最有看点的互联网金融门户

最有看点的互联网金融门户
国际资讯

CrowdBank创始人解析日本众筹

英国、新西兰、法国或者其他国家的股权众筹监管受到的关注已经很多了,而其实还有一个国家一直在默默地推动着它的众筹监管发展,那就是日本。事实上,日本内阁最近批准了一项新法案,这将为股权众筹在日本的进一步发展铺平道路。

为了进一步了解日本众筹行业的现状,我们通过邮件方式联系到了众筹平台CrowdBank 、Crowd Securities Japan的Kaz Ohmae。他告诉了我们他的公司如何起步,并且重点介绍了以上提到的最新法案会使行业产生怎样的变化。

请向大家介绍一下您的背景还有CrowdBank的创意是如何产生的。

我于90年代在一家商业银行开始自己的职业生涯,随后在1997年遭遇了金融危机。我所在的银行破产了,当时这给存款人和借款人都造成了许多的麻烦。

1999至2000年,我在英国的商学院读书的时候,互联网行业繁荣起来。在英国,我见证了许多传统的行业面临来自互联网领域的新挑战者,然后我意识到自己也想要将这种颠覆带到零售金融领域。我加入了Softbank的金融部门,这家公司预见到了互联网将会给金融服务带来的强大动力。在那里我从事一项在线银行的项目,这个项目让我更加坚信互联网将会成为一个非常强力的行业变局者。但是我认为在线银行的创新性还不够,因为它还是处于银行牌照的监管中。然后,社交网络与P2P借贷的旋风开始席卷全球。在2009年,我加入了一个致力于在日本实现这项事业的国际团队。

我们从行业的先行者,如Zopa, LendingClub身上学到了许多,并且我们发起了AQUSH项目。社交化借贷引发了互联网热衷者和记者的许多讨论,这一行业也有相当的发展。但是它并没有上升到英国和美国一样的水平。同时,2011年3月份日本发生的大地震和海啸影响了数百万人的生活。

那次的事件更加突出了在联结闲散资金与那些急切需要筹资人们的过程中众筹的强大和有效性。捐献类和回报类的众筹进一步发展。作为一个投资类众筹平台的运营商,那时我处于旁观的状态,因为投资类众筹对于灾难救助活动并不适用。但是我发现在利用众筹作为更好利用个人资金方式的方面日本人的观念开始变化了。

然后,我觉得这就是个好时机把借贷和权益类众筹定位为其他类型众筹之外的替代投资方式了。我的团队和我决定重新开始一项全新的服务:CrowdBank。

请简短地介绍一下CrowdBank是做什么的?

这是一个在线的借贷平台,个人投资者和储蓄者可以把他们的钱放到我们这里来,我们负责向中小企业放贷,年利率大概在4到5个百分点。CrowdBank(在拥有证券运营牌照的Crowd Securities Japan下运营)允许投资者购买借贷基金,这些基金面向地方的中小企业,发展中国家的小微金融机构,房地产投资、可再生能源项目等等。投资者可以选择他们想要进行投资的项目。

你们的盈利模式是什么样的呢?

我们从投资者上抽取成功投资费,从借贷方收取管理费。我们的借贷项目越成功,我们盈利就越多。

到目前为止你们筹资的项目成功过吗?如果有的话,有多少家,筹资又有多大数额呢?

我们曾在3周内为缅甸的一个小微贷款项目筹集超过100万美元的资金,还为一个iPhone应用开发者筹集了营运资本。总筹资额现在已经超过200万美元。

与Crowd Securities Japan之间的合作关系允许CrowdBank可以做什么?本质上可以将它视为CrowdBank的一家经纪商/交易商吗?

