Asia – a new big thing

Asia – a new big thing

“It seems Asia has been bitten by the crowdfunding bug” – wrote Mary Ann LI. Reyes in “The Philippine Star”. Well, she’s 100% right!

FundedByMe has stepped into South East Asia last year .The timing turned out perfectly enough to let the company settle down a bit, gain momentum and take the leading position in shaping the crowdfunding industry.

Just in May, FundedByMe with CoAssets and New Union has formed a new three-party crowdfunding alliance in Singapore. With a combined record of S$200 million dollars raised through crowdfunding campaigns in 2014 and growth expected to accelerate in 2015, the three-party alliance has set its sights set on paving the way for FinTech to flourish in Asia.

The alliance is based in Singapore as a hub for the region, because of the business climate and favor of local authorities for entrepreneurship. Also the understanding of crowdfunding phenomena is raising there. In February the Monetary Authority of Singapore published a consultation paper, setting out proposals and clarifications to facilitate and better regulate how corporates may have access to alternative sources of funding through equity crowdfunding.

Right now the consultation is still pending but this month, good news came from Malaysia. The Malaysian Securities Commission as the first of this type of institution in the region offered equity crowdfunding licenses. FundedByMe and it’s partner Alix Global Sdn Bhd, have been awarded one of six of these licenses! The license allows FundedByMe to start operations in the new market.

That’s not the end. Djenee, a start up focused on personal on-demand digital concierge service raised almost S$500,000 on the first day of the campaign on FundedByMe. The campaign set a new standard for equity crowdfunding in Asia.

“We’re extremely excited about partnering with Djenee to raise their very first round of funding, which broke records for Asia and with investors from all around the world. This is a start for crowdfunding in Asia and we expect South-East Asia to exceed US$1 billion as a market by itself in the next few years. FundedByMe will give companies a global stage for companies in Asia to find investors, so that these companies accelerate and build powerful momentum from day one,” said Daniel Daboczy, CEO and Co-Founder of FundedByMe.

 

Crucial factors for success in crowdfunding

Crucial factors for success in crowdfunding

FundedByMe recently investigated and created a research report on the main elements of crowdfunding campaign success. Social media and the right team seem to be crucial for achieving the funding goal.

FundedByMe is one of the only full-service crowdfunding platforms offering capital through equity, debt and reward based crowdfunding which has funded some 500 companies from 25 countries. The report analyses such factors as usage of various social media, the background of a company’s team or documents uploaded.

One of the main conclusions is that placing a link to their Facebook or LinkedIn on a company’s pitch page on a crowdfunding platform increases the probability of success more than 30% (31,37% for Facebook and 32,58% for LinkedIn). Furthermore 10 likes on the company profile of any of those social media portals adds additional 6% for the success (6% on LinkedIn and 5,6% on Facebook).

Another important factor is the types of documents delivered to the crowd. Reliable market statistics can help by 27% and an upright financial forecast by even 37,3%.

Lastly entrepreneurs pay attention to the background of team. If a member has a background in management and/or consulting this helps company by 26%. Relevant business education can have an influence on a company’s success by 25%. Surprisingly, possessing a master’s degree or previous entrepreneurial experience is not regarded by investors as something relevant.

“That doesn’t mean that fulfilling only one of the conditions will automatically bring you the relevant amount of money. We analyzed a dependent variable binary and checked either successful or unsuccessful outcome. Successful outcome was defined as reaching 80% of the initial funding goal” say Alina Lundqvist and Michal Gromek from FundedByMe, the authors of the report.

The report was based on the analysis of all equity crowdfunding campaigns from the Nordics, run on the FundedByMe platform since 2012. FundedByMe has 83% of market shares in equity in Nordics. The CAGR in equity crowdfunding at FundedByMe was 449%.

“The average amount raised per campaign is €122,706. The average investment amounts €5,935. Statistically there are 46 investors in a campaign” – explain Alina Lundqvist and Michal Gromek.

The European equity crowdfunding market size (excluding UK) was worth €82.56 million in 2014. The CAGR for the industry between 2012 and 2014 was 116%.

FundedByMe: Crowdfunding Firm of the 2015 and one of the hottest startups in Sweden

FundedByMe: Crowdfunding Firm of the 2015 and one of the hottest startups in Sweden

To the 53 000 investors on FundedByMe; to the representatives of nearly 500 companies who have raised 100 000 000 SEK via our platform to improve your business, and to our followers, shareholders and stakeholders! We want to tell you one thing: YOU ROCK!

Today FundedByMe won the Global Award for Crowdfunding Firm of the Year 2015 by “Finance Monthly”. Just one business day ago “Veckans Affärer” listed us amongst the hottest startups in Sweden. Last week we broke the record in crowdfunding for the fashion industry. Carin Wester – a fashion company raising funds on the FundedByMe platform – raised the first 1 100 000 SEK in the first 7 hours. After 2 days investors committed 2 000 000 SEK to purchase shares. The campaign is still live and open for investments.

