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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.”