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The Big List of Crowdfunding Sites

Pledge Based Crowdfunding

Kickstarter | Fund and Follow Creativity Through CrowdfundingKickstarter
Kickstarter is the quintessential crowdfunding website. With over 83 million unique viewers, $457m pledged through their site, and over 709 million page views, they lead the pack of crowdfunding sites. They are heavily oriented towards technology, design, and gaming (in 2012 alone, $83m was pledged towards gaming projects on Kickstarter), with the average project raising around $10k. Kickstarter as a company really wants to push forward technology and innovation, acting as a portal to allow new and exciting projects to get funding when they usually would be unable to. They had 17 projects that raised over $1m in 2012.

Advantages: Huge user base, most popular crowdfunding website. Successful technology and design projects make a lot of money. Dance and music projects have a very high chance of success (74% of dance projects are successful). Allows you to limit the number of pledge packages you offer. Incredible resources for statistics.
Disadvantages: Difficult to get featured on the front page. If your project is the development of a technology, it cannot be a finished product. If you do not completely fund your project, you get no money. You cannot stop funding of your project once you begin (can create logistical issues). Fashion, photography, and publishing perform exceptionally bad.
Notes: While gaming brought in the most money in 2012, it is also one of the least successful project areas; this is likely due to a surge of independant developers attempting to get funding for their project as they heard it was trending hard on Kickstarter. Something important to note is IF you plan on making a game, make sure you have a big name to go along with the project OR in support of your project. This is a running theme with the massively successful gaming projects that caused $83m to go into gaming in 2012.


Indiegogo: An International Crowdfunding Platform to Raise MoneyIndiegogo
Indiegogo began at the Sundance Film Festival as a way for filmmakers to fund their projects, but quickly expanded to be one of the largest crowdfunding platforms out there. They now serve a huge number of project types ranging from a dance troop going on a tour, to a small business that needs some start-up or expansion funds. As the name suggests, indie-type projects do best here, especially those with a certian social and progress slant to them. They work on two different funding models, flexible and fixed (along with a third for non-profits only). Flexible pays you every time there is a pledge and takes 9%, once you reach your goal they give you 5% back. Fixed pays you after your campaign reaches its goal, if you don’t reach the goal, you don’t get the money.

Advantages: Can claim funds even if your project doesn’t get fully funded (at a higher percentage however). Easier to get featured as there are fewer projects. Still a huge user base (around 10m unique visitors in 2012). One of the lowest percentages taken of final funds of a successful project. Largest insight based blog in the crowdfunding field.
Disadvantages: If you don’t reach your funding goal, they take one of the highest percentages of final funds. If you choose flexible funding and don’t make your goal, you must take the money from your pledges. Can only distribute funds in USD, CAD, Euros, and Pounds. Other currencies may be charged an exchange fee by your bank.


GoFundMe | Crowdfunding & Online FundraisingGoFundMe
GoFundMe is a crowdfunding site based mostly around personal projects (medical bills, travel costs, etc) and altruistic donations to other people. Every contribution given to your campaign is immediately placed into the bank account linked to your campaign. They take 2.9% + $0.30 for every transaction, making it the cheapest crowdfunding platform depending on you average campaign contribution. Many of the projects one GoFundMe are for disaster relief and unexpected costs (car accident, unexpected medical bills, etc), they are generally much more emotional and heartfelt contributions than other crowdfunding platforms.

Advantages: Cheapest crowdfunding platform at 2.9% + $0.30 of every transaction. Very altruistic and emotional funding. Every contribution given to your campaign is immediately placed into your bank account.
Disdvantages: Low average project funding (because of the nature of many of the projects). Being emotionally oriented, high-tech project will not perform well here.
Notes: This platform is excellent for personal or family costs from emergencies, while they do have a business section there are likely other platforms better for business funding.


