Until recently, financing a business, project or venture involved asking a few people for large sums of money. Crowdfunding switches this idea around, using the internet to talk to thousands – if not millions – of potential funders. Typically, those seeking funds will set up a profile of their project on a website such as those run by our members. They can then use social media, alongside traditional networks of friends, family and work aquaintances, to raise money. There are three different types of crowdfunding: donation, debt and equity.
The crowdfunding industry is hitting its stride. Kickstarter announced recently it has topped $1 billion in pledges for its rewards-based opportunities, and peer-to-peer lending leader Lending Club is preparing for its IPO.
The potential impacts of crowdfunding on the economy and entrepreneurship are staggering. But while rewards-based crowdfunding provides the lowest cost capital a company can raise, not everyone is a winner in this finance model. As Korstiaan Zandvliet, founder of Dutch crowdfunding platform, Symbid said: ”Isn’t it a shame that some of the companies funded through [rewards-based] forms of crowdfunding will go on to make large profits, and all you ever got was a t-shirt?”
Darren Westlake of Crowdcube knows what it is like to start a business. It was the very same process now faced by many of his customers that was to be the genesis of Crowdcube. After experiencing the difficulties of obtaining financing first hand as an entrepreneur, Darren noticed that the financial sector had not adopted technology, which could lead to greater efficiency and access to capital for small businesses. Enter Crowdcube.
iChuangye, a Kickstarter-like crowdfunding service in China previously known as 5ichuang, today held its first-ever demo day to debut projects that are raising funds on the platform.
CEO Gu Bing, who preferred to name himself as chief service officer of the site, since he consider his works as offering services to entrepreneurs and venture capitalist in an effort to bridge their demands.