Crowdfunding—an online method of soliciting money from the general public for a business, project, or cause—is about to go through a seismic shift. And it could mean insane profits for some investors—profits that were previously unattainable due to government regulations.
We are talking about the potential for the kind of jackpot enjoyed by early investors in high-growth startups like YouTube and Facebook. We’ve all heard stories about the lucky janitors who cashed out on equity after an IPO or acquisition and bought million-dollar homes and a porsche, or two, or three.
For the fact that millions of crowdfunding investors have been shut out of this opportunity until now, one does not have to look back very far for a lesson in extreme disappointment.
Virtual reality technology company Oculus VR, Inc., which manufactures the hotly anticipated Oculus Rift headset, raised $2.4 million on the popular crowdfunding site Kickstarter, largely from the gaming and developer community it serves.
When Oculus VR was acquired by Facebook for $2 billion, its more than 9,000 crowdfunding supporters who helped launch the company got nothing.