Regarding the news about 24Money

We have received news that 24Money could be near bankruptcy and has put up a notice on their website that they may have been defrauded.

24Money presented an investment case a few years ago but the campaign was not successful on FundedByMe due to several reasons. There were some question marks regarding the company when their campaign was active on FundedByMe. We therefore chose to pause the campaign temporarily, asked 24Money to supply additional documentation, and also contacted Finansinspektionen, the Swedish financial supervisory authority, to clarify the issue since 24Money was under their supervision. After we received information from Finansinspektionen that they did not see an issue with the company, and 24Money provided additional documentation, the campaign was put live on our platform once again.

However, the campaign did not reach its minimum goal by the end date, and the information that was given to us by 24Money at that time was that no investments were made. As far as we knew, the investment round never happened.

At FundedByMe we always want to bring you the best cases and entrepreneurs. We do thorough background checks on all of our cases – as we did with this one. We do not know more about what is happening with 24Money more than what we have read in the news. We have not been informed through any other channels, and sadly, we do not know how this affects our users.

We are writing this because we want to be open with you, as we always strive to be about our cases. Some cases will fail – some due to negligence, some because the market isn’t ready for them but some cases will also sore to the skies. We support a careful approach to investments big or small.

We hope that there will be more clarity in this matter in the near future. We’ll keep you posted.

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!

FundedByMe and BrewDog launches a record-breaking crowdfunding round in the Nordics

FundedByMe and BrewDog launches a record-breaking crowdfunding round in the Nordics

FundedByMe and BrewDog, the popular Scottish craft beer brewery that uses
crowdfunding as a core strategy for growth, have joined forces, embarking on a quest to
bring craft beer to the Nordic countries in the biggest equity crowdfunding round ever.

“This is a match made in heaven – not only do we love craft beer, we also share the
conviction that crowdfunding is the future! Equity crowdfunding is growing extremely fast
– at a double-digit rate – and is predicted to be bigger than VC’s and business angels
together, within five years. BrewDog is a forerunner, and serves as great proof that
crowdfunding is so much more than just financing – it is a way of inviting people to play
a vital role in the success of your business, a strategy to achieve extraordinary growth”,
says Daniel Daboczy, CEO and co-founder of FundedByMe.

BrewDog has broken world records by raising over £10 million via its latest crowdfunding
round, Equity for Punks. More than 40,000 people have invested in the brewery to date. The
company also provides a secondary market of its own, offering shareholders the possibility
to trade shares once annually. Partnering with FundedByMe is clear indication of BrewDog’s
mission to grow its company into the Nordics, where it already boasts a loyal following. It is
featured on the shelves at Sweden’s ‘Systembolaget’, Finland’s ‘Alko’ and Norway’s
‘Vinmonopolet’ (government owned monopoly chains for alcoholic beverages).

Since launching in 2007, BrewDog has had an annual growth rate of almost 170 percent,
and is opening new bars on a monthly basis. The brewery launched its latest venue in Soho
London just last week, and now operates 38 bars world wide, including three in Sweden,
one in Finland and one in Norway. BrewDog’s beer is shipped to 55 different countries
around the world, including Mexico, China, South Africa and New Zealand. These
achievements have only been possible thanks to BrewDog’s rapidly expanding community
of passionate shareholders. With the financing from the ongoing Equity for Punks round, the
company is firmly set on launching in the US, the biggest craft beer market in the world.

“With this record-breaking crowdfunding round on FundedByMe, we’ve set out to boost our presence in the Nordics. We want to give those Vikings better access to brilliant craft beer – and maybe break a couple of records
as we go. This is our biggest crowdfunding round ever. Crowdfunding should no longer be
seen as a niche alternative, but a proven, workable option for change-makers”, says James
Watt, Captain and Co-founder of BrewDog.