Fundable | Crowdfunding for Startup BusinessFundable
Fundable works on both pledge-based and equity-based platforms, you can take advantage of either platform when you make your campaign. They are one of the leading JOBS Act advocates, until it passes they work with accredited investors to allow you to fund your start-up business. They are the second cheapest crowdfunding platform out there in most circumstances, taking 3.5% of the final amount raised as well as a monthly fee during the time your project is running (starting at $99/month). You only receive money if you completely fund your start-up. They also look over your application to make sure that your goals, rewards, and founders are all sufficient for their investors. Technology oriented platform.

Advantages: Second cheapest crowdfunding platform with 3.5% of the final funds raised as well as a monthly fee (starting at $99/month). Depending on what package you select for your monthly fee, they will offer varying level of assistance to your project. Works both in equity and pledge based crowdfunding. Thorough vetting of funding applications.
Disadvantages: Only get funding if your start-up gets fully funded. The monthly fee can add up depending on the length of your campaign. Smaller user-base than many pledge-based crowdfunding platforms.
Notes: Technoloy oriented platform, this is a good site if your start-up is based in tech.


Equity Based Crowdfunding

It’s worth noting that until the JOBS Act passes, you are not legally allowed to tell anyone who isn’t an accredited investor that you know about your listing. You should speak to a lawyer about specifics, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Fundable | Crowdfunding for Startup BusinessFundable
Fundable works on both pledge-based and equity-based platforms, you can take advantage of either platform when you make your campaign. They are one of the leading JOBS Act advocates, until it passes they work with accredited investors to allow you to fund your start-up business. They are the second cheapest crowdfunding platform out there in most circumstances, taking 3.5% of the final amount raised as well as a monthly fee during the time your project is running (starting at $99/month). You only receive money if you completely fund your start-up. They also look over your application to make sure that your goals, rewards, and founders are all sufficient for their investors. Technology oriented platform.

Advantages: Second cheapest crowdfunding platform with 3.5% of the final funds raised as well as a monthly fee (starting at $99/month). Depending on what package you select for your monthly fee, they will offer varying level of assistance to your project. Works both in equity and pledge based crowdfunding. Thorough vetting of funding applications.
Disadvantages: Only get funding if your start-up gets fully funded. The monthly fee can add up depending on the length of your campaign. Smaller user-base than many pledge-based crowdfunding platforms.
Notes: Technoloy oriented platform, this is a good site if your start-up is based in tech.


CircleUp: Investing Private Consumer Companies Through Equity CrowdfundingCircleUp
CircleUp originated as a platform that was going to be one of the first JOBS Act compliant crowdfunding websites, however with the JOBS Act delays in the SEC they have fallen back onto traditional angel investment funding. They work primarily with consumer companies that offer an actual product to the general public. Many of their funded projects are in the food industry, generally healthy and green oriented foods specifically. You are allowed to define a maximum amount you want to raise, as well as a minimum amount a single investor can invest in your company. They work more with small businesses than start-ups.

Advantages: Traditional funding for small business, larger amounts of money than crowdfunding generally. Takes care of most of the due diligence that a company would usually need to complete. Can define maximum funding, and minimum funding per investor. Free to use the platform until you complete investment.
Disadvantages: Traditional funding for small business, more difficult to get funded. Undefined amount of money is taken at the end of the investment process (sounds like it varies based on amount raised).
Notes: Consumer/food product oriented, if you are in this field, this is an excellent platform.


Microventures | Angel Investing Private Equity and CrowdfundingMicroVentures
MicroVentures connects start-ups and angel investors that wouldn’t usually talk to each other. They specialize in small investments (around $1m), with over 5,000 investors they have invested over $8m into start-ups and small businesses. While it’s not strictly crowdfunding, it is social funding of start-up companies and they’re keeping a close eye on the JOBS Act just like the rest of us. This platform is for traditional funding using angel investors, but done a new way using the internet. Overall the process costs $100 to apply, $250 to advance once your request is approved, and then once the deal is complete they charge a 10% finder’s fee.

