Crowdfinance as a way of financing
KBC sees crowdfinance as a valuable way for innovative startups and SMEs to obtain financing.
Crowdfinance is where people invest in opportunities in exchange for financial instruments like shares or bonds. Crowdfunders in Belgium will be able to use BoleroCrowdfunding.be to invest from as little as 25 euros in businesses that interest them. As is the case with other crowdfunding initiatives, investors will manage their own portfolio and need to be aware of the risks associated with these types of venture capital investments.
Bolero, the online stock exchange platform from KBC Securities, has developed the new crowdfunding website to connect entrepreneurs with potential backers and in so doing has expanded its current service offering for investors.
Erik Luts, Senior General Manager of Direct Channels & Support at KBC, comments: 'At KBC, we have very firmly planted local roots as a bank-insurer for local small and medium-sized businesses. We're seeing certain types of businesses needing additional sources of financing to help realise their plans. That's why we're launching this website as a way for businesses to find investors prepared to make small venture capital investments of this type to help them with their business financing needs. That includes the highly promising startups that are part of our Start it @kbc business incubator programme. Crowdfinance simultaneously takes account of both the growth profile of interested businesses and venture capitalists' interests.'
A hub connecting businesses with investors
Bart Vanhaeren, Managing Director of KBC Securities and General Manager of Bolero, comments: 'SMEs and startups will be able to use BoleroCrowdfunding.be to publicise their plans to a wide network of potential investors in Belgium. The website gives businesses a range of useful features and tools to promote their activities and connects interested Belgian investors with Belgian companies with growth potential. These investors will be able to closely track the progress of the businesses they're interested in through events organised by Bolero and using the host of features the website will offer like chatrooms, online updates and direct e-mail notifications. Besides offering them the ability to find financing, the website will also be an excellent way for businesses to gauge the viability of their ventures.'
Businesses and investors can sign up today at BoleroCrowdfunding.be.
The Bolero Crowdfunding website will be officially launched on 13 December 2014 during the first KBC Securities Entrepreneurial Summit, which will be held at the KBC Tower in Antwerp.
It will also be possible to follow Bolero Crowdfunding (@BoleroCrowdfund) on Twitter.
What is crowdfunding?
Crowdfunding literally means getting a lot of people (the crowd) to help fund a venture or beneficiary. It is an alternative way for startups and other businesses to obtain financing, usually online. Typically, those seeking funds set up a profile of their project on a crowdfunding website to raise the financing (including venture capital) they need from interested investors.
There are four main types of crowdfunding: donation crowdfunding, reward-based crowdfunding, debt crowdfunding and crowdfinance. Crowdfunding websites can be based around a specific type or several different types of crowdfunding. Lending in exchange for equity is a hybrid form of crowdfunding known as crowdfinance. Crowdfinance is where people invest in opportunities in exchange for financial instruments.
Bolero is the online stock market platform of KBC group subsidiary, KBC Securities, Belgium's largest stock brokers. Since 1999, Bolero has been offering inexpensive solutions to private investors who want to manage their own portfolios online. Bolero clients have direct access to over 20 markets, including the Western and Eastern European markets and the US and Canadian markets. They can trade in a broad range of listed products (shares, bonds, trackers, turbos, and so on). Bolero does not provide personal advice, but instead supports clients by offering them the widest range of information and training schemes. For instance, Bolero clients are given access to all studies conducted by and reports drawn up by the KBC Securities team of analysts, including Beurs bij ‘t Ontbijt (Breakfast Stock Exchange), a daily Dutch-language newsletter with comprehensive market information and analyses. The many dozens of events and training courses organised by Bolero help clients become even more familiar with all aspects of the stock market.
 Euronext (Brussels, Amsterdam, Paris and Lisbon), Equiduct, all US exchanges (NYSE, Nasdaq, Amex), Toronto, Milan, Madrid, London, Stockholm, Zurich, Vienna, Warsaw, Frankfurt, Helsinki, Oslo, Copenhagen, Budapest, Slovakia and Slovenia.