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: 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”.

Crowd Control: How Kickstarter’s Loss Became Sweden’s Gain

Crowd Control: How Kickstarter’s Loss Became Sweden’s Gain

Read a great story on Forbes written by Alison Coleman:

Entrepreneurs are starved of investment alternatives. Investors are starved of investment alternatives.

Crowd investing offers a solution for both, but even the most successful crowd platforms have funding issues of their own, and nowhere more so than in Europe.

Sweden, like other Scandinavian countries, survived the global financial crisis and was attracting investors while the Eurozone teetered on the brink of collapse, yet the funding climate for start ups is as bracing as its winter weather.

Back in 2010 Romanian art curator Daniel Daboczy and Namibian coder Arno Smit, who had both moved to Sweden and had met up when they collaborated on a web project, had a business idea that needed funding.

….

Read the rest of the story here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/alisoncoleman/2014/03/30/crowd-control-how-kickstarters-loss-became-swedens-gain/

First German Live Crowdfunding Event – 12.09.2014

First German Live Crowdfunding Event – 12.09.2014

FundedByMe Germany presents 6 promising Start-Up-Projects as part of the first german live crowdfunding campaign

PROGRAM:

15.00h – 16.30h: 

Our Premium Partners, service providers with huge experience introduce themselves:

http://audalis.de/
http://www.quadriga-communication.de/
http://wearebattalion.com/
http://i-potentials.de/
http://www.lacore.de/

Starting 17:00h:

The founders introduce themselves, their business models and their crowdfundig campaigns. After the official launching of the campaigns they will be running 8 weeks, possible to be watched on a Live Ticker! By campaigns kick-off you will get the opportunity to invest right on the spot with your smartphone.

  • Clicc  is your mini solar charger to go – the perfect solution for travelling.
  • Karmanoia  aims at the rebirth of their Peristal Singum, a labyrinth which shows impressive illusions like for Alice in Wonderland.
  • Dondobbin intents to produce a disposable ashtray to go.
  • Nightfox  is an app for Android and iOS which helps the users to find a proper Party or Club in their surroundings.
  • CapClean Protection for your Headware

Finally:

Buffet-Opening and Networking.

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Attention! Limited Space! To reserve a space kindly register here.

Furthermore it is necessary to register on the FundedByMe Platform to assure that youare ableto do investmensts.

Unfortunately attendance isn’t possible without those registrations.

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We are looking forward to seeing you on that exciting Funding! One day later, on 13th september 2014, there will be the world’s largest Crowdfunding Festival for the first time in Berlin: The One Spark Berlin Festival!

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

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.

FundedByMe Spain – On local television!

FundedByMe Spain – On local television!

FundedByMe Spain’s Country Manager, Miguel Ángel López Trujillo, has been hard at work telling the Spanish market about the benefits of crowdfunding and launching FundedByMe Spain to entrepreneurs and investors. This week, Miguel was interviewed on Spanish television to talk about his plans and the opportunities for Europe’s fastest-growing crowdfunding platform.

You can view Miguel’s interview below – be sure to forward to the 77 minute mark!

Miguel Ángel López Trujillo from FundedByMe Spain on local televisionIf you would like to receive updates in Spanish from FundedByMe Spain, be sure to join the local fan page on Facebook by clicking here.

Dagens Industri loves FundedByMe

FundedByMe's Daniel Daboczy and Arno Smit in Dagens Industry
A full page feature on FundedByMe in today’s issue of Dagens Industri, the biggest financial paper in Sweden.

When Dagens Industri, the biggest financial paper in Sweden, writes a full page and tells the FundedByMe story it is nothing less than a humbling and a very proud day for the FundedByMe team. Since FundedByMe launched in 2011 we have worked extremely hard to bring crowdfunding to Europe. We pivoted into equity crowdfunding, have coached thousands of entrepreneurs, have raised a lot of money for the people who need it most to grow their dreams, the economy and our investors’ portfolios and every day we continue to change the world.

We have grown from an idea to a company, have gone from two kids in an attic to 14 employees in five countries and we continue to grow fast. Today FundedByMe is operational in Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Spain and Norway and we’re launching in Germany in September. In four months we’ve helped raise almost €3 million and we are adding more fascinating projects to our offering every week. The momentum is outstanding.

We know that the financial and investment market needs to be disrupted – it’s old, stiff and slow. We need to change this field because companies and creatives need better access to smart and fast money, but also because the millions of regular people out there should have a chance to be in the room – even if it is a digital one – when the next big thing just needs a push and a small cash injection. This grows momentum, jobs, opportunities and engagement. Remember, Facebook once needed $1500 to get started…a moment in time that I would have loved to be part of.

So trust me, this is only the beginning for FundedByMe and crowdfunding in Europe. We will do our best and work harder and harder so that everyone can become a business angel – whether it is with an investment of €50 or €100,000. And we will do our best to make sure that every big idea gets the chance to grow fast, with the help of our enthusiastic crowd.

Thank you to everyone who has brought us this far. The amazing team working at FundedByMe and all our dedicated fans and supporters who do whatever is needed to get us to the next level. And especially a huge thank you to all who trust us and use our platform to raise money or to invest or back campaigns.

This is only the beginning.

/Daniel

CEO and co-founder, FundedByMe

Crowdfunded Film On Swedish Tax Waste Allows Filmmaker Martin Borgs To Stay Independent

Before Martin Borgs joined the crowdfunding scene, the largest amount raised for a Swedish film was 393,646 SEK / €45,000 in a month. On FundedByMe, the largest amount raised for any project on the “classic crowfunding” site was 257,914 SEK. Borgs made more than that in the first 2 weeks that his latest film project was on FundedByMe. He raised 550,000 SEK / €63,000 in total to “Granska slöseri med skattepengar” (Examine the waste of tax money) in Sweden.

Martin Borgs used crowdfunding to raise money for his latest film - via ArcticStartup.com

Read the full article on ArcticStartup.com: Crowdfunded Film On Swedish Tax Waste Allows Filmmaker To Stay Independent.

View Martin Borgs’ project on FundedByMe here: Granska slöseri med skattepengar

Nerdy By Nerds Jeans featured on Swedish Television!

Our favourite crowdfunded jeans brand, Swedish Nerdy By Nerds Jeans, was featured on TV4 in Malmö last night. Today is indeed a proud day in the office, particularly as our CEO Daniel Daboczy recently went to fit his custom jeans, which he will receive prior to speaking at an event in London next week! Daniel plans to wear crowdfunded jeans AND his brand new crowdfunded boots – the perfect way to tell the crowd about the power of this type of financing.

Watch the clip (in Swedish) below where the founders of Nerdy by Nerds Jeans talk about the limited edition FundedByMe jeans collection, eco-friendly design and the benefit of local manufacturing.

Nerdy by Nerds Jeans on TV4 in Sweden

Find Nerdy By Nerds Jeans on FundedByMe

Be sure to visit the Nerdy By Nerds Jeans project page on FundedByMe!