I’m currently helping a friend launch her family’s business, Haven Mask. One of the things we’ve been talking about is the effectiveness of crowdfunding for startups as a combined funding and marketing strategy. Depending on where Haven Mask goes with crowdfunding, I may do a deeper dive into the crowdfunding process, but for now, I’m publishing a list of crowdfunding sites for consumer businesses.
(As always, we’ll keep this list up-to-date. 8/25/2020 is the original publication date; the current publication date is when the list was last edited.)
Types of Crowdfunding for Startups
There are three types of crowdfunding. Early stage businesses will likely want to focus on rewards-based campaigns in order to raise capital for inventory and launch.
Some sites enable individuals to raise donations — for instance, GoFundMe. In most cases, a donation-based fundraising won’t be right for businesses, but perhaps it’s worth considering as an otpion.
The Jobs Act laid the path towards equity-based crowdfunding after it was passed into law in 2012. Sites like WeFunder and CircleUp enable investors to purchase small shares of equity in businesses in exchange for capital.
Kickstarter and Indiegogo popularized rewards-based crowdfunding after they launched in 2009 and 2007, respectively. Backers choose a rewards tier (for instance, 1 of your widgets; 5 of your widgets; or 5 of your widgets plus a t-shirt) in exchange for dollar amount. They then receive their goods once your campaign is closed and your widgets and t-shirts have been produced.
List of Crowdfunding Sites for Consumer Businesses
This is one of the best known and most popular sites for crowdfunding. Note that that you need to reach your fundraising goal within your allotted amount of time, otherwise you won’t receive any funds at all. It’s free to create a project on Kickstarter. If successfully funded, Kickstarter keeps 5% — also expect a processing fee between 3-5%.
Startups can choose between fixed and flexible funding, mean that you’re not subject to the same all-or-nothing fundraising hurdle as kickstarter. Indigogo charges a 5% platform fee for all crowdfunding projects. (You’ll pay extra if your project isn’t fully funded but you choose to collect funds anyway.)
Focused on funding women entrepreneurs, iFundWomen has a similar model of 5% plus processing fees. They also offer mentorship and coaching.
Founders can choose between equity and rewards financing. Rather than keeping a percentage of your raise, Fundable charges a flat $169/mo fee. Like the others, expect a processing fee related to your payout — 3.5% + $0.30 per transaction.
What are we missing? Did you run a successful crowdfunding campaign? Share in the comments, or get in touch.