Practical Ecommerce

13 Crowdfunding Websites to Fund Your Business

Who needs banks? Crowdfunding websites can help you find a community of small investors to fund your business, without the risks of traditional financing.

Here is a list of crowdfunding sites. Some sites focus on funding creative projects, others sites focus on meeting specific needs in the marketplace or community. So don’t let access to capital hold you back — let the crowd fund you.

13 Crowdfunding Websites

  • 33needs. 33needs enables everyone to invest, make a social impact, and earn financial rewards. Promoting business-led solutions to our world’s biggest needs, it provides crowdfunding for social entrepreneurs, social enterprises and companies with a social mission. Ventures are organized under these categories: the planet, education, community, health, opportunity, and sustainable food. Investment dollars are exchanged for rewards offered by crowdfunded companies, as well as points to redeem for special offers.

  • appbackr. Appbackr is a wholesale marketplace for mobile phone apps. The developer posts an app or app-in-development to the appbackr marketplace. Backers can purchase a bulk of apps wholesale, and the developer receives immediate payment. Backers can view monthly sales reports and the daily run rate of purchased apps on the appbackr dashboard. The developer must be a registered Apple or Android developer.

  • ChipIn. ChipIn is a web-based service that simplifies the process of collecting money from groups of people. Embed the ChipIn widget into your website, or on MySpace, Typepad, Blogger, Netvibes, or any web page where you can paste a few lines of HTML. Your contributors can track your progress on the widget and chip in directly to your PayPal account. ChipIn is free. Transactions are subject to PayPal payment processing fees.

  • Cofundos. Cofundos crowdfunds open-source software projects. Open source software ideas are submitted and discussed. Requirements are defined. Specialists offer estimates on completing the project. Bidders select the specialists and donate bid amounts.

  • FansNextdoor. FansNextdoor is a platform for all creative professionals to promote and fund their projects together with their fans. Create your project, its financing goal and deadline. If the financing goal is met or exceeded by deadline, all contributions are transferred to your PayPal account. If the financing goal is not met, all funds are returned. FansNextdoor is currently free, but lists a fee target of 3 percent. Transactions are subject to PayPal fees.

  • IndieGoGo. IndieGoGo offers anyone with an idea — creative, cause-related, entrepreneurial — the tools to build a campaign and raise money. Project categories include gaming, film, design, education, mobile, and technology. Integrates with Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms. Offers a widget to showcase your campaign on your website. Unlike many crowdfunding sites, you keep all the money you raise, even if you don’t meet your goal. Track contributions with the analytics tools and stay on top of fulfillment with the dashboard. There is a 4 percent fee on the money you raise when you meet your funding goal. Third party payment processing fees also apply.

  • Kickstarter. Kickstarter claims to be the largest funding platform for creative projects in the world. Kickstarter grabbed the crowdfunding spotlight after the open source Facebook alternative Diaspora raised more than $200,000 on the site. Kickstarter projects must be fully funded before funding time expires or no money changes hands. Project creators are required to offer rewards — products, benefits, and experiences — to project backers. Integrates with Facebook, Twitter, and offers a widget for your website. Kickstarter charges a 5 percent fee, in addition to third party processing fees.

  • MicroVentures. MicroVentures targets companies that are creating technologies, products and services in core areas, such as business products, consumer products, electronics, online technology, and more. Submit your business plan and $100. If you are approved, your business will be listed on the website for investors to fund. MicroVentures charges 10 percent of the offering amount, if the offering is completed.

  • peerbackers. Peerbackers is for business owners to raise capital from their peers — in small increments — in exchange for tangible rewards. Create a personal and venture profile. Share your story through social media share buttons on your project page. Once your campaign is launched, send updates on your progress. If you reach at least 80 percent of your funding goal by deadline, your funding is released to you. Peerbackers charges a 5 percent fee, in addition to third party processing fees.

  • Pozible. Pozible is an Australian crowdfunding website. Post your project and presell tangible and intangible rewards. Each project has a funding goal and a time limit set by the creator. If your funding is successful by the deadline, all funds are transferred. If your funding is not successful, all funds are returned. Pozible charges a 5 percent fee for invitees, or 7.5 percent for standard users, on top of third party processing fees.

  • ProFounder. ProFounder is a crowdfunding platform for entrepreneurs to raise investment capital from their communities. With ProFounder tools, you plan your fundraising, create your pitch, and offer terms. You choose how much revenue to share and how long (the number of years) you’ll share it. Because this is not a loan, your payments to your investors are not fixed, and depend only upon your success. And because this isn’t equity either, you give up no control or ownership of your company. Each quarter throughout the investment term, ProFounder helps you calculate payments that each investor is due and manage the distribution of funds owed. Profounder charges up to a 5 percent fee of the total funding.

