Crowdfunding is a perfect means of gaining money for your business. It is more “pleasant and friendly” than going from bank to bank or form one investor to another, carrying a bag full of necessary documents. If you have not been successful in the traditional ways of finding a good financing for your startup, or just have never imagined to do this in this way, crowdfunding comes with help. It enables you to find a large group of investors and to choose what kind of return they will receive.
Sally Outlaw – founder and CEO of Peerbackers – gives some advice and suggestions in her book about crowdfunding Cash from the Crowd. The list below presents the top 10 of crowdfunding websites according to Sally Outlaw, divided into three groups depending on the kinds of returns which investors may receive.
I invest and want to receive a reward
Indiegogo – a website for everyone and allowing to obtain money for anything. While it charges less than the others for success (4% not 5%), it charges as much as 9% if you do not achieve your aim.
RocketHub – focused on the arts in its beginnings, later has turned also to business, education, science and social good projects.
Peerbackers – a very popular website which is centered on finding entrepreneurs or innovators from around the world (including the very young group of 13-17 via student organizations).
Kickstarter – this website focuses on supporting creativity (design, film, publishing, music, gaming or technology). It is not easy to meet the conditions and be approved here. Unlike the previous three websites, Kickstarter is intended for creators from U.K., U.S and Canada only.
I invest if for a debt
SoMoLend – a peer-to-peer platform which gives businesses a possibility to get a loan from either friends and family or accredited investors or banks. It is exceptional among the similar websites as here the FICO score is not so important in the process of your creditworthiness assessment.
Endurance Lending Network – the platform connecting small businesses which search for maximum $500,000 of debt capital from lenders other than the traditional ones (individuals, debt funds, family offices, wealth management platforms).
I invest if I receive equity shares
These websites differ from the typical crowdfunding places, as the group of backers consist of only accredited investors. However, they can still fit crowdfunding as the investors are allowed to invest lower amounts of money and the pooling element is present.
Grow Venture Community – a community-based platform. Here the entrepreneurs have the opportunity to keep in touch with investors, experts but also team members, new clients or partners
MicroVentures – here you can receive financial help from angel investors who use the online platform (SEC) in order to invest small portions of funds in startups.
AngelList – known as the Match.com, intended for entrepreneurs incorporated in Delaware and with at least $100,000 gathered. Its worth knowing because, firstly, it has a good system creating a strong investor pool and, secondly, it gathers backers in a single-purpose fund.
CircleUp – a website centered on high-growth consumer product and retail firms. It charges no fee in the case of family or friends investments. The fee is charged when you gain money from new investors.