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.”

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.

Collaboration between business angels and crowdfunding platforms

Collaboration between business angels and crowdfunding platforms

3 opportunities for collaboration between business angels and crowdfunding platforms
Crowdfunding and investments by business angels are often seen as mutually exclusive. At Connect we see things differently. We believe there are exciting opportunities for collaboration that brings benefits to both type of investors – and at the end of the day makes it easier for early stage companies to access capital necessary for growth.

Less risk, more money
The opportunities come from the complimentary nature of the solid investment knowledge of experienced business angels and the market validation mechanism that the online crowd provides. Connect has identified three areas that we want to explore together with our business angel network and FundedByMe.

1) Market validation
Sometimes otherwise interesting early stage deals may have question marks related to the actual interest from the market. A campaign on a crowdfunding platform such as FundedByMe can be used to validate market interest for the service or product and provide a business angel or business angel network with valuable data to help making a better investment decision.

2) Syndication
By combining their investments with online investors an experienced business angel could take the lead for a larger round with a smaller amount. This opens possibilities to engage in more deals and build a more diversified portfolio. Crowdfunded investments could also be used to fill rounds where a sole investor might not be able to meet the funding requirements by the company.

3) Improved trust
Knowing that an experienced lead investor is participating in the deal can make less knowledgeable investors feel at ease. The lead investor provides his or her experience from due diligence and company valuation processes and builds trust for the deal and reduces risk. It also creates a natural learning opportunity for new investors to become better investors over time.

“Collaboration between crowdfunding platforms and business angels is a natural development that benefits entrepreneurs as well as investors”

Connect and FundedByMe explore new models
Connect has the largest network of connected business angels in Sweden and in the Stockholm area more than 140 investors are connected to the network. Through the recently signed collaboration agreement with FundedByMe these investors will be offered new ways to interact with the crowdfunding platform and the online investors at FundedByMe.

Connect’s business development program for early stage companies Språngbrädan, is a proven process to help companies become investor-ready. Through the collaboration with FundedByMe we are creating new ways for companies on FundedByMe’s platform to improve their chances to reach their funding goals.

Companies that have participated in Språngbrädan will also be given special opportunities to participate and be highlighted on the platform.

This was a guest blog post brought to you by Connect – a proud partner of FundedByMe

Niclas Ahlström joins FundedByMe as Country Manager for Finland – Helping the Company to Maintain its Lead on the Nordic Crowdfunding Market

Niclas Ahlström joins FundedByMe as Country Manager for Finland – Helping the Company to Maintain its Lead on the Nordic Crowdfunding Market

FundedByMe is without a doubt a global company, having over 56,000 members from 166 countries. After Sweden, Finland is the biggest and most important market for the company and the team believes in its potential to grow even further. Thus far Finnish entrepreneurs are leaders in receiving cross-border investments.To capture the growth opportunities even further, FundedByMe is now proud to welcome Niclas Ahlström as the new Country Manager in Finland! ”We are very excited about having Niclas on board” says Daniel Daboczy, CEO at FundedByMe.

Daniel Daboczy adds “Finland is a very interesting market where FundedByMe has been very successful earlier. We have successfully closed many campaigns that became international successes plus a few that picked up some VC funding after having being on FundedByMe.! With Niclas in the team, joining our big network and working with Kristina Pääkönen (the previous Country Manager for Finland) we are convinced that we can grab even bigger market shares and prove why FundedByMe is the leader in crowdfunding on the Nordic Market.”

“What makes me suitable for the position is my understanding of the operations but also challenges from both perspectives – I have been an entrepreneur, taking on everything from restaurants to real estate, but also worked as an investor getting deep insight into projects within different fields. I think that the FundedByMe team is fantastic, which I feel very excited about becoming a part of” Niclas Ahlstöm says. Academically, he has a masters degree in International Management from Hanken School of Economics and has lived in London, New York and Milan, giving him a broad international experience.

Ahlström says that he always has had an interest in Crowdfunding and that he is fascinated about the way it changes the financial market and makes it easier for communities to get involved and support ideas they believe in. It minimizes the time that investors have to spend on due diligence – instead they can focus on the product or service itself and entrepreneurs no longer need to spend as much time on pitching. In addition, he strongly believes in crowdfunding bringing in expertise and experience into startups. ”Receiving money is one thing, but receiving smart money is even more important – investors are involved and can help out.”

When asking about what goals he has for FundedByMe, Ahlström says that he wants to spread the word about the company, letting more people know about their possibilities to get involved by investing in startups and starting their own ventures. ”What gives FundedByMe an edge on the market is the global approach, since the investor base is international.” He says that the Finnish economy needs strong mid level companies that can generate growth and new jobs. “It will become a win-win situation for all involved.”

The Crowdfunding market is becoming more regulated and Ahlström says that it is hard to make projections about the future. However, he is certainly positive about its growth. “If we are able to create a gigantic investor pool all around the world, where people can pool into projects everywhere – the market potential is huge. People are no longer tied to their physical position”. Ahlström says that his biggest challenge is probably making the investor pool grow.

Niclas Ahlström also adds what personal qualities he will bring to FundedByMe. ”I’m a team player who loves meeting new people. I come with an open mindset and I’m here to learn more. Also, I’m a good networker and I hope to bring in more people to the startup scene, taking crowdfunding and FundedByMe to even higher heights in Finland.” He finishes with a laugh after saying ”I’m a nice person, I’m easy to work with”.

 

Should Crowdfunding be Regulated in Sweden?

Should Crowdfunding be Regulated in Sweden?

