FundedByMe named one of the hottest Swedish Startups

FundedByMe named one of the hottest Swedish Startups

Swedish weekly publication, Veckans Affärrer, has just released their top 24 list of Swedish startups and we are thrilled to be included!

FundedByMe's write up as one of the Top 24 Swedish startups for Veckans AffärerRoughly translated, this article says:

A startup from 2011 that is already in version 2.0. Founder Daniel Daboczy has a background in the art world and lacked the ability to fund cultural and entrepreneurial projects with small sums from many. One famous project is hamburger bar Flippin’ Burgers who sold burger gift cards while the restaurant concept was developed. Now, the business is giving entrepreneurs the opportunity to raise equity capital from business angels.

 

Entrepreneur tips: An awesome crowdfunding pitch video

The secret sauce to a successful crowdfunding round on FundedByMe contains a number of ingredients but it’s no secret that:

A great crowdfunding pitch presentation = A great crowdfunding round

In order to help you succeed and create a super pitch presentation that will show your company’s best side and get investors lining up to support you we will highlight a number of tips to help you put together a great crowdfunding pitch over the coming weeks.  Your presentation is the first introduction for future investors into your business – so make it count!

Today we look at your introduction video – here are some of our favourites on FundedByMe right now:

HolyManta Internal ND Lense Adapters

Nerdy by Nerds

 

What makes a good presentation video for crowdfunding on FundedByMe?

1) Introduce yourself and your team Investors are supporting your brand, that’s true, but they’re mostly buying into you as the team behind the idea. By being straightforward and honest you can create trust – which is vital for a successful crowdfunding round. If there are more members to your team than just you, introduce them. Tell the viewer what makes you and your team the ideal candidates for this ‘job’.

2) Tell a story How did you come up with this idea? What are your passions? Is this a solution to a problem you always had?

3) Talk about the money How are you going to use the money that gets raised in this round? (And no…the investor doesn’t want to buy you the latest handbag / shoes / apartment!). Show that you have a strategy.

4) Why crowdfunding? What is it that you hope to get from the crowd?

5) What’s in it for me? As an investor I want to know what I’m getting in return for giving you my money. Is it equity? How much equity are you offering? Is it the chance to be part of the latest cool innovation? Tell your audience what they’re getting in return for their support.

6) KISS – Keep It Simple (Stupid) Don’t get too technical in your introduction video. If an investor wants to know more details they can always contact you directly to ask for it. You want to appeal to a wide audience and in order to do so, you should keep it simple.

7) Look good You are the star of the show and you should look it! Wash your hair. Brush your teeth…and smile! Because then you truly are irresistible.

8) Show us your stuff If you have a prototype or a sample product, show it off. Introduce computer animated rendering if you don’t. Use your video to clearly share with viewers what your product / brand / idea is all about.

9) Respect copyrights Don’t use music that you are not licensed to use. The same goes for photography. Check with the creators that it’s okay for you to include their work in your video.

10) Go professional if you can At FundedByMe we support you doing everything on a tight budget – we’ve been there too! Creating a beautiful video doesn’t need to cost you an arm and a leg. But it needs to look good. Ask a friend or a design student to help you create an awesome video if you can’t do it yourself. And if you can afford a professional one, go for it. In the end, your video could make or break your campaign.

 

Do you have any additional tips for creating an amazing crowdfunding video? Are you an entrepreneur with strong opinions about what a great introduction video should contain? Why not leave us a comment below?

View other presentation tips here.

Crowdfunding Campaign Tips: Sharing your FundedByMe campaign

FundedByMe team offering crowdfunding project tips

So, your project has been approved on FundedByMe. The film is ready, you boiled down your pitch, you came up with creative rewards and asked for help in the crowdsourcing field. Congrats!

Now what?

Well, now the fun starts. We have compiled this easy to follow guide to help ensure your campaign ‘goes viral’ and gets you as many ‘eyeballs’ as possible to give you the biggest chance of success. Start with step 1 to step 2 and so on, and watch the connections start happening!

1. Open a Facebook account for your project. ‘Like’ other pages or groups that contain people that might be interested in backing you, spreading the word or help you. Post there and tell them about your project with a link back to the project on FundedByMe. Don’t be shy to ask them to spread the word if they like it or back you.

 

2. Use twitter to tap into interesting conversations. This way you reach people already interested in your topic. Use hashtags # to mark your tweets so they are picked up in list that people follow. For example. “Today I launched  a new #crowdfunding project on #indie film. #newfilm #fundedbyme #financing”

 

3. Use these two methods daily.

 

4. Tell your immediate family and friends to visit your crowdfunding site. Ask them to back you now, and also to work for you as fundraising networks. Let your mom and dad and siblings tell their friends. Ask your friends to tell their friends. And ask them to back you either with money or by actively spreading your project.

