After the crowdfunding: Jascha opens the first store

After the crowdfunding: Jascha opens the first store

 

We went to Jascha’s newly opened store in MOOD Stockholm to see what the hype is about. A year after their crowdfunding on FundedByMe we got a talk with Jonas, one of the founders:

How long have you been working with fashion?

I’m born with fashion. My mom is a designer. She’s been working with it since I was a kid. My older brother is Jascha. He started the brand 12 years ago, then me and my other brother started this company 5 years ago. We had a store at Odenplan before, where we had a mix of fashion and interior decoration, but wanted a pure Jascha store. We have built this store to show what Jascha stands for, we can present the whole collection and concept in a unique way. We are going to develop it more, and if it succeed’s, this store will look totally different in six months from now.

What is Jascha all about?

Our focus is fit and quality with distinct details, which is unique. There are many brands that work similar but more minimalistic. Not many in Sweden works with the distinct details like we do. The typical Jascha customer is a business woman, 30-35 years, that has good economy, although it’s not expensive. A dress is 1 200 – 1 600 kronors. Its not more expensive than our competitors.

What’s your plan?

To expand. This store is an experiment. The plan is to build a small chain of stores to start with, in Stockholm. The city is big enough to hold several stores. Then we will evaluate after a couple of months. The most important with the store is not the cash, but to see what potential it has. You have to be alert all the time, it’s an industry in constant change. You are on your toes all the time.

                                                                        Foto 2014-10-09 10 34 57 (1)

Last year you raised 500 000 SEK on FundedByMe, what happened after that?

Our pitch was to increase gross sales and export, which we did. We reached the goal for turnover that we had in the prospect. I got into crowdfunding when I was at a party and a friend of a friend said he planned to start a campaign for his website. I got interested since i had been thinking of how to raise money in an easy way. I googled FundedByMe and saw there was soon to be an introduction meeting, so I went. I knew I could present it well but was unsure of how many investors that was connected. I got surprised of how many serious investors there was in the network.

How much is ethics involved in the making?

It is important but difficult in this industry. We have barely no production in Asia, where it would be hard to control it. We work in Eastern Europe so we can go visit the factories easier. It’s  a murdering competition in this industry when it comes to production. If I would make this product Fairtrade etc, I would have to charge a whole lot more for the clothes. In difference from other products, people dont value ecological and ethical products when it comes to clothes. When people buy food they are willing to spend more for that kind of products but it havn’t reached our industry yet. I think the mindset will come more to clothes too. We work with ecologic materials like viscose that is way more friendly to nature than cotton is.

Jonas gives a tour of the store including it’s many custom built solutions, made by themselves:

There are still some things to be installed. It’s gone very fast. We are just seven people in the company including store clerks. The four people in the office do everything from designing, marketing to going to fairs. We are known for being very fast and it’s all about focus. We signed the contract for this store just six weeks ago, opened the doors yesterday and will throw a inauguration party here in two weeks.

Foto 2014-10-09 10 36 04

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!

Welcome to Sweden, Kickstarter. We have a gift for you!

Welcome to Sweden, Kickstarter. We have a gift for you!

Finally! You’re here! Now we are two major forces building awareness on crowdfunding in Sweden and The Nordics; Kickstarter.com and FundedByMe.comIf you want to read the story on how Kickstarter turned our idea down and why we started FundedByMe please read what Forbes writes here: “How Kickstarter’s loss became Sweden’s gain

Ever since 2010 when Kickstarter, then still in a very infant stage, declined our submission to fund one of our ideas we’ve been hoping that they would realize the full potential of Sweden, The Nordics and Europe. We decided already back in 2010 that this market needs a crowdfunding alternative and we launched our first version of our crowd investment platform in march 2011.

Since then we’ve seen som many amazing ideas, creatives, entrepreneurs, companies, storys, investments and successes. We’ve grown to 18 employees, have offices in 8 countries and see our selves as part of the top sites on equity crowdfunding. We actually owe Kickstarter a big “thank you for turning our other idea down”, because that inspired us to build FundedByMe.

