New Cities Foundation Handbook on Urban Infrastructure Finance Discusses InfraShares and the Benefits of Crowdfunded Investment for P3s

The recently published New Cities Foundation Handbook on Urban Infrastructure discusses the benefits of crowdfunding private investment for public infrastructure projects and the role of the crowdfunding platform: “There are several other advantages associated with using crowdfunded P3 equity. Because the crowdfunding is provided by investors with social as well as financial motivations, they may be willing to accept a slightly lower rate of return than institutional sources of capital. Also, depending on the method of crowdfunding employed, the securities offered would not be restricted for re-sale, removing liquidity risk and further reducing the rate of return required on the equity. Because crowdfunding offers investment to a broad base of retail and small institutional investors, the increased competition puts further downward pressure on the return required. These factors combine to lower the overall cost of capital for the P3 developer, which can then be passed on to the public sponsor in the form of lower availability payments or to the public with reduced toll/fee structures.  One of the essential ingredients to make crowdfunding successful in the P3 space is the online platform that serves as the key intermediary. Infrashares is an example of such a P3 platform that exists today. An online P3 crowdfunding platform must be capable of managing all the transactions accurately and efficiently, including prequalifying investors, sharing project information, performing transactions, and keeping track of investment documents. In addition to these basic functions, as dictated by the new crowdfunding regime, the online platform can be used to disclose additional information beyond what is currently necessary including Public Offering Statements, Official Statements for bonds, traffic and revenue studies, audited financial statements, and quarterly performance reports. The online platform can also help facilitate various offering strategies, including multi-stage offerings—for example, first to people who are users of the asset followed by progressive offers to people locally, nationally, and internationally”

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