Role of alternative finance
According to the 2nd European Alternative Finance Industry Report from 2016, 12m EUR have been raised in Austria in 2015.
Since 2013, when crowdfunding came up in Austria for the first time, 70 Projects have been crowdfunded (equity based) with EUR 11,14 million. Well-known crowdinvesting platforms include conda.at, 1000x1000.at and greenrocket.com. Amongst all the crowdfunding platforms, Kickstarter and Indiegogo rate amongst the most well-known in the world. A few months ago, wemakeit.com was also launched in Austria.
There has been a significant increase in the market since September 2015 due to the implementation of the alternative financing law.
14 Platforms in 2015.
There are 2 platforms specialised in R&I: 1000X1000 and Green Rocket.
Equity-based Crowdfunding (7,3m EUR in 2015).
|Reward and donation-based crowdfunding||
Reward-based Crowdfunding (2,4m EUR in 2015).
Peer-2-peer consumer lending/Peer-2-peer business lending.
Balance Sheet Business Lending (2m EUR in 2015).
|Is there a specific national regulation in place applying to crowdfunding?||
The Alternative Financing Act (Alternativfinanzierungsgesetz - AltFG), 1st of September 2015.
If a Crowdfunding platform offers securities or investment products, the operator of the platform provides financial services in the sense of the WAG 2007→ the commercial provision of various investment services requires a license from the FMA → Alternatively, the operator of a Crowdfunding platform can cooperate with a securities company or a credit institution as an auxiliary person.
Osborne Clarke Germany (2016): Review of Crowdfunding Regulation & Market Developments. In: CrowdFundRES - Unleashing the potential of Crowdfunding for Financing Renewable Energy Projects. Deliverable 3.1 (PU). http://www.crowdfundres.eu/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/CrowdFundRES-Crowd...
The requirement to put together a prospectus for issue volumes between EUR 250,000 and EUR 5 million has also been changed. In the future, only a simplified prospectus (prospectus requirement light) is required for an issue volume of between EUR 1,5 million and EUR 5 million.
Recently, more and more regions in Austria start launching Micro Funds for SMEs including services related to Crowdfunding. For example, the City of Graz launched in April 2016, the 5,000 EUR "Crowdfunding Cheque", which can be used by Entrepreneurs and SMEs for consultation and support (e.g. a video) related to crowdfunding.
FMA - Finanzmarktaufsicht, https://www.fma.gv.at/de/unternehmen/emittenten/prospektbilligung/altern...
|Matching funds initiatives||
The ÖHT (Austrian Tourismbank) starts with the September 20 acrowdfunding platform for tourism projects.
For example, the City of Graz launched in April 2016 the 5,000 EUR "Crowdfunding Cheque", which can be used by Entrepreneurs and SMEs for consultation and support (e.g. a video) related to crowdfunding.
|Crowdfunding guidelines for entrepreneurs / investors||
The Chamber of Commerce has published a Guide on Crowdfunding
The Ministry for Research and Economy has published a study for the tourism industry
Wolfgang Gumpelmaier-Mach, a crowdfunding expert, has launched an information portal:
|Guidelines for researchers on crowdfunding for R&I|
DESCRIPTION: Founded in 2012, this is the first crowdfunding platform in Austria. This is a research/innovation-oriented platform. The platform found success because it was the first to tackle the need of alternative forms of financing. A need of growing importance in Austria, particularly due to the hard restrictions of many banks caused by the ailing financial system.
PROJECT NAME: Alga Pangea
DESCRIPTION: After more than five years in development and around EUR 1.5 million of investment, in summer 2014,, Alga Pangea GmbH was founded in Austria. The company developed an innovative technology to enhance the production of algae. The company will market the patented technology worldwide and offer associated services, such as facility maintenance and management, to customers. The project offers an interesting investment opportunity providing interest rates between 3% and 6%. The risk seems to be quite low, as after 5 years of research and the development of a stable prototype, a company has been created. The market is new and innovative, as it provides a sustainable solution (without chemicals).
AMOUNT RAISED: 156,800€
Best Practice 1: 5,000EUR Crowdfunding Support for preparing a Crowdfunding Campaign (http://www.wirtschaft.graz.at/cms/beitrag/10266560/6543787/).
Best Practice 2: National Regulation: Having a regulation provides transparency and legal certainty for businesses, platforms and investors.
Best Practice 3: City of Linz promotes crowdfunding activities for young enterprises.
Some of the large banks in Austria have their own reward-based or donation-based crowdfunding platforms. Overall, the banking sector has become more and more interested in crowdfunding, as it can be seen as a valuable tool for risk minimisation. In economically difficult times when banks may not be lending freely, equity-based crowdfunding may also be a viable alternative to raising capital for start-ups and small businesses, and especially to combine these investments with traditional financing instruments.
Raiffeisenbanken Bank: mit.einander.at
BAWAG P.S.K: Es Geht! Platform, https://www.crowdfunding.at/