In September 2012 we finally chose our path and saw the future of crowdfunding. We do love Kickstarter and reward-based crowdfunding but true participation is: Ownership. Since September 2012 we our main focus is on funding companies rather than gadgets and we offer reward-based crowdfunding, equity crowdfunding and will soon be launching the final third leg peer-to-peer lending or social lending. (Or, actually peer-to-company lending.)

Both entrepreneurs and investors are starved of investment alternatives and thats why we are building a one-stop-shop to fund companies. Having offices in 7 european countries and one in Singapore gives us an edge since we see that more and more people invest from different corners of the world – and that shows us that Internet has truly democratized the world of financing and funding. 

So, when we are asked how we feel that Kickstarter opens in Sweden, we truly and honestly welcome them  and hope that we can find ways to collaborate on educating this market since we actually do not compete but rather complement each other.

Daniel Daboczy,
CEO and co -founder of FundedByMe

 

P.S. I almost forgot about the gift I was writing about! Here it goes: We saw that someone had snatched the domain name kickstarter.se and we grabbed it for you. If you want it – please let us know!

 

ALSIceBucketChallenge – FundedByMe accepted it!

ALSIceBucketChallenge – FundedByMe accepted it!

 

We were happy to be nominated for the ALSIceBucketChallenge by Sqore and accept the challenge!

Between Hamngatan and Regeringsgatan, out in the public, proper camera and great smiles we poured the water on us.

 

Arno, Catherine, Daniel and Michal took the buckets and now we nominate Crowdfund insider, Företagarna and Lendico

See the whole video

 

Welcome Siri – FundedByMe’s new communications manager

Welcome Siri – FundedByMe’s new communications manager

There are a lot of new staff here at the FundedByMe office in Stockholm. This Tuesday Siri Andersson – our new communications manager, accompanied us. Siri will be working close with Susan Sjölund (currently on maternity leave) in order to spread the word about FundedByMe, share the stories with our entrepreneurs to the rest of the world. Exciting? That’s exactly what we think as well.

So, Siri, welcome to the world of crowdfunding! Tell us more about yourself: Who are you? Where have you been?

Oh, wow, the existential questions first? My name is Siri. I got here from a political organization where I worked as an Elections Manager. I wanted to become a cat rescuer when I was younger but I ended up with communications after doing marketing-PR at Berghs School of Communication.  I love creating campaigns and to get busy in my creative bubble!

Wait, cat rescuer?

I really don’t know what I was thinking – I’m allergic to cats.

 You’ve been here for 4 days now, what’s your first impression of FundedByMe from the inside?

Did you know that Swedes consume the most coffee in the world? I’ve read that so many times but I didn’t really believe it – until I joined FundedByMe. My consumption of coffee have reached levels no one could ever imagine! No, that’s a joke, this team is a world class composition of geniuses from all over the world. I’m super thrilled to be a part of this!

Communication Manager Siri Andersson

 

 We’re glad you’re here right now, but where are you in 20 years? What are your dreams?

Probably where Daniel Daboczy is sitting… Well, probably not. I hope I’m still working with communications and I’d love to empower more women to get in to the start-up-scene. I really do miss them!

Great having you onboard Siri, looking forward working with you!

/Dani

Interns from Hyper Island improving our strategies

Interns from Hyper Island improving our strategies

Is there a official date where you can say; Now vacation is over? The speed in the office has been a little bit slow but not unproductive. I’m Kelly, one of the new interns here at FundedByMe. We are three people together as interns, from Hyper Island. FundedByMe has also been busy with hiring a loan-specialist and a designer, which we will introduce later on.

We are the interns: Danijela, Kelly and Johannes and we have studied Digital Data Strategy at Hyper Island in Stockholm. We are excited to be here. A digital data strategist learns how to use data, understand how to apply and take data driven decisions, focus on what impacts it has, create marketing strategies. By that, using tools like google analytics, learn how to code websites, AB-testing and a lot more.