This investment round is currently open to the public on FundedByMe,
where the company’s prospectus detailing the offer, benefits and projections is available in
English, Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian and Danish. FundedByMe and BrewDog are planning
on hosting and participating in events in Stockholm, Helsinki, Copenhagen and Oslo during
the campaign’s duration. BrewDog offers all shareholders additional benefits including
discounts in BrewDog bars and online, free birthday beers, and of course an invitation to the
annual general meeting, essentially a beer tasting and music festival combo in Scotland.

About BrewDog
Bored of the industrially brewed lagers and stuffy ales that dominated the UK market, school friends
James Watt and Martin Dickie established BrewDog in 2007. They decided the best way to fix this
undesirable predicament was to brew their own beers. Both only 24 at the time, BrewDog’s
cofounders leased a building, got some scary bank loans, spent all their money on stainless steel and
started making hardcore beers. “We are dedicated to making cool, contemporary and progressive
beers showcasing some of the world’s classic beer styles. All with an innovative twist and customary
BrewDog bite.”

Fikabox makes “fika” more fun…

Fikabox makes “fika” more fun…

Amrit is the passionate entrepreneur behind Fikabox, which is a subscription service delivering snacks to customers in the comfort of their home or workplace. With over 100 different snacks, carefully mixed with some unique ingredients, the fun never ends. The mixes containing chocolate, nuts, dried fruit and seeds comes with creative names such as “Bollywood Masala”, “Lime cuddle” or one of the favourites “Strawberry milkshake”.

As consumers across the country moves towards the Internet from the traditional means of consuming, comfort and ease of use becomes increasingly important. Consumers are increasingly health aware and want to eat healthier-food but with outstanding taste, so the idea of Fikabox was to put that healthier and outstanding-tasting food in a box, and deliver it across the country to our subscribers.

We love surprises: And to preserve the love for surprise Fikabox created an interactive rating-system where customers can choose to rate the products through “Try me”, “Like me”, “Love me” and “Dump me”. –The more you love a product, the more often we will send it to you. Depending on customers’ ratings, Fikabox predicts what customers’ likes/dislike and chooses a selection of snacks based on their preferences. With over 100 different snacks, Fikabox promises to exceed customer expectations every time by only delivering what our customers want.

The company is only a year old, but the idea began when Amrit was living in the UK where he discovered a similar concept. He decided to challenge the traditional Swedish “fika”, which we all know is an essential part of the Swedish culture.

Together with Fundedbyme, Fikabox started a campaign to find ambassadors and investors who would like to become a part of our journey and help us grow. Within the first four days Fikabox had raised over 1,2 million SEK and with only 9 days left to go Fikabox has now raised over 1.7 million SEK and reached 91% of the required amount.

Since the launch of Fikabox, the company has established positive response from media and been awarded the “Best start-up entrepreneur 2015” and is also nominated for “Young start-up entrepreneur 2015”!

The motivation for Best start-up entrepreneur 2015 read:

“This year’s Start-up entrepreneur has always been a driven entrepreneur seeking new challenges. He is passionate about delivering the very best and the most delicious snacks for all occasions directly into your mailbox. With great enthusiasm, excellence and a professional attitude towards his business and customers, he has all the opportunities to succeed in his venture”  

The future looks bright for Fikabox. The flow of success with crowdfunding endorses that the idea and concept is a beginning of a success story.

Crowdfunding is about more than just raising money … it’s about participating and helping entrepreneurs grow.

Career on Wheels – AddSeat

Career on Wheels – AddSeat

“AddMovement has built an innovative and strong business helping people with disabilities to live a more mobile life. Now we are aiming for an international expansion”

– Marit Sundin, CEO AddMovement

The number of people in the EU using wheelchairs on a daily basis sums up to 7.6 million. However, technological improvements within the industry are needed. Marit Sundin, CEO of AddMovement, has created AddSeat – improving the life quality for people sitting in wheelchairs. FundedByMe is honored to participate in Marit’s success story – now being live as a loan campaign on FundedByMe. Check it out here!

