By Staff Writer
Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission has finally issued two licenses to AngelHub, an equity crowdfunding operator, that allow it to offer securities trading and advisory services, reports the South China Morning Post.
Its co-founder and chief executive, Karen Contet Farzam, told Blockchain Asset Review in an in-depth Q&A two weeks ago that they have received the SFC approval in principle.
The licences issued to AngelHub restrict it to working with professional investors (with at least HK$8mn or US$1 million) in investment assets.
AngelHub’s staff will conduct due diligence on the startups before introducing them to investors. The platform will charge a fee to both investors and startups once the deal is closed. The startups are required to have a minimum viable product and be based in Asia Pacific.
The commission will not approve each start-up that applies to the platform, but it will cap the number of offerings on it, it said.
The SFC is vetting more applications from other equity crowdfunding platforms, and will consider these on a case-by-case basis, the paper quoted two sources as saying.
Such equity crowdfunding platforms are likely to help startups access capital quickly since most of them have difficulty getting bank loans.
Hong Kong, which is the second-largest private equity hub in Asia with 529 private equity funds managing HK$1.25 trillion, is keen on drumming up more angel funds to the city as it aims to nurture a startup ecosystem.