Screening, transparency, accountability

If we would be asked to include in one sentence what WinnersFund does, the answer would be that it allows Project Owners to promote their Projects through our Crowdfunding Platform provided that they conform with our Terms of Service, i.e. a wide set of rules with regards to publicly asking for the financing of business oriented Projects.

WinnersFund does not engage in any kind of client relationship with the Funders, neither does it hold or control their financial contributions (money). It only establishes, standardises, automates and safeguards the internal procedures for promoting Projects publicly through the WinnersFund Platform.

And when all stages of a Campaign conclude successfully, all that WinnersFund does is to confirm, for one last time, that the Project Owner has closely followed the WinnersFund rules, before allowing him to directly engage with the Funders and directly collect the funds (always in an automated manner).

So, if you are a Project Owner, please take the time to read carefully and understand what you will be asked for in case you decide to become one of our honoured clients.

If yor are an investor, please take a few moments to understand what the Project Owner will have to ask you before accepting your funds.

 

General Rules

The general rules that are universally applied to all Projects are:

  • Transparency & listing clarity: All Project Owners are required to commit themselves, and that in a clear and easily understandable way, on how the funds will be used if their Project gets funded.
  • Moderation: Although we do not perform vetting from a financial or a business perspective (i.e. we DO NOT evaluate the potential commercial success of any Project NOR do we conduct financial or legal Due Diligence), all Campaigns are reviewed prior to publishing in order to be certified as compliant with the platform's guidelines and Terms of Service.
  • Accountability: All successful Project Owners have to verify their identity (pl. see below) and in addition, when Equity is offered, sign uniform contracts prior to gaining access to their Funders' full data and funds. All such documentation and data is securely kept in an internal electronic registry for a minimum of five (5) years following the closure of the respective user account, and is available to any Funder claiming inadequate use of funds, as well as to the Authorities, in cases of fraudulent or other suspicious activities.
  • Use of funds monitoring and Project Owner profiling: Following the release of funds, all Funders of successful Campaigns are requested by WinnersFund to verify that the funds receivers ("successful Project Owners") have fulfilled their promises. A publicly available "Project Owner profile" is created for each one, based on all such Funder feedback, listing all Funders' evaluation together with each Project Owner's replies.

 

Documentation

Our client screening policy (including WinnersFunds’ KYC internal procedures) deploys in different levels and processes. Each one is triggered by an action, an event or a characteristic of the client (the "trigger"), i.e. the Project Owner.

For companies wishing to publish a Campaign through WinnersFund, a set of documents proving their status and representation is requested prior to Campaign publishing (please see "Additional documentation requested from companies", below).

In all other cases, the screening process starts as soon as a Campaign passes successfully to the 2nd funding Round (please read more here, "Minimum and Optimum funding target" and "for how long" sections), since Campaigns in WinnersFund do not run with real money (please read more here, section "What happens to your money").

Also, we require from Project Owners to follow the strictest AML regulations in force with regards to the source of the funds they shall receive, and we are happy to handle all the documentation on their behalf at no extra cost - otherwise they will have to appoint a local lawyer or a MiFID licensed Investment Firm that we will hand all personal data of the Funders to, when a Campaign ends successfuly.

The general rules are schematically presented in the following tables.

 

Payments

PAYMENT TRIGGERS

REQUESTS

METHODS

  • Single transaction over 150 EUR, or
  • Multiple transactions for more than 300 EUR at any given day, or
  • Multiple transactions for more than 2,500 EUR at any given calendar year, or
  • Redemption request for not less than 1,000 EUR in total at any given calendar year

 

  • Proof of ID and age
  • Proof of postal address
  • Email address registration

Electronic transmission (online uploading / email / fax) or hardcopy postage of:

(a) Passport or ID (when written with Latin characters) or Driver' s License (when written with Latin characters) scanned copy

(b) Email confirmation form with original handwritten signature (printed, signed, scanned / photographed) returned together with the proof of ID using the email address to register

(c) Copy of utility bill, telecommunications bill or bank statement sent to a residential or working address with the name of the person in question as the receiver

