Category: Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding: The Crowdfunding Act amends Section 4 of the Securities Act of 1933 (the Securities Act) to create a new exemption to the registration requirements of Section 5 of the Securities Act. The new exemption allows Issuers to solicit “crowds” to sell up to $1 million in securities as long as no individual investment exceeds certain threshold amounts…

Dec032013

Proposed Crowdfunding Rules – Part II

As required by Title III of the JOBS Act, on October 23, 2013, the SEC has published proposed crowdfunding rules.  The SEC has dubbed the new rules “Regulation Crowdfunding.” The entire text of the rule release is available on the SEC website.

Background

Crowdfunding generally is where an entity or individual raises funds by seeking small contributions from a large number of people.  The crowdfunder sets a goal amount to be raised from the crowd with the funds to be used for a specific business purpose.  In addition, a crowdfunding campaign allows the crowd to communicate with each other, thus adding the benefit of the “wisdom of the crowd.”  Small businesses can particularly benefit from crowdfunding as they are not limited by

Nov192013

Proposed Crowdfunding Rules – Part I

As required by Title III of the JOBS Act, on October 23, 2013, the SEC has published proposed crowdfunding rules.  The SEC has dubbed the new rules “Regulation Crowdfunding.” The entire text of the rule release is available on the SEC website.

Background

Crowdfunding generally is where an entity or individual raises funds by seeking small contributions from a large number of people.  The crowdfunder sets a goal amount to be raised from the crowd with the funds to be used for a specific business purpose.  In addition, a crowdfunding campaign allows the crowd to communicate with each other, thus adding the benefit of the “wisdom of the crowd.”  Small businesses can particularly benefit from crowdfunding as they are not limited by restrictions on general solicitation and advertising or purchaser qualification requirements.

Title III of the JOBS Act, called the Crowdfund Act, amends Section 4 of the Securities Act of 1933 (the Securities Act), adding new Section 4(a)(6) to

Sep102013

State Crowdfunding Using Intrastate Offerings and Rule 147

The SEC has yet to publish proposed rules under Title III of the JOBS Act – the Crowdfunding Act.  The Crowdfunding Act amends Section 4 by of the Securities Act of 1933 (the Securities Act) to create a new exemption to the registration requirements of Section 5 of the Securities Act.  The new exemption allows Issuers to solicit “crowds” to sell up to $1 million in securities as long as no individual investment exceeds certain threshold amounts.

The threshold amount sold to any single investor cannot exceed (a) the greater of $2,000 or 5% of the annual income or net worth of such investor, if their annual income or net worth is less than $100,000; and (b) 10% of the annual

Jul162013

New SEC Rules Have Eliminated the Prohibition Against General Solicitation and Advertising in Rules 506 and 144A Offerings

In a historic 4-1 vote on July 10, 2013, the SEC has adopted final rules eliminating the prohibition against general solicitation and advertising in Rules 506 and 144A offerings as required by Title II of the JOBS Act.  On the same day, the SEC adopted amendments to Rule 506 to disqualify “felons and bad actors” from participating in Rule 506 offerings.  This blog discusses the rules eliminating the prohibition against general solicitation and advertising.  A separate blog will discuss the felon and bad actor disqualifications.

The SEC has also adopted modifications to Form D to require Issuers to specify if they are conducting an offering that permits general solicitation and advertising and to change the required time of filing the Form D for

Jun192013

Crowdfunding Using Regulation A? Yes, You Can- Right Now!

As everyone waits for the SEC to begin rule making on Title III of the JOBS Act, a few innovative entrepreneurs are using Regulation A as a vehicle to crowdfund today.Although the procedure, as described in this blog, is not the crowdfunding procedure that will be implemented under Title III of the JOBS Act, it does allow for the use of social media and the Internet to solicit and obtain equity investment funds from the general population including unaccredited investors, of a particular state or states.

Moreover, the laws that allow for this method of fundraising are not new.The vehicle of choice is Regulation A—the existing Regulation A, not the new Regulation A+, which will be implemented under Title IV of the JOBS Act. Using Regulation A to offer securities involves the time and expense of a registered offering; however, the registered securities are free trading and may be offered to unaccredited investors.Regulation A does not preempt state

Mar112013

NASDAQ To Acquire Sharepost And Create The NASDAQ Private Exchange

NASDAQ acquires Sharepost

On Wednesday March 6, 2013, NASDAQ surprised the small cap and investment community when it announced it is acquiring Sharepost’s private company market place (PCMP) exchange and rebranding it the Nasdaq Private Exchange.