Advantages: Traditional funding for start-ups, larger amounts of money than crowdfunding generally. Takes care of most of the due diligence that a company would usually need to complete.
Disadvantages: Takes a 10% finder’s fee, the highest of any crowdfunding platform. Traditional funding for start-ups, more difficult to get funded. After paying the $350 you aren’t guaranteed investment.


Loan Based Crowdfunding

SoMoLend | Crowdfunding loans and business investment through the webSoMoLend
SoMoLend is a platform for small business and start-ups typically looking for between $100k and $1m in funding. They work with individuals, banks, and cities to find funding for entrepreneurs in their business (their key partner is Key Bank). They base  their model on the transparency of their investors and borrowers, facilitating communication between the two. Once you start looking for a loan you cannot remove your profile, but you can make it private until you’re done looking for a loan, then you can delete your profile. Repayment is done through SoMoLend, you just have to pay them a set amount of money based on your loan agreement and they handle all the distribution for you. You are allowed to decline a loan offer if you don’t like the terms. SoMoLend charges a 4% fee for all funds raised through them, as well as a 1.8% portfolio management fee for investors.

Advantages: Lots of partners to get funding from, with a focus on local fundraising. Repaying your loan is done entirely through SoMoLend, you don’t have to worry about anything else. They take only 4% of the funds you raise, the interest is to be determined loan-by-loan. Ocassional business competition that gives the winner money, advisement, and press coverage for their business.
Disadvantages: It’s a loan, you have to pay interest. Due diligence isn’t managed by SoMoLend. Smaller user base (however committed to investing in businesses).


Kiva | Loans that change livesKiva
Kiva works with microfinance institutions on five continents to provide loans to people without access to traditional banking systems. They do not take any of the funds given to campaign (they earn money through donations, grants, sponsorships, etc), or any of the interest generated by the loan. The loans generated on Kiva are generally smaller (largest is $49,500) and provided mostly for people without any other way to get funding. Since they opened in 2005, they have raised over $393m in loans through over 516k loans. Kiva isn’t for businesses based in the US or first-world countries.

Advantages: Takes none of the funds from a loan. Very active user base giving out large loans on average. Highly altruistic base.
Disadvantages: Not for first-world countries. Small total given to businesses. Most of the projects involve giving funding to small businesses that have no access to traditional banking.
Notes: If you have a project where Kiva is available, you may be able to get funding for it depending on the circumstances.


Custom Based Platforms

IgnitionDeck WordPress Crowdfunding PlatformIgnitionDeck
IgnitionDeck is based on the WordPress platform and allows you to run a full crowdfunding campaign from your WordPress website. You are provided with a very in-depth behind-the-scenes admin panel that includes just about any statistic you could want. It also comes with a number of themes and full eNewsletter integration through MailChimp and Aweber. When you use this plugin you will need to crowdfund based entirely off of your lists since you won’t have the user base of another crowdfunding site to assist you.

Advantages: Simple to set-up with any WordPress website. You only pay processing fees from your bank. Can run a campaign however long you want to. You can customize everything you want to if you have the programming know-how; if not, the plugin will work fine. Comes with embeddable widgets to allow you to get contributions more easily.
Disadvantages: Don’t have access to the user base of another crowdfunding website. Don’t have any guides to help you through the crowdfunding process. Initial fee of $59 to use the plugin. You have to set-up the plugin yourself (however this is very easy) and do any design changes you want yourself.


Selfstarter | Open source crowdfunding on your termsSelfstarter
Selfstarter is a crowdfunding platform that you build out yourself based on the source code provided. The idea originated when some project creators had their project removed from Kickstarter and decided they could do this themselves. They proceeded to make their own crowdfunding based website and got their project funded, then they released the source code that made the base of their site to allow other people to do it as well. If you have a known market that you know you can get to pledge and don’t need the audience from another crowdfunding site, this could be a good option. This is a true open source project, meaning you must have the ability to make a website from the ground up for this to be successful for you.

