The Latest Crowdfunding News – 20/7/16

The Latest Crowdfunding News

 

Hi guys and welcome to another crowdfunding news edition, as usual, we will be giving you a snap shot of the latest news from the crowdfunding world, this week we predominately stay in the UK, however we end our round-up in Africa and look at the latest crowdfunding start-ups to keep an eye on. Missed our last crowdfunding news update? If so, catch up here.

Why Fintechs Are Turning To Equity Crowdfunding For Investment

fintech equity crowdfunding

Quite a few UK fintechs such as GoHenry, Mondo, and Tandem (who have all raised over £1 million from using equity crowdfunding) – but why have they used this approach?

Firstly, using equity crowdfunding is great for brand awareness and customer acquisition, UK fintechs have attracted significant attention in the media and as a result have raised awareness of their innovative ideas and products. From raising awareness, a majority of fintechs have gained potential investors to sign up for their products.

Moreover, due to the fact that scene continues to produce more and more start-ups by the day, it’s become increasingly hard to stand out. Therefore, offering customers the chance to become shareholders, (like Mondo and Tandem did), companies can drive customer engagement and loyalty.

Start-ups also use equity crowdfunding because it gives them control. This is because they can gain a higher valuation compared with traditional methods. According to research by Beauhurst, direct investors seem willing to accept lower equity stakes for the same investment than VCs or Angels. (Business Insider, July, 2016)

They beauty of using this approach is the diversity of investment sources. Crowdfunding offers an alternative to traditional sources of funding, which could be very beneficial if economic turbulence negatively affects VCs’ willingness to invest. Because of the Brexit, we might see more fintech start-ups turn to crowdfunding.

Read more here.

Crowdfunding : A New Era on The Cards?

Crowdfunding News Crowdfunding Finland

Two months ago, new rules* came into play which allow average people to invest in start-ups through crowdfunding sites that reward investors with equity. The new rules usher in a new era of crowdfunding that is accessible to individuals of all economic backgrounds, as mentioned by Crowdfund Insider’s Christian Catalini.

As part of the federal JOBS Act, Title III rules allows the average investor the opportunity to share in the returns of the “next big idea” as Catalini mentions in his recent article.

President Obama has said he sees it as a game-changer, these set of regulations will help all investors—regardless of income or net worth—will be able to invest in high-potential startup companies.

Title III will therefore help funding for small businesses, an essential vehicle for marketing and branding as well as a tool for building a committed user base for new ventures.

*Rules in the USA.

 

London-Based Crowdfunding Platform Goes Dutch

Seedrs Netherlands

London-based crowdfunding company Seedrs has expanded its international presence with a new office in Amsterdam. (City A.M., July 2016)

Seedrs, which does already has links elsewhere on the continent, a software development office in Portugal, and back in October it announced a new partnership with Benelux-based bank ING.

Chief executive and co-founder of Seedrs told City A.M. : “We have always had a pan-European vision for Seedrs, and the launch of our Amsterdam office brings that vision one step closer to reality.”

 

Khan Backs Twenty Crowdfunded Projects Across London

London Property Prices

The London mayor is helping to crowdfund 20 ‘citizen-led’ projects aimed at improving local communities across the capital.

The crowdfunding projects include: ‘Kitchenette Karts’ in Tower Hamlets, a healthy, sustainable fish and chip truck, ‘Old Kent Road Studios’ in Southwark, a project which aims at transforming 60 vacant garages into workshops and studios, and ‘Pengelicious’ in Bromley, a food festival. (KCW Today, July 2016).

Sadiq Khan recently mentioned that: “Our crowdfunding initiative is a chance for all Londoners to take part in the regeneration of their neighbourhoods from the grassroots up. Today I’m pledging support to an extraordinary range of local groups, for projects that will help strengthen their local communities and make London an even greater city.”

Interested in the projects? If so, check them out here.

 

5 African Crowdfunding Start-ups To Keep An Eye On

Africa Crowdfunding

Africa has seen a plethora of start-ups from all over the continent and crowdfunding has bags of potential to solve the continent’s lack of access to finance challenges.