 

5. Go to step 1 and repeat all the steps.

 

6. Choose 100 people that you should e-mail. 25% of these should be bloggers or press, 25% should be people that you would want onboard as investors, 25% should be people benefitting by your project or your time and 25% should be friends and coworkers that are not yet aware of your effort. 100 might sound like a lot but it goes really fast and the bonus is that you get to connect with really interesting people.

 

7. Call at least 10 local newspapers and tell them about your project. Call 15 friends and tell them about your project.

 

8. Listen to the reactions, adapt your pitch and repeat from step 1.

 

9. Don’t be shy but don’t be too pushy. Most importantly, don’t be passive.

 

To summarize: You are probably doing something really interesting, and I bet that somebody (and more then one) are really interested. The key is to make sure you reach out. Rather ask 1 time too many than 1 time too little.

 

View other crowdfunding presentation tips here.

 

Do you have other tried and trusted methods to ensure that your crowdfunding campaign goes viral fast? Why not leave us your tips in the comment field?

Crowdfunding investor Q&A – Dan Kopparhed

We love sharing success stories with readers of our blog and, through them, tell the story of how crowdfunding can help entrepreneurs and investors work together to create the next big thing. Today we are thrilled to introduce one of the early FundedByMe crowdfunding investors, Dan Kopparhed in an entertaining Q&A session.

Dan Kopparhed FundedByMe investor

Please introduce yourself
My name is Dan Kopparhed, age 35, Swedish, background as a quite hard-core tech geek but with a broad range of interests that have been even more broadened by the trials of entrepreneurship. Been studying quite a lot and I started doing a PhD in ICT (perhaps I will finish one day). Started my first company in 2005 with the explicit goal to learn about running my own business (doing consulting). I have started three more small companies after that, two of which had/have employees. One of the companies I had to file for bankruptcy (painful but good learning experience). I haven’t “succeeded” with my businesses yet, but I keep trying, so I suppose at least I don’t give up easily at setbacks. I was working full time as a self-employed entrepreneur for about 2 years, but last year I decided to take a step back from the active operation of my “main” business, instead relying on my partners to run the operation at this phase. I still manage primarily the finances and accounting but that work is small enough so I can have a full time job.

How great that you can have a cooperation with your partners like that. What is it you moved on to at the moment?
Currently my day job is as an architect at Ericsson. However, my head is full of great ideas, and I continue working on some of them on the side whenever I have time. At some point I will probably return to being an entrepreneur full-time again. Since most of my time is spent in front of a computer it is lucky I discovered at least one more physical hobby in the form of Ju-Jutsu (Japanese martial art) which I enjoy a lot.

How did you get familiar with equity crowd funding, and why does it appeal to you?
I first heard about equity crowdfunding from FundedByMe and immediately thought it was a great idea that might work very well in Sweden if executed properly. In Sweden many people own stock in public companies, so we have a broad public acceptance for owning shares (i.e. not just for the rich) and with the ease enabled by Internet stock brokers, I think this trend has continued. However, there has been no service to enable a similar accessible solution for the public to invest (small amounts) in private companies like startups. It also facilitates discovering investment opportunities that one would probably not even know about otherwise. It is great that basically anyone can afford to take part, sharing both in risks and gains, and it is so much more personal than the stock market. Additionally, if the company takes advantage of the social aspect they can gain so much more than just money through their crowd-investors. When done “right” it feels like being part of a family – you get emotionally invested as well.

So which crowd equity investments have you made thus far?
I have “crowd-invested” in two companies so far. One is FundedByMe and the other is Virtuous (Vodka) Spirits.

Why did you invest in these companies?
I invested in FundedByMe because I believe in the idea of crowdfunding in general and equity crowdfunding in particular. I was one of the (small) backers from the early beginning, after meeting Daniel Daboczy at the first IDD event, so I had already a bit of emotional connection on top of believing in the business idea. Thus, I wanted to have at least a small share in this. I invested in Virtuous Vodka because I think they have found a very interesting niche in the market and I like the product concept and presentation a lot. I really think the team has the right ideas and approach to establish a great new product for both the Swedish market and for export. And considering that this is Sweden… lets just say alcoholic beverages are not a small market. After trying the actual product I was even more sure :).

What do you expect to get out of these kind of investments on the long run?
Basically, I expect to see my investments grow, although as an entrepreneur myself I know the risks involved. But I also hope to have a more personal relationship with the companies for no other reason than that I enjoy building new products and companies (even if I have a very small role). Hopefully I can help out somehow. Also, it is always nice to get to know new skilled, ambitious and inspirational people. From a pragmatic view, especially as an entrepreneur, I have come to realize you can never know too many people and you never know who is going to be important in your future.