Advantages: You define everything yourself, this is truly open source. The only fees you pay are any processing fees that your bank charges you. You can create the website to look any way you want it, allows you to brand at the same time as crowdfunding.
Disadvantages: No user base from other crowdfunding websites, you work entirely from your own lists. You have to build a website, that includes all the backend work, hosting, domain name, etc; this only provides you with the basic code. Incredibly time consuming to set up. Doesn’t include the framework that a lot of crowdfunding sites have to help guide you through the campaign.


The REALLY Big List of Crowdfunding Sites

In the “funding” column AoN means “All or Nothing” which means that you must make the amount you asked for in your campaign or else you won’t receive any funding. KiA means “Keep it All” which means that no matter how much your campaign raises, you can still take the money. Warning: Often times this comes at a higher percentage rate and may make your project more difficult to finish. 

Note: This spreadsheet does not take into account the amount you have to pay back to investors as this changes on a case-by-case basis.

NameURLTypeFundingFeeFunctionCountry
AngelListwww.angel.co Equity and DebtAoNFreeStartupsAll
ArtistSharewww.artistshare.com PledgeKiA$595 + $12.95/monthMusicAll
BankToTheFuturewww.banktothefuture.com Equity, Debt, and PledgeAoN5% + $2,785.12Small BusinessUK
CircleUpwww.circleup.com EquityAoNVariableSmall BusinessAll
CrowdCubewww.crowdcube.com Equity and PledgeAoN5% + $2,785.12Small BusinessUK
Fundablewww.fundable.com Equity and PledgeAoN3.5% + Monthly FeeSmall BusinessAll
FundedByMewww.fundedbyme.com Equity and PledgeKiA5%Small BusinessSweden
Fundlywww.fundly.com PledgeAoN or KiA5.9-7.9% + Monthly FeeCharityAll
FundRazrwww.fundrazr.com PledgeKiA7.2% + $0.30/transactionEverythingCanada
GoFundMewww.gofundme.com PledgeAoN or KiA7.75% + $0.30/transactionCharityAll
IndieGogowww.indiegogo.com PledgeAoN or KiA4% or 9%AllAll
Innovestmentwww.innovestment.de EquityAoN8%Small BusinessGermany
Kickstarterwww.kickstarter.com PledgeAoN8-10%CreativeAll
Kopernikwww.kopernik.info OtherAoN12-13%3rd World TechnologyAll
Lending Clubwww.lendingclub.com Equity and DebtAoN1.11-5% + Processing FeesSmall BusinessAll
Microryzawww.microryza.com PledgeAoN8%Science and ResearchAll
MicroVentureswww.microventures.com EquityAoN10% + $350Small BusinessAll
Mosaic Inc.www.joinmosaic.com DebtAoN1% a yearSolar EnergyAll
Peoplefund.itwww.peoplefund.it PledgeAoN8%CreativeUK
Petridish.orgwww.petridish.org PledgeAoN8-10%Science and ResearchAll
PledgeMusicwww.pledgemusic.com PledgeKiA15%MusicAll
Poziblewww.pozible.com PledgeAoN6.4-8.4% + $0.30/transactionCreativeAustralia
Prosper Marketplacewww.prosper.com DebtAoN0.5-4.95%Personal LoansAll
RocketHubwww.rockethub.com PledgeKiA8-12%AllAll
Seedrswww.seedrs.com Equity and DebtAoN7.50%Small BusinessUK
Seedupswww.seedups.com EquityAoN5%StartupsUSA, Ireland, UK
Sellabandwww.sellaband.com PledgeAoNFreeMusicAll
Sponsumewww.sponsume.com PledgeKiA4%CreativeAll
Upstartwww.upstart.com DebtAoN3% of raised, 1.5% of returnsPost-College InvestmentAll
YouCaringwww.youcaring.com PledgeKiA2-3% + $0.30/transactionCharityAll
Zopawww.zopa.com DebtAoNVariable Borrowing FeePersonal LoansUK

 

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