Here (in no particular order) are five of the most innovative African crowdfunding startups to keep an eye out for.

Usizo – Bitcoin startup Bankymoon from South Africa has announced it will launch a crowdfunding platform, Usizo, that allows public schools in the continent to use blockchain technology to crowdsource utility credits.

This revolutionary concept means that anybody from around the world can make a payment directly from using their preferred crypto-currency, and help fund the energy or water needs of the school.

Realty Africa – Is the first crowdfunding platform that’s dedicated to property investments in Sub-Saharan Africa. The company was launched last year, in a nutshell, allows investors from all over the world to invest in the growth and development of the region.

Realty Africa provides investors with access to markets that have been historically out of reach, allowing them to invest amounts from US$1,000 upwards. Moreover, the platform allows communities and project developers to raise capital, without high interest payments or collateral requirements.

ABREC.FinanceUtile – Originally developed by the African Biofuel and Renewable Energy Company (ABREC) and in partnership with French crowdfunding platform FinanceUtile, is a dedicated crowdfunding platform for SMEs operating in the Sub-Saharan African renewable energy sector.

ABREC.FinanceUtile supports entrepreneurs in the renewable energy space by facilitating the transfer of know-how and technology, while also boosting access to reliable electricity generation in sub-Saharan Africa.

Lelapa Fund – Is a niche crowd investment platform dedicated to African companies (as described on their website). Investors can buy shares online in pre-vetted start-ups and small businesses whose products and services are sold on high growth consumer markets across the continent.

Thundafund – The South African start-up is one of the crowdfunding veterans on the continent, launched back in 2013, Thundafund has raised over ZAR5.7 million (US$396,000) from various crowdfunded projects.

They have recently put together work shops to educate fellow South Africans about how the crowdfunding process works.

 

What Are Your Thoughts?

Which of our chosen crowdfunding stories has interested you the most? We would love to hear from you, feel free to leave us a comment on our Facebook and Google Plus pages. If you prefer to tweet us, tweet @TheHouseCrowd.

In the meantime if you want to know more about Property Crowdfunding do register for our Information Pack which will tell you all about it. 

Register Now For More Information

The Latest Crowdfunding News – 13/4/16

Crowdfunding News – All The Latest Updates

Hi guys and welcome to another fortnightly crowdfunding news edition. As usual we will be looking at the latest goings-on in the crowdfunding world from exploring a secret Crystal Palace subway to looking at how researchers are turning to crowdfunding to develop an Alzheimer’s drug.

 

Crowdfunding Campaign To Reopen The Secret Crystal Palace Subway

Crystal Palace Subway

The Friends of Crystal Palace Subway are crowdfunding to reopen a stunning 150-year-old secret underpass to the public. (Time Out London, April, 2016)

The subway which was opened back in 1865 for upper class passengers travelling by the railway station nearby was also used as an air raid shelter, a children’s playground and a site for illegal raves! It was closed 20 years ago due to safety concerns.

Currently, The Friends of Crystal Palace Subway have raised enough money to start reinstating safe access, however, they still need more funds to carry out all the necessary maintenance on the subway.

Are you interested in helping maintain a heritage site? If so, get involved here.

Image source : Friends of Crystal Palace Subway

 

Government Tax Schemes Boost UK Crowdfunding

UK Crowdfunding

The success of the UK’s crowdfunding industry has been driven by the Government’s tax efficient investment schemes, such as the EIS and SEIS according to SME Insider.

Research from equity crowdfunding platform Growthdeck shows that 96% of all investment opportunities on crowdfunding platforms are in the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) or the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) that offer significant tax breaks to investors in exchange for funding small to medium enterprises.

The co-founder and CEO of Growthdeck, Gary Robins explains to SME Insider that : “Crowdfunding platforms have become a vital conduit for small businesses to access they funding they need to exploit their growth potential, providing a much-needed boost to the UK’s SME sector.”