Marit, how long have you been working with AddMovement and what have you done earlier? 

I have developed AddMovement since 2011. Before that, I have been working in the industry with a number of innovative projects. Since I have been using a traditional wheelchair since the age of three, I have daily been reinventing current solutions in order for me to become more mobile. Looking for solutions allowing me to be more efficient in all situations, everything from sports to carrying my children, have made me an expert. In other words, I have really explored the market and now I have successfully filled a market gap.

What are your plans for the company after the campaign closing? 

My plan is to take the company to the next level by successfully accomplish our development plans – to continue being a leading product on the market, both in Sweden and on the international arena, and still maintain an efficient balance sheet.

One thing I have learnt from working with AddMovement is that business innovation combined with passion for what you do is the foundation for having a stable development. The funding will help us to reach an executive audience at the events, reaching out to people who would benefit from using the AddSeat.

Recently, we have been overwhelmed with international requests for our product and we are still in the process of identifying new markets. Our international customers have shared valuable thoughts regarding special adjustments that would improve our product. For that reason, we also want to be able to use the funding towards implementing these changes. As a result, we would be able to offer more extensive product flexibility and mobility to our customers.

What are the biggest challenges with AddMovement right now? 

The biggest challenge is to convince people to make the investment of buying the AddSeat. There is no doubt about customers wanting the product, the problem lies within taking the financial step to invest in it.

There is a huge difference between Sweden and other countries. Sweden has a very safe social system where people with disabilities are given equipment for daily usage. Unfortunately, my product still falls under the category for leisure, meaning that it is not yet subsidized.

However, in other countries people are more willing to invest in products like ours, this due to the fact that they are not used to subsidized products within this area. We have taken many steps to convince authorities to change the categorization of our product. We strongly believe that the product has what is required for this change to be made. When reaching that goal, the Swedish market will expand enormously.

Have you received any external funding so far from other sources?

Yes, “Almi”, which is a Swedish Agency helping businesses in their creation process, has provided us with start capital.

Your loan campaign just went live – what is the plan for the next 45 days? 

We have many meetings planned with potential lenders and journalists. We are in contact with Dagens Industri and Dagens Nyheter to proudly tell people what we have accomplished. We want to make sure that people, today using wheelchairs, will be informed about how AddMovement can improve their daily life.

addmovement_jonaskullman_4572

What are your expectations on this process? 

Primarily, I want to spread the word about AddMovement and the knowledge about AddSeat internationally – both to individual buyers, but also broaden the knowledge to big companies. In addition, I am very excited about receiving loans since it will enable me and AddMovement to do more and reach the goals I am striving for. Crowdfunding is more than funding, it brings you ambassadors and spreads the word about the business. The campaign has been live on FundedByMe for three days now, and many people have already now shown their interest. Crowdfunding can help me reach my goal!

You have won many awards – tell us some more! Did any of them make you especially proud?  

In 2014, I became the Swedish Female Innovator of the year, which was a great milestone for me, since I have put lot of effort into making my ideas into a company. I got a lot of publicity and some commitments followed, which of course has been very fun. Also, now in September ”Tekniska Museet” in Stockholm will have an exhibition for children to be inspired to create and innovate. AddMovement and the AddSeat will be presented at the exhibition which I am both proud and excited about. It shows that any has the possibility to change our society a little bit and it encourages people to take the next step into making it real.

Sushirullen already conquered Stockholm – what’s next?

Sushirullen already conquered Stockholm – what’s next?

Johan and Margareta Falk are the two driven entrepreneurs behind the first and only fast food sushi in northern Europe – Sushirullen. 

Everything began with Johan traveling in Australia where he discovered this different but delicious sushi roll which he loved so much that he actually began to eat it every day! When Johan later came back to Stockholm, he met Margareta who also happened to love sushi and they both shared dreams of one day opening their own business. Together they decided to introduce the new sushi roll concept to Stockholm and show the swedes what they’ve been missing out on.