We would not have these successes without you. So from us to you, the FundedByMe team want to say one thing more: thank you for using our platform and supporting us in our journey.

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FBM at VA #21 hottest startup

We started with reward-based campaigns, then we started to offer equity-based crowdfunding opportunities. In February 2015 we launched loan-based crowdfunding (also know as debt-crowdfunding). Offering three types of crowdfunding campaign types makes us one of the unique platforms in the world. Furthermore, we are the only crowdfunding platform of Nordic origin that has branches in 6 countries on 2 continents. Users on FundedByMe come from 70 countries and the network is exponentially growing. So far the company has successfully funded some 500 companies from 25 countries.

 

Quick Facts about FundedByMe:

Founded: 2010

Co-founders: Daniel Daboczy, Arno Smit

No. of companies funded: 500

No. of countries companies originate from: 25

The amount raised so far: 100 million SEK

No. of investors: over 53 000

No. of countries investors originate from: 70

Possession of equity crowdfunding market in the Nordics: 83%

Awards: Finance Monthly Global Award, hottest startups in Sweden by Veckans Affärer”, Winner of the White Bull Bully Award. Winner of the prestigious Best Service Provider award. One of Wired UK’s top 100 startups. Nordic Best Service Provider, Startup Awards. One of the top 100 websites in Sweden by Internetworld. Winner of Digital Winners award “No guts – No glory” by Telenor Norway. Winner of Sollos Memorial fund for “An entrepreneurial initiative worthy of encouragement”.

Carin Wester beats a record in crowdfunding for the fashion industry

Carin Wester beats a record in crowdfunding for the fashion industry

Carin Wester – a Swedish fashion brand running its crowdfunding campaign on FundedByMe – has raised the first 110 000 euro in the first 7 hours. After 2 days investors committed 200 000 euro on its shares. This is almost half of the crowdfunding goal needed for global expansion of the brand.

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Watch the 5 minute video pitch by Anton Granlund, CEO of Global Retail and a major shareholder of Carin Wester

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This was the fastest raised 110 000 euro via crowdfunding in the history of clothing brands in Europe. Only 7 hours were needed to achieve this milestone. The next hours were comparably successful – after 2 days investors declared to spend double as much for the company’s shares.

Carin Wester, one of the so called Swedish fashion wonders, known for unique forms and silhouettes combined with premium materials – needs capital for its international expansion. A year ago Global Retail came in as an investor and management of the company with the aim of creating growth and profitability. Very shortly the company is opening its brand stores, mainly in Scandinavia, Germany, Japan and Bennelux, as these markets already perform well.

However, the company did not choose to go the traditional route, by trying to get the attention of major investors or venture capital companies. The more natural choice for them, turned out to be a crowdfunding – a way of raising funds that’s increasing in popularity, allowing a group regular people to individually invest small amounts in exchange for shares of a company. This method is very well suited for companies that already have a finished consumer product – something that anyone can relate to, see and feel.

“We want to partner with people who love our brand, like our existing customers who are good ambassadors and want to make this trip with us and also highlight our brand to possible new customers,” says Carin Wester, the founder and creator of the brand. She believes that this is the future way to seek investment and that more will follow their example.

“The secret of the success of the crowdfunding campaign by Carin Wester lies in their perfect preparation. They treat crowdfunding as their next marketing campaign, which it is. Building tension in social media, catching attention of journalists, refreshing information on their website – all these elements pay their dividends now. Crowdfunding allowed the brand to reach new customers and achieve the snowball effect” explains Daniel Daboczy, CEO and co-founder of the FundedByMe platform, on which the Carin Wester crowdfunding campaign is listed.

In the 10 years since the Carin Wester brand was founded, it has won numerous prestigious awards in its home market. Recently the company experienced a number of changes: the company structure was optimized, more focus was put into sales and services, products are more balanced between commercial and high fashion and all costs has been reviewed.

“Now we can see, we are facing the right direction and are ready for the next step in making Carin Wester more accessible to a wider market. This sales season is becoming a huge success with an increase of at least 200% compared to the previous year, which is proof that the changes made have had a positive effect. Long-term a turnover of 25 million EUR within 10 years is expected” says Anton Granlund, CEO of Global Retail and a major shareholder of Carin Wester.

Global Retail Group was founded in 2007 and has since then mainly successfully introduced and expanded a retail business together with G-Star Raw. Global Retail has focused on building the strongest sales force in Sweden and has for three consecutive years (2013-2015) been ranked the number one service provider in fashion retail. Alongside operating stores, Global retail has also successfully performed several consulting assignments, for example for Björn Borg.

