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Visions on the Future of Crowdfunding in Europe

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This publication has been produced by four frontrunners from the field of crowdfunding in Europe: Daniela Castrataro, Fabien Risterucci, Gijsbert Koren and Karsten Wenzlaff.

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Visions on the Future of Crowdfunding in Europe

  1. 1. This publication has been produced by four frontrunners from the field of crowdfunding in Europe: Daniela Castrataro, Fabien Risterucci, Gijsbert Koren and Karsten Wenzlaff. This publication was made