In the first half of the year, a great deal has happened in investment crowdfunding. We’ve seen several trends emerge that are worth looking at as we move into 2022. These trends can impact everything from how you raise capital, structure your investments, and what kinds of companies you invest in. Here are three trends that we believe will shape investment crowdfunding in the coming year:
More support for Alternative Trading Systems (ATSs)
Alternative Trading Systems (ATSs) have been around for a while, but they’ve been slow to catch on in the investment crowdfunding space. That’s starting to change, though, as more and more platforms are beginning to see the benefits of using an ATS. An ATS is a platform that allows for the secondary trading of securities, which means that it can be used to buy and sell shares of companies not listed on a traditional stock exchange. One of the benefits of using an ATS is that it gives investors more liquidity for their investments. This means that investors will be able to sell their shares more efficiently and at a better price. ATS will also be a significant player as digital securities continue to evolve and see wider adoption.
Another benefit of using an ATS is that it can help to level the playing field for issuers. By using an ATS, issuers will be able to list their securities on a platform that is open to a broader range of investors. We believe that the increased use of ATSs will positively impact crowdfunding investments in the coming year. That’s because ATSs can help make the market more efficient, giving issuers and investors more options, but sweeping regulations are being proposed for alternative trading systems.
More focus on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors
ESG investing is an investment strategy that considers environmental, social, and governance factors. This investing style has been gaining in popularity in recent years, as more and more investors are looking for ways to invest in companies that positively impact the world. We believe that the focus on ESG factors will continue to grow in the coming year as more investors look for ways to align their investments with their values, and crowdfunding can make the most out of this.
There are several reasons why we believe that the focus on ESG will continue to grow in the coming year:
- A recent Gallups study showed that nearly half of the respondents polled are interested in sustainable investments, yet only 25% had heard about it. This could be a significant opportunity for companies looking to raise capital for ESG-focused businesses.
- We also expect to see more regulation around ESG investing in the coming year. The SEC proposed a rule in March of 2022 requiring any SEC-registered companies to add specific disclosures on periodic reports and registration statements. Companies must also share information on climate-related risks that may impact business. While companies using JOBS Act exemptions are not SEC-registered, this may be an interesting development as investor demand continues to rise.
- We also expect to see more interest from retail investors in ESG investing. A recent survey by Morgan Stanley found that 75% of millennial investors are interested in sustainable investments. This is a trend that we expect to continue in the coming year as more and more retail investors look for ways to invest in companies that positively impact the world.
Impact on Minority Companies
The past couple of years have been challenging for many businesses, but it has been especially challenging for minority-owned companies. That’s because the pandemic had a disproportionate impact on minority communities. For example, Black and Latino households have lost more wealth than white households during the pandemic, with 55% of households facing major financial problems. This has led to many people of color rethinking their investment strategies.
In addition, traditional financial institutions have long underserved minority-owned companies. Of venture capitalists, only 2% of their portfolio companies had a Latino founder, and 1% were led by a black person in 2017. 2020 data has shown little improvement The pandemic has highlighted just how important it is for minority communities to have access to capital. That’s why we predict that investment crowdfunding will become an increasingly popular way for minority-owned businesses to raise capital in the coming years.
These three trends we believe will shape investment crowdfunding in the coming years. By understanding these trends, issuers and investors will be better positioned to take advantage of their present opportunities, allowing investors to connect more with businesses that they are passionate about and that align with their values. At the same time, it is also important for us to continue pushing the industry forward, enabling wider access to capital for businesses and more investment opportunities for investors.