TAKAYAMA, Japan—When microbrewery owner Saburo Setsuda needed to replace a bottling machine last year, his bank said no to a loan but introduced him to a Tokyo firm that helped him raise funds online.
"I remember thinking it was almost too good to be true," said Mr. Setsuda, who had piled up ¥10 million ($98,000) in outstanding bank loans. He is one of a number of Japanese entrepreneurs, from fashion designers to restaurant operators, who are turning to online fundraising, known as crowdfunding, when regular banks won't help.
Just a couple of years ago, providing answers to some of the most common questions on crowdfunding and growdfunding growth, was based evenly between limited anecdotal evidence and general hearsay.
But as with any fledgling industry moving towards maturity, more and more data has started to appear that makes answering these questions a bit easier. One recent mountain of data on the crowdfunding world and the growth of crowdfunding that just arrived contains a plethora of information.
For example, there's this: Every hour in the month of March, more than $60,000 dollars were raised via crowdfunding throughout the world.
And this: In the first three months of 2014, $124 million was raised around the world via crowdfunding.
With the only equipment necessary in some cases being a smartphone, along with some imagination and innovation together with know how. The new era of business and entrepreneurship is ideal for South Africa with its huge unemployment and under resourced communities. We share some insights about the growing trend in crowdfunding South Africa is growing.
We decided to take a look at some of the big brands who have been jumping on the crowdfunding bandwagon. Crowdfunding has been a cult phenonminon that has swept across the globe with much excitement. Whether investing in the latest techy watch, movie, album, or designer, the crowd has mobilized around hip and cutting edge concepts. Traditional investors have also benefited by participating in crowdfunding sites that offer equity opportunities for accredited investors. What has been missing from the equation is known and established brands. That has suddenly changed.
This famous hotel chain is similar to a franchise in that each location is individually owned and they pay for the rights to the brand name. The owner of the Palm Springs location, Andre Carpiac, needed to raise $1.5 million so he turned to the crowd. With a campaign for accredited investors to “own a piece of the Rock” they hit the ground running. Within a couple of days they raised $500,000. In exchange for their investment, investors received discounts on hotel stay, access to the owners pool deck, VIP treatment and receptions, food and drink credits, and a portion of the profits. This is an excellent opportunity for accredited investors to be part of the Hard Rock franchise without actually owning one.
This famous vacation state is testing the idea of crowfunding portions of their education system. If fully implemented, this will be the first state to do so. The pilot program is seeking to raise capital for the repair of two local schools.
A famous college, the University of California Los Angeles has launched crowdfunding in order to fund research and ideas that students or faculty have. They are trying to tap into this new form of capital in order to meet some of their funding goals.
Even famous movie stars are getting in on the action. Kristen Bell succesfully raised the funds she needed for a Veronica Mars movie through crowdfunding and now the movie is out in theaters. The company Junction makes movies for people like Tom Hanks. Now, movie fans can get in on the action before it ever hits theaters.
The fact that name brands and powerful players are now participating in crowdfunding should be a sign of its ability to cross over all business sizes, consumer groups, and industries. The staying power of crowdfunding will remain as long as the crowd continues to be interested. Businesses and entrepreneuers will always need capital. This is one of the sources they can turn to for it.
A key challenge going forward will be connecting the crowd to the right campaigns. Crowdfunding platforms will need to continue to improve their search and matching features. This may lead investors towards specailized crowdfunding platforms that focus on one specific industry. In the meantime, investors are enjoying sorting through crowdfunding listings in search of the next big thing and everyone is noticing.
It seems as though most every place that isn't actually Silicon Valley lays some claim to being the next Silicon Valley. Fair enough: Tech companies are the future, and it doesn't seem to be getting any harder to raise money to run new ones. Venture capital firms passed out more money at the beginning of this year than they have at any time since 2001, according to data released April 10, 2014 by investment researcher CB Insights. The CB data show that companies raised just under $10 billion in 880 separate deals over the first three months of this year.
The world’s eyes are shifting toward India as the next big market to watch, especially for those of us who keep tabs on the global tech scene. It was inevitable, then, that people would start comparing startup ecosystems of the archetypal United States and this fast-emerging powerhouse. Almost like a right of passage, every major startup scene in the world gets stacked up against Silicon Valley as a bellwether for how far it’s come and how far it has yet to go. Whether a direct comparison ultimately benefits India or not is debatable, as many would argue India shouldn’t model its startup ecosystem after Silicon Valley, but it’s still interesting to see the contrast solely based on statistical evidence. That’s what TiE, a group of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and executives with roots in the Indus region, has done with its latest infographic. TiE’s graphic compares four major startup hubs in India with their theoretical counterparts in the US; Bangalore versus Silicon Valley, New Delhi versus New York City, etc. Each comparison shows the cities’ 2013 population, number of startups, amount of investment capital, number of IPOs, and average valuation per startup.
Analyst Gartner has just put out its latest worldwide devices forecast, predicting a growth rate of 6.9% for shipments of traditional PCs, tablets, ultramobiles and mobile phones this year. That’s up on the 4.8% growth achieved last year.
Last week, chat app Line announced that it passed the 300 million download milestone for its gaming platform Line Game. That’s a huge achievement considering it is under two years old, launching just in July 2012.
Indian e-store Flipkart announced yesterday it surpassed $1 billion in gross merchandising volume, according to NextBigWhat. Despite slowing sales growth, Flipkart reached the billion-dollar benchmark a full year earlier than originally projected and seven years after it first launched. Co-founder Sachin Bansal originally made that forecast in March 2013.
Recently, the Financial Times published its annual Study on European Cities and Regions of the Future for 2014/2015. In this study, Eindhoven, located in the Netherlands, was ranked third European city of the future after London and Helsinki.
The city of Eindhoven is a new entry to this specific list, thanks in part to the incubation facilities existing in the local technology campus. Below are nine reasons that make Eindhoven a dream place for tech startups. Tech refers to sectors like semiconductors, nanotechnology, advanced materials, health tech, Internet and web based apps.
Bitcoin has in recent months, received increased interest and gained wider acceptance as payment method, it has also has picked up a growing volume of large venture capital investors. The current price of around US$517 per bitcoin, the total estimated circulation is worth an approximate US$6.4 billion.
The Mysterious World of Keyword Analytic's and Semalt SEO
Recently we found out about “Semalt” after some of our networking community reported that one of their websites had the domain name www.semalt.com appearing multiple times in their traffic logs. Fundedflow decided to do some investigation and upon an initial visit to the Semalt website there appears to be little or no documentation on exactly who they are or what they offer. On landing at the Semalt home page it reveals very little except a login box and registration options. Further inspection and some digging around elsewhere reveals the company is based in the Netherlands and that the website offers Key word and ranking analytics tools, along with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) services.