It’s no secret that when it comes to financing and getting it, it’s one of the most difficult challenges most entrepreneurs face. It’s a steep road to climb and most funding sources offer no guarantees of financial success.
For example, while a bank will provide you with the necessary financing, it won’t provide you with the right connection in business. On the other hand, investors can provide you with the money and connections, however, these people tend to be very picky about the businesses they invest in. So, what are you choices? In one word: crowdfunding.
What is crowdfunding? It’s all about raising money from many different people. The difference between this and investment capital is that the amounts are smaller and you could literally have hundreds of people investing money in your business all at the same time.
During the early stages of crowd sourcing, Indiegogo and Kickstarter where the places to go for crowdfunding. Since then, there have been other crowdfunding websites. And you should know that not all of them are created alike.
Places like AngelList can put you in touch with syndicates or a network of investors that will cover all your setup costs and interest, leaving you with nothing to pay when you raise funds. If your business is based in the United Kingdom or the United States, you can apply for crowd sourcing at Angel List, however, you should know that investors at this site tend to be a lot like venture capitalist that typically looks for startups with traction for growth that’s demonstrable by documented figures, a credible founding and management team, and sometimes, for a reputable offline investor investing money in the company.
Then there’s the website called Circle Upoperates, which can raise between $100,000 to $10 million in crowdfunding capital. The site is less strict than Ange List but it does require businesses to have $500,000 in annual revenue, although it will make exceptions for incredible seed companies. The best thing about this website is that there are no listing fees and introduction fees. You are only charged when you have raised your crowd-funded capital goal.
There’s also that website called Crowdfunders, which has a network of accredited investors. You can raise capital through different avenues – revenue share, convertible notes, debt, or equity. Unlike other sites that charge a percentage of the total amount you raise, this one charges a flat monthly fee.
There are many other crowd-based capital-raising websites out there, and although they offer more or less the same thing, as we said before, not of them are created alike. They do differ in the minimum and maximum amounts that can be raised and in the qualifications of the businesses that can be listed there. They also differ in their fees.
Although we haven’t done any research, there’s reason to believe that there are crowdfunding websites out there that cater to specific industries. You might have better chances of raising your capital quickly with those websites if your business belongs to that industry.