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Website names tied to crowdfunding spike -U.S. state regulators

Dec 06 2012 Suzanne Barlyn, Reuters

A spike in website names related to crowdfunding suggests an upcoming wave of websites through which small businesses and entrepreneurs could raise investments using the online strategy, state securities regulators said on Wednesday. The website names have soared to 8,800 from fewer than 900 in January, according to the North American Securities Administrators Association, a Washington-based group of state securities regulators. They are proliferating as businesses await rules from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for structuring crowdfunding deals, the group said. A future surge of crowdfunding-related websites could also lead to an increase in online investor fraud, NASAA said. Crowdfunding is a capital-raising strategy in which investors buy small stakes in ventures through various websites. It started as a way to ask many people for small amounts of money to fund everything from documentaries to community projects, often in exchange for a free service

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