  • Quirky. Quirky offers product designers and inventors the chance to bring their products to market. Submit your idea for $10. If your idea is selected and brought to market, you’ll earn a share of the revenues. Influence the communal product development process and you’ll also earn a share of the revenue.

  • RocketHub. RocketHub is a community for “creatives and fuelers” — those with projects and those who contribute. Submit your project to the “Launchpad” for fueling. Users earn rewards and badges, designed to display dedication, enthusiasm, experience and success. Keep any money raised. RocketHub charges a flat 8 percent if your venture meets its financial goal, including payment-processing fees.

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Sig Ueland
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Comments ( 34 )

  1. Theresa Burton June 16, 2011 Reply

    Buzzbnk is a crowdfunding website enabling social entrepreneurs and social ventures to raise funds and build a crowd of supporters.

    We offer the following:

    1) A mix of funding types from donation, pre-sales and loans while combining this with goodies and perks. Plus, projects can set several milestones in the fund-raising journey.
    2) A variety of loan structures: revenue participation, fixed interest and principle only loans.
    3) Gift Certificates & Gift Vouchers
    4) Benefit Delivery Management. Projects receive notifications about what benefits are due to whom and by when (each benefit can have its own individual delivery time).
    5) Loan Management – The system automatically tracks and manages the parameters of all loan terms plus manages the distriubtion of loan re-payments back to the lenders (Backers).
    6) Community Sharing – We encourage Backers to use any credits in their accounts (from loan re-payments & returned funds) towards other projects on the site, encourging them to help more social ventures and projects and keeping the circle going.

    We charge a 5% fee on funds raised successfully plus any card transaction fees at point of checkout (variable, 2% for Credit Cards, £0.37 for Debit, £0.50 for bank transfers). Once funds are in the user’s Buzzbnk account, no further charges are taken (e.g. if one project fails and funds are credited to account, there is no transaction fee to back another project).

  2. zacharycd June 16, 2011 Reply

    This is a great synopsis of a lot of the crowd funding websites out there. Thanks for putting this together. As most people reading this article probably know, once any of these companies offer a return to more than 35 investors the SEC is going to shut them down.

    I’m part of the team that is leading the campaign to get an exemption passed with the SEC to allow entrepreneurs and small businesses to raise up to $1 million through crowd funding. With the transparency that the internet provides today and with safe guards in place to protect both the investor and protect against fraud, there is an amazing opportunity with crowd funding to get capital flowing from the people who have it to the people who can use it to create jobs.

    For all of those interested take a look at our petition, our framework, and all of the progress we’ve made, including testimony presented at a congressional hearing on capital formation in May: http://www.startupexemption.com

  3. joshtetrick June 16, 2011 Reply

    Make sure everyone checks out , Buzzbnk, too! And thanks a lot for this post, Sig.

  4. Theresa Burton June 17, 2011 Reply

    Hi Zachary,

    Buzzbnk is registered and based in the UK. We have reviewed with the UK Regulatory body, the Financial Services Authority, on the bi-lateral unsecured loans our ventures offer their backers. The findings are that we do not need to be regulated in the UK. This is similar to other loan based sites in the UK (FundingCircle, Zopa). CrowdCube has also reviewed their model for equity raising in the UK. These 3 sites are currently for UK residents only.

    Principle only loans, like those on Kiva, would not be classified as an investment so would not require regulation in the US. It is unclear if revenue participation in the US would be classified as an investment – perhaps Josh can comment on this as it is the format of 33Needs. Revenue participation has also been used by SellABand for many years (open to US residents but takes payments in Euros).

    So that just leaves fixed interest loans. Currently we do not have any projects offering fixed interest in the UK – if we did, as a matter of prudence we would need to advise US residents not to participate.

    We look forward to the work you are doing in the US with your petition to the SEC and happy to support where we can.

    Theresa
    CEO & Co-founder Buzzbnk

    And thanks Josh for the mention!