Eggs Inc – this is how history began

Eggs Inc – this is how history began

This the history of how Eggs Inc was laid: a journey to France and discovering a niche. Five years later you can visit the world’s first healthy fast food restaurant on Regeringsgatan 26, Stockholm. 

– I wanted to open a restaurant but I can’t cook. It took me about a year to figure this out and find Andreas Hedlund, the Chef of the Year in 2002, Fredrik Önrup, the revenue manager, and Kent Jonsson, the egg farmer – says Dan Lorentzon, founder of the Eggs Inc.

What was the most difficult part about setting up their business? Well, you may be surprised: finding a location for their restaurant. Landlords usually prefer big players with well recognisable brands.

A survey from Svenska Ägg, the Swedish trade association of companies operating in the egg industry, says that 97 percent of Swedes like eggs. This means there is huge demand. Because of the nutritional value of eggs and the fact that Eggs Inc. doesn’t have direct competitors, the perfect recipe is created for a dynamically growing business. That’s why they plan to develop a larger franchise chain in Scandinavia first and then the rest of Europe.

Watch the short video about Eggs Inc.:

Why European crowdfunding platforms will beat the US ones

Why European crowdfunding platforms will beat the US ones

Although Unites States is home to the most recognizable crowdfunding platforms, Europe has very strong advantages in the field of equity crowdfunding. If negotiations regarding the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement are finalized one day, European FinTech startups will be in a great position to beat the world’s biggest peer-to-peer finance market.

By Daniel Daboczy, CEO and co-founder of FundedByMe

FundedByMe_Daniel Daboczy_CEO_2One of the hottest business topics in the recent weeks is the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The negotiations between the American administration and the European Commission are held behind closed doors which leads to uncertainty and results in speculation on how the Treaty could be harmful for European business. Will it be? Well, I don’t know but I believe that there will be some disadvantages. However, TTIP means also big opportunities for enterprises from the old continent, especially the innovative ones.

I have just come back from my tour of American leading crowdfunding companies. They are observing carefully what’s going on in the market across the ocean, especially when it comes to equity-based crowdfunding.  Right now their managers responsible for their homeland market cannot do much more, because of legislation. Despite that President Obama signed The Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act in 2012, the Security Exchange Commission still has not finalised the implementation process, which was supposed to happen before  1st January 2013. Without this, no shares in crowdfunding model can be offered to the public (except friends, family and accredited investors), if the company is not registered. This is, however, pretty costly and very few of entrepreneurs in the early development phase of their business can handle this.

But one day the legislation process should be finalized and both JOBS and TTIP will become the new reality. What does it mean for the crowdfunding business?

Experience Advantage

Due to dynamic increase in equity crowdfunding, which can be expressed by more than hundred percent of growth annually, Americans will not loose a moment to enter the competition.  Well, some are already in – in the States they already operate platforms with offers for accredited investors only. Since September 2013 these platforms raised $400 millions for entrepreneurs listed on them.

This is, however, still a drop in the ocean of the US startups – in 2011 alone Facebook Inc. raised $50 billion from private investors.  In terms of targeting a wider audience the US crowdfunding platforms will have to start from scratch. On the other hand European platforms have run equity-based crowdfunding for couple of last years now.  Crowdcube (UK), Ulule (France) or FundedByMe (Sweden-based but operating worldwide) hold firm positions at the global crowdfunding scene.

There is no better school than practice. Examples? Here you go. Groups of funders interested in rewards and those who invest instead of equities are very different. However, it is possible to convert the first one into more profitable segment. To do it you need a know-how gained from real life operations. Europeans should already have it.

Legislative Advantage

From an American point of view the European market is not transparent/easy. Around 510 million citizens is a significant number, but they live in relatively small countries, where legislation varies significantly   from country to country. Even the interpretation of some particular provisionslooking similar on paper may be differ, depending on the legal landscape. Not so long time ago the Spanish government considered to significantly limit opportunities for peer-to-peer lending, when the British Financial Service Authority incorporated the provisions in its regulations just couple months later.

Although there aren’t many crowdfunding companies operating in cross-border mode, these that  do know how to deal with these issues. FundedByMe has its own representatives in 7 countries on 2 continents, but lists fundraising campaigns by entrepreneurs from many more. Because of this FundedByMe is much more used to balance between various watchdogs and fulfilling their requirements.

Looking at this from opposite perspective, American market should be much easier for European platforms: one law, one interpretation and ca. 320 million customers. A perfect opportunity for scaling up the business.

Advantage in mindset recognition

Last, but not least on that list, is a customer’s approach to apotential equity offer. The EU probably wouldn’t be so grateful for US crowdfunding companies as they may expect. Although capitalization of equity market in UK in 2013 was 121% of GDP, in Lithuania, Latvia and Cyprus it was less than 10%. There are many reasons for this , but one of them is that people in different European countries are much less keen to allocate their savings in such sophisticated financial instruments.