In December, 2011, I wrote a few blogs on PCMPs.  A PCMP is a trading platform, such as SharePost or SecondMarket that provides a market place for illiquid restricted securities, such as private company securities, 144 stock, debt instruments, warrants, and the like or alternative assets.  It is on a PCMP that pre-IPO Facebook, Groupon and LInkedin received their trading start.  Following the IPO of these large entities, and in particular Facebook, traffic and use of PCMP sites declines, but NASDAQ clearly believes the decline is temporary, and I agree.

Private Company Market Places

Each PCMP offers a fully automated back office, documentation, escrow, transfer and settlement support. Users open trading accounts, like they would with any other broker dealer.  The PCMP provider collects

Feb272013

Implementation Of The Elimination Of The Prohibition Against Advertising For Private Accredited Investor Offerings And The Crowdfunding Act, Continues To Be Delayed

The annual “SEC Speaks” conference, in which Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) representatives review the agency’s efforts over the past year and preview the year to come, was held on February 22-23, 2013.

During the conference the SEC laid out the numerous items on its agenda for the year to come and beyond.  The list included the careful implementation of the various titles of the JOBS Act, including Title II and Title III.

Title II of the JOBS Act provides that the SEC will amend Section 4(2) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Regulation D promulgated there under, to eliminate the prohibition on general solicitation and general advertising in a Rule 506 offering, so long as all purchasers in such offering are accredited investors.  Although on August 29, 2012 the SEC published proposed rules implementing Title II, those rules have been met with numerous comments and opposition and it is entirely unclear how the SEC shall proceed. 

Nov272012

Mary Schapiro to Be Replaced By Elisse Walter as Head of SEC

President Obama has chosen Elise Walter to temporarily head the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) when Mary Schapiro steps down next month.  With Mary Schapiro leaving and Walter, a current commissioner stepping up, the SEC will be run by only one acting chairman and two other commissioners.  This means that the already delayed rule making for both the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act and the Jumpstart our Business Startups Act (JOBS) are likely to be further delayed.

The already taxed SEC will be headed by a small and temporary team.  Accordingly, it is the popular belief among experts that rule making will continue at a snail’s pace and that no major reform or policy changes should be expected.

Ms. Walter was originally appointed to the SEC by President George W. Bush in 2008 and has worked alongside Mary Schapiro both at the SEC and FINRA prior to both joining the SEC.  Moreover, Walter served as acting chairman after the departure

Oct042012

CROWDFUNDING FROM A TO Z

As the expected deadline for the SEC to publish rules and regulations enacting the Crowdfunding Act (Title III of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act)) grows nearer, it is a good time for a complete overview of crowdfunding.  New Sections 4(6) and 4A of the Securities Act of 1933 codify the crowdfunding exemption and its various requirements as to Issuers and intermediaries.  The SEC is in the process of drafting the underlying rules and regulations which will implement these new statutory provisions.

A. WHAT IS CROWDFUNDING?

The Crowdfunding Act amends Section 4 of the Securities Act of 1933 (the Securities Act) to create a new exemption to the registration requirements of Section 5 of the Securities Act.  The new exemption allows Issuers to solicit “crowds” to sell up to $1 million in securities as long as no individual investment exceeds certain threshold amounts.

The threshold amount sold to any single investor cannot exceed (a) the greater of $2,000

Sep042012

Proposed Rules Eliminating the Prohibition Against General Solicitation and Advertising in Rules 506 and 144A Offerings – Part I

As required by Title II of the JOBS Act, the SEC has published proposed rules eliminating the prohibition against general solicitation and advertising in Rules 506 and 144A offerings.  In a move that is widely supported by legal practitioners, including the Federal Regulation of Securities Committee of the Business Law Section of the American Bar Association, the SEC has proposed simple modifications to Regulation D and Rule 144A mirroring the JOBS Act requirement.  In fact, in the rule release the SEC states that it is “proposing only those rule and form amendments that are, in our view, necessary to implement the mandate” in the JOBS Act.  The entire text of the rule release is available on the SEC website.

This Part I discussed the proposed amendments to Rule 506, Regulation D offerings.

Background

Title II of the JOBS Act, requires the SEC to amend Rule 506 of Regulation D to permit general solicitation and advertising in offerings under Rule