2016 Crowdfunding Overview – FundedByMe doubles total money raised

Scandinavia’s fastest-growing crowdfunding platform closes its 2016 activities with a cheer. With more than 74,000 registered members from 179 countries, FundedByMe has thus far raised almost €30 million to 461 successful crowdfunding campaigns, averaging €5,500 per investment and investments from 45 countries. This is almost double the total amount raised during the first five years up to December 2015.

2016 Crowdfunding overview

“The crowdfunding trend is only going to get bigger from here, as 2016 has shown a maturity of the market while FundedByMe attracts bigger parts of the early majority than early adopters ” says CEO and co-founder, Daniel Daboczy who confirms that it took the platform a full year to raise the first €100,000 in 2012. “With more players entering the scene, the pressure is on in a great way – more people know about crowdfunding and are considering it a viable financing alternative, which is great for companies looking for funding. More and more companies now uses crowdfunding for equity as a first stop rather than a last resort as it might have been a few years back,” Daboczy continues. “For the past six years we’ve been working hard to educate both crowd investors and entrepreneurs and it is finally starting to pay off.”

 

Some of the highlights for FundedByMe during 2016 include:

 

Success in Asia

In November 2016 FundedByMe was the only European crowdfunding platform to be allowed Peer-to-Peer crowdfunding by the Securities Commission in Malaysia. Additionally, it closed two successful crowdfunding campaigns in Asia this year – the first was Halal Speed Dating, which raised almost €90,000 from 42 investors and the second, iTalent, raised €277,000 from 29 investors.

 

Investments into FundedByMe

The company completed its own latest crowdfunding round, during which it raised €1,1million from 376 investors, raising the total number of shareholders to over 800 and thus mobilizing an “army” of fans and investors to help the company grow. Additionally, the company went through advanced negotiations with one of the largest Asian banks for a substantial investment, which FundedByMe later declined.

 

Finansinspektionen

The Swedish government gave FundedByMe the thumbs up for the FundedByMe lending product, citing that its current model of Loan crowdfunding is ready for scaling. In its current setup, FundedByMe collaborates with the Luxemburg-based bank Mangopay for all Loan transactions.

 

First Scandinavian exit after a crowdfunding round

FundedByMe success story, FrontOffice, became the first crowdfunding campaign in Scandinavia to head to a stock market after completing its crowdfunding round in February. Barely three months after investing on FundedByMe, crowdfunding shareholders started seeing a growth in their investment into FrontOffice as the share price yielded up to 200% growth in the first four months.

 

Finland growth

Finnish fashion brand, Marita Huurinainen, reached 80% of their investors from non-Finnish investors, raising more than €171,000 from 106 crowd members. The Finnish government passed some legislation during 2016 around equity crowdfunding and FundedByMe Finland has made the recommended changes, gearing up for super growth in 2017.

 

Records smashed

As usual, the platform hosted a number of crowdfunding record breakers of which the biggest were Wheelys, the Y-Combinator global success story who raised €844,556 from 220 investors and gathered a waiting for future funding rounds. Another runaway success was Uniti, a Swedish electric vehicle prototype that raised €1,227,990 from 570 investors through a series of perfectly executed marketing and communication activations.

 

Looking into 2017

With new CTO Daniel Wahlqvist in place, the FundedByMe product is taking big strides ahead. Early in January a new campaign layout will be launched, offering easier navigation with a cleaner design. Additionally, the FundedByMe product team is currently working on improving the online path in line with the company’s focus on investor experience. “The product team and I are recognising the different phases of a product vision during the startup life and the crucial growth phase and right now, FundedByMe is moving from a strict growth phase to fine-tuning the online experience,” says Wahlqvist. “We have some cool stuff brewing in the product lab,” Wahlqvist continues.

And it’s not just the product that is being upgraded. “We are rehauling the campaign owner experience to provide better support, more automated marketing help and more focused communications all round,” says CMO Susan Sjölund. And Head of Business Development, Alina Lundquist, agrees, “With the number of crowdfunding campaign applications increasing week on week, we’ve had to become smarter in how we work as the business moves into the next phase. 2017 is going to be interesting for us all.”

