With seed capital for startups getting difficult to find by the day,many Entrepreneurs are looking at crowdfunding platforms to raise funding for their startups.
What is Crowdfunding? It describes the collective effort of individuals who network and pool their resources, usually via the Internet, to support efforts initiated by other people or organizations. Crowd funding is used in support of a wide variety of activities, including disaster relief, citizen journalism, support of artists by fans, political campaigns, startup company funding, movie or free software development, and scientific research.
Fred Wilson, who is the founder of the venture capital firm Union Square Ventures (which has invested in Twitter, Tumblr, Foursquare, and Zynga), predicts that once the crowdfunding scenario gets up and running, the equity crowdfunding market will reach $300 billion and will be largely driven by families and individuals investing a small percentage of their assets via crowdfunding. As a point of comparison, a study from Crowdsourcing.org reports that about $1.5 billion was raised from 452 crowdfunding platforms in 2011.
Here are a list of the best crowdfunding platforms to look to if you are a startup entrepreneur.
Kickstarter: Kickstarter is probably the oldest and the strongest crowdfunding platform. With over 74k Projects launched on it’s website, and 383M $ raised through the website for projects, Kickstarter has a success rate of 44%. It can help fund everything from films, games, and music to art, design, and technology. Kickstarter is full of ambitious, innovative, and imaginative projects that are brought to life through the direct support of others.
WeFunder: Wefunder is a crowd investing platform for startups. They help seed investors purchase stock for as little as $100 in the most promising new businesses around the country. They also help founders raise funds from their most passionate users who provide product feedback, marketing evangelism, and business connections. The company was founded in January 2010 by an MIT Sloan School of Management. Right now it boasts of a huge number of investments, as written on their website: 9,287 funders pledge to invest $25,989,550 in startups
Indigogo: Indiegogo is one of the world’s largest and earliest crowdfunding websites. They have helped to raise millions of dollars for over 30,000 campaigns, across 194 countries. Danae, Eric and Slava each tried to raise money for something they were passionate about, but they came up short. They had great ideas, the passion to work hard, and good networks, yet access to funding through traditional channels proved limited. The trio was determined to find a solution to the problem. Indiegogo was born; the crowdfunding solution that empowers ideas and enables people to donate funds easily.
CrowdFunder: Based in Los Angeles, crowdfunder is a social network for entrepreneurs and investors to connect, crowdfund and grow. The company puts tools, connections and advice in the hands of business owners and investors at all stages in the life cycle of a business. Startups and small businesses can raise funds through equity, debt and contribution-based instruments. Crowdfunder is also holding a series of contests in cities around the US where local businesses compete, and get a chance to win funding upto US $500,000. This website however mainly concentrates on the US market.
RocketHub: RocketHub is a crowdfunding platform for creative professionals. There are project topics tagged with various tagwords from beautiful to weird on this site. Rockethub is gaining a lot of popularity in recent times due to it’s continuous media exposure.
SeedInvest: Concentrating on American startups, this website was started by a group of MBA professionals from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, SeedInvest seamlessly brings together entrepreneurs and investors through an equity-based crowdfunding platform in a way that has never been done before. SeedInvest empowers entrepreneurs with a platform to pitch to millions of investors throughout the US in order to raise seed capital
Quirky: Quirky is a Crowdfunding Website for Inventors. According to the website, it has developed 241 products, has 188 retail partners and has a community of over 283,000 people. For centuries, becoming an “inventor” has been a hard gig to crack. Complexities relating to financing, engineering, distribution, and legalities have stood in the way of brilliant people executing on their great ideas. Since launching in 2009, Quirky has rapidly changed the way the world thinks about product development
Startsomegood: Startsomegood is a Crowdfunding Website for Social Entrepreneurs. Start Some Good is a new crowdfunding website for social initiatives to raise funds through a community of supporters. You can even see a project from India on this website.
Fundable: Founded by serial entrepreneur Wil Schroter, Fundable investors have the opportunity to invest in small business for equity. The website is currently running a rewards-based funding platform.
Believers Fund: This website is for mobile apps. This innovative crowdFunding platform has partnered with companies like Microsoft Bizspark, and has oflate, become the talk of the crowdfunding niche.
There are other crowdfunding websites like EarlyShares, GetFunded, RelayFund, CrowdCube, New Jelly, CoFolio, Peerbackers.
Since this is a top ten, we have chosen the ones that we thought are apt for the list. Have we missed out anything? Please let us know
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