We decided together with FundedByMe to start early, already in June. We are here to help them analyzing data, get some new valuable and actionable insights and visualize campaigns. And we have already started to put together a communication plan and we are planning a lot of more fun stuff. FundedByMe and crowdfunding is growing a lot, both Sweden and abroad, so we see that all the help we can give is really valuable. We are enjoying  practicing and learning FundedByMe about our knowledge. Here is an small interview with us:

How do you like FundedByMe so far, being here for more than a month now?

Kelly: It has been really nice to join a company and get to know a company culture again after school. It has been calm during July so I am excited now when everybody is getting back.

Danijela: Yes, so more people can be involved to see what we are doing. It is always good to get more input from others.

Johannes: I love the company culture here. It has a genuine startup feel to it, in relation to the more stiff places i’ve been at in the past.

So, who are you? And what makes you such a great team?

Danijela: My background varies. I’m born and raised in Yugoslavia but I’ve lived in Sweden for 14 years now. I have a bachelor degree in Media Technology, complemented with photography courses in New York. What drives me the most is storytelling in different ways, and with my knowledge in data now it’s even more exciting.
What makes us a great team is actually a thing that could be seen as a weakness – the fact that we have similar interests and skills. When working with data the variety of tasks is huge and our strength lies in our mindset of being able to take any challenge with great enthusiasm that affects everyone around.

Kelly: I’m from north of Uppsala, studied packaging design between 2008-2010 and worked as a designer and running my own illustration company. I am a forward driven person with a positive attitude. I am also stubborn, which is both good and bad. Mostly good I would say. When I am curious about something new I won’t stop until I know everything I need to know about that particular topic.
We are all very honest people and that is really important as a team. Since we have worked with group dynamics, project management and how to solve conflicts at Hyper we have the tools we need to continue growing as a team.

Johannes: I have worked and studied in several fields, such as advertising, healthcare, entertainment and design. I love everything visual – photography, graphic design, video and such.
Also agree with Danijela and Kelly, but you know what also makes a good team? To have fun and encourage each others ideas and try them out.

fundedbyme_interns

 

What do you think is going to be the biggest change or impact you can do for FundedByMe?

Danijela: I hope we inspire them by our Hyper way, which means that we communicate a lot within the team and make sure to wrap up projects and reflect before we move to the next one. Also our data driven decisions  and work we have done so far, I hope we sat the stamp on how to continue working with data and stay curious.

Kelly: This communication plan is, by far, the most important thing right now. To increase readers to the blog that will later on generate more investors and entrepreneurs is what I am nervous about. I mean, to see that it really works, what we are doing. If our data research and hypotheses is giving any result. I believe that FundedByMe is already very much understandable around data but I hope we can give them tools that they can use.

fundedbyme_interns_kellybrofall
Kelly Brofall

 

Johannes: I want people coming to FundedByMe to not only understand what it’s about, but feel the urge to participate. My greatest motivation lies within getting people to want to be a part of it. That’s why my focus is in culture, design and communication when I digest the data.

 

Do you think that 14 week is enough for all the work you are going to do?

Johannes: We hope and we aim for it!

Danijela: Time is never enough, so we working till our eyes drops down!

Kelly: We are working as hard and effective as we can, but its still so many new impressions and info to take in so you get tired because of that at the same time.

 

What do you drink then when you get tired?

Johannes: Coffee! I can’t even start to do a check-in before I had my coffee.

fundedbyme interns johannes aronsson
Johannes Aronsson

Check-in? What is that?

Danijela: We all start our morning with and telling everyone how we feel and what we are going to bring to the team today. It puts everyone on the same page, so we know how everyone feels. We learned that during Hyper and I think its great way to start the day.

fundedbyme_interns_danijelafroki
Danijela Froki

Cool, so do you also need a coffee before you can do that?

Danijela: No thats alright, but if I am tired on a day I really crave for a Frappuccino from Espresso house.

Kelly: I don’t really drink coffee, but a cold coca-cola that has been standing, open, in the fridge during the night. But, It’s kind of a hustle to fix if I am tired one day.

What are you looking forward to right now?

Johannes: Continue working!

Kelly: Yea, we have so much to do.

Danijela: Like, writing for this blog.