In addition he also mentions in the article that government schemes like EIS and SEIS offer investors attractive tax breaks which are vital for sustaining growth in UK SMEs.

Growthdeck’s research shows that two thirds (66%) of all investment opportunities promoted on crowdfunding platforms claim to be EIS- eligible, in constrast, 39% claim SEIS eligibility.

 

A Lack of Regulation Holds Irish Crowdfunding Back

Irish Crowdfunding

Back in one of our blog posts from November we briefly touched upon the Irish crowdfunding scene, for those of you who don’t know much about crowdfunding in the Emerald Isle, Ireland has invested €401 million in start-up companies which makes it an ideal place for the sector and has the potential to be one of the strongest crowdfunding markets in Europe.

If it has the capital and has the potential – then why isn’t it doing well? Firstly, it has been documented that the Irish environment lacks bespoke legislation which may leave gaps in consumer protections and secondly from an Oireachtas Jobs, Enterprise, and Innovation committee report, legislators appear to have been comparatively slow to account for the increasing popularity of crowdfunding is in contrast with UK crowdfunding which is praised in the report.

More regulations and a better understanding from the government on how the concept works is a must, especially for indigenous players such as www.iCrowdFund.ie and www.FundIt.ie to prosper.

 

Football INDEX Raises £400,000 During Seedrs Campaign

Football INDEX

A crowdfunding story for all you footy fans out there! Football gambling platform Football INDEX recently launched a crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs to raise £800,000 and aims to be the world’s first football based stock market.

How does it work? Users build a portfolio and buy and sell players and can deposit as little as £10. Footballers are currently for sale from just £1.

Football INDEX CEO Adam Cole mentioned in Crowdfund Insider that : “My team and I built Football INDEX because we were convinced that most people didn’t want to trade traditional stocks and shares in companies like British Gas and HSBC. People want to invest their knowledge and ‘trade their passion’, and there is no shortage of knowledge or passion in football.”

Since Football INDEX’s launch, its Seedrs initiative has already raised £400,000. It is set to close in June and currently raised £800,009 on the platform.

Unfortunately at The House Crowd we can’t help you invest in Premier League players but if you’re interested in investing in property, why not take a look at our latest investments here.

 

 

Researchers Turn To Crowdfunding To Develop Alzheimer’s Drug

Alzheimers Crowdfunding

Tests on a drug with the potential to stop Alzheimer’s in its tracks are being funded by raffles, pensioners’ donations and a sponsored walk – because the research team cannot find money for pre-clinical safety tests any other way. (The Guardian, April 2016)

A team of researchers led by Dr David Allsop from Lancaster University’s division of biomedicine and life sciences are running a crowdfunding campaign in order to help fund necessary preparatory testing on their drug in the belief they may be looking at a cure for the progressive brain disease. Currently Dr Allsop and his team of researchers have raised £52,000 towards their target of £165,000.

Due to the global financial crisis, access to funding for basic and clinical research has been blocked, which has lead to some health researchers – particularly in the U.S. to turn to crowdfunding. This seems to be quite a common thing in the medical industry, back in one of our crowdfunding blogs in February we looked at biotech firm Axol Bioscience who smashed its crowdfunding campaign and over-funded up to a total of £1 million (view here).

Donations as little as £5 to carry out smaller tests is enough to keep research advancing until more lucrative sources emerge. Dr Allsop told the Guardian : “We are really excited because we think that we are on to something that stands a chance of working, but without crowdfunding we would have been stumped.”

Do you have an interest in medical science and crowdfunding? Read more on the topic here.

Image source : The Guardian

 

 

What Are Your Thoughts?

Which of our chosen crowdfunding stories has interested you the most? We would love to hear from you, feel free to leave us a comment on our Facebook and Google Plus pages. If you prefer to tweet us, tweet @TheHouseCrowd.

In the meantime if you want to know more about Property Crowdfunding do register for our Information Pack which will tell you all about it. 

Register Now For More Information