Equity crowdfunding platform Birchal has joined the Independent Brewers Assocation (IBA) as an associate member.

The company, which is a sister platform to Pozible, Asia’a largest crowdfunding platform, is offering IBA members a complimentary premium CSF offer document preparation service (which would normally cost $3,000) to IBA members, subject to eligibity requirements.

“The laws were recently changed to allow companies to acquire investment online by issuing shares,” explains Matt Vitale, co-founder and general counsel of Birchal. “Equity crowdfunding has been in the UK since 2012 and there’s been talk about something similar in Australia since then. The legislation was passed last year. It’s great that is finally legal.

Crowdfunding is where a company can raise capital by accepting small amounts of money from lots and lots of people in exchange for small amounts of equity, discounted products or merchandise. As well as spreading out ownership of a brand, this technique has been used abroad to widen the appeal and exposure for particular brands, and has been used by many overseas breweries.

“Craft brewers, particularly in the UK, have used crowdfunding very successfully. BrewDog is the poster child of using crowdfunding to raise capital and grow your audience, but there have been lots of other successful campaigns, not at that scale. It’s become a very valuable source of income for brewers overseas. We have a great track record for brewers getting investment for their brands.

“A requirement under the act is to produce a crowdfunding offer document. It’s a cut-down version of a prospectus. There’s a template and you need to complete it about the company – its financials, and all other disclosures required in the act. We’ve been working with company and some need assistance preparing the document, and we’re providing that assistance.

“I think craft brewers will do well. We are prepared to offer this service for free for breweries who meet our requirements.

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