Future Talk: Equity Crowdfunding & Co.

Future Talk: Equity Crowdfunding & Co.

Valeria Ceccarelli, Head Issuer Relations, SIX Swiss Exchange, and Lukas Weber, the co-CEO and co-founder of investiere.ch, talk about the future of capital markets, the benefits of communities, and the limitations of crowds.

We’re holding this conversation in the Swiss Finance Museum in Zurich. Will stock exchanges soon be relegated to historical artifacts by new ways of raising capital such as equity crowdfunding?

Valeria Ceccarelli Stock exchanges are far from obsolete. They perform a prime function for an economy by connecting providers and users of capital. But they’re more than just capital markets where companies raise external funding. Their uniqueness lies in the fact that they’re also efficient trading venues where securities can be bought and sold at any time. Every stock exchange has rules and regulations based on the principles of fairness and transparency that protect investors and listed companies alike. In addition, stock exchanges supply the financial community with high-quality financial information.

Lukas Weber First of all, we at investiere.ch shun the term “crowdfunding.” It suggests that anyone with a handful of francs can invest in a company. But that’s certainly not the case on our platform. We seek quality, not just among the companies we present to investors, but also among the investors themselves, who we view not just as bankrollers, but also as a pool of know-how. They make entrepreneurial investments to the tune of CHF 10,000 and upward. We have amassed a community of approximately 12,000 people. Most of them aren’t full-time investors, but rather well-networked entrepreneurs, current or former CEOs, etc. Our community’s expertise is an immensely important asset that we contribute as investors. After all, we are competing primarily against traditional venture capitalists, not against stock exchanges, which don’t belong in a display case, in my opinion.