Frequently Asked Questions
What is equity crowdfunding?
Crowdfunding is a financial service where start-ups and small businesses raise funds, generally from a large number of investors that invest small amounts of money. Investors receive fully paid shares in the company making the offer.
Who regulates the Australian equity crowdfunding industry (CSF)?
The regulator for equity crowdfunding is the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC). For more information refer to www.asic.gov.au
Is Billfolda a licenced equity crowdfunding platform?
Yes, Billfolda received an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) from ASIC on 11 January 2018 to operate a crowdfunding service. Billfolda’s AFSL number is 503322.
Does Billfolda’s licence allow it to provide crowdfunding services to retail investors?
Yes, Billfolda is allowed to provide crowdfunding services to retail and wholesale investors. If you wish to check Billfolda’s AFSL authorisations you can search ASIC’s AFSL Register at this link – AFSL Register.
Is Billfolda a member of an independent complaints tribunal where retail investors can escalate their complaints if not satisfactorily resolved by Billfolda?
Yes, Billfolda is a member of the Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO). Billfolda's membership number is M0042115.
How much money can retail a investor invest in a company making a CSF offer?
A retail investor can invest a maximum of $10,000 in a 12 month period in a specific company.
How much money can a company raise via equity crowdfunding in a 12 month period?
A company can raise a maximum of $5 million in a 12 month period via equity crowdfunding.
Can Billfolda provide tax advice to investors?
No, Billfolda does not provide advice to investors.
Is my investment locked in for a certain period of time when I invest in a company?
The Corporations Act restricts sale, by retail investors for at least 12 months from the time shares in a company are allotted to you.
Is investing in companies via a crowdfunding platform risky?
Yes, it is risky and we recommend you read the general risk warning as well as seek professional advice before investing in a company. The Offer Document of the company must explain the main risks of investing in that company. We recommend you read them carefully before making an investment decision.
Can Billfolda or the company raising capital provide any guarantees that investors will receive their money back?
There is no guarantee you will receive the money you have invested back. In fact, you could lose all of it.
How can I exit my investment after 12 months?
Investments in unlisted public companies are inherently illiquid, this means that it is not expected that you will be able to trade your shares. You should contact your adviser and consider the offer document before making assumptions on the timing or value of an exit.
How can I get more information about the company raising capital?
After you have created an account, you can post a question to the company or the platform via Billfolda’s Communication Facility (Q&A) noting your question will be subject to moderation rules. Making any false or misleading statements is strictly prohibited, and may occasion penalties under the Corporations Act.
For how long will the offer stay open?
The offer will stay open for a maximum period of 90 days, though a typical offer is only available for 30 days. As soon as the minimum target amount is reached the offer may be closed without further notice. Particularly popular offers have been known to close in minutes, not days or months.
If I am a retail investor can I get my money back if I change my mind after making an investing in a company?
Yes, if you are a retail investor you can exercise cooling off rights within 5 business days of making your investment. The money will be returned to the same bank account it was received from. We will not give a refund once you exceed the 5 day cooling off period.
Who owns the Billfolda platform?
Billfolda is owned by Billfolda Pty Limited.
Who are the Responsible Managers of Billfolda?
The Responsible Managers of Billfolda are:
- Matthew Pinter (Chairman CFIA and Billfolda)
Is Billfolda Audited?
Yes, Billfolda Pty Limited and our Statutory Client Trust account are audited annually.
Where is investors’ money held?
The investors’ deposits are held in a Trust account with Westpac Bank and only released in prescribed circumstances. Billfolda does not hold client money on its own account.
Is Billfolda required to maintain adequate assets to provide a crowdfunding service?
Yes, Billfolda is required to maintain adequate cash to comply with requirements of its AFSL licence and ASIC Regulatory Guide 262 and 166.
Is Billfolda regulated?
Yes, Billfolda holds an AFSL licence from ASIC and complies with ASIC Regulatory Guide 262.
Does Billfolda have insurance?
Yes, Billfolda has Professional Indemnity insurance. It covers Billfolda. It does not cover investors.
Is equity crowdfunding legal in Australia?
Yes, the Australian government made equity crowdfunding legal in 2017, however implementation finalised on the 11 January 2018, with Billfolda awarded one of 7 licences at that time. For further information refer to this press release.
Can proprietary companies raise capital via equity crowdfunding?
Yes, both proprietary and public companies can raise capital from investors. Proprietary companies must have at least two directors, the majority of whom are Australian Residents.
Does Billfolda offer a secondary market to sell shares?
No, Billfolda does not offer a secondary market to sell shares. Investors should review the shareholder documents and contact an adviser for further detail.
Who provides the Registry service for companies raising capital via Billfolda?
Each company that raises capital via Billfolda is required to appoint its own registry service provider. Billfolda does not provide Registry services to the company or investors.
Does Billfolda conduct due diligence on companies listed on its platform?
No, the processes Billfolda conducts are proprietary and regard the provision of a crowd sourced funding service, i.e. crowd checks. Billfolda will use the services of an external service providers and databases for conducting those checks. Equity crowdfunding platforms are required to conduct checks to comply with their gatekeeper obligations, for further information please see Regulatory Guide 262.
If I believe information in the Offer Document is misleading and deceptive who do I contact?
Please report all concerns to [email protected]. If, following reasonable checks, Billfolda believes the contents of an Offer Document are misleading or deceptive it will suspend/ cancel the offer. If Billfolda becomes aware of information outside the Offer Document that warrants the offer be suspended/ cancelled Billfolda will suspend or cancel the Offer. Investments that have not previously been refunded (e.g. by cooling off) will automatically receive a full refund of the subscription amount.