 

We are grateful to be here, and we like it a lot. We hope that the autumn does not go too fast now. 14 weeks may sound a lot, and then all of a sudden, the next week is here.

//Kelly

PayPal not suitable for marketplaces

PayPal not suitable for marketplaces

PayPal stuck in a vicious downward spiral whilst everyone else is innovating?

Back in 2011 FundedByMe launched its 1st version that was super simple.

Our goal – connecting backers with projects.

Since the landscape of funding was totally different we didn’t know that much at the beginning, we simply connected a PayPal button to our crowdfunding campaigns, started processing payments and made a transaction at the end of the day where our campaigns received the bulk of the money.

This worked really good but required time from us as co-founders to make sure we could transfer the money from Backer to the Entrepreneur.

A few months into this journey we had a real breakthrough campaign that managed to raise over €60,000. Media wrote about this, insane traffic spikes and our version of Putler (app showing PayPal stats) pinging every single second as soon as money hit the account.

The news we received the following days from PayPal was.

You’re not in a position to be handling money, we are hereby freezing your account until further notice or you have to implement Adaptive Payments. A real WTF moment!

We then got assigned a Key Account manager through PayPal and basically told us that PayPal has a new crowdfunding policy, you have to rewrite the way your system works. This information was sent after the time when the decision was already made to freeze our account with €170,000 in it. Now I’m not sure how many of you actually run a startup, but that’s a lot of money to fork out especially when you are burning cash in your infancy stage.

A few months, lots of coffee and late nights down the line, we’re now ready to deploy our new payment system, more formerly know as PayPal adaptive payments. We had to rewrite the Python library from scratch, open-sourced it and now we’re the ones maintaining it.

This made it simple for our entrepreneurs to onboard, easy to keep track of backers that pledged funds to be used at a later date. This process seemed extremely easy and really alleviated the pain of us having to deal with the transactions.

Typical marketplace setup - image provided by braintreepayments.com
Typical marketplace setup – image provided by braintreepayments.com

Since we’re Agile team we don’t like sending anything out untested. So documentation plays a big part in our process in terms of what we can test for.

Our first campaign successfully closes and random errors start popping up.

Since we’ve launched Adaptive Payments with FundedByMe we’ve not had one campaign where we were able to sit back and relax, there has always been something new that’s popped up.

Random things that were never taken into PayPals documentation.

  • Users can pledge without having a card connect.

  • Users can pledge without even having money in their account.

  • The currency is not checked to see whether it matches origin and destination.

  • A limit is imposed on each and every receiving account.

  • Rewards cannot be more than $2,200

  • If you try and process more than $10,000 in a day the account has to be underwritten by their global risk policy makers and can only be temporarily lifted

My question to PayPal, why offer a service as a marketplace if you cannot support your merchants???

Needless to say we’ll change over sometime soon.

Crowdfunding Christmas Wishes

Crowdfunding Christmas Wishes

FundedByMe Crowdfunding Christmas 2013

 

Thank you for a magnificent 2013 in which you have helped us grow in ways that we could never have dreamed of. One year ago there were three employees at FundedByMe and a part-time office in Finland, in addition to Stockholm. Today we span the width of Europe and have a dedicated – and fantastic – team of international experts who are working hard to make the dreams of entrepreneurs come true. Your passion and energy is what fuels us. To all the thousands of new crowdfunding investors that have taken the leap and invested via our platform this year, we salute you for being early adopters and for having the foresight to know a good thing when you see it.

We look forward to continuing along this path with all of you in 2014 and wish you a wonderful crowdfunding Christmas!

Merry Crowdfunding Christmas / God Jul / Frohe Weinachten / Geseënde Kersfees / Hyvää Joulua / ¡Feliz Navidad / Glædelig Jul / Buon Natale…

From the global FundedByMe team

The new FundedByMe brand – an interview with Stormfors

The new FundedByMe brand – an interview with Stormfors

In July 2013 the FundedByMe team selected one of Stockholm’s leading digital design agencies, Stormfors, to help us recreate the FundedByMe brand. The result is launched today – barely five months later! Stormfors helped us to merge the Reward-based and Equity platforms, offering investors and entrepreneurs a better browsing, uploading and supporting experience. Additionally, we have unified our brand, sharpened our logo and rolled out the same brand look and feel across all our platforms. I caught up with Stormfors co-founder Petter Plöjel to get his take on the new FundedByMe brand.