Crowdfunding seems to be on everyone’s lips. Surprised? During 2014, the global crowdfunding market impressively injected 16 billion USD into different projects – making it hard for governments to turn a blind eye on the phenomena. FundedByMe grew more than 640% in Q1 and Q2 2015 vs. Q1 and Q2 2014 and the client base has increased to more than 55,000 active members.

For 2015, the global crowdfunding market is projected to double and FundedByMe especially sees a big growth in Asia. Don’t believe the myth that there’s tons of funding out there, especially to those who would like to become business angels with small sums (although the average investment on FundedByMe is €5,800 thus not so small amounts are invested).

The Swedish market is maturing and the governmental ruled Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority has started to implement information about crowdfunding as a natural part of their reports (page 15). Also, they have now scheduled a meeting to analyse the benefits and risks of crowdfunding on the Swedish market, read about it in SvD here . The Minister of Financial Markets, Per Bolund (MP), expressed his interest and belief in the market by saying that regulations need to be implemented, helping the market to grow even further. In addition, he recognises the need and therefore the huge demand for these types of financial services, enabling funding in a way that the traditional funding market can’t today. Also, Robin Teigland, researcher in crowdfunding at Stockholm School of Economics, claims that the distrust towards the traditional bank sector is growing – acknowledging the benefits of Crowdfunding to an even larger extent.

Today, the regulations for Equity and Loan based crowdfunding are severe due to distribution regulations and the Limited Companies Act (Aktiebolagslagen) and thus Sweden is very monitored. FundedByMe has been complying to the Companies Act since it’s inception and us also already registered by Finansinspektionen for it’s crowd-lending branch. However, FundedByMe couldn’t be happier about the news, since it proves the seriosity of the market which the company has strived for since the start in 2011. Bringing the topic to a political level recognises FundedByMe and other players on the market as well as it helps people to use the service more effectively. Even though nothing is legislated yet, it’s being talked about which FundedByMe thinks is a step towards a market expansion and development!

What do you think? Should crowdfunding in Sweden be regulated and should equity crowdfunding and crowd lending, already regulated by the Companies Act (Aktiebolagslagen) be regulated?

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.

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.

congratulation letter

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”.

FundedByMe launches loan-based crowdfunding (P2P lending)

Once again, FundedByMe is changing the financial landscape in Sweden, by introducing a new financial instrument for investors: loan-based crowdfunding (also known as: crowdlending, peer-to-peer lending or social loans). On February 17th FundedByMe, being the fastest growing crowdfunding platform in Europe, introduced peer-to-peer lending available to Swedish small and medium enterprises.

The newly launched peer-to-peer lending by FundedByMe enables investors from all over the world to lend money to Swedish businesses. Swedish entrepreneurs are now able to receive alternative financing and use it to develop their companies. The whole process is online based and the registration takes only a few minutes.

Investors are welcome to browse the loan-based crowdfunding campaigns on the platform and choose those they are willing to lend their money to. The risk rate makes it easy for the investors to choose the suitable company and possible incomes. Then they need to only log in or create an account giving few data and then upload their ID, which is verified. It may take up to 2 business days.

Starting raising funds in crowdlending model is also very simple for an entrepreneur. After creating an account, entrepreneurs directly receive a feedback from FundedByMe, which calculates the risk grade based on the enterprise’s financial history. Depending on it, the exact interest rate of the potential loan is set down. However, they are relatively cheap and because the whole procedure si 100% online, an entrepreneur may apply for a social loan whenever she or he wants.

Here you may find more information about loan-based crowdfunding for lenders and entrepreneurs.

The new peer-to-peer lending (crowdlending) offered by FundedByMe provides investors with high revenues and entrepreneurs with competitive interest rates, which are on average lower than in banks. The whole process is transparent and secure, thanks to the latest financial information provided by the two credit bureaus FundedByMe has a collaboration with. 

FundedByMe is now keeping its fingers crossed for the first crowdlending campaigns on the platform. You can also be a part of this history-changing moment: peer-to-peer lending.

Fourth anniversary of first crowdfunding platform presentation

Fourth anniversary of first crowdfunding platform presentation

Welcome back to the FundedByMe blog! Right now we are preparing for big changes on one of the leading crowdfunding sites. We will inform about you it soon.

But today is an important day for us. Exactly 4 years ago Daniel Daboczy, CEO and one of the co-founders and Arno Smit, CTO and the other co-founder, presented the first crowdfunding business model of FundedByMe. It was actually only on a piece of paper, but it turned out to be a very powerful idea.

The main trigger to fund a new peer to peer financing company was a refusal to list their other project on Kickstarter – American peer to peer reward-based crowdfunding platform. The lesson they took from it was: never give up when it comes to searching for investors. That’s also why FundedByMe started with the reward-based model. Very soon the operations were broaden and to some extent shifted towards equity-based crowdfunding also referred to as crowd-investing.

Since then FundedByMe raised over 100 000 000 SEK for various enterprises in both reward-based and equity-based crowdfunding projects. Local offices were opened in six European countries, in Singapore and a few more are currently being developed. Right now we are working on a new solution that may be game-changing for Swedish entrepreneurship and the crowdfunding business.

P.S.
But we still have a lot of respect for the leading crowdfunding sites from the US: Kickstarter and Indiegogo, even if they so far only focus on reward-based crowdfunding. Last year we actually bought the domain kickstarter.se wich we gave to them as a welcome gift when they entered the Swedish market. However, we do believe that as one-stop-shop for businesses looking for funding and with the unique dealflow exposure to crowdfunding investors we still have plenty of competitive edges. Not at least with the new offer we are soon about to launch, watch out for more news coming soon.