Bloom and the ECA
Currently, there are more than 1,400 crowdfunding platforms operating worldwide. But apart from the FSA, which is looking carefully at how to regulate the equity-based crowdfunding model in the UK, there is no regulation of the hundreds of crowdfunding platforms being launched across the UK and Europe.
Hence the launch of The European Crowdfunding Association (ECA), a not-for-profit industry body comprised of leading platforms, funds and individuals active in the crowdfunding space in Europe.
The association was conceived in early 2012 by a group of entrepreneurs and investors, including Bloom, to provide a unified voice promoting crowdfunding as a source of capital to support the development and growth of for-profit businesses, social enterprises and other projects.
Chris Puttick, co-chair of the ECA says: "Crowdfunding can be a powerful tool for getting start-ups and other projects funded and Bloom’s successfully funded project Wake Up Call is a great example of what can be achieved. The industry is still in its infancy and new approaches and applications are continually being developed."
Co-chair of ECA Mike Fauconnier-Bank continues: "The ECA recognises the importance of educating the crowd, regulators and businesses seeking funds about the exciting opportunities and potential risks of crowdfunding. In doing so we strive to promote a broader public engagement with entrepreneurship in general."
Amanda Boyle, CEO and founder of Bloom and Jeff Lynn, CEO and co-founder of Seedrs (an equity crowdfunding platform soft-launched last month), are co-founders of the association, and both see the benefits for individuals raising money and for those donating it.
Jeff says: “The main benefit is to help both investors and entrepreneurs understand how it works, which platforms are operating legally and which are not, and how best to use crowdfunding to allocate or raise capital."
Amanda says Bloom is immensely proud to be a part of the ECA at such a formative stage. “It’s hugely important to us that crowdfunding gets the support and recognition it needs to become an accepted alternative source of finance, and we’re delighted to be working with such an experienced and passionate group of people to make this happen.”