About the Founder
Anthony (Tony) Puls
Anthony (Tony) Puls, has had over 40-years experience in raising funds for SMEs and and holds a wealth of information on the subject. He is recognised as one of the founding fathers of crowdfunding globally. Tony was doing crowdfunding before the word ‘crowdfunding’ was even invented! See: SME Bonds launched.
Tony has always been a strong advocate for regional development through business growth. During the early 1990’s, Tony set up a consortium, that included Birss Consulting Group (Sydney) & the Hunter Technology Development Centre (based at Newcastle University). In 1991 the consortium lodged an application through the New South Wales Corporate Affairs Commission to the National Companies & Securities Commission (NCSC), before it became known as ASIC, with a view to creating a type of stock market that SME’s could use to cost-effectively raise start-up and early-stage capital.
Over the years, Tony has been involved in a number of studies including the Industries Commission study “Availability of Capital” commissioned by Paul Keating in 1991; Financing Growth 1995; Informal Equity Investment 1997; Investment Readiness Study 1997, Study of a Growth Equity Market for Australia 1997 as well as having been invited by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) in 1997 to contribute comment to the final drafting of a Class Order which provided the exemptive relief (from the Corporations Act) necessary to making crowdfunding an easier and cheaper way for SME’s to raise capital.
Tony was founding Chairman of the Australian Small Scale Offerings Board Limited (ASSOB), one of the World’s first equity-based crowdfunding platforms which raised in excess of $150 million for over 300 start-ups and early stage businesses before retiring from that role in 2015. ASSOB provided a compliant share Issuer and Seller platform for the owners of small to medium sized Australian unlisted companies.
ASSOB used many of the techniques used by listed companies to enable unlisted companies to raise between $250K and $5M in equity capital. ASSOB was a pioneer in this space in Australia and became known as one of the most innovative platforms for unlisted enterprises in the world.
In 2013 Tony was invited to Washington by the Securities and Exchange Commission & FINRA to help with the development of crowdfunding regulations as part of President Obama’s Jobs Act initiative. See World Bank report – pages 18 & 46 where it references ASSOB as being the World’s most successful equity crowdfunding platform.
Tony made popular the term ‘Initial Private Offer‘ (IPO) that is now used by SMEs in the USA, Australia & Europe to raise funding. In 2016 Tony was granted life membership of the Crowdfunding Institute of Australia (CFIA).
Alternative Business Finance for Entrepreneurs & Innovators
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