  5. Fondomat August 13, 2011 Reply

    Fondomat is the first crowdfunding site in Prague, Czech Republic. It allows you to realise your dreams, help those in need or fund your next big project. Thanks to the evolution of technology, crowdfunding has become easier, more widespread, and successful which is great for anyone looking to raise money for whatever project, event or business they have in mind. Check out the site: http://www.fondomat.com

  6. sander September 12, 2011 Reply

    InventionBuy.com – A Marketplace For Patents
    The purpose of Inventionbuy is to promote a ‘continuous
    innovation in products and strategies. Innovation few companies that still
    manage to produce in them, except at high costs. The ‘only way is to seek
    out ideas and inventions. The project Inventionbuy.com in this process
    becomes the ‘privileged that provides tools and knowledge to create the’
    meeting between demand and supply of innovation online.
    Submit your idea invention : http://www.inventionbuy.com/

  7. Larryobaker November 15, 2011 Reply

    This is a fairly comprehensive list of the various crowdfunding options available out there. I would add Bolstr.com, Bolstr is a crowdfunding application designed to help entrepreneurs raise funding by means of mobilizing their personal networks. Bolstr walks the entrepreneur/small business through the legal and regulatory hurdles of conducting a capital raise with intuitive software based tools.

    Disclaimer: I am a co-founder.

  8. Peter Gantner November 17, 2011 Reply

    Here is a new site that just launched http://www.funderthunder.com
    The site is being run by the founder and CEO of Priceline.com Jeff Hoffman.

  9. Claus Lehmann November 23, 2011 Reply

    I have been investing at Appbackr since August. While I like the concept and it shows some promise, there are some very unexpected caveats for investors – read about my learnings here:
    [http://www.wiseclerk.com/group-news/countries/us-experimenting-with-appbackr-promising-and-treacherous/](http://www.wiseclerk.com/group-news/countries/us-experimenting-with-appbackr-promising-and-treacherous/).

  10. Sponsor Goal December 4, 2011 Reply

    Great post! Check out another great site to raise funds http://SponsorGoal.com

  11. harleymckenson January 14, 2012 Reply

    Here is a new site, http://www.McKenson-Invest.com, an online platform that connects investors looking for new investment opportunities with entrepreneurs seeking funding.
    Here is the link that provides further information:
    http://www.onlineprnews.com/news/190682-1323630714-entrepreneurs-can-now-approach-angel-investors-easily-with-new-networking-tool.html

  12. mark23 January 26, 2012 Reply

    I think the crowdsourcing websites do a disservice to nonprofit causes in two ways – the ‘donations’ to artists or projects are not tax-deductible and the 4, 5 and 9% fees are steep. I assume kickstarter and others will be facing fierce competition moving forward, since we know their overhead is rather minimal compared to the fees they are raking in….

    Mark from http://cashadvancesus.com/

  13. LittleBit February 29, 2012 Reply

    Interesting list.
    I believe kickstarter is for USA citizen only.
    Please add to the list for which region the crowdsourcing website is open.

  14. Moti March 18, 2012 Reply

    I think Crowdsourcing model is a win win for both sides.

    Moti From TEAMoney.com

  15. John Karter April 6, 2012 Reply

    I have used Crowdfuning alot lately including this video game that I have wanted to see for a while

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jvgames/hard-contact

  16. Carmelo Milian April 17, 2012 Reply

    Sadly, a lot of crowd funding sites have developed some ego by thinking that they have the right to decide what is creative or not. How creative a project is should be determine the the wisdom of the masses, not but one person in behind the scenes in a crowd funding site. This is why we at OnSetStart only provide recommendations for project submitted in order to meet standards. Of source, no life plans funding, but as long as I am the CEO I will not allow us to say a project is not creative enough.

    Get more information at http://www.onsetstart.com

  17. gbdavid April 18, 2012 Reply

    One great Crowd funding site AdoptAnything.com should be on your list also, it has open listing platform, and multiple ways for businesses, and individuals to get their funding, plus collaboration listings for crowd sourcing, and an advertising system that pays for views to your crowd funding campaigns.

    its at: http://adoptanything.com

  18. Roger D. Mortimer April 29, 2012 Reply

    Mark23 You talk about the steep 4, 5, & 9% fees for these crowdfunding sites. Yet, you represent CashAdvancesUS. Sorry, but we all know that "cash advance" sites are no better than "loan sharks" with their 30 to 70% fees/interest. What’s the point that you’re trying to make?

  19. knowledgenotebk May 11, 2012 Reply

    Thanks for the informative list.

    Which ones are likely to produce results for an education/learning oriented software tool?

  20. conzortia7 August 10, 2012 Reply

    Those are good sites but certainly not an inclusive list. No mention of Conzortia.com CrowdfundingKids.com FundMyWish.com ScoutFunder.com Conzortia.net CrowdfundNASA.com HoneymoonPlanners.info or a plethera of other options.

