Crowdfunding Berries by Astrid – how it began

Crowdfunding Berries by Astrid – how it began

Crowdfunding Berries by Astrid became an extraordinary campaign. Run by a doctor of medical research, offering an unique business concept of selling smoothies, having rocket-science vending machines and reaching its crowdfunding goal within first couple of days of going live.

Crowdfunding Berries by Astrid was the recent biggest milestone in developing the company. One day Astrid Friborg, the CEO & founder of Berries by Astrid wanted to present her unique vendor machine prototype and sample her smoothies based on a carefully developed recipe. Shortly we started to talk about funding her project. Couple days later Astrid launched her crowdfunding campaign on FundedByMe, offering nearly 11% of the company. Few days later she raised all money needed, but the campaign is still open for investors.

It’s so much fun! 90% of those people who  I have never heard about. Some of them declared 50k or even 100k SEK to invest in my company. There are investors outside of Sweden as well. I’m very curious to know how they heard about us and to meet them” – says Astrid  Friborg, CEO & founder of Berries by Astrid

Everything started in 2007. Astrid was doing her Phd in colon cancer on the Lund University, but wanted to get more knowledge in economy and marketing. Attending a full semester programme was impossible, but she found an evening course.

“One of the speakers encouraged us to apply for funding in her VC company and presented a case of a juice bar which was very successful. I thought that prices of renting a shop in a shopping mall are high, you need additionally to hire a staff and there are some wastes in raw materials, as fruits. What about making it simpler? Like a machine that would produce the same quality smoothie but without all this unnecessary things that make it more costly? This idea appeared in my head like a flesh from the clear sky” – explains Astrid.  

However, Astrid didn’t want to develop the idea immediately, but finish her PhD degree first. She graduated in 2009 and got the offer from Stanford University from a professor, and was assisted by a prestigious grant from the Swedish Scientific Council for next 2 years of researches.

“To turn down the offer was a really hard decision. But I have never regretted it.”

The 1st August 2009 she started to work on her machine full time. At the beginning it was pretty tough.

She attended many courses for entrepreneurs to learn as much as possible, but she didn’t have any mentor. Finally in Malmo Astrid met an engineer specialized in building automates for food industry who helped her get on the right track. But the machine has evolved on every step.

When I invited it there was no even word ‘Internet of things’ I just wanted to have some features like possibility for customers to pay with a mobile phone or for me to control the machine from distance.”

Right now all of them are in the prototype, however still some improvements are needed. Money raised in current crowdfunding campaign will be used to implement them and to adjust for mass production.

3 Key Trends Will Change Crowdfunding in 2015

3 Key Trends Will Change Crowdfunding in 2015

Many people wonder what might happen in the future. We at FundedByMe don’t have a crystal ball, but we can forecast how the year 2015 will be for crowdfunding in Asia. So here it is.

Right now you can see 3 main phenomenons in the APAC region that lets you predict the future of crowdfunding:

  • The social / mobile / chat obsessed citizens
  • Economics of E-commerce and E-finance
  • Innovation in reducing the unbanked rate

You will find some of the numbers below. But what do they actually mean for the industry? Let’s take it step by step. More and more people who spend their lives on mobile chat applications will result in changing global behaviour patterns. Not only we will be able to do anything using our mobile devices, but also will expect shorter offers, long creditable relationships and faster payments that we can handle with any smartphone. And you know very well where there is demand, there is supply.

Strong growth of e-commerce is usually the first step of strong growth in P2P finance. If you want to talk about e-commerce market in Asia, the relevant word would be “explosion”. And so with crowdfunding you should probably use “booming” as well. In China alone the market size is estimated to be $40 billion USD, where just a couple years ago the industry didn’t exist at all. The Asian states are being more aware of the role of the industry and start to implement regulations for it – Malaysia was the first country doing this (and by the way, FundedByMe with its partner are one of the first companies receiving the license for equity based crowdfunding).

Finally, crowdfunding significantly helps to decrease the rate of people who are not banked at all or are underbanked. Why? Because it can be used by people who have no credit history! Just check what happened in Kenya thank to M-PESA, a Mobile Phone Payment System. Right now the number of M-PESA users is higher than bank account holders.

