Crowdfunding, Startups & Everything In-between

Where to Find Crowdfunding Platforms #1

Crowdfunding is on the rise in Europe, with a series of regulations being passed in its favor such as the introduction of equity crowdfunding in some countries (e.g. Italy in 2013) or laxer and more favorable rules in general (e.g. Spain, the “Ley de Fomento a la Financiación Empresarial” law in 2015). I received a lot of input from my followers regards my initial post about this subject (up to the point of being approached by somebody who wanted to gain permission to translate the original post into Spanish for a friend of hers), so I decided to go one step further.

I am going to post the most relevant crowdfunding platforms, based on the geographical location of the top 2 nationalities following that particular post: Italy and Spain. Links and a short description accompany each and every platform.

But before that, a short legend. The major types of crowdfunding can be:

  • reward-based = donations are made in exchange for rewards (personalized T-shirts, autographs, events, beta product versions, etc.);
  • donation-based = simple donations, no rewards included;
  • equity-based = donations are made in exchange for equity, which translates into ownership of a portion of the company. Note: both debt and equity instruments can be used under this term of crowdfunding (at least in the US, as far as I know);
  • debt-based or P2PL (peer-to-peer lending) = money (a credit) is being lend to entrepreneurs, the borrowers interacting directly with the lenders; no bank or any other financial institution is needed.

ITALY

  • Produzioni dal Basso - It is believed to be one of the first crowdfunding platforms in Europe, and the first one in Italy. It addresses all kinds of projects, especially the ones concerning self-production, and follows the reward- as well as donation-based model.
  • DeRev - "The Italian crowdfunding platform" as they put it, is in fact a social media platform perfect for entrepreneurs who want to test or implement their innovative ideas. Each campaign is referred to as a "revolution", with the possibility of raising money in 3 different ways: All or Nothing (if your campaign doesn't reach its financial target in max. 90 days, all the money goes back to the contributors - aimed at reaching the minimum budget ), Keep It All (you keep all your money after the max. 90 days have passed, even though your campaign might not succeed), Fundraising (no funding limit or time restraints imposed - this option is best suited for social or political projects).
  • SiamoSoci - Acts like a search engine that allows private investors to search and invest in unlisted companies. The platforms also enables the creation of investment groups called "club deals" where investors with different backgrounds can team up and share a common goal (i.e. common investment into a project).
  • WeAreStarting - An equity-based crowdfunding platform, with a neat design and friendly UI, especially for investors.
  • Smartika - Initially launched as Zopa Italy, Smartika has at its roots the P2PL model, with Banca d'Italia (the Bank of Italy) acting as a regulator in the background to ensure a better security between the lenders and the borrowers.
  • Kapipal - A general platform more like Produzioni dal Basso, although it is best appropriate for personal projects such as birthdays, wedding presents, group purchases, charity ans so on. The system is donation-based; still "Kapipalists" can offer from time to time symbolic rewards if they want to.

*BONUS*

  • Musicraiser The platform is a reward-based one which empowers everything that has to do with music, from album launches and videos to live shows, festivals and on-going tours. This might serve as a launching platform if you find yourself in this industry. Plus it's international, being present in 203 countries and supporting 23 currencies.
  • Eppela - Innovative projects in arts, technology and the non-profit sector are backed on this reward-based platform, with the user's possibility to vote for the best ongoing campaigns.

SPAIN

  • TheCrowdAngel - The leader of equity crowdfunding in Spain, the people behind it regard themselves as the "first online platform to invest in technology-based startups with the rigor and robustness of a Venture Capital". The process is not venture capitalist at all, rather business angel oriented. Every week a team of investors, called the "Angel Crowd", receives a number of projects and selects only the most promising ones to be published on the platform. Even though the publication rate is quite low (~ 1,4%), the results match the effort (projects are backed for +1,25 million € on average).
  • Megafounder - The so called "post-Kickstarter platform", Megafounder is an international crowdfunding platform based in Spain that addresses only to the successfully funded Kickstarter projects that also have a product on the market. It is reward-based, has no deadlines, and funds are received on a daily or weekly basis. If you already have a Kickstarter project and want to raise more capital, gain more kickers or extend the project's lifespan, this is the perfect platform for you.
  • Goteo - Acts like a social media platform for crowdfunding and distributed collaborations (services, infrastructures, micro-tasks and other resources) that supports projects which arbitrate for "common good, free knowledge, and open code" - basically any project that aims at making the world a better place, either socially, economically or environmentally. Two funding rounds are arranged, 40 days each, first one being an All or Nothing round and the second one including an optimum budget limit. UI offers a great experience indeed, much more like a social platform.
  •  F4R - Or FundsForResearch, is, you guessed it, a crowdfunding platform for research and science projects. The non-profit organization behind it wants to raise the society's and governments' awareness related to investing in research and science as a factor in progress and social welfare. Great idea if you ask me! There is only one investment round between 30-45 days, with all the money guaranteed if the entrepreneur succeeds the minimum funding amount. If not he/she has to adjust his project. Don't forget to choose Spanish as language if you want to see active campaigns. For the moment there aren't any on English.

*BONUS*

  • Verkami - The meeting place for artists of any kind, regarded as one of the most popular and successful crowdfunding platforms in Spain thanks to its high success rate (over 70%) and personalized advice from experts in different cultural industries. Ideal if you're an artist!
  • Libros - Is a publishing company based on crowdfunding. It transforms any editorial ideas from poetry to comics and novels to reality, on digital or on paper.

Hope they prove useful to you, no matter if you're an entrepreneur, investor, artist, musician, novelist, backer or just a simple user who wants to help someone.

Meanwhile tell me about which crowdfunding platforms from which countries should I write next? Comment below.