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
Crowdfunding is now a well-established channel for raising early-stage capital in New Zealand, with a number of providers. Like other FinTech ventures, it falls under the purview of the FMA.
Specific provisions have been made in NZ’s Financial Markets Conduct Act to allow these providers to raise capital without the formality of a fully regulated offer of securities with a product disclosure statement.
Obligations and requirements to provide crowdfunding, crowdinvesting and crowdlending platforms described above
Providers must register as Financial Service Providers in accordance with the FSPA with the associated costs as outlined at 1.a. ii. above.
Providers of equity crowdfunding platforms must apply for an equity-based crowd funding service licence. The fee for applying for this licence is $6,238.75 (GST inclusive but plus any applicable levies).
Issuers of equity securities can raise up to $2 million in any rolling 12-month period without having to issue a product disclosure statement (PDS).
Peer to peer lending services (where the provider is not acting as the lender), do not need to be licenced. However, as they are a market service under the FMCA, providers can opt to apply for one if, among other things, they ensure each borrower does not raise more than $2 million in any rolling 12-month period. One benefit of being licensed is being exempt from the PDS obligations.
Additional comments regarding the legal situation for crowdfunding, crowdinvesting and crowdlending platforms or what FinTech’s must be aware of in this business area
As noted above, smaller platforms are exempt from having to provide a PDS. In some cases, drafting a compliant PDS can be quite onerous.
Market size for crowdfunding, crowdinvesting and crowdlending platforms and biggest companies in this business area
There is insufficient publicly available information to answer this question with specific details on market shares and revenues.
As of 2020, there were 6 crowdfunding platforms in New Zealand licensed by the FMA. The FMA has stated that nearly $100 million were raised through crowdfunding in the years 2017 and 2018 alone.
Additional comments regarding the economic situation for crowdfunding, crowdinvesting and crowdlending platforms or what FinTech’s must be aware of in this business area