04: Crowdfunding Platforms
With hundreds of crowdsourcing websites at your fingertips, you are probably asking yourself which one is best for you. To help you out, here’s a list of the best and most popular crowdfunding sites on the web, categorized by the niche market that they serve.
- Kickstarter – Kickstarter is one of the most popular crowdfunding sites. They boast statistics of over $700M donates, 85M unique viewers, and 700M page views in 2012. The site is primarily used in the tech, design and gaming industries.
- Indiegogo – Indiegogo emerged from the Sundance Film Festival as a way for independent filmmakers to fund their projects. It didn’t take long for other people in the arts world to catch on. Eventually, small businesses started using the site and it became one of the largest crowdfunding platforms around.
- GoGetFunding – GoGetFunding seeks to be a crowdfunding platform for everything. In some sense they are, but the campaigns on the site tend to be more cause related campaigns and appeal to donors emotional reaction to the campaign.
- GoFundMe – GoFundMe is primarily used for personal projects such as medical bills and honeymoons as well as philanthropic donations such as disaster relief campaigns.
- RocketHub – RocketHub is a donation-based funding site for a variety of creative projects. RocketHub is unique in that it helps campaign owners and potential promotion and market partners connect in order to help the success of the campaign.
- Fundable – Fundable has been one of the leading JOBS Act Advocates and helped to push the SEC to overturn the general soliciting ban. They are the second cheapest crowdfunding platform on the market. The company takes 3.5% of the final amount raised and the startups only receiving the funding if their campaign is fully funded.
- MicroVentures – MicroVentures is the ideal site for startup businesses seeking angel investment. The site specializes in small investments under $1M. The majority of investors are accredited, angel investors. Though, with the passing of the JOBS Act the investor pool will likely extend to non-accredited investors as well.
- CircleUp – CircleUp works primarily with consumer companies that offer an actual product to the public. As a result, this site usually hosts small businesses as opposed to true startups. You are allowed to define and maximum and minimum amount you want to raise as well as a minimum amount that a single investor can invest.
- Crowdfunder – Crowdfunder works with primarily with tech startups that are seeking capital outside of Silicon Valley. The goal is to connect local investors with local entrepreneurs.
- SoMoLend – Similar to MicroVentures, SoMoLend works with startup businesses seeking to raise less than $1M. What makes SoMoLend unique is that it in addition to individual investors, it works with banks and even cities to find debt financing for entrepreneurs. Furthermore, they play a more active role in facilitating the communication between the investors and borrowers.
- Kiva – Kiva works with very small, microfinance institutions to provide micro-loans to individuals across five continents who are unable to access tradition banking options. The loans provided through Kiva are smaller than traditional loans and are usually provided to people who would not have access to funding elsewhere.
- Appbackr – Appbackr is solely for individuals seeking to build a mobile app. It has primarily operated on a donation-based site to help mobile app entrepreneurs get off the ground. However, this will likely change with the JOBS Act.
- CrowdSupply – CrowdSupply is a retail oriented site that works exclusively with consumer products. Furthermore, once your campaign is funded, the company operates as an online storefront for the startup.
- IgnitionDeck – IgnitionDeck is based on the WordPress platform and allows campaign owners to run a full campaign from a WordPress site. Campaign owners are provided with an in-depth admin panel, as well as a number of themes and an enewsletter feature.