My test was pretty cursory, the kind of quick test that entrepreneurs make when seeing whether to take the time to use a service.
- Angel List
I make no apologies for not testing all the platforms. No busy entrepreneur would do that; crowdfunding is a network effects game. If I have missed one with huge traction, I hope somebody will tell me.
My test was the equivalent of the Page 1 of Google test that SEO and Content Marketing folks do. In this case I looked at Page 1 of Trending, specifically anything that I could reasonably categorize as Fintech (I am pretty liberal in my interpretation because “bits don’t stop at category borders” and big Fintech will acquire ventures in adjacent spaces or to fill out their product stack).
Here is what I found (dateline 11 Nov. 2014):
- InDenero – SMB accounting
- Neighborly – US Muni Bond marketplace
- Bit Access – Bitcoin ATM
- CrowdLords – Buy to Let marketplace
- Trillion Fund – Crowdfunding for environmental & social ventures
I got two take-away insights (those quick insights that may or may not be correct but that matter because perception can very quickly become reality):
1. The two UK sites show the % towards funding goal. This is like Kickstarter. It is possible that Angel List does this for accredited HNW. One advice for entrepreneurs from people with experience of crowdfunding campaigns is to close something like 30% offline before you launch online. If investors see less than 10% they tend to get worried.
2. Different focus of Crowdcube and Seedrs. Seedrs and Angel List both seem to go for the high trajectory, big ambition “Silicon Valley style” startups. This is a high risk/high reward game for investors. Crowdcube looks more suited to the larger number of “more normal” businesses within a well-defined niche (but still a lot bigger than your average retail operation or life-style business). These might not get your A List VCs salivating, but there are way more of these businesses so this high volume strategy might be the smart choice if you run a crowd-funding platform.