FastTrack files for bankruptcy

There is always a risk that the business you chose to support might fail. In fact, the rule of thumb is that if you want to find a growth opportunity for your money, you have to lose out on 9 of every 10 investments you make. Crowdfunding investments are high risk, particularly because you typically invest at a very early stage of a company’s lifespan. FastTrack – a former FundedByMe campaign that raised money back in December 2015 – has just announced that it has filed for bankruptcy with the Stockholm District Court.

Below is the update from Daniel Holmqvist, Chairman of the Board of Subito Services AB, sent to shareholders today (in Swedish):

Kompanjoner, aktieägare och styrelse!

Under veckan som gått har ansökan om konkurs för Subito Services AB inlämnats till Stockholms Tingsrätt. Det är vemodigt men samtidigt en viss lättnad efter en spännande berg- och dalbana som tyvärr aldrig fick tillräcklig skjuts.

Idén som vi fortfarande tror starkt på har med ambitiöst engagemang inte nått dit vi kämpat för. “Urverket” vår kodbas som skapade funktionen FastTrack lanserades sommaren 2015 med viss framgång. Drygt 70 restauranger skrev avtal och ville erbjuda sin kunder den moderna funktionen kostnadseffektivt. Dock konstaterade vi relativt snabbt att det krävdes betydligt mer än bara koden för att slutkunderna skulle använda funktionen. Vi summerar i efterhand att restaurangerna behövde avsevärt mer support än vad vi hade resurser för. En tydlig faktor till vår halvmarsch var att det löpande saknades pengar.

Förutom tillskott av kapital vid uppstart av verksamheten så har det gjorts två riktade emissioner samt en mindre via FundedByMe. Dessa tillskott har tillfälligt löst likviditeten men inte långsiktigt. Bolagets större aktieägare lånade även in 400’.- i samband med att ett kapitaltillskott om 5mkr signerades. Detta kapitaltillskott blev aldrig verklighet och vi kan i efterhand förvånas över tomma lovvärda ord utan ansvar.

Anledningen till ansökan om konkurs kommer helt av att Conevo som sedan start ansvarat för all programmering inte längre vill agera bank utan kräver sedan 14 dagar sedan full betalning på upparbetad skuld. Subito Services skulder enligt Conevo uppgår till cirka 700’.- vår uppfattning är att 350-400’.- stämmer men det är just nu en ickefråga. Direkt efter Conevos omedelbara betalningskrav stämde jag möte med deras ekonomichef för att diskutera vårt kritiska läge. Ett förslag lämnades från Conevo att skriva ned skulderna till 200’.- om omedelbar betalning kan göras. Subito Services största aktieägare har fått frågan om att lösa ev. konkurs genom ett akut kapitaltillskott om 200’.- utan full framgång. Med tanke på att det handlar om förhållandevis lite pengar och att det är bättre med lite än inget alls så är jag övertygad om att Conevo kan tänka sig ytterligare ett samtal.  Själv är jag beredd att gå in med 50.000 kronor, Kalle och Björn har flaggat för att gå in med egna tillskott för att undvika konkurs och istället likvidera verksamheten.

Om fler är intresserade så hör gärna av er till mig så ett sista förslag kan lämnas innan faktiskt konkurs.

Styrelsen är kallad till Stockholms Tingsrätt för edgångssammanträde den 25 oktober kl. 10.00.

Sammanställning kända skulder:
Conevo, enligt ovan
Leveko redovisningsbyrå, 18.000 kronor (Leveko är beredda att sänka skulden till 10’.-)
Fortnox, ekonomifunktion 600 kronor
INGA SKATTESKULDER

FrontOffice heads to Stockholm stock exchange from crowdfunding

FrontOffice head to stock exchange from crowdfunding

FrontOffice Nordic AB, a Swedish company reconstruction firm, announced this week that it has applied to be listed on Nordic Growth Market (NGM). This makes FrontOffice the first FundedByMe equity campaign to head for a public stock exchange from crowdfunding – and one of the first-ever Scandinavian equity crowdfunding campaigns that will give investors the opportunity to trade their crowdfunding shares on a regulated exchange, licensed by the Financial Supervisory Authority.