Crowd Securities Japan是一家有牌照许可的经纪交易商,它运营着CrowdBank。最初它是一家小型的投资类银行商店,在90年代末专注于为非上市公司提供股权投资方案。我们把它视为股权众筹的先驱。我们接管了这家公司,并把它改造为众筹的运营商,并将它更名为Crowd Securities Japan, 以彰显它的新使命。

我们相信我们应该是专注于众筹项目的公司中唯一一家有牌照许可的经纪商。证券经纪商从事众筹的独到之处是,投资者都可以拥有属于自己的交易账号,并以此来管理自己的资金,投资他们感兴趣的项目,回收投资的收益,并且买卖未上市中小企业的股份。将来,我们的客户能够捐献他们的资金并且参与到回报型众筹项目中来。CrowdBank的另外一个优势是它是一家由监管当局严格监督的证券经纪商,这对于投资人来说也是一种心理上的安慰。

日本的股权众筹监管环境是什么样的?股票发行者可以利用广告向大众宣传吗?受信投资者和非受信投资者之间有没有区别?

日本的监管当局,金融服务局(FSA),也在紧密关注着美国和英国的众筹实行情况,刚刚在近期日本内阁通过了日本版的"JOBS法案"以解除对于股权募资的限制。目前,私有公司在向公众广告宣传募资方面仍然受到限制,但是在修订法规实施之后,企业可以向公众在线募资不超过100万美元,这与美国的乔布斯法案相像。我们当然也有受信投资者和非受信投资者的区分,但是金融服务局(FSA)一直意图在鼓励更多的众筹运营商加入到行业,与保护公众投资者遭受潜在欺诈两者之间保持平衡,也将会允许所有人参与到股权众筹融资中来。但是投资金额将被限制在不超过5000美元。

对于面向大众的众筹或是监管机构有许多的争论吗?

对于JOBS法案的报道在各种媒体被反复提及,在网络社区上亦是如此,但是,只有去年放宽股权众筹管制成为安倍首相为刺激经济增长而推行的一项主要施政方针(俗称为安倍经济学)时,它才吸引了广泛大众的关注,首相把众筹视为向中小企业提供风险资金的渠道之一。

日本的个人金融资产已经达到15万亿美元(仅次于美国),其中现金和存款数额达8万亿美元,这个数字在世界上位列第一。换一种说法,日本人是世界上现金最充裕的人群。首相想要充分利用这些资产以促使经济复苏,而不是依赖于纳税人。正如上文所说,内阁批准通过的法律修正案即将于本月在议会上讨论,这成为了金融消息的头条。当新的监管条例付诸实施时,我们也被广泛认为是其中主要的潜在利益相关者。

如果有的话,你希望政府实施什么样的监管政策改变以促进股权众筹的发展呢?

日本政府已经采取了如上所述的措施来促进权益类众筹的发展,主要的监管变化包括:

放宽准入门槛

现在,相关规定要求必须有牌照的证券经纪商才能处理股权交易,但是新立法会为专注股权众筹的运营商创立新的类别,并降低资金的要求。

投资限额

新的监管规定投资者至多可以在权益类投资5000美元。

股权众筹运营商和发行企业责任

新的监管政策将会强化众筹运营商和发行企业责任,通过数据披露使投资者尽可能地了解相关信息。

你觉得还有我们读者需要知道的关于众筹以及CrowdBank的其他事情吗?

日本在众筹领域一直相对神秘,但是我相信它会成为众筹独一无二的示例,因为日本拥有庞大的金融资产,并且大地震提醒大部分日本人应该更明智更有意义地使用资金。经历灾难之后,许多日本人以及海外人士开展行动,提供衣服、电力和资金援助遭受地震和海啸的人们。我认为灾难期间的理念已经植入了日本人民的心中,他们已经做好参与众筹的准备。

总之,我们有1.23亿人民,8万亿美元现金,还有对众筹开放性的理念。在不久的将来,日本没有理由不会成为全世界最活跃的众筹国家。为了充分利用这些机会的优势,CrowdBank从借贷型众筹着手,力争成为为对众筹感兴趣的个人投资者提供一站式服务的机构。

 

There's been a lot of attention on equity crowdfunding regulation in the UK, New Zealand, France, and elsewhere, but one country that's quietly working on its own crowdfunding rules is Japan. Indeed, the cabinet recently approved a bill that paves the way forward for equity crowdfunding to take root.