Want to learn more details? Watch the performance by Adrian Koh, FundedByMe General Manager in the APAC region, and check a presentation by him.

Download presentation here.

FundedByMe Discusses Crowdfunding with the Swedish Government

FundedByMe Discusses Crowdfunding with the Swedish Government

How to make companies in Sweden more competitive? What are the main obstacles they face and how to make the business environment more entrepreneur friendly? – these were questions Pontus Frohde, COO of FundedByMe discussed, with Mikael Damberg Minister of Commerce & Business (näringsminister) and Magdalena Andersson, Minister of Finance (finansminister).

We talk with entrepreneurs, far beyond Sweden, on daily basis and we know the reality of their experiences very well. You could even say we cut our teeth on helping them. And we think we are successful in this area – raising money for others is our core business.

We won a Global Award for Crowdfunding Firm of the Year 2015 by Finance Monthly and was announced one of the hottest startups in Sweden by Veckans Affärer. Behind these successes there is the hard job we do every day. FundedByMe is run by entrepreneurs as well. For other entrepreneurs.

That’s why we believe our contribution is valuable in creating a next Silicon Valley in Europe.

Create Multilingual Crowdfunding Campaigns!

Communicate your campaign globally as well as locally!

At FundedByMe we pride ourselves on being a crowdfunding platform that really facilitates international activity. We can see this exemplified in campaigns such as Goodio Cools and FundedByMe’s recent round where more than 40% of the investments came from international investors. This means that you may want to write your presentation in not only English, which helps reach the wider international audience, but also in a local language. The latter helping your particular country or the country you wish to target in particular. To do this, we are introducing Secondary Language as part of the campaign creation process.

Secondary Language

Now, when you have included a secondary language on your campaign, your campaign visitors can switch between English and the secondary language to see the presentation in the language they prefer.

Primary PresentationScreen Shot 2014-09-26 at 16.05.57

 

How To Include a Secondary Language in your Crowdfunding Campaign

Setting up your secondary language presentation is easy and you can do this as you are creating your main presentation. In the basic campaign information section, simply select your secondary language from the drop-down list. After this, enter the translated versions of the subheader and description to start.

 

 

Secondary Language

 

In the next step, arriving at the presentation creation section you will see a text area dedicated to your secondary language for each text block that you create. Enter your English presentation in the top area and the translated text in the bottom area. The image and video blocks will remain where they are when the visitor changes from one language to the other.

Secondary Language Text Block

 

And that’s it! When someone is viewing your campaign they can now switch between the two languages to the one they prefer. And another great thing is that you can now translate your reward descriptions in the same way when running reward-based campaigns!

Meet Partner BusinessInFact

BusinessInFact

Introduce your brand – what makes your brand unique and relevant to the FundedByMe audience?

BusinessInFact is an open Business Angels Network, spends much time in investors´ training in order to be fully competent to select projects and decide their investment strategy. BIF invest in well developed, lean focused, scalable projects.

What is your background, passions and ‘day job’?

A success career in business development, nine business projects started up. Work with investors and as investor since 2002. Fully dedicated to mentor entrepreneurs and training new business angels.

BusinessInFact

How did your brand first get familiar with crowdfunding and why does it appeal to you?

Our network needs complementary sources of capital to complete the investment rounds and afford to invest in more projects. Crowdfunding can be an appropriate way to get this goal.

Describe the scope of the partnership you have entered into with FundedByMe? What made you want to get involved?

BIF will publish in FBM its projects in investment round process to complement the equity of our Business Angels. Those projects are well developed and potentially rentable, selected by our investors.

What do you expect to get out of this partnership on the long run?

Increase our investment activity in Spanish projects, diversify our equity and afford to more projects.

BusinessInFact

What is the most important tip you’d give investors and entrepreneurs who are considering crowdfunding as a way to fund their businesses or ideas?

Entrepreneurs find an adequate new source for funding their projects. Non professional newcomer investors access to investment opportunities validated by experience investors and experts.

Are there any current campaigns on FundedByMe that you have your eyes on?

We’ll focused in our own projects campaigns.

Crowdfunding Entrepreneur and Author Johan Norberg

Crowdfunding Entrepreneur and Author Johan Norberg

Johan Norberg

Introduce yourself – what is your background, what are you passionate about and what are your hopes and dreams?

