Last year you may recall on my Startup Radio Show that I co-host I predicted whilst talking to guest Ryan Wardell from Project PowerUp that the then new concept of Crowdfunding was going to catch on very quickly and become one of the top trends of 2012.
We are now only two months into the year and already we have seen the launch of three of these sites including the latest to join the movement iPledg.com from Australian entrepreneur Bryan Vadas. Vadas describes iPledg as the world’s broadest based Crowd Funding platform, as it provides entrepreneurs, those in the creative arena (films, arts, music, etc) and aspiring charitable and community programs with an avenue to test their concepts and ideas. This approach has minimal financial risk to project creators and at the same time provides social proof for the concept.
“Currently, project creators are able to list their project for free as we have waived our $250 listing fee for an introductory period,” Vadas said. “This means that projects cost nothing unless the funding target is reached, and these costs can be factored into the funding target.”
Crowd Funding is proving to be one of the fastest growing forms of ecommerce in the world at present and is showing that the proof is really in the pudding.
In the last month alone one project in the USA raised over a million dollars for development of an iPhone accessory, but their mantle was quickly eclipsed by a project that saw 62,000 backers pledge a total of over $2mil to the development of a video game. Such is the power of “the crowd”.
Crowd Funding is proving to be the place where microfinance meets broad social networks of the project creator, with the result being the ability to raise funds quickly and simply, without the need for loans or surrendering of equity.
To register a project, or to find out more, visit www.ipledg.com
In summary I think that crowd funding is great and there is still some room for a few more niche sites that cater for specific industries, but I fear there will be an influx and that may cause more damage to the movement than good. By May there will also be a few aggregator sites that pull from each of the crowd funding sites giving consumers and wannabe donors a truly global view of what is going on.