What is the most important tip you would give potential crowd investors?
I think you should invest in what feels “right” for you, meaning the team and the product/service. Of course it helps if you have good insight into the particular target market but relying purely on logical reasoning and number crunching will probably mean you miss all the truly great “disruptive” ideas, since these by definition defy the common belief of what is “good” business. Numbers are quite useless for analyzing an early-stage (Startup) business since much can only be based on guesses (qualified or not). Things will change, as they must in a Startup business. Thus, intuition and experience is probably your best guide.

Virtuous Vodka raises 1M SEK in less than 8 weeks

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A phone call made by Claes Stenmark, co-founder and CEO at Virtuous Spirits AB, last summer to FundedByMe’s office in Stockholm was the beginning of an adventure which would eventually lead the company to a fully financed round of equity crowdfunding, while simultaneously becoming the first ever company in the tech-savvy nation to accomplish this.

Claes Stenberg Virtuous VodkaWhen the phone call came in, Sweden’s largest crowdfunding platform FundedByMe, had just announced their plans for a pivot towards equity crowdfunding and was starting a period of extensive testing in stealth. Virtuous Vodka was the first company on the platform when it went into pre-round on 1 September 2012. A company in pre-round has access to a set of powerful tools in order to validate ideas, market value and connect with potential investors. In the same pre-round potential investors are able to report their interest in investing in the company, the entrepreneur, however always keeps control over who can ultimately invest in the company. 

Not more than 8 weeks ago the company opened their round, allowing the crowd to invest in the ambitious vodka brand. And the crowd did. FundedByMe has found in Virtuous Vodka the perfect partner to pave the way for many other ventures interested in using equity crowdfunding for financing their businesses. Claes and his team have worked out a bullet-proof campaign with a personal touch, and succeeded in closing their round by being dedicated and able to engage a large number of (potential) investors. By hosting monthly tasting sessions, inviting their investors to spread the word and taking the time to speak with every investor they quickly gathered a crowd of engaged investors, which the company is proud of.

Last Friday, on 11 January, the goal of 1 million SEK was reached and Claes closed the round on FundedByMe’s platform. In a first response Claes Stenmark states, “We are extremely happy and proud to be the first ever company in the Nordics that closes a fully funded equity crowdfunding-round!” He continues, “The capital raised (SEK1 million) will come in handy, but the key is that we have more than one hundred key members who will be good ambassadors, contributing with their skills and their networks. These brand ambassadors, along with the enhanced cash, will help make a greater impact with our first product launch. This spring, the naturally flavored series of Virtuous Vodka will take the Swedish market by storm. We are confident that the market, just like us, crave the authentic taste!”

Running a successful campaign isn’t simple, there is a lot to it. Virtuous Vodka however has set a good example and will serve as inspiration for many other fellow entrepreneurs throughout the Nordics. FundedByMe is excited about the traction on the platform which shows a conversion rate of 62% and an average investment of SEK 9710:- per investor. A large number of investors have invested in more than just one startup, which provides promising conditions for future startups which will be featured on the company’s platform.

Investor Interview: Sebastian, a new FundedByMe investor

Meet Sebastian, one of the newest FundedByMe crowdfunding investors. Tell us about yourself!
I am an 31 year old jack of all trades, academically my background is in economy and management with studies on bachelor, master and MBA level at Umeå University, Sweden, Universidade Nova, Portugal and Harvard initiated INCAE in Costa Rica. Work-wise I have done just about everything from commercial long line fishing, correctional officers work, financial investment and a range of consultancy positions regarding economics and management. The entrepreneurial perspective has always been a big part of my life with several of my own ventures and companies throughout the years. Currently I am the CEO and funder of NaturalGoods.se, the company that launched the revolutionary product SoyMaster, a beautifully clever little machine that allows you to make soy-, wheat-, almond-milk and many other types drinks at home in just a matter of minutes.

 

How did you get familiar with equity crowdfunding, and why does it appeal to you?
As I have a strong interest in microfinance the logic behind crowd funding was something that very early seemed logic and scaleable to me and I have familiarized myself with the concept through various organisations take on it such as Kiva, Kickstarter and others. My eyes have been on FundedByMe since the very beginning since I love the concept and I really saw potential in the team behind the company. Being able to meet Daniel Daboczy for a chat in connection to a lecture in 2011 only spurred my interest further. Crowd funding appeals to me in many ways both through the recognition and confirmation that comes out of many people showing that they believe in you and your idea directly with their hard earned money which is so much stronger than just kind words, but also as as crowd funding often functions as a platform for the entrepreneur to reach both potential clients and future partners, advisors or suppliers in the process.

