CrowdFundMe, the Italian crowdfunding equity portal listed on Aim Italia since March 2019, has just been authorized by Consob to place bonds to retail investors. The news was expected for months, since CrowdFundMe had submitted an application for the placement of debt securities to Consob in November 2019.
In order to ensure maximum transparency and increase the quality of information on companies choosing to issue minibonds, CrowdFundMe has entered into a partnership with the Italian fintech rating agency Modefinance, which will provide an independent rating on the issues.
CrowdFundMe has, therefore, become the third accredited portal in Italy for the issue and subscription of minibonds, immediately after Fundera (Frigiolini & Partners Merchant Group), authorized last January and Opstart, also authorized this month.
If you want to find out more details on how CrowdFundMe has become the third accredited portal in Italy to issue minibonds and to find out the latest economic news, download for free the Born2Invest mobile app.
Hal Service, ExtraMot Pro3 and i-RFK in CrowdfundMe’s pipeline
In the pipeline for CrowdFundMe there are the minibond issues on ExtraMot Pro3 (of which CrowdFundMe is authorized as sponsor list), by Hal Service and Innovative RFK (i-RFK). The former is an IT and telecommunications company that provides connectivity services and technological and organizational consulting to institutions, private and public companies.
Hal Service will launch a bond loan in June 2020, with a funding target of $1.1 million (€1 million). Based in Borgosesia (Vercelli), it has 15,000 active customers, and since 2006 it has been distributing wireless broadband, wired, fiber optic, and web services with its own WIC network. In 2019, the company recorded revenues of $4.7 million (€4.2 million), compared to $4.3 million (€3.9 million) in 2018, with an Ebitda margin of 14.6% and an estimated turnover of $5.9 million (€5.3 million) for 2020. Given its activity, the company was not impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
i-RFK will issue minibonds with a maximum collection target of $5.6 million (€5 million) in the coming months. Innovative-RFK (i-RFK) spa was founded in 2017 by Paolo Pescetto, Massimo Laccisaglia and Andrea Rossotti, backed by the experience of Red-Fish Kapital, a company operating in the field of private equity investments with investments of around $56 million (€50 million) in club deal mode.
The company invests in innovative startups with a positive track record both in terms of turnover and profit, already mature and which could be listed at Aim, at multiples of Ebitda equal to 5-7 times, with an average investment ticket of $560,000 – $2.24 million (€500,000 – €2 million). The company positions itself halfway between private equity and venture capital, similar to the StarTip vehicle of Tamburi Investment Partners.
i-RFK was listed on Euronext Access last December 27th, 2019, closing the last step of the crowd listing process started in September 2019 with an equity crowdfunding campaign on the CrowdFundMe platform, which raised $2.8 million (€2.5 million), equal to 23.5% of the capital.
The new crowdfunding regulations
The placement of private debt on the crowdfunding platforms was made possible by the 2019 Budget Law. The law introduced the possibility for the platforms to host campaigns to raise debt instruments issued by SMEs, although they can only be subscribed by professional investors. In comparison with what is provided for the shares of capital on offer in the campaigns to raise venture capital.
In particular, the Financial Statements Law has introduced the new paragraph 1-ter to article 100-ter of the TUF, which provides that the subscription of bonds or debt securities is reserved to professional investors and to particular categories of investors identified by Consob. It is carried out in a different section of the portal from that in which the raising of risk capital takes place.
Consob published on June 20th, last year, for public consultation, a proposal to amend the Regulation on equity crowdfunding to incorporate the new regulations introduced by the 2019 Financial Statements Act. Following the consultation, Consob amended the regulation.
In the new version of Article 24, paragraph 2-quarter of the Regulation, Consob specified that the managers of online capital raising portals must ensure that “the subscription of bonds and debt securities is reserved, within the limits established by the Italian Civil Code (and therefore excluding LLCs, editor’s note), not only to professional investors, but also to the persons indicated in paragraph 2 (incubators, banking foundations and professional investors on request, editor’s note), and to non-professional investors who have a value of the portfolio of instruments referred to in the Consolidated Act, including cash deposits, in excess of two hundred and fifty thousand euros as well as to other non-professional investors.”
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First published in Crowdfunding Buzz, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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