On FundedByMe, they decided to go with loan crowdfunding, but why? – They wanted to expand the franchise but still keep the company strong and intact – as well as they could grow the company together with customers and fans. That turned out to be a superb choice and Sushirullen successfully closed their campaign on May 28, 2015, with 29 lenders and raising over 10,000 EUR!

Sushirullen has now taken Stockholm by storm and operates successfully on three different locations – not only keeping their customers stomachs satisfied but also their wallet, since one sushi roll only costs between 25 and 30 SEK. The next step for Sushirullen is to be everywhere – they want to keep expanding to new cities, become a heavy-weight in the market and take over Swedish heathy fast food industry.

In the future, they are also considering a new equity round on FundedByMe, so keep an eye open on Sushirullen and their future plans on taking their growth to a complete new level!

Watch their testimonial here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6pgF9XC–A

More info about Sushirullen: www.sushirullen.se

How NOA Crushed the Record in European Crowdfunding

How NOA Crushed the Record in European Crowdfunding

One thing is for sure and that is that NOA Relaxation – a company specialized in beverages who reduces stress and increases focus –  is not like every other company around.

Within just 3 minutes, NOA raised its first 1 million SEK (ca. 106 000 EUR)  and managed to successfully close the campaign on FundedByMe after only 4 days, ending up with more than 9 million SEK! But how did they do it?

It all started in October 2013 with founder Noa Fridmark coming up with an idea and seeing a gap in the market. By creating a natural beverage, inspired by Swedish nature, he wanted to bring focus and harmony into our otherwise so stressful and hectic city lives. Before the campaign went live on FundedByMe, NOA spoke with tons of investors, with the purpose to gain new followers and create interest, so that the campaign could go live under the best circumstances possible. Part of NOA’s early success story was winning “Best Premium Beverage” at the WBIA (World Beverage Innovation Awards) in 2014 – widely considered as the most prestigious beverage awards show in the world. That paved the way for eventually becoming one of the most spectacular campaigns so far on FundedByMe!

Noapic2
Noa Fridmark after winning at WBIA

They also made sure to represent the company at relevant events and created crucial PR by gaining positive attention in different media, both before and during the actual launch of the campaign. By establishing early awareness of NOA’s brand and telling people when and how the campaign was going live, all entrepreneurs and investors got the right information at the right time and everything they needed in order to support the campaign.

And you have to admit that the outcome became pretty good (to say the least) – the company’s initial goal was raising 5.2 million SEK in 45 days. It turned out they didn’t need more than 4 days to close it, raising more funds in 12 hours than any Nordic equity campaign ever have done before. On the third day, reaching 9.3 million SEK and with almost up to 200 investors, NOA successfully closed their exceptional funding round!

So, what is next for NOA? Once a promising start-up, the goal is now to become a multinational company in a class of it’s own. “Right now we have the worlds attention and it has only been 15 months since the first thoughts materialised, since then we have definitely broken a few speed records and have constantly surpassed our goals.” Noa Fridmark said.

Interested in running your own campaign on FundedByMe? Or need tips on how to prepare your company for the ride to come? Watch this 2-minute video from Noa himself on how to make your company into a success story.

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?

3 key trends for Asia that will change crowdfunding in 2015

3 key trends for Asia that will change crowdfunding in 2015

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

Right now you may observe 3 main phenomenons in the APAC region that let you to estimate about the future of crowdfunding:

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

Some numbers proving this you will find 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 pattern behaviours.  Not only will we be able to do anything using our mobile devices, but we will also expect shorter offers, long creditable relationships and faster payments that we can handle with any smartphone. And you know very well there is always supply where the demand is.

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 it is with crowdfunding you should probably use “booming” as well. In China alone we can see a market size of estimated 40 billion USD, while a couple of 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 btw. 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,in the APAC region, and check a presentation by him.

Speech

 

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.