A spokesperson for the Ministry of Economy and Finance told FoodNavigator that they will be submitting a bill to parliament in the coming weeks to make crowdfunding more accessible, which may pave the way for Europe-wide rules.
“These crowdfunding stages that we are putting in place in France is a first step, but the ambition of course it to have a crowdfunding “regime” at a European level,” explained the spokesperson.
Innovative funding, innovative food businesses
In August, FoodNavigator reported the production of a cricket protein bar, one example of crowdfunding success within the food industry via the website Kickstarter. Earlier this year sister publication ConfectioneryNews reported on the launch of Kung Pao chilli chocolate bar through the crowdfunding site Indiegogo.
Discussing the launch, Dan Bernier of Kung Pao Chocolate Bars said: “Our product is new, innovative and exciting and so is crowdfunding. We realised that the target market of our candy has a lot of overlap with folks leading the way in new business innovation and start-up funding. They tend to be very active users of technology, leaders”.
In August it was reported that SmartyPants Vitamins raised $2.59m this way.
“When you are smaller CPG company, a lot of the traditional funding routes aren’t available,” SmartyPants Vitamins co-founder Courtney Nichols Gould told sister title NutraIngredients-USA.
“I’m not raising enough money where venture capital is going to be interested and private the equity guys are like, if you want $20 million, then give me a call. If you are going out and beating the street and talking to angel investors, it takes an enormous amount of time," she explained.
If passed, this should become law in place in France by summer 2014.
“Generally speaking, in the French legislation there was no what we could call “specific regime” for crowdfunding, there is nothing like, for example, what we have seen in the US,” said the ministry spokesperson.
Currently in France organisations facilitating crowdfunding may be forced by law to apply for credit institute status as if they were a bank.
“[After this law is passed] there will be a specific regime and you will not be forced to be a credit institution any more, and there are a number of conditions that will be discussed with the different financial players when the ordonnance is drafted,” said the spokesperson.
"...What we do with this crowdfunding bill is basically to encourage a new form of economy financing."