I am a historian of ideas and writer who works with many different forms of media to promote what I think makes the world go around – individual freedom and economic and technological progress. So I write books and columns and I lecture and produce documentary films: And I do all of this on a freelance basis, which has always been a personal ambition. I want to be in charge of my ideas and my time and control the process, and have no one above or beneath me.

Why did you decide on crowdfunding? What about FundedByMe appealed to you?

It was the easiest choice ever. Since the book that I am writing is about the power of connected crowds who organise without organisations, to disrupt everything. And that includes crowdfunding – I thought the production and funding of the book should be part of what I write a book, a result of the process that I am celebrating. I put my money where my mouth is, basically, and I am delighted that so many people believed in it.

FundedByMe appealed to me because friends of mine had already used it and recommended it, and it seemed like both a simple and useful platform.

Talk us through your campaign on FundedByMe – what were some of the highlights and what activities did you do to help ensure that your campaign was successful?

First of all I used my position in social media, most of all Twitter and Facebook, both to find donors, but also to get the story out there. And then I talked to them and journalists about the bigger story of the campaign – that I did it to prove or challenge my theory of the power of crowds, and that this is part of a bigger trend. And then the incredibly quick success of the campaign became a story in itself, so others wrote about it and spread the message.

What was the best part about running a campaign on FundedByMe?

The best thing was the excellent and rapid assistance I got from Cathrine Åsklint and others at FundedByMe every time I ran into problems or needed to understand something that was new to me. When you are in strange, new territory, that’s extremely important.

And what was a challenge about running a campaign on FundedByMe?

The biggest problem was getting things done through PayPal, since I got more donations than we expected and my account was temporarily closed according to EU regulations, but that is not really because I worked with FundedByMe.

Would you recommend other entrepreneurs to consider crowdfunding – and FundedByMe – for their financing needs? Why? Any tips or advice to those considering it?

Oh yes, I am sure that this is the future. The chance that we will find that extra someone with all the capital we need is nothing compared to what happens when we are able to ask everybody, and use the accumulated interest from the masses. But I think it’s very important to build a presence and contacts via social media before that happens.

Now that your crowdfunding campaign has closed, what’s next?

Well, I’d better write that book now, right? It’s actually quite a responsibility. It used to be that I would only disappoint a publisher if I wrote a bad book, now I would offend all those who believe in me!

Johan Norberg’s (crowdfunding entrepreneur) campaign closed at over 200% of goal, raising ca €23,000 for him to write his book. You can see his campaign here and find other campaigns to back in our browse section.

Mikko Silventola – Chairman and founder from Frontier

Mikko profiilikuva

Introduce yourself – what is your background, passions, ‘day job’ and why did you move to Singapore?
My name is Mikko Silventola, and I am the Chairman of Frontier and Founder of Calcus Publishing Group. I invest my own and Frontier’s funds to interesting tech start-ups with global potential. My passion is in start-ups and helping to take them international. I lived in the Middle East for a year and while I was there, decided that Singapore will be the next destination. Singapore is a really great and an easy place to do business. In addition, the start-up scene is developing and there’s no such “bubble” mentality compared to Silicon Valley. Singapore is also a great hub for expanding businesses to other Southeast Asian countries. I haven’t told it to my wife yet, but we must stay here longer than expected – Singapore rocks!

How did you first get familiar with crowdfunding and why does it appeal to you?
I think it was from Kickstarter back in the days when they were pretty much in the media. I also liked the idea that individuals could easily back campaigns and get involved in the interesting start-up scene.

Which campaigns(s) on FundedByMe did you invest in? What made you want to get involved?
I invested into danish WriteReader which improves Children´s literacy skills. I think their team was good and their product was interesting. Also, a good meeting with FundedByMe Singapore team got me convinced and I wanted to learn how the crowdfunding process really works.

What do you expect to get out of these investments in the long run?
Hopefully some returns, and I would like to get to know the team and their plans behind WriteReader in the future.

What is the most important tip you’d give other investors considering crowdfunding?
Have a careful look at the teams behind the investment opportunities. All (operating) founders must be 110% involved into the business.

Are there any new investment rounds on FundedByMe that you have your eyes on at the moment?
Actually I am waiting for the first cases from Singapore to be launched on the platform!