When President Obama signed the JOBS Act last April, one of the most controversial and potentially far-reaching provisions was giving startups the ability to raise money through crowdfunding. Private companies would be able to sell shares to all manner of individual investors for the first time. Currently you need to be an “accredited investor” (a high net-worth individual) to buy private company stock through angel rounds or electronic platforms such as SecondMarket and SharesPost. But the JOBS Act will open that up to anybody as soon as the SEC hammers out the rules by early next year. Deciding exactly what those rules should be, however, is far from a straightforward task. The SEC must protect investors without prematurely cutting off this new source of capital for startups.
Via Berend de Jonge