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Blog

Crowdfunding Sites for Startups

Mihir Gandhi

If you haven't yet tapped into the crowdfunding craze to help you raise money for your startup, it might be time. There are a few basics to understand before you decide which crowdfunding platform is the best for you to look for investors.

Equity and Reward

Rewards-based crowdfunding is the longest-running model, and involves the advance purchase of products and experiences or donations. In this model, funders aren't really “investors”, as they do not become “shareholders” in the traditional sense. Instead, they receive rewards for their advance purchase or donation. Equity crowdfunding is newer, enabled by Title II of the JOBS Act (and Title III, but that isn't yet effective), which now permits entrepreneurs to advertise publicly about their investment opportunity and investors to become shareholders and buy in online. The type of project or business idea that you have will dictate which type of crowdfunding campaign you launch, but here are some crowdfunding sites you need to know.

Kickstarter

By far one of the most well-known rewards-based crowdfunding sites, Kickstarter has been around since 2009 and has helped project owners raise more than $1 billion.

Indiegogo

Indiegogo is another rewards-based site but has a higher international profile than Kickstarter, and they are open to working with almost any type of project.

SeedInvest

A premier crowdfunding site focusing primarily on startups, SeedInvest is an investment, not a rewards based, crowdfunding platform. It’s not easy to get on. All startup investment opportunities are vetted by their investment team and must adhere to strict requirements -- only 2% of applying companies are accepted and made available for investment. What does that mean? It’s annoying to go through their process, but once you’re through, investors know that you’ve been pre-vetted.

Crowdfunder

Don’t want to go through extensive due diligence before listing your offering? Try one of the portals that believes that everyone should have an opportunity to list their deal. Crowdfunder is another investment crowdfunding platform and arguably boasts one of the fastest growing networks of investors. It has helped more than 22,000 companies raise more than $197 million.

EarlyShares

EarlyShares focuses on equity funding for small businesses in the U.S. “Rigorous selection criteria” are used to carefully review every investment opportunity and assess its return potential and viability. They don't accept just anyone – only 5 per cent of those applying are accepted on EarlyShares.

Fundable

Offering both rewards-based and equity-based crowdfunding campaigns for small businesses, Fundable also provides a series of guides to assist entrepreneurs who are starting and growing their companies.

EquityNet

Launched in 2005, EquityNet has been used by thousands of investors, incubators, entrepreneurs, and even government entities to raise money for privately-held businesses. Planning is a big focus at EquityNet, with tools that help entrepreneurs plan their campaigns and investors plan their opportunity assessment.

Crowdfunding, where you're generally solicit investors, requires businesses to verify that their investors are accredited investors. There's no better way to do this than VerifyInvestor.com, where we make it easy to verify accredited investor status.