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Publication Title

Washington University Journal of Law & Policy

Abstract

Equity crowdfunding allows startup companies to sell shares of stock, bonds or other securities to the public using online capital markets. This allows entrepreneurs to avoid the costly process of a traditional IPO. Equity crowdfunding started in America in May 2016. This article explores the types of companies that utilize equity crowdfunding, and finds that most issuers are early-stage companies; most are corporations; there is significant geographic diversity amongst the issuers, and twenty-eight percent of issuers are female-founded or female led, which is much higher than in venture capital or angel investing.

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