The Directorate General for Internal Market and Services and the Financial Services User Group (FSUG) commissioned Oxera to conduct a study on crowdfunding with financial returns in Europe. We were requested to undertake the study from the perspective of the user—the investor, rather than the fundraiser—and to include equity crowdfunding and peer-to-peer (P2P) lending.

Oxera reviewed the existing literature on crowdfunding, commissioned a consumer survey in Germany, Poland and Spain, and interviewed a number of crowdfunding platforms in these same countries and in the UK. We thus reviewed the development of this form of finance in Europe and explored the level of awareness of equity crowdfunding and P2P lending among the general population of Germany, Poland and Spain.

We also inquired into how potential risks are perceived by those aware of this form of finance, and into how crowdfunding platforms assist investors in assessing and mitigating risks. We finally inquired into investor behaviour. This report presents the findings of the study.