To find out a little more about the existing crowdfunding industry in Japan, we reached out via email to Kaz Ohmae of CrowdBank, a crowdfunding platform, and Crowd Securities Japan. He told us about how his companies got their start, and highlights some of the changes in the bill mentioned above makes.

Tell us a little about your background and how the idea for CrowdBank came about.

I started my career at a commercial bank in the 90s and encountered the financial crisis in 1997. My bank went bankrupt, which caused lots of troubles to depositors and borrowers.

Whilst I went to business school in England in 1999-2000, the dot-com boom came. In the UK, I witnessed many incumbent businesses being rattled by new challengers from online space, and realized I wanted to bring this disruption into the retail finance space. I joined Softbank’s financial arm, which envisioned revolutionary financial serviced powered by the Internet. I worked on an online bank project there, which convinced me that the Internet is a really powerful game changer. But I still thought online banking was not innovative enough, as long as it was regulated under bank license. Then, social and P2P lending trends kicked in. In 2009, I joined an international team to make this business happen in Japan.

We learned a lot from predecessors like Zopa and LendingClub, and launched AQUSH. Social lending was much discussed by Internet enthusiasts and journalists, and its business has grown reasonably. But it did not rise up to the same level as it did in the UK and the US. In the meantime, the devastating earthquakes and a tsunami occurred in March 2011, and affected millions of people’s lives.

That incident highlighted how powerful and effective crowdfunding could be in connecting someone’s money with those who desperately needed funds. Donation and reward crowdfunding gained traction. As an investment crowdfunding platform operator, I was on the sideline at that moment, as investment crowdfunding is not appropriate for disaster relief campaigns. But I found that the Japanese’s mindset was changing toward crowdfunding as means to utilize their money in more meaningful ways.

Then, I thought it was high time to position lending and equity as an alternative investment alongside other types of crowdfunding. My team and I decided to launch a completely new service, CrowdBank, from scratch.

Briefly, what does CrowdBank do?

It is an online lending platform where individual investors or savers could put their money into the funds we manage to lend mainly to SMEs, and gain 4-5 percent per annum. CrowdBank (managed under licensed securities firm Crowd Securities Japan) allows investors to buy lending funds whose targets are local SMEs, microfinance institutions in developing countries, real-estate investment, renewable energy projects, and so on. Investors can choose what they want to invest in.

What's your revenue model?

We receive a success fee from investors and a handling fee from borrowers. The more successful our loans are, the more profitable we are.

Have you successfully funded any campaigns yet? If so, how many and for how much money?

We raised more than $1 million in three weeks for a microfinance project in Cambodia and for an iPhone app developer’s working capital. Total funding now exceeds $2 million.

What does the partnership with Crowd Securities Japan allow CrowdBank to do; is it, essentially, a broker/dealer for CrowdBank?

Crowd Securities Japan is a licensed broker dealer and it runs CrowdBank. Originally, it was a small investment banking boutique, which was focused on an equity investment scheme for non-listed companies in the late 90’s. We saw it as a pioneer of equity crowdfunding. We took over the company, turned it into a crowdfunding operator and rebranded it as Crowd Securities Japan to represent its mission.

We believe we are the only licensed securities broker to focus exclusively on crowdfunding. What is unique about a securities broker doing crowdfunding is that investors can have their own trading accounts to manage their money — investing into funds they are interested in, receiving returns from the funds, buying and selling shares of unlisted SMEs. In the future, our customers will be able to donate their money and participate in reward-based crowdfunding. Another advantage for CrowdBank is that securities firms are highly regulated and supervised by the regulator, which gives investors security and some comfort.

What's the regulatory environment for equity crowdfunding in Japan? Are issuers able to advertise offerings to the public, and is there distinction between accredited and unaccredited investors?