Petter Plojel Stormfors

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

Stormfors is a Digital Agency that challenges the way companies communicate today. We are in the midst of a complete social transformation and the entire industry of communication has been flipped on its head. Information and dialog (the web) is now central in company communication and attention (advertising) has become a subordinate service.

That’s why we believe the overall communication strategy should come from digital agencies and that’s why we are rebuilding the entire value chain of the agency industry. With the powerful combo of strategy and digital communication we help clients like Neonode, Ericsson and Centuri challenge the competition and become globally successful brands.

Stormfors logo

Introduce yourself – what is your background, passions and ‘day job’?

I’m Petter, (pronounced like better but with a P 😉 ) and I started out studying design and communication strategy in Copenhagen. Since my graduation I have founded three companies within the communication business, the most recent being Stormfors, which I co-founded with Fredric Örup and Eric Langenskiöld in 2010. My passion is bringing change through innovative communication and at Stormfors I’m responsible for the strategy and design areas.

The Stormfors team behind the FundedByMe project included Fredric Örup, Petter Plöjel, Felix Winqvist and Fabian Rios.

Stormfors Team

How did you first get familiar with FundedByMe and why does FundedByMe and crowdfunding appeal to you?

We went to a lot of entrepreneur meetups where we first heard of FundedByMe in 2011. Being big fans of the change that crowdfunding brings to the entrepreneurial scene, we instantly liked the FundedByMe concept and especially their will to change the market even more by making equity crowdfunding available to everyday individuals.

A great thing about crowdfunding (in comparison to VC/Angel funding) is that the primary target groups (innovators/early adopters) evaluate your ideas on the spot when deciding whether to back your campaign or not.

 

Describe the scope of the brief you received from FundedByMe? What were the biggest challenges?

We really enjoy complex communication challenges and the one we got from FundedByMe was a proper whale of a challenge! It really tested the best in our skills.

The overall goal was to unite the two platforms (Equity and Reward-based) into one with a common structure and navigation flow that felt intuitive – to both entrepreneurs and investors. To manifest the evolutionary change and ensure brand consistency we created a new unitary graphic profile and web design that reflect the vision, market position and core values of FundedByMe.

 

How did you set about fixing these challenges? Describe the design process.

We worked really close with the FundedByMe team in workshops to fully grasp what they wanted to achieve and to truly understand the challenges involved with their business model and services. The first part of the design process consisted of creating the structure and navigation flow. We laid out all parts of the two platforms on our largest table (it’s huge) and started to strip, consolidate and develop the functions and contents. Then we let the two main target groups test the different solutions we’ve come up with to help us identify the right one.

The second part of the design process was creating the graphic profile and web design. This work is all about transforming the idea and feeling of the brand into a tangible design – crossing the chasm between abstract and concrete. The process is fully electrochemical and takes place in the brain of our ultra skilled designer Felix.

 

What does the new FundedByMe brand embody? What does it communicate?

FundedByMe as an organisation – and thus brand – is very much vibrant and alive. At the same time it must convey trust and growth because as a crowdfunding platform the brand is responsible for thoughts and emotions around money, ideas and dreams. So one of the goals of the design solution was to communicate these, almost opposite, values.

In the project presentation details we wanted to create a feeling of value and credibility so we used patterns to deliver a subtle feeling of old bonds and cheques.

FundedByMe Logo

How do you feel about the final result?

The process in itself was a trip. In the beginning it’s pure joy and dedication to understanding everything. After that there’s a phase where after deep diving into the challenges you tear your hair out and everything appears disturbingly chaotic…and that’s when it all starts taking shape and you come out on the other side with an idea of a possible solution. Great fun!

So now we are really excited to see the KPIs and how much impact the new platform and design solution have on conversions like projects and investments relative to the number of visitors.