The Top 6 Startup Funding Sites
22 June 2018
One of the biggest challenges facing any company seeking to acquire venture capital funding is sourcing the financial support from investors – until now.
Crowdfunding has raised $34 billion globally and in recent years, and equity crowdfunding has also soared in popularity. Equity crowdfunding allows individuals to invest in businesses, in return for equity. This means that those who invest will have a share in any future success of the company. In the last year, equity crowdfunding has raised $2.5 billion and has grown by almost 300 per cent.
We’ve compiled a list of the top funding websites that could provide the funding to turn your concept into a reality.
Seedrs is a form of equity crowdfunding that specialises in the investment of start-ups. Last year, $175 million was invested into campaigns on the website, with the platform funding 168 deals, across 8 countries, in 17 different sectors.
The platform was the first to gain FCA approval and focuses on seed-stage businesses. At its core, the platform stands out for its support of start-ups throughout the funding stages, from preparation to completion.
Revolutionary for its time, Crowdcube was founded in 2011 as the world’s first equity-based crowdfunding platform. Dedicated to helping UK-based businesses raise finance, it has helped companies such as the online bank, Monzo, which raised £1 million in a record-breaking 96 seconds. Crowdcube has also helped household brand names such as River Cottage and the Eden Project raise growth funding from their platform.
At only five years old, Funding Circle is a peer-to-peer lender now valued at $1 billion. The site launched when the financial bubble had just burst, providing a debt crowdfunder that allowed small businesses a chance to flourish in financing their projects. The average loan amount is £60,000 – though businesses can borrow up to £1m – and £35m is lent to small businesses every month.
MicroVentures conducts due diligence on start-ups and helps raise capital from angel investors via its SEC-approved online platform. The site gives angel investors the ability to invest small amounts of capital to crowdfund a start-up.
Founded in Texas, in 2009, Microventures accept both accredited investors and sophisticated non-accredited investors on their platform. MicroVentures will speak to every investor who signs up by phone to determine their credibility and if they meet suitability requirements.
Circle Up is a niche equity website that focuses on consumer goods start-ups. Since its launch in 2012, CircleUp has helped several consumer companies such as Back to the Roots, Halo Top Creamery, and Little Duck Organics raise equity.
It has partnered with Procter & Gamble and General Mills to offer more value beyond the funding, giving entrepreneurs access to these brands. To qualify, you had to have earned $500,000 (£379,00) over the past 12 months and show a strong financial history. The company also has a CircleUp Seeds program for smaller companies, but there are additional qualifications, such as a strong and proven record of accomplishment by the entrepreneurs or company itself.
AngelList was created in 2010 as an online introduction board for tech start-ups that needed seed funding. Since 2015, the site allows start-ups to raise money from angel investors free of charge.
The crowdfunding platform is exclusively for start-ups and angel investors, and in 2015 launched its UK syndicate counterpart. Although the UK branch has been affected by EU regulations, the company is still making a major impact as both an equity and debt platform.