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What are the best equity crowdfunding platforms?

We're trying to do some fundraising for our startup, and I came across this helpful article about several of the prominent alternatives:
http://quickbooks.intuit.com/r/money/4-online-platforms-for-raising-startup-capital/

Of these options, Fundable seems like the most impressive... but trying to decide if it's worth the $299/mo? Are there other options that may be better?

20 Replies

Megs Shah
0
0
Megs Shah Entrepreneur
Founder and CEO at Kidhoo.co
check out seedinvest.com they have a screening process so they are thorough about the investors and you get people who know investment.

https://www.seedinvest.com/apply?ref_page=landing&ref_loc=landing_nav_signup


Eugene Gekhter
0
0
Eugene Gekhter Entrepreneur
CEO, Memorable. Founder, SharePay.
Try tilt.com.
They have an API which allows you to host the entire process on your own website's domain, making it uber-cool.
S. McIntire Allen
0
0
S. McIntire Allen Entrepreneur
Founder at Origin
Awesome! Thanks for all these. I originally thought Kickstarter was doing what Fundable is doing. Are there any advisors out there who might be willing to exchange ideas on which funding platform is best for our startup? Please checkout our Kickstarter preview, listed on my profile, and contact me if you might be interested in advising or co-founding.
Steve Sheehan
5
1
Steve Sheehan Entrepreneur
Founder at launchU
Crowdfunding, especially for a startup, is unique to each individual and company.

Most crowdfunding platforms, at least the more established and popular ones, have essentially become preordering platforms. Without the promise of a product of reward, you will find a hard time raising money in the viral fashion a lot of them want you to believe is a probable outcome.

The key is to be on a platform that best represents your company and has an audience of contributors who align with your current position and value proposal.

Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and Tilt open are good if you have a product you can distribute soon after raising your funds. They fall under the preordering type of platform.

If you are a startup working on your product (could be tangible, could not) and don't plan on having physical rewards and packages to offer contributors in a timely manner, those type of platforms will do you little good unless you have deep connections and a preexisting group of supporters. In fact, a lot of crowdfunding platforms won't even let you participate unless you can offer a product, service, or good in exchange for contributions.

Offering equity is an entirely different form of crowdfunding. You'll want to use a platform like fundable. Even angellist has features that resemble crowdfunfing, although not in the traditional sense. These platforms have an audience of contributors who are looking for investments, not just a way to preorder a product you may or may not be ready to deliver.

There will be costs associated with both types of platforms, whether it's a monthly fee or commission from the funds you raise. But ultimately from a crowdfunding site, you want to choose the values and mindset of the inherent contributing audience. And that will outweigh any cost of participation because it will ultimately determine your success.


S. McIntire Allen
0
0
S. McIntire Allen Entrepreneur
Founder at Origin
Steve: thanks for that. Regarding: "soon after", is a little over a year not soon enough?
Rob Leclerc, PhD
2
0
Rob Leclerc, PhD Entrepreneur
Cofounder at AgFunder
As the CEO of AgFunder, I'm going to be totally biased and ad AgFunder to the list. Since Feb 2014, listed companies have raised and closed over $5.3M and our members have over $700M in investable capital. However, I'm going to assume you don't have an ag or agtech startup, so here's my thoughts:

AngelList
> More of a directory for identifying investors. It's worth it to keep your AL profile up to date as investors will often reach out. It can also be a great source for identifying investors.

CircleUp
> Focused on consumer packaged goods. Unlike AngelList which has a lot of noise, these are curated opportunities and investors will be more active

SeedInvest
> I've met their CEO Ryan Feit once, they're doing a good job with execution.

OurCrowd
> Focused on Israeli startups, but they seem to be able to marshal capital around these opportunities.

FundersClub
> You'll likely need to be coming out of Y-Combinator or 500 Startups, otherwise forget it.

Realty Mogul
> I'm guessing you're not working on real estate, but if you are, Jillian and the team there are killing it. This has the potential to be Lending Club II.









Mark Devlin
4
0
Mark Devlin Entrepreneur
CEO of Newslines
EquityNet, was very poor. I got no contacts. They subscribed me to an extra month and wouldn't refund me, even though I only used part of it. They force companies to use their proprietary business plan format, which takes ages to fill out, and is, IMHO, a security risk.

Crowfunder looks slick, but when you look closer there are very few deals actually that are actively raising funding, and those don't appear to have actually raised anything using the site. Don't be fooled by high-profile investments they say they have done. Those needs tons of external PR to work.

SeedInvest rejected my application because they didn't like my business model! That was after the founder pinged me on Twitter. They wasted hours of my time.

Gust is just a place to put your documents.

AngelList only appears to work if you are already in the club, or if you have generated a lot of PR.

Fundable looks like it will work best with actual products. It's not clear whether projects that are marked as "funded" were actually funded through Fundable. When you click on "Funded", only a few seem to have used their system, and those are Kickstarter-like products.

All of these will work better if you already have generated a lot of PR or have a strong userbase who is also willing to invest.
Benji Decker
1
0
Benji Decker Advisor
Entrepreneur. Web developer. General trouble maker
Thanks so much for your great feedback!

Mark, your assessment in particular seems spot on -- thanks so much for your impressions. We actually had the same experience with SeedInvest... they dicked us around a ton, made us spend a bunch of time and resources, and then refused to even let us do anything last minute.

I've been talking with the Fundable folks, and at this point, and I think may actually be leaning toward doing their premium package? It costs $1800, which isn't nothing obviously, although it does seem to come with a lot of resources, including hands on support with finding PR outlets and investor leads.

Gonna reach out to some sample clients on their platform and get their impressions... will report back with findings!
Andrew Bloch
0
0
Andrew Bloch Entrepreneur • Advisor
Founder of LabVegas
Check out http://crowdfunder.com. Neil Young's startup PonoMusic is raising more money there than they got in Kickstarter preorders.

(Disclaimer: I'm a small investor in crowdfunder.)
Mark Devlin
2
0
Mark Devlin Entrepreneur
CEO of Newslines
Benji: I am interested in how you get on with Fundable. I think it is important for you to get actual examples from them of companies that have actually been funded through their equity program before you spend all that money.
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