I’ve been following the ebb and flow of commentary on Regulation CF since news broke in October that the U.S. would finally get legalized equity crowdfunding.
Lately this commentary has been ebbing way more than flowing and the sense I get is that most people in the industry hold the view that as it stands now, Regulation CF might not be workable in any kind of grand way as anticipated.
Let’s face it. There are so many limitations, requirements, and costs associated with a Regulation CF offering that it’s fair to wonder if equity crowdfunding may be dead on arrival.
Last week I attended the CfPA Summit in Washington, D.C. For the uninitiated, this annual event is run by the Crowdfunding Professionals Association and attracts a who’s who to discuss, debate, and openly bitch about regulation.
I sat in on most of the presentations and what I found so interesting was that there was less talk about crowdfunding at a crowdfunding conference then there was talk about Reg A, Rule 506(c), real estate, and even traditional private placement marketing. Think about that for a second.
The event was very worthwhile and the networking was great. But the fact that more lip service was given to Reg A than crowdfunding speaks volumes about public opinion within this niche market. It just feels like all the excitement and enthusiasm about crowdfunding has culminated in a great big collective yawn.
Like many in the industry, I’m still extremely optimistic about equity crowdfunding in the long term. What does “long term” mean? I obviously have no idea. It took three years to get Reg CF. Maybe three more until it’s fixed?
Attendance at the CfPA event consisted primarily of service providers working in the fields of finance or Internet marketing/advertising. Like most of these guys (heck, I am one of these guys) I tend to get very “in the weeds” with all of this stuff.
Debating what amounts to legal minutiae, regurgitating jargon on jargon, and trying to predict trends that will ultimately impact my own good fortune based on my ability to provide services to others.
And so it helps me to just step back, take off the hat I wear as a service provider, and consider whether I will actually invest in crowdfunded deals as they will exist under Reg CF. In other words: Will I put my money where my mouth is?
It’s with this in mind that I’m running a one-question, yes-or-no type survey. All responses are anonymous. I’ll report on the macro results next week.