  21. CopusMusic September 1, 2012 Reply

    Great list! Crowdfunding is for musicians and poets too. Take a look at one such project at the mother of all crowdfunding platforms: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1417019336/to-the-journey-we-give-everything

  22. Will655 November 23, 2012 Reply

    This is a good list of sites to help your business with crowdfunding. I have visited most of these websites and they’re good for anyone trying to get support in starting up. One site i also came across to help with open source crowdfunding is thrinacia.

    It’s still a work in progress but it will be the first 100% open source SaaS white label crowdfunding platform. If anyone has the time its definitely worth checking out. Looks like Thrinacia will feature completely customizable architecture and allow for integration based on how you want, when you want. Definitely there is a lot of different features that will be built in. You can actually check out the website, its quite interesting.

    https://www.thrinacia.com/

  23. DrGrace Gniazdowska December 29, 2012 Reply

    Why do most of them have to use that crappy paypal?
    Don’t you know how many people hate paypal and had bad experiences with paypal? I will never use them again. There are plenty of other much better alternatives. I will NEVER use paypal again. I will never recommend paypal to anyone.

  24. Max Nicks January 20, 2013 Reply

    Why the vitriol toward PayPal? I’ve been using it for 12 years and never had a bad, or even difficult, transaction through Paypal on any of the 1,915 purchases or sales I’ve made through them. I buy books from small on-line vendors. I buy and sell on eBay. Hewlett-Packard (computers & peripherals) uses Paypal. Walmart uses them. American Numismatic Association sells memberships through them. American Scientific Magazine sells subscriptions using Paypal. There must be a good reasons that myriad other on-line businesses use it.

  25. James Durnin February 7, 2013 Reply

    Check out one of the new crowdfunding sites CommunityFunded.Com We focus on building viable solutions for non-profits that level the playing field within the non-profit industry.

    "I think the crowdsourcing websites do a disservice to nonprofit causes in two ways – the ‘donations’ to artists or projects are not tax-deductible and the 4, 5 and 9% fees are steep. I assume kickstarter and others will be facing fierce competition moving forward, since we know their overhead is rather minimal compared to the fees they are raking in….

    Mark from http://cashadvancesus.com/

  26. Arthur J Tassinello March 12, 2013 Reply

    I’m am getting ready to choose a funding site for my app but with so many options how do I choose the right or best one for me. Also can I use more than 1 site to reach my funding goal?

  27. Peter Jovanovich March 18, 2013 Reply

    These are all great ways to fund your business. I’m glad I found this site. I’ve been doing additional research as well and came up with a site that will help you fund your business in as little as seven days, up to $500,000 without a credit check.:
    http://FastBusinessFundingNOW.com .

  28. Heri Rakotomalala April 27, 2013 Reply

    Great list, thanks. For those who are looking for more (especially because of legal reasons, or because of the nature of the project), I’ve just compiled the possible open source software out there that you can use to launch your own crowdfunding portal http://seedingfactory.com/2013/04/list-of-open-source-crowdfunding-platforms/

    Let me know if it’s useful. I’m looking to further study, adding for instance notes on the technology and ease of use.

  29. Trenia Today June 15, 2013 Reply

    We hear some many times about the top crowdfunding websites which is Kickstarter and Indiegogo. This list is valuable for those who have a certain niche they want to stay in and just to know that you have options out there.

    We have just launched the very First Crowdfunding Incubator in the World at Match Capital Ventures. To learn more about our crowdfunding incubator please visit us at http://www.matchcapital.vc.

    We wish you all good luck and success with your crowdfunding ventures.

  30. Lonnie Ingram September 25, 2013 Reply

    I need to raise $15k for a 15% stake in my safety invention.

  31. Eureeca October 23, 2013 Reply

    Hello Guys,

    Did you check Eureeca the first global crowdinvesting platform?

  32. Audra November 20, 2013 Reply

    What a great article, thank you! I am hoping to help a business I’m passionate about raise momey, and this was the perfect summary for me of multiple crowd funding sites!

  33. steve fackerell January 16, 2014 Reply

    I want to fund a storage auction business. need bidding and equipment money. anyone know what the right crowdfunding site would be…thanks

  34. Ammar AL Wahleed March 26, 2014 Reply

    Hello, I am an Investment Broker with very legitimate contact of investors seeking viable projects for funding at a favorable return on investment (ROI). Contact me for possible business collaboration.

    Contact: Ammar Wahleed
    Email: ammar-wahleed@outlook.com

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