RCS Capital (RCAP) introduced a platform in September called We Are Crowdfunding that lets accredited investors and others buy public and private offerings online by pooling their resources.
“With a focus on high-caliber, institutional-quality investments and access to expert advice and support from the over 9,700 financial advisors on the RCAP retail advice platform, We Are Crowdfunding goes beyond the traditional limited choices currently available,” said RCAP Executive Chairman Nicholas Schorsch, in a statement.
The firm launched We Are Crowdfunding with the hope that high-net-worth individuals will use it to start or boost the investing they do with RCAP’s affiliated advisors. Industry observers say that this strategy could work if the offering helps RCAP stand out in the crowd.
“It definitely sounds like an innovative product [launch],” said executive-search consultant Mark Elzweig in an interview. “If it works, it could give RCS a competitive advantage that could help them attract advisors and keep them from leaving. Thus, it could be a big positive for RCS.”
There are already more than 500 websites for those interested in buying property and other alternative investments via crowdfunding, such as RealtyShares.com and RealtyMogul.com.
But it’s a big market—and growing. Some industry research estimates the crowdfunding business is worth roughly $5 billion and should double to $10 billion within the next 12 months.
New crowdfunding sites are popping up on nearly a daily basis. PeerStreet, a mortgage financing platform developed by former Google and TripAdvisor executives, is in the beta testing phase.
“Crowdfunding is a cutting-edge idea at the moment,” said Elzweig, “and the [RCAP] reps should view it as positive.”
RCAP says its crowdfunding platform has something for everyone, meaning both accredited and non-accredited investors looking for public and private investments. It includes Regulation A and Regulation D offerings, mutual funds and closed-end fund offerings with different liquidity features and investment minimums, for instance.