Americans are considered to be just the opposite. Investing and actively taking care of your own financial situation is one of the commandments of a successful Yankee. From a business perspective it is much easier to convince those who are familiar with the process to particular brand rather than running a long-term category awareness communication campaign. The US companies which dream about conquering America will have to do the first,; Europeans – the latter. Assuming that both parties will be equally determined in achieving their business goals, the competition opened by TTIP and JOBS will be really fierce.

 

How do you get money for your business? Short crowdfunding course

How do you get money for your business? Short crowdfunding course

Crowdfunding, crowdsourcing, crowdlending, reward-based crowdfunding, equity-based crowdfunding, loan-based crowdfunding… – so many names! And how should you choose which are relevant for your business and your needs?

Relax, it’s easy! FundedByMe with Eliademy, have prepared a simple educational training, which helps you to learn everything you need to know about crowdfunding and even more important: how to get money and added value from it.

During the crowdfunding course you will receive basic knowledge about:

  • various types of crowdfunding campaigns
  • tools that facilitate a successful crowdfunding campaign
  • techniques that improve long-term relationships with your crowd

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This crowdfunding course by FundedByMe and Eliademy is dedicated to:

  • entrepreneurs who have a business idea
  • representatives of small or medium sized enterprises from all over the world
  • those who want to acquire financing to realize their dreams
  • those who want to improve their skills in crowdfunding and receive a diploma.

Give it a chance and see why so many goal-oriented entrepreneurs and those who wanted to realize their dream fell in love with crowdfunding. See the opportunities they discovered.

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Win an Apple Watch with FundedByMe

Win an Apple Watch with FundedByMe

Early adopters, win yourself an Apple Watch

Tech industry readers, of course it’s no surprise to you that the hottest device these days is the Apple Watch. Because FundedByMe is the hottest FinTech company, we see these two as a beautiful match. Therefore we prepared a special incentive for you:

  1. Simply lend to a company of your choice who are running a loan-based crowdfunding campaign on FundedByMe,
  2. Share your experience by posting on FundedByMe’s Facebook, twitting on your Twitter with #FBMAppleWatch or mailing us your image, clip, podcast or text (at least 120 characters) to hello@fundedbyme.com,
  3. Our jury will then pick the most interesting and exciting submission and reward it with an Apple Watch with stainless steel case!

Easy right? Of course! Remember, the closing date for entry is 30th of March 2015, so there is not much time left. Find more details at http://s000.tinyupload.com/?file_id=81492242558761418528

Right now you may choose between:

myClosetRoom – an app that builds and connects a fashionistas community where they can get feedback on their personal style,

KaffeLuckan – a new mobile espresso bar in Stockholm and Gothenburg,

Konst-ig – a number 1 art & design bookstore in Northern Europe for the last 20 years.

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Be a part of next new big thing!

 

First ever loan-based crowdfunding successfully closed

First ever loan-based crowdfunding successfully closed

Our first loan-based crowdfunding campaign has closed! Several days ago Sushirullen, an ecological sushi shop, were funded 10 000 euro in the first ever loan-based crowdfunding campaign on FundedByMe. And they did it in only 56 hours!

29 lenders from 23 countries decided to lend to Sushirullen their money for 6 months. Why? Two main reasons:

  • They believe in the business model presented by Johan Falk, Sushirullen’s CEO and founder. A long roll of sushi that you can eat like a sandwich is a good idea, isn’t it?
  • The yearly interest rate of their investment is 14,33%. Negative interest rates in some other countries, makes this deal even better.

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What’s more, the whole procedure is very user friendly – 100% online. It is also secure for lenders – they can see the risk indicator by Bisnode scoring agency and the risk indicator by FundedByMe which is calculated based on Bisnode and UC financial information. So the lenders are aware of the investment risk, but on the other hand know exactly when and how much they could earn.

 

 

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Why do we need to verify the crowdlenders’ identities?

 

FundedByMe has just launched its new product, loan-based crowdfunding, which is also known as crowdlending. This service enables savers and private investors from nearly all over the world to become lenders and benefit from the growth of Swedish small and medium businesses.

How to do it? It’s easy! Creating an account takes only a few minutes. However, after the registration is complete, FundedByMe has to verify the identity of each lender. This is done in order to provide both entrepreneurs and lenders with a transparent and secure environment. It also complies with international regulations.

Documents need to be veryfied by peer-to-peer lenders

In order to verify the lenders’ identity, FundedByMe asks the users to upload their IDs or passports on their accounts. FundedByMe later passes on the data to an external payment provider, MangoPay, which then verifies the lender’s identity. However, the personal data provided by the lenders to FundedByMe and MangoPay will only be used in order to verify the lender, as well as in the rare case of default. The lenders’ personal information will not be passed on to any other external actors.

After your identity has been verified, you can start lending straight away!