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Equity Crowdfunding at the ready in Italy

12.28.2013
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The first Italian equity-crowdfunding offering was announced last Friday. DIAMAN Tech Srl , “innovative” start-up, was presented by the portal Unicaseed,  the first financial intermediary to be authorised by CONSOB to the management of an equity crowdfunding portal. This follows the enactment of legislation to make equity crowdfunding legal in Italy.  At the moment, only one other equity crowdfunding platform, Starsup, has been included in the CONSOB register but it is yet to publish any offers.

Diaman Tech S.r.l.  develops financial analysis software and it plans to use the fundingto promote its product on the market. Umberto Piattelli, of the law firm Osborne Clarke, acted in an advisory capacity to ensure compliance with all legal aspects and regulatory frameworks in  preparing the offer  for equity crowdfunding. “It’s been a really interesting experience, through which all participants have played a ” pioneer” role in this new regulatory standards, putting into practice the provisions of Consob Regulation no. 18592 and demonstrating that this type of collection is not only theoretical“, said Mr. Piattelli.

It’s certainly a big innovation and the first Italian example of a limited liability company creating a class of units which establishes differentiated rights for certain shareholders. This has been made possible by the adoption of the Law 221/2012 that introduced crowdfunding in Italy.

So not only was Italy the first country in the world to create specific legislation enabling equity crowdfunding,  it is also the first to have published an offering of capital in accordance with the adopted rules. Fact should not be underestimated, since in many EU countries there is regulatory uncertainty or they’re waiting for the adoption of a regulation by the competent supervisory authorities.

Now we wait to see what the “crowd” thinks of this offer and if they’re ready to such an innovation. The latest report on the Italian crowdfunding market highlighted the fact that there is still a low awareness of crowdfunding in the country and that the offer might be outpacing the demand. It’s true that the passage of the regulation on equity-crowdfunding has provided a boost to its awareness in Italy, and for the first time crowdfunding went mainstream, being discussed on newspapers, radio and even TV.

Certainly the announcement of the offer was extensively shared and discussed on social media, newspapers and blogs. But we wait to see if words and likes will actually translate into capital.

Published at DZone with permission of Daniela Castrataro, author and DZone MVB.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)