It can be difficult to find the funding you need for a start-up. You’ve maxed out your credit cards, you’ve emptied your bank accounts, and yet you still need more money. Have you tried letting your customers foot the bill? Crowdsourcing has become an increasingly popular source of funding. Here are a few crowdfunding sites to help get your start-up off of the ground.
Fundable is a crowdfunding site that funds businesses from various industries, including health and beauty, fitness, technology, and food and beverage. The site has garnered a lot of attention from such companies like Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, and Bloomberg television. Contributors are asked to donate money to the cause and, in return, will get a reward.
The rewards are tiered and stated on each campaign’s page. It’s free to get started, but it’s $100 to start a fundraising campaign. There are no percentage fees once the campaign is over. Once the goal is met, some companies offer “stretch goals”. If these goals are met, the company will offer an extra reward to all of their backers.
That seed money can be used for all of the things required to get a start-up off of the ground, such as bills, equipment such as computers, and workflow software for those computers, which will help your start-up run like a well-oiled machine.
Small Knot, similar to Fundable, allows people to host campaigns for their business and offer rewards. They hope that investors and customers will want to help businesses in the community. They currently have campaigns in seven states. The campaigns are for a dance studio, a comic shop, a food truck, a wine cellar and a basketball academy.
Small Knot takes a three percent commission for any campaign that’s successful, and the payment processor grabs a nearly three percent cut as well. If your campaign isn’t successful, you don’t owe anything.
SoMoLend is a bit different from Fundable and Small Knot. This site asks you to fill out a loan application and create a profile on the site. Investors then approach entrepreneurs and business owners to find out more information about them. The investors and businesses can negotiate terms of their loan, and then businesses repay the investors with interest. SoMoLend partners with banks to provide loans to small businesses.
Fund Anything isn’t dedicated specifically to funding start-ups, and, as the name suggests, you can fund anything. There’s a nine percent fee on contributions, and if the full amount is raised, you only owe five percent. The payment processing company takes a three percent cut.
Similar to other crowdfunding sites, businesses offer rewards to those that donate money, and you have the option to implement stretch goals as well. Fund Anything has recently captured the attention of Donald Trump, who is offering a million dollars to the person that comes up with the best idea.
This crowdfunding site is a bit different from the rest. CrowdUp is aimed at companies that are looking for money in exchange for an equity stake. This site is open only to accredited investors and only deals with consumer product businesses that have at least a million dollars in revenue.
CircleUp states that by only allowing accredited investors, they hope to give companies seeking funding a better chance of success meeting their goals, as well as in the future. In order to keep the money that they raise on the site, companies must reach their financing goal. If the goal is not met, like most crowdfunding sites, the money is returned.
CrowdFunder isn’t just about raising money for entrepreneurs and those just getting their business off of the ground. It also has a network of companies, investors and entrepreneurs, which makes it easy for businesses to raise money in exchange for rewards. Both individuals and businesses are eligible to set up their own campaign on Crowdfunder.
This site is unique in that it pools data from multiple crowdfunding websites, such as Kickstarter, Rockethub, Kiva, Crowdcube, and more. You can also filter the projects by whether or not the project is close to being funded, how many days a certain campaign has, and how long the campaign has been active. You can also search and identify rewards, equity, lending and donation projects.
If you’ve got an idea that you think might work, or you’re in the process of turning that idea into a business, look into these sites, start a campaign, and let the people decide whether or not your business will be successful!
Jane Miller is a freelance writer who loves to write about anything from tech to mommy stuff. She is featured in many blogs as a guest writer, and can write with authority on any niche or subject.