AgriCrowd B.V. (with brand name PlusPlus) is registered with theDutch Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) as a tied agent of the investment firm Hands-on B.V. (with brand name Lendahand). Since September 2016, Lendahand has an AFM license as an Investment Firm as referred to in Section 2:96 of the Wft. Placing orders on the PlusPlus website is therefore an activity regulated by the AFM. As a connected agent, PlusPus acts under the full and unconditional responsibility of Lendahand (and must also comply with the rules of the Wft.
The persons who determine the day-to-day policy at PlusPlus (the board) have been assessed by the AFM for suitability and reliability prior to registering as a tied agent. In doing so, the AFM looked at, among other things, experience, training, capacities, CVs and reference checks took place
To enable investments via the PlusPlus website, bonds are issued to the crowd. The investee who issues the bonds is referred to as the "issuer". These are entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector and the food chain in developing countries who therefore directly raise capital as an issuer via the PlusPlus platform.
The bonds of the issuers are kept by Lendahand, the investment company affiliated with PlusPlus, in a so-called collective deposit. These pieces qualify as SFA-conform kept financial instruments which have been separated from the assets of PlusPlus and Lendahand and therefore are protected as such. The issued bonds are always excluded from a possible bankruptcy of PlusPlus or Lendahand.
It is not mandatory to prepare a prospectus for specific projects (propositions). This is because the issuers with which it cooperates, make use of an exemption that applies up to EUR 5 million per issuer per year. This is why a warning banner is shown with the offers on the website. Instead of a prospectus, it is mandatory to publish a kind of mini-prospectus, the Information Document. This Information Document is also sent to the AFM, but the AFM does not assess its content.
Before entrepreneurs can access the PlusPlus website to make projects available, they will have to meet the PlusPlus access and quality requirements, including acceptance of the conditions for using the PlusPlus platform.
Investors can select one or more projects (propositions) on the website to which they wish to provide financing by purchasing bonds of 50 euros each. After a payment from an investor has been successfully processed, the purchase agreement is established. This agreement is entered into under the condition precedent that the project (the proposition) will meet enough registrations. Investors accept the terms and conditions that are part of the purchase agreement. They also accept the general terms and conditions of the payment service provider that PlusPlus works with. Once the proposition has been fully funded, the condition precedent is met and the bonds are issued to the investors who have subscribed to the proposition in question by means of a payment.
Separation of funds
As a tied agent of an investment firm, it is required that PlusPlus' operational activities (maintaining the website, contracting local partners, legal issues, etc.) are strictly separated from financial transactions (payments made via the website). That is why PlusPlus works through Lendahand together with Intersolve EGI: a Dutch financial institution that specializes in offering services in the field of settlement of payments and electronic money. To be able to offer these financial services, Intersolve EGI must comply with the applicable financial legislation. Intersolve EGI is therefore supervised by De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) and the Dutch Authority for Financial Markets (AFM) and is licensed as an Electronic Money Institution (and therefore also has a license as a Payment Institution). The money you invest in a project is deposited in a protected and secure bank account at Intersolve until the project is fully funded. PlusPlus has no access to these funds in any way. As soon as the project in question has been fully funded, your money will be transferred to the entrepreneur in question.
Investor Compensation Scheme (ICS)
PlusPlus is part of the investor compensation scheme (ICS). This scheme aims to compensate individuals and small businesses who have trusted money and or financial instruments (such as notes or options) to a licensed bank, investment firm or a financial institution in case the financial firm is unable to meet its obligations arising from claims related to the investment service (in particular, if the bonds obtained by investors are not correctly kept in the Wge depot). The ICS guarantees an amount of up to EUR 20,000 per individual per institution.