Does ASIC review offer documents before they go live on the platform?
No, ASIC does not review Offer Documents. The company making the Offer is responsible for ensuring the contents in the Offer Document are accurate and comply with requirements of RG 261 amongst other things.
How is Billfolda remunerated?
Billfolda will accept its fees in either cash or shares or a combination of both. Billfolda offers a fully aligned equity crowdfunding model and will accept at least half its fees in shares from the company raising capital. Further details of our fees are disclosed in the Offer Document(s).
Can overseas investors invest in companies listed on Billfolda’s platform?
No, Billfolda only allows Australian investors to invest in companies listed on its platform.
Can I invest money by providing a third-party cheque?
No, you cannot provide a third party cheque. Investments must be made from an Australian bank account which is held in the name of the investor. You cannot invest using an overseas bank account or an account held in someone else’s name. Retail investors must use our online payment facility.
Can I invest using Bitcoin or other tokens?
No, we do not accept Bitcoin or tokens. We only accept Australian fiat currency issued by the Reserve Bank of Australia.
Do I need to provide identity documents before I invest in a company?
If you invest money from an Australian bank account you may not need to provide identity documents.
After I invest in the company will Billfolda keep me uptodate on the progress of the company?
Billfolda is a fundraising platform, not a share market. We do not provide updates, pricing or ongoing disclosure for funded companies.
If I have a complaint who can I address it to?
If your matter is less troubling, feel free to address an email to [email protected], or equally, if you wish to complain, please email [email protected] and mark it to the attention of the Complaints Officer.
Within how many days will I get a refund if the company does not meet its target amount for the capital raise.
Billfolda will refund money within 7 business days if a company does not meet its targeted capital raise amount.
Can a company raise capital simultaneously on two different platforms for the same offer?
No, it is not legal for a company to publish separate CSF offers simultaneously. A company can only have one CSF Offer open on one platform at any given time.
For how long is an offer kept open on the Billfolda platform?
Billfolda is required to close an offer at the earliest of the following:
In addition Billfolda, may at its own discretion close an offer.
- Three months after the offer is made
- Closing date mentioned in the offer document
- When the offer is fully subscribed
- The company making the offer withdraws the offer
- Billfolda becomes aware of compliance issues with the company
Does Billfolda offer margin lending or a loan to investors to invest in companies that want to raise capital on Billfolda’s platform?
Billfolda does not offer loans or margin lending to investors.Regulatory Guide 262 prohibits platforms from providing financial assistance to investors for the purposes of investing in CSF offers.
What is an exempt (wholesale) investor? Apply for Exemption
Wholesale investors are defined by statute as Sophisticated or Professional investors. The common misconception being that exemption provides ‘benefits’, whereas the status actually reduces the level of protection provided by law.
Due to these reduced protections, Wholesale investors are eligible to invest in less regulated ‘Private offers’, as it is unlawful to make those offers to retail investors. Equally investment in Equity Crowdfunding Offers are capped at $10,000 for retail investors and otherwise capped to $5,000,000 for Wholesale investors.
By default you and your entities are considered retail investors unless you meet the requirements of a wholesale investor under s708 Corporations Act. These can be described in simple terms as;
In Australia, investors are considered retail investors unless they meet the requirements of a wholesale investor under s708 Corporations Act. Examples of wholesale investors include - Sophisticated investor, Professional investor and Experienced investor.
Wholesale client/ Sophisticated investor
An investor who has:
- Gross annual personal income of over $250,000 in each of the previous two years or
- Net assets of over $2.5 million or
- Invests at least $500,000 in the offer
An investor who:
- Holds an AFSL (Australian Financial Services Licence) or
- Owns or controls gross assets over $10 million
Please see Investing for further details
5 Day Retail Cooling Off Rights?
All investors who have not been confirmed as Exempt investors prior to investment are afforded a 5 day statutory cooling off period. (Please see below for how to use this).
Crowd Sourced Funding Offers may be suspended due to a material change in circumstances, breach of the issuers obligation or due to concerns raised by Billfolda. Technically any suspension is results in a defective document, however investors are encouraged to consider cooling off rights, any replacement offer document and the general risk warning when such an event occurs. Suspension is not a judgment for or against the company. It is a trigger requiring temporary, or permanent lockup of the offer pending amendment in the original offer disclosure or closure of fundraising. When a suspension results in the issue of a replacement offer document what happens next is up to investors and the company, however as investors you have special rights provided by the Crowd Sourced Funding Regime.
14 Days Cooling Off Rights?
Suspension of the offer affords a pre-existing investor ‘unconditional cooling off’ rights. Put plainly, any prior subscription to the offer can be cancelled for up to 30 days from the republication of the offer. Billfolda extends the basic cooling off withdrawal right to include any time between the suspension and republication (i.e. greater than the statutory 30 days). If republication does not occur and, or the offer does not reach its target, all remaining subscriptions will be refunded.
How to exercise my Cooling Off right to refund?
Both types of Cooling off / Refund are actioned through profile https://billfolda.com/myinvestments and then clicking the Red Refund Button. We recommend you use Chrome as your browser and make sure you log in through the same user account you used to make the investment. Note that refunds may take up to 5 business days to process and that refund requests are irrevocable.
What if my account is not activated?
You may see an error on login that says your account is not activated, which means you have not confirmed your email address. You can still log in and use the website, however we may have trouble reaching you with important notices or updates. Please check your email for an activation email and click on the link to activate, or use an email address that is active and accessible.
If you have any concern or trouble, please email [email protected] for assistance.