In a blog post released on Tuesday, crowdfunding giant Indiegogo announced plans to create a “reliable, global platform for ICOs” through their site. The new platform appears to be modeled on Indiegogo’s existing Equity Crowdfunding model, providing a curated selection of token sales and pre-sales that meet current SEC guidelines for ICOs. The new initiative further expands Indiegogo’s partnership with MicroVentures, the FINRA-registered broker-dealer behind their Equity Crowdfunding project.
It remains unclear exactly how token sales would work on the site, or how those tokens would connect to the larger cryptocurrency ecosystem. It’s possible that Indiegogo will only have an indirect connection to the tokens, acting instead as more of a broker. According to Coindesk, Indiegogo will instead offer Simple Agreements for Future Tokens (SAFTs) which would be redeemable for tokens following the ICO’s formal launch. Much like typical Indiegogo crowdfunding offerings, ICOs can also provide “perks” for certain levels of investment.
Given the high-stakes nature of ICOs, and the skepticism of many regulators, it’s safe to say that Indiegogo will be heavily vetting any proposals that come their way. This is something of a selling point for many ICOs, as MicroVentures will provide access to a “large range of securities & compliance capabilities” as well as investor accreditation, KYC, AML, money transmission and other services as part of the deal.
Indiegogo is in a unique position to capitalize on the boom in ICO crowdfunding, having invested heavily in lobbying and relationship-building with lawmakers at both the state and federal level. The company has a long history of active — and relatively friendly — engagement with the SEC and other regulators, stemming from their slow, steady push to update crowdfunding and micro-investment rules. The move could also help to further distinguish Indiegogo from its biggest competitor, Kickstarter, which recently confirmed to Coindesk that it was not planning on moving into the ICO space.
The ICO announcement post also included details about Indiegogo’s first token sale, a pre-sale for the Fan Controlled Football League (FCFL) ICO. In addition to using token sales a fundraising method, the FCFL will also utilize the blockchain itself to vote on “player personnel and real-time play calling decisions.” As explained on the FCFL investment profile page:
FAN tokens are the power behind fan interactivity and engagement in the FCFL. All activity in the league relies on FAN tokens, from voting on which coach to hire to real-time play calling during the games. Each fan’s level of control will be directly proportional to their ownership of FAN tokens, and the skill and volume with which they engage with the FCFL will add to their collection of tokens.”
At present, the FCFL is the only approved ICO on Indiegogo’s ICO & Blockchain Investment page, although the company is actively soliciting new proposals.