There’s been a lot of chatter about the April 5 signing of the JOBS Act. Most people in the startup community are especially excited about the possibility of offering equity via crowdfunding platforms.
What many have missed in all the exultation is that, while it’s easier to offer equity, the standards for investors have risen. It’s now more difficult and invasive to prove you’re an accredited investor, but companies have to take “reasonable steps” to ensure their investors are accredited. This means more intrusive questions that few investors are willing to answer.
As Richard Rodman, CEO of Crowdentials, puts it: “There are two sides to this ruling. On one side, the bar for advertising has been lowered. On the flip side, the bar for verifying accredited investors has been raised dramatically.“
Crowdentials is on top of the new problem. This week they launched the Certified Accredited Investors (CAI) program. The program will use a simple form and third parties to verify that an investor is accredited. After that, they will certify that the investor is accredited. No need for every crowdfunding platform to have access to your bank statements or tax records. The program is secured by multiple passwords, randomly generated IDs, and pages that expire within a certain amount of time.
“Transparency with privacy” is the goal of the new program.
Crowdfunding platforms that expect a big need can license the technology based on monthly requests. Individual companies can use the service just once or twice for a smaller fee.
Crowdentials is accelerating at the new FlashStarts accelerator in Cleveland. Investors, crowdfunding platforms, and statups can check out the new program on their website. Below is an infographic explaining how it all works.