The Japanese regulator, the Financial Services Agency (FSA), has closely watched crowdfunding practices in the US and UK, and just recently passed the cabinet approval of Japanese “JOBS Act” to deregulate equity fund raising. Currently, a private company is restricted in advertising offerings to the public, but after the amended law goes into effect, it can crowdfund up to $1 million online, similar to the JOBS Act in the US. As for investors, we do have a distinction between accredited and non-accredited investors, but the FSA, with the intention to balance between more crowdfunding operators to join the game and more individual investors to be protected from potential fraud, will allow everyone to participate in equity crowd funding. Investment amounts, though, will be restricted to a max of $5,000.

Is there a lot of discussion about crowdfunding among the general public, or regulators?

News on JOBS Act was well cited among many media outlets and throughout the Internet community, but crowdfunding drew public attention last year when deregulation for equity crowdfunding became one of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's key policies (popularly called “Abenomics”) to fuel the Japanese economy. The Prime Minister regards crowdfunding as means to provide more risk money for SMEs.

Individual financial assets in Japan reached more than $15 trillion (second to the US), and cash and deposit amount reached $8 trillion out of $15 trillion, which is the largest in the world. In other words, the Japanese are the cash-richest people in the world. The Prime Minister wants to take advantage of those assets to fuel the economic growth, rather than relying on taxpayers. As mentioned above, the cabinet approved the amendment of the law to be discussed at the parliament this month, which became one of the top financial news. And we were also widely recognized as a big potential player in equity crowdfunding when the new regulation comes in effect.

What regulatory changes, if any, do you hope for the government to implement to promote equity crowdfunding?

The Japanese government is sure to promote equity crowdfunding as detailed above. The key changes in regulation are as follows:

Deregulation of new entry
Currently, there is a requirement to be a licensed securities dealer to handle equity transactions, but the new legislation will create a new category for dedicated crowdfunding operator, with lower capital requirement.

Investment limit
New regulation will allow investors to commit up to $5,000 in equity offerings.

Responsibility for equity crowdfunding operator and issuing company
The new regulation will impose responsibility for both the crowdfunding operator and the issuing company to disclose the data so that investors could be as well-informed as possible.

Anything else our readers should know about crowdfunding and CrowdBank?

Japan has been a relatively mystery in the crowdfunding space, but I believe it could be a unique showcase for crowdfunding because of huge financial assets and the great earthquakes which reminded most Japanese of how smartly and meaningfully we should use our money. After the disaster, many people in Japan and overseas took action, sending clothes, electronics, and money to the people affected by the earthquakes and tsunamis. I think the mindset harnessed during the calamity was embedded among the people in Japan, who are ready to participate in crowdfunding.

In summary, we have 123 million people with $8 trillion cash and a crowdfunding-friendly mindset. There is no reason why Japan can’t be the most active crowdfunding country in the near future. To take advantage of the opportunity, CrowdBank started with lending-based crowdfunding, and it envisions being a one stop destination for individuals interested in crowdfunding.

 


用微信扫描可以分享至好友和朋友圈

扫描二维码或搜索微信号“iweiyangx”
关注未央网官方微信公众号,获取互联网金融领域前沿资讯。

发表评论

发表评论

您的评论提交后会进行审核,审核通过的留言会展示在下方留言区域,请耐心等待。

评论

您的个人信息不会被公开,请放心填写! 标记为的是必填项

取消

孙志壮

8
总文章数

TA还没写个人介绍。。。

日本金融厅:ICO或受支付服务法及金融商品交易法监管

Sujha Sund... 10-31

Kickstarter宣布今年9月登陆日本市场

Samantha H... 08-21

Fisco发行日本首个比特币企业债券

Kevin Helm... 08-19

金融科技创企Money Forward拟于九月在日上市

高旭 08-15

日本到泰国汇款只要五秒,区块链毫秒级交易成为现实?

Samburaj D... 07-03

版权所有 © 清华大学五道口金融学院互联网金融实验室 | 京ICP备17044750号-1