China’s Alibaba launches equity crowdfunding site

27 Nov 2015: Alibaba, China’s internet giant, has launched an initial beta version of a crowdfunding platform called ANTSDAQ. Run by its Ant Financial Services affiliate, the initial listing comprises just 4 companies, whose campaigns run until the end of December. Ant Financial, which has been making online loans since 2011, is one of the first companies authorised by the Chinese authorities. All funds will be collected through Alipay, Alibaba’s payment processor.

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Crowdfunding Justice

By Tadhg Walker

There is one thing lawyers need to invest time in a case: money. Money is usually the principal cause for a lot of people, even if they have a valid case, to be denied representation. The rule of law is meant to secure justice for all but many are denied this right due to a lack of capital. This funding gap has led to a growing number of crowdfunding sites dedicated to legal services, allowing the underrepresented to have their day in court.

Hiraa Khan, co-founder of CrowdDefend, came to this realisation during his three year term working at the American Civil Liberties Union. Khan discovered the “prohibitive costs of legal representation, court fees, associated trial costs can exclude most lower and middle income Americans from participating in the justice system, resulting in an astonishingly high number of legitimate legal matters that never make it to the courtroom.” According to Khan, 67% of poor Californians’ legal needs are not met by legal aid services, a fundamental violation of the rule of law. CrowdDefend is taking on “impactful, socially motivated cases,” like helping Adan to post bail in the USA where he is seeking asylum, after escaping gang members who were trying kill him in his home country of Guatemala.

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First ASEAN Equity Crowdfunding platform launches

14 Nov 2015: CrowdPlus, the first ASEAN equity crowdfunding platform, announced its launch yesterday. Crowdplus was one of the initial six platforms approved by the Malaysian Securities Commission in June. The new platform will partner with established VC firm Netrove Ventures, which has five offices across the region and operate using a group of lead investors. Teh Kim Seng, the firm’s Malaysian Chair, said they would be selective about the firms that can raise funds through the platform.

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