The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has approved the country’s first crowdfunding portal called Investree Philippines, Inc. The platform will be used to connect small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with banks and other lending institutions. 

Crowdfunding is essentially a method of raising capital for startups, usually through an online platform. Three parties are involved in the process:  the entrepreneur or the project owner, the supporters or the funders of the business idea, and the platform itself.

This can be donation-based where resources are pooled to support a cause, or reward-based where in exchange for the money, a “reward” is given to supporters of the project, usually a product from the entrepreneur. 

It can also be equity-based where funders get a share of the project’s profits, depending on the entrepreneur’s discretion, or lending-based where funders provide the money which the project owner pays within a certain time frame at an agreed upon interest rate. 

Investree’s registration as a crowdfunding portal in the country is valid for one year and is subject to extension, depending on the SEC’s review of its first 11 months of operation.

It was originally founded in Jakarta in 2015 and is backed by such entities as MUIP, a unit of Japan’s Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, and Indonesia’s BRI Ventures. Now that it has set up shop in the Philippines, it will be operated by a joint venture between Gotianun-led conglomerate Filinvest Development Corp. and financial technology Investree Singapore Pte. Ltd.

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