FrontOffice launched its crowdfunding campaign on FundedByMe on 25 November 2015 and it will run until 15 February 2016. The company has already secured 96% of the €533,000 equity goal from a total of 133 investors (as of now). Their goal is to be on this stock exchange by mid-April.

Read the full press release here and visit the campaign on FundedByMe here!

Regarding the “Jurase Park” campaign in Finland

The FundedByMe team wants to confirm that we declined to host the Finnish equity crowdfunding campaign “Jurase Park” on our platform due to lack of information and business plans, which is key to maintaining the high quality of our equity crowdfunding offering to the crowd.

For further information please contact the FundedByMe Finland Country Manager, Niclas Ahlström.

Stormfors Digital Agency on the crowdfunding creative process

Stormfors Digital Agency - the key to crowdfunding success

A while back FundedByMe was faced with a brand identity. We had grown fast and the brand needed a new identity. Our in-house team started looking for the right partner to help us identify the right crowdfunding creative process, tighten the screws and create a brand that would build trust, excite our crowd and help entrepreneurs find their audiences. We decided to partner with Stormfors, one of Stockholm’s leading digital agencies, and the result blew us away. We asked Stormfors to share their process with you. Below you’ll find an interview with the team from Stormfors – and be sure to view their beautiful presentation of the crowdfunding creative process here.

The industry of crowdfunding has grown exponentially since its inception, largely thanks to the viral power of storytelling. People have become experts in ignoring ads and banners.

But when commercial messages are woven into a story, you just can’t help getting sucked in.

Crowdfunding stories are even more relatable thanks to their inspiring and ambitious David and Goliath nature and because you can actively become a part of creating the story’s happy ending. The basic principles of storytelling success can be harnessed in all online communication.

The Stockholm-based digital agency Stormfors have successfully turned their business offer into storytelling, with interactive, in-depth case studies. These case studies vividly illustrate the process of how Stormfors are strengthening their clients digital brands. Click below to see an example and learn how Stormfors boosted FundedByMe.

Stormfors crowdfunding creative process

Meet crowd investor Magnus Collin

Here at FundedByMe we have a number of serial crowd investors who love what we do almost as passionately as we do. Magnus Collin is one of them. We asked him to share his crowd investor secrets and his tips for upcoming campaigns he has his crowd investor eye on.

Crowd investor Magnus Collins

1. Introduce yourself – what is your background, passions and day job?

I am a 40 year old IT and process improvement professional currently working for a software company focusing on secure product data collaboration solutions. I am a husband and a father of two wonderful children who make sure I am fully occupied most of the time. I have a thing for alternative investments and I am also a serial crowd investor.

2. How did you first get familiar with crowdfunding and why does being a crowd investor appeal to you?

For me it really started two years ago, when I somehow ran into a very compelling campaign for Jascha on FundedByMe. I had earlier bought into some tech gadget Kickstarter rewards-based campaigns. I find it appealing to, by investing, actually supporting someone else’s dream and passion coming true and also the fact that it feels more personal to invest in smaller companies, with the possibility of creating a mutual “relationship”. Joining in early also gives the opportunity to take part of the potential growth generated by good ideas, concepts and products – something earlier in most cases only possible for larger investors, business angels and family members or friends of the entrepreneurs.

3. Which campaigns on FundedByMe have you invested in? What made you want to get involved?

I have made 21 investments so far on FundedByMe – they are Jascha, InstrumentChamp, FundedByMe, Goodio Cools, MowJow, Mobitrotter, Lovetagged, Åre Natural Mineral Water, Virtuous Vodka, Isbjörn of Sweden, Give, Commons, NOA Potions, Mormor Magdas Glass, Eggs Inc, Zeifie, Fikabox, Marita Huurinainen, Fast Track, Someone.io and BrewDog.

Must admit that some of my investments have been made based on an interest in supporting the founder or an idea rather than believing fully it will become the next big thing, but the major part of the campaigns I have entered I think had great potential. Some of the ventures have not followed through as expected, ran into technical or product positioning issues and more or less paused their activities – so you have to consider the risk. The companies I did invest more in was Jascha, InstrumentChamp, Isbjörn of Sweden, NOA Potions and Mormor Magdas Glass. What differed was that I had a stronger believe in the product and the team behind, but it was also dependent on current availability of capital to invest.

