By Ronald C. Pruett, Jr., CEO of As Seen On TV
We’re delighted and encouraged by the SEC’s recent unanimous vote to propose rules under the JOBS Act to permit companies to offer and sell securities through crowdfunding. This will allow unaccredited investors to buy stock in privately-held companies via crowdfunding sites. To date, only accredited investors have been allowed to participate in such deals – whereas everyone else has been confined to donations (sometimes in exchange for an eventual product). Our entire As Seen on TV ecosystem and success is predicated around inventors and entrepreneurs, and we support all efforts to constructively harness this energy and provide safe, fun products to consumers.
ASTV expects to be an active participant in this arena and will focus the efforts of our own crowdfunding site on the pre-buying of products, not equity investments. This approach allows for the rapid testing and development of ASTV products and customer communities.
The As Seen on TV market is a global one that, according to Homeworld, grew over 40% in retail in 2012. That is significant growth particularly in a down economy. Our site is structured so that our consumers can interact with ASTV and the inventor’s products in new innovative ways and help us consider and test the next successes in this category. We believe this category view of crowdfunding is the way this new idea will flourish. We expect the crowdfunding world to accelerate toward specialists, so specific categories, like our own will have leading and dominant players. We expect to be that platform for the entire As Seen on TV category. We already receive thousands of submissions per year and expect that to grow as we roll out this platform and other initiatives.
Stay tuned for future news and thank you for participating in this exciting new way to develop a new product and make someone smile.