeeded by the CMF), claimed that Cumplo was entering the banking business (which is prohibited by Law) as it aimed to raise funds from third parties and grant credits. However, this claim was finally dismissed.
Obligations and requirements to provide crowdfunding, crowdinvesting and crowdlending platforms described above
Assuming that the FinTechs will only provide a platform whereby entities seeking funding directly contact and receive the funds from potential investors, there is no specific regulation regarding FinTechs in this line of business. Accordingly, and apart from general rules applicable to service providers (such as initiation of activities before the Chilean Internal Revenue Service), there generally are no specific license, minimum capital, or solvency requirements.
However, during the past years, lending-based crowdfunding has received questioning from the banks and other financial institutions claiming that they are intervening in the banking business (by way of accepting money from the general public on a recurring basis), which by law is reserved to banks. Legal actions were filed against a specific crowdfunding FinTech (“Cumplo”).
In the case of crowdinvesting, it should be carefully analysed whether it constitutes a case of non-registered securities offerings, which are penalised by law.
Additional comments regarding the legal situation for crowdfunding, crowdinvesting and crowdlending platforms or what FinTech’s must be aware of in this business area
Market size for crowdfunding, crowdinvesting and crowdlending platforms and biggest companies in this business area
In terms of the types of markets where FinTech companies compete, the Crowdfunding segment has a 5% share of the start-ups identified (nine (9) start-ups) .
Information regarding revenues, realised fundings and investors is not readily available.
Additional comments regarding the economic situation for crowdfunding, crowdinvesting and crowdlending platforms or what FinTech’s must be aware of in this business area