4. What do you expect to get out of these investments on the long run?

Dreaming of one or two of the investments turning out to be the next unicorn, but to be more realistic about it – hoping to be able to spread risk and still overall exceed at least the Nordic stock exchange indexes.

5. What is the most important tip you’d give other investors considering crowdfunding?

All early stage ventures are high-risk and often very dependent on the founders’ combined drive and endurance. Also be aware that pre-valuation of some of the companies can be “questionable” short-term and are often based on a prognosis with rather aggressive expansion plans. Examine the figures, ask questions and add also your believe in the product, concept and most important the people involved to the equation, even more important of course if investing more.

6. Are there any new investment rounds on FundedByMe that you have your eyes on at the moment?

Currently looking into Galagowear and Sofie Bly – both already established brands and ready for expansion. Also interested in FrontOffice Nordic, I believe the concept has great potential.

7. Finally, what is your favourite feature about FundedByMe as a platform?

FundedByMe makes it easy becoming an early-stage investor and has also been able to attract very interesting new companies seeking capital.

Follow crowd investor Magnus on his (new) blog here and find him on Twitter here.

Fat Cat and FundedByMe – not a partnership made in heaven.

To date, FundedByMe has helped more than 420 companies raise more than €15 million from more than 60,000 registered crowd investors. While we act as a ‘dating site’ where investors and entrepreneurs can meet one another and ‘fall in love’ – things do sometimes go wrong. 

Fat Cat Campaign

With the Fat Cat campaign (open on the FundedByMe platform between November 2014 and closed in January 2015), despite our best efforts, it unfortunately did.

From the FundedByMe end, we followed our usual strict diligence strategy for fact and identity checking the creators of the campaign before allowing the Fat Cat campaign to go live on the platform. At first it seemed like a campaign made for success – bloggers were driving traffic to their page and the entrepreneur seemed engaged and active. 

Soon, however, we realized that all was not as it seemed. While we kept our side of the agreement, once the campaign was successfully closed our initial invoices were queried and then went unpaid and our emails remain unanswered. 

Unhappy Bloggers

But more than our outstanding invoices, the bigger concern is that Fat Cat offered shares and other rewards to bloggers who helped them drive traffic to their campaign on our platform. They have not honoured these promises, despite receiving an immense outflow of support from their digital community. We take these allegations very seriously and have, to date, not received any feedback from the Fat Cat founders, despite numerous attempts to get the full truth.

Hereby, FundedByMe wishes to publicly apologise to any bloggers who were negatively affected by the activities of Fat Cat in relation to their campaign on our platform. We wish to distance ourselves from Fat Cat and its owners and will continue to do so until these allegations have been cleared up. As we are not allowed to handle any transactions nor issue shares on the FundedByMe platform, our ability to affect this situation is limited.

What we do have is a very active social network and we can ask for their help to publicly urge the Fat Cat owners to honour their promises made to industry leaders who used their social media powers to drive traffic to the Fat Cat campaign. 

And, while you’re at it, please pay your outstanding invoice from FundedByMe too.

Happy Holidays – and an overview of crowdfunding in 2015!

Thank you for helping us make crowdfunding in 2015 the best  yet. Here’s to a fantastic new year filled with success and happiness – cheers! From all of us at the FundedByMe team, MERRY CHRISTMAS!

FundedByMe Team overview of crowdfunding in 2015

Some FundedByMe highlights – crowdfunding in 2015:

  • We raised a total of €6,900,000.00 on the platform
  • We attracted some of the best people in the business to join our team
  • The largest single investment was €260,100.00
  • The smallest single investment was €10
  • The quickest round closed raised €990,000.00 in 5 days
  • The fastest €100,000.00 raised was in 3 minutes
  • An average of 23% of investments were international from 74 countries
  • We launched our new product, Loans
  • Awarded Finance Monthly’s ‘Crowdfunding firm of the year’ award
  • Invited to Nasdaq New York to speak about crowdfunding

In 2016 we will:

  • Be closing our A-round (more info to come!)
  • Be launching some very noteworthy campaigns
  • Be saying goodbye to Reward-based crowdfunding
  • Expanding into Asia
  • Further building our partner network to better serve our entrepreneurs and investors

Read more about our plans here.

