Crowdfunding platforms expand Canadian ties

Kickstarter announces plans for a Canadian platform, while Indiegogo promises further Canadian currency support.
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Kickstarter announced Thursday via Twitter that it will be opening up its crowdfunding platform for Canadian projects as of “later this summer.” Previously, Canadians could only use the platform if they used a U.S.-based bank account to process pledges.

Launching an e-commerce business in other countries can be a challenge, which explains why Kickstarter has been slow to expand onto international platforms. Lately, it has been picking target areas based on community demand, such as the U.K. where it opened up project support late last year.

While there is not set opening date, according to Kickstarter representative Justin Kazmark, Canadians will be able to start building campaign pages within the next couple of weeks. Currently, a splash page (pictured) for Kickstarter allows interested Canadians to sign up for future notifications about the launch.

The news follows Indiegogo, the only site Canadians can currently use for crowdfunding, announced last week that it will strengthen its presence in Canada.

In December, Indiegogo announced local search options, French-language support and Canadian currency support. June 19, Indiegogo announced that it would further its commitment to currency support by now accepting payments in local currency via credit card, not just Paypal, for Canadian campaigns.

The Ontario Securities Commission is conducting an on-going review panel on the prospect of allowing equity-based crowdfunding. It’s not currently permitted under The Securities Act to issue shares in return for investment in a project. In March, Interactive Ontario made recommendations supporting this exemption, with IO president and CEO Donald Henderson noting that this would improve access to capital for the organization’s members.

Indiegogo co-founder Danae Ringelmann has consulted with the OSC on the prospect of allowing equity-based crowdfunding, according to report from ITBusiness. A consultation on the topic was held on June 11 with several groups pushing for looser regulations, including Toronto-based legal firm Wildeboer Dellelce, the latest to publicly jump on board.