 

Ownership

CAMPAIGN TRIGGERS

REQUESTS

METHODS

  • Individual Project Owner (natural person) of a successful Project to be the ultimate beneficial owner of 10% or more of the company that will be crowdfunded, or
  • Individual (natural person) Funder of a successful Project to become the ultimate beneficial owner of 10% or more of the company that will be crowdfunded, having funded the Project either directly (on their own behalf) or through a legal entity
  • Proof of ID and age
  • Email address verification
  • Proof of address
  • Standardised contract "Shareholders Agreement" signature (including all compliance terms and conditions)
  • Proof of personal bank account
  • Criminal history
  • Source of funds (for investors only)

Electronic transmission (online uploading / email / fax) or hardcopy postage of:

(a) Passport or ID (please see above)

(b) Email confirmation form with original signature (please see above)

(c) Copy of utility bill, telecommunications bill or bank statement (please see above)

(d) Tax Returns of the last 1-3 years

(e) Criminal Records

(f) Shareholders Agreement (Contract) signature by one of the following methods:

  • Citizens and residents of Group A countries(1):

    (i) Contract electronic signing via an Online Electronic Signature Service or (ii) hardcopy original signature, scanning, electronic transmission (through the registered email address) together with an original apostilled hardcopy

  • Citizens and residents of Group B countries(2): Contract printout, signature, Apostille, scanning, electronic transmission (through the registered email address) together with the original apostilled hardcopy

  • Nationals of all other countries: Contract printout, translation to an official local language, signature before a local notary who validates signature, official translation of Contract together with the bank statement and utility bill in English through a local Consulate of an English speaking country (UK, USA, Australia etc) scanning, electronic transmission (through the registered email address) plus original hardcopy

(1) GROUP A Countries: United States of America, Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom, Sweden, Benelux countries (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg), Australia, New Zealand and Singapore

(2) GROUP B Countries: The contracting parties of the Hague Convention of 1961 on Abolishing the Requirement for Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents (the “Apostille Convention”)

 

Additional documentation requested from Companies

COMPANIES AS PROJECT OWNERS

COMPANY REPRESENTATIVES

COMPANIES AS FUNDERS

  • Certificate of incorporation
  • Certificate of Directors
  • Certificate of good standing
  • Bank account
  • Proof of address
  • Company email address verification
  • Memorandum of Association & Articles of Association
  • Statement (list) of ultimate beneficiary shareholders (natural persons) each owning personally 10% or more of the company
  • Management / General Meeting resolution (depending on each company type and jurisdiction) approving capital increase through Crowdfunding
  • Standardised contract "Shareholders Agreement" preapproval (including all compliance terms and conditions) by the competent corporate body

For each company representative, personally (for details pl. see above):

  • Proof of ID
  • Proof of postal address
  • Personal email address verification
  • Proof of representation capacity (when not a registered company Director)
  • Criminal history
  • Certificate of incorporation
  • Certificate of Directors
  • Certificate of good standing
  • Bank account
  • Proof of address
  • Company email address verification
  • Memorandum of Association & Articles of Association
  • Statement (list) of ultimate beneficiary shareholders (natural persons) each owning personally 10% or more of the company
  • Management / General Meeting resolution (depending on the company type and jurisdiction) approving the activity of investment through Crowdfunding
  • Standardised contract "Shareholders Agreement" preapproval (including all compliance terms and conditions) by the competent corporate body

 

Other precautions

For legal entities not registered as limited liability companies (i.e. trusts, charities, not registered funds of funds entities of any nature other than a company etc) additional procedures apply. Nevertheless, these are only announced, when applicable, on a case-by-case basis.

Background checks on natural persons with regards to proof for the source funds, pressed charges and convictions for designated categories of offences (as listed in FATF: "40 Recommendations") and political exposure (for "politically exposed persons") may also be performed without notification.

A third party professional service may be used for uploading, examination and validation of all user submitted documents.

According to the legislation in force, further precautionary, not announceable policies may also apply.