Crowd Securities Japan, an investment banking services provider, announced its Crowdbank funding service has passed the JPY6 billion ($52.7 million) mark on March 14, 2016.
Crowdbank is a P2P lending platform that launched in December 2013 and raised more than $1 million in 13 days, setting a record for Japan’s crowdfunding sector. It collects money from individuals via an internet platform, lends them to borrowers such as SMEs and NGOs needing financing, or as microloans, and pays out part of the interest to the individual investors. The Crowd Securities Japan platform lets people invest as little as JPY10 000. The company statistics shows that around 80% of the users are in the age bracket 20-50, middle class.
The Crowdbank is part of the ongoing crowdfunding trend, which has been gathering momentum in the. Besides the widely popular crowdfunding sites such as Gofundme, Kickstarter and Indiegogo, through which various projects, people and organizations seek funding for everything from innovative products, films, medical treatment, charities and dream vacations, there are also the “professional” crowd-investment platforms, such as CrowdFunder, CircleUp, EquityNet and Fundable. According to industry estimates, in 2015 such platforms generated around $2.1 billion in investments for various startups. It is expected that this year the figure will grow considerably.
Most of those crowd-investment platforms are only for accredited investors, but there are also platforms accessible to everyone. A most recent example is from this week, when the London Stock Exchange made SyndicateRoom Ltd. – a UK investor-led equity crowdfunding platform, a member of the exchange. Thus it provided access to its investors to IPOs and private share placements, which are sometimes at discounted prices, but are usually available only to institutional investors and very rich individuals. Depending on the IPO, SyndicateRoom could allow investors to put sums of a few hundred dollars into listings via its website, which offers various projects researched and backed by “professional” investors.
Crowd Securities Japan, Inc. was established in 1997 and provides investment banking service to SMEs to raise capital publicly through traded securities and by connecting them with their customers and supporters. It also offers negotiation consulting and public support for stock exchange listing; mergers and acquisitions advice to corporate clients; and private placement financing assistance, public stock offerings, and support to funding and fund bond issues.