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What the U.S. Can Learn From the Netherlands About Equity Crowdfunding

U.S. regulators are tied up in knots trying to figure out how to write the laws for equity crowdfunding to prevent fraud. Perhaps they ought to take a page from the Dutch. In the Netherlands, equity crowdfunding from unaccredited investors has been legal for the better part of three years. “The Netherlands are really a frontrunner in equity-based crowdfunding,” Korstiaan Zandvliet, the co-founder of Symbid, said at the Massolution crowdsourcing conference in New York City last week. Korstiaan Zandvliet is the co-founder of equity crowdfunding platform Symbid.com, which has funded 23 startups with more than 2 million euros. Image credit: Symbid.com Symbid is an equity-crowdfunding platform headquartered in the Netherlands that has been in existence since 2011. The platform has funded 23 startups, raising more than 2 million euros ($2.7 million) from over 15,000 unaccredited investors, according to Zandvliet. “We tend to have a bit of experience,” he says. Equity crowdfunding is when a company raises capital by selling small pieces of equity to a large number of investors. This differs from donation-based crowdfunding – made popular by sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo — whereby a company collects small donations from a large number of people and, in exchange, gives […]

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