High Heaven – A social network for women in Extreme sports

High Heaven – A social network for women in Extreme sports

Crowd investment entrepreneur Nina Nordling High Heaven (225x346)

Introduce yourself – what is your background, what are you passionate about and what are your hopes and dreams?
I am Nina Nordling, the Founder and CEO of High Heaven, and current crowd investment entrepreneur on FundedByMe. At High Heaven we have a lot of passions, hopes and dreams! I started riding motocross a couple of years back and discovered I just loved everything to do with both adrenaline and entrepreneurship, especially social entrepreneurship. I co-founded a motocross team for women and got really interested in the action sports industry, also being active in skate, surf and a ton of motorsports. I soon realized that little was being done for girls and women in this segment, and I decided to change that. I quit my job and went all in with High Heaven!

Our dream is that High Heaven will provide inspiration, information, and a great network so that girls and women dare try new sports, excel in their sports and get engaged in the action sports community. The day that young girls choose action sports with confidence and pride, and the industry is 50-50 men and women, then maybe I will go on vacation and relax for a bit.

 

How did the idea for your campaign come about? Describe what your campaign does.
We love the concept of letting the crowd own a piece of the action! We are launching HighHeaven.com, the world’s first international action and extreme sports website for women and we want to be owned by our crowd. We are funding the last stages of development as well as the launch itself, and we welcome all that love entrepreneurship, ventures and adventures to support and be a part of this cool journey.

 

Why did you decide on crowdfunding? What about FundedByMe appealed to you?
The awesome thing about crowdfunding is that it shifts the power to decide what ideas and businesses deserve support, from the big VCs and angel investors to the actual crowd! Now anyone can become an angel investor and support with as much or as little as they like, getting a unique chance to be involved in a startup together with passionate entrepreneurs.

 

Talk us through your campaign on FundedByMe – what are you planning on doing to maximize the exposure and ensure success? What can our readers look forward to seeing from your campaign?
We are going to be featured in some relevant blogs and magazines, which is pretty cool, and we are doing some live events including the HighHeaven-Snowboarding-HotChocolate-Pulka-Brainstorming-Skiing-Marshmallows-Hangout at Stockholm’s Hammarbybacken on the 1st of February!

We invite current and new crowd investors to a fun day of outrageous outdoor activities, All are welcome!

 

Why should our readers get involved in your campaign?
Because we kick ass and we need your help to continue to do so!

 

Which success story on FundedByMe has inspired you most? Why?
Virtuous Vodka: they had a great campaign with live events that really included their crowd and got them engaged. I would also like to mention a great crowd investor, Patrick Stahl, who has supported a lot of campaigns and entrepreneurs, that’s really something!

 

Keep on kicking ass! And visit the High Heaven campaign on FundedByMe here.

Meet crowd investor Patrick Stahl

Meet crowd investor Patrick Stahl

Crowd Investor Patrick Stahl

Introduce yourself – what is your background, passions and ‘day job’?
I am a Senior Partner at MiL Institute and work with leadership development and facilitate change processes in organizations. Troubled management/project teams and talented people is my passion!

How did you first get familiar with crowdfunding and why does it appeal to you?
Being an ex-entrepreneur myself, being a crowd investor is a perfect way for me to support other entrepreneurs with ideas. I love getting in early and watching business models grow and develop over those crucial early years.

Which project(s) on FundedByMe did you invest in? What made you want to get involved?
Virtuous Spirits, Nerdy by Nerds, Eggs Inc, Beibamboo, Elinnovation…. I think those are all, but may have missed one.
I wanted to get involved in these companies because I believed in the people behind the business ideas. Good people beat good ideas. Always!

What do you expect to get out of these investments on the long run?
Passion and energy, and in the odd case also a return on my investment.

What is the most important tip you’d give other investors considering crowdfunding?
Ignore the product/service when you invest. It’s all about the people and the team. Really. And listen to both your heart and your braincells.

Are there any new investment rounds on FundedByMe that you have your eyes on at the moment?
Oh….absolutely! High Heaven is my new pet peeve! Just look at their team – living the brand 100%!