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
Despite the growth that this FinTechs have presented, the number of existing platforms that facilitate its use and the growth that is expected to have in the coming years, crowdfunding, crowdinvesting and crowdlending has not yet been utilised as a financing alternative in Costa Rica.
Obligations and requirements to provide crowdfunding, crowdinvesting and crowdlending platforms described above
In Costa Rica, there are no established laws that regulate this matter. The legal framework that is applied is related only to Law 8204 (Narcotics, Substances, Psychotropics, Drugs of Unauthorised Use, Related Activities, Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism).
This argument is due to the provisions regarding financial intermediation, stipulated by the Organic Law of the Central Bank and the public offer of securities, as well as the Securities Market Regulatory Law. In order to execute the legal provisions, it is necessary to complete a series of authorisations from SUGEF and SUVEGAL. In addition, given the usual size of crowdfunding campaigns, it would be considerably difficult to obtain permits and comply with the regulations of the regimes applicable to financial institutions, which are very complex and expensive since these permits are designed solely to regulate bank operations and collections for companies listed on the stock exchange.
Therefore, in our country there is no single and specific regulation for mass financing such as crowdfunding. If there is, however, a legal provision that regulates the economic income that is presented outside the transactional range declared by all people, Law 8204 (Law on narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances, drugs of unauthorised use, related activities, money laundering and financing of terrorism). Among these requirements is the administration of foreign legal persons. In relation to the amount that the client expects to trade (natural or legal person), they may not be higher than the range of gross income received at the time of the declaration and that has been duly documented.
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 Costa Rica, the lack of a legal and regulatory framework that allows crowdfunding in all its archetypes means that campaign promoters must go to foreign platforms and that both domestic and foreign investors only invest abroad. This causes the country to stop receiving capital flows derived from foreign investment in the country; in addition to the existence of capital that leaves Costa Rica for foreign markets.
Additional comments regarding the economic situation for crowdfunding, crowdinvesting and crowdlending platforms or what FinTech’s must be aware of in this business area