 

Have you ever done a crowd equity investment? And if so, in which company?
No, my first investment is in FundedByMe as the round closes shortly.

 

Why did you invest in FundedByMe?
Because I love the idea, have strong belief in the team behind and see a prosperous outcome in the long run with the investment, in traditional financial terms but also, and maybe more importantly, through being able to be a part of the creation of something great. Being involved in the buildup, if only by investing a small sum, of a great company is a reward in itself, a story to tell and to be proud of and in this case the company will enable others ideas to bloom as well, which is a huge bonus!

Why did we pivot into equity crowdfunding?

Why did we pivot into equity crowdfunding?

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The transformation FundedByMe as a service provider have undergone is quite heavy. Classic crowdfunding and equity crowdfunding are both based on the same principles – but in fact hardly the same.

Both cater to the basic need that people (the crowd) rather are participants then end consumers and want to be part of cool new ideas and companies. And also because creative and amazing entrepreneurs are having a hard time in  this recession to reach and convince those who might invest.

Therefore a lot of people are interested in the reasons why we left a profitable model and took the risk to pivot towards equity crowdfunding. There are many reasons for this, but let’s start with 5.

1. As genuine crowdfund ninja’s we, of course, have backed our fair share of awesome projects and felt great each and every time we received a new, innovative, product to play around with. Although we still are very much into being early-adapters we are convinced that there is one thing even more cool than this …. partial ownership in cool companies, won’t you agree?

2. Many amazing projects have, over time, had problems living up to the ambitious promises made in their campaign. This has had a bad effect on the industry’s credibility and made many platforms adjust there TOS. If you have pledged your cash for a crowdfunded project you often need to be very patient, however with equity crowdfunding these problems are not relevant as there is no shipping and production involved in the process.

3. A year ago we carefully started dropping the words ‘equity crowdfunding’ in different conversations we had with people. Together with the signals we got from our users (we did not talk with regarding this) we indicated that approximately 80% of all people were interested in the idea of owning a small part in a company.

4. Creating jobs. Over the last decade many people have adjusted their dreams and directions, no longer dreaming of careers in large multinationals but rather for small creative agencies and products. The economy is on its way up again and the crisis has left a lot of people thinking about their own endeavours as well. By allowing more startups to raise money, improve their chances of survival, we will ultimately help create jobs.

5. Although we have had the pleasure to work with some amazing creative projects over the past 18 months there are simply put too many crowdfunding platforms and too little awesome projects to serve them all. While all rules and regulations in Europe were already in place it made perfect sense to take this obvious step after we completed some extensive tests in stealth mode. Even though more equity platforms will see the light of day it takes a lot of experience, knowledge and effort to build a complex service like this.

FundedByMe re-launches Equity Crowdfunding

FundedByMe Equity

Just a few days ago, after weeks of coding and testing, we re-launched our site. The most obvious difference is our shifted focus towards Equity Crowdfunding, catering to future startups with a very powerful tool to manage campaigns, shareholders and legal matters.

Crowdfunding has been around for a while, centuries actually, but will only in 2013 really take-off into super overdrive. It is probably one of the business models which makes the most sense, where some people might have plenty of money left to spend on small investments others are full of great ideas and in desperate need of funding. Puzzling is much easier with a lot of small pieces.

Where we live in a society which is rapidly moving away from the traditional corporate structures and in which we more and more started embracing small and young initiatives many entrepreneurs have a hard time landing a serious round of funding as there are simply not enough traditional investors to fill the need! This however should not be a reason for stopping this movement away from the traditional corporation, and that’s why equity crowdfunding is an essential part in this revolution.

There are other reasons to turn to equity crowdfunding as well. Being a young and small company it is often hard to own all knowledge needed to start and grow your company, many different small investors however allow you to take on a wide range of talent in all fields where you are missing out initially.

We have run a first campaign with Virtuous Vodka, a brand who has chosen to use FundedByMe for two main reasons:

1) Get market validation and turn every small investor into a brand ambassador
2) to source all the knowledge which all investors own together, ranging from online marketing to development.

Introducing FundedByMe Equity Crowdfunding!

Equity Crowdfunding launched!

We are so proud to launch FundedByMe Equity to the crowd today. Our equity crowdfunding investors have a total capacity of €3,890,754.19 (SEK 32,083,159.05) to invest this year. That is a strong showcase that people want to be part of the next big thing. And that number is growing steadily every day.

For the first time in our lifetime, every person, not only wealthy business angels, have access to investing in startups and small businesses.
Join us here today!