FrontFundr, an equity crowdfunding platform, has received discretionary approval from the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) to make its services available to investors and companies in Ontario.
“We are pleased the largest province in Canada now provides better access to crowdfunding.”
FrontFundr can now offer previous and future issuer clients the opportunity to raise up to $250,000 twice per year, and Ontario investors can commit up to $5,000 with each offering. Vancouver-based FrontFundr already operates in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Québec, and Saskatchewan. The company is now registered with the OSC under the name Silver Maple Ventures, the owner and operator of FrontFundr.
“Access to capital can make or break a company,” said Peter-Paul Van Hoeken, founder and CEO of FrontFundr. “We see our role as democratizing the private markets. We have successfully helped 42 companies raise capital. We are pleased the largest province in Canada now provides better access to crowdfunding in line with the rest of the country.”
Since investment crowdfunding was legalized federally in Canada in 2015, FrontFundr’s platform has allowed investors to commit funds to early-stage and growing private companies. FrontFundr
In Ontario, equity crowdfunding is conducted over the internet through funding portals like FrontFundr. In order for a funding portal to operate in Ontario, it must first be registered with a regulatory agency that administers and enforces securities legislation. Other equity crowdfunding platforms in Ontario include Vested.ca. The National Crowdfunding and Fintech Association of Canada also lists a directory of equity crowdfunding platforms throughout Canada, including in Ontario.
FrontFundr parent company Silver Maple Ventures also recently integrated FrontFundr with DealSquare, a centralized dealer platform for private placements. DealSquare, developed in partnership with NEO Connect, is a tool that facilitates the distribution of financial assets not listed on a stock exchange. DealSquare will give registered users the ability to find, analyze, and transact private market deals, and is expected to be rolled out in the first part of the year.
With the integration of FrontFundr to DealSquare, accredited and non-accredited investors that are eligible to use FrontFundr’s platform can participate in private placements. The DealSquare integration will be available for users in all the provinces FrontFundr is operating in, including Ontario.
“In recent years, the private markets have been growing twice as fast and producing 3-4% higher returns than the public markets, but the average retail investor hoping to diversify their portfolios have traditionally been locked out and unable to participate,” Van Hoeken said. “With FrontFundr, all investors can get in on the private market action.”
Last year, the company explained to BetaKit that the platform’s crowdfunding offering moved from helping solely startups, to allow all pre-IPO companies to use FrontFundr’s platform. In July, FrontFundr also launched a suitability assessment manager aimed to automate the purchase of private market securities and ensure investor protection.
Image source FrontFundr