Crowdfunding platforms will be forced to close or work off the grid
Crowdlanding platforms, where entrepreneurs and companies could obtain loans from the population, may become illegal from July 1 if they are not entered in the Central Bank register by that day.
Vyacheslav Kosakov, partner of the law firm Novator, told Forbes that there are no clarifications about the transition periods, so those who could not get into the list of permitted platforms will have to freeze their work for a while. According to the expert, it is possible that some companies will be forced to follow the path of the Forex market, where most companies work in foreign jurisdictions to avoid a ban.
Starting next month, the platforms that small and medium-sized businesses use to raise funds will have to come under the control of the Central Bank in accordance with the law “On attracting investments using investment platforms.” However, now the list includes only one company “NKR R.O.S.T.”. By the way, platforms that work with the funds of the population are not yet on the list, which means that their activities may become illegal.
Kirill Kosminsky, Executive Director of the Association of Investment Platform Operators, said that by January of this year, 38 such platforms were operating in the country. 31 of them are crowdlending and 7 are crowdfunding — they raise funds either through sponsorship or pre-order. There are probably many more today.
The representative of the regulator said that the Central Bank got 17 applications for entry into the register from various websites. Another four were refused. The verification has not yet been completed, so it is difficult to specify how many companies will have time to register on time.
The platform owners hope to get into the registry, as otherwise they will be forced to stop working. Vae Hovasapyan, Vice President of Ozon.Invest, said that the platform sent a set of documents for consideration back in April, but has not received a response yet. Sberkredo and Potok, owned by Alfa Bank and Fin Tech Capital, are also awaiting a verdict. Armen Minasyan, City of Money General Director, suggested that in connection with the transition to a remote mode, most companies began to resolve the issue only at the end of May.
The head of the Lendly investment website, Alexander Volgin, said that his company plans to submit a package of documents for consideration only at the end of June. Due to the introduction of quarantine, several founders were unable to return to the country on time, and to collect all the documents, either their personal presence or a notarized power of attorney is required. The regulator did not give explanations or recommendations to companies that will not be able to get on the list of allowed platforms on time due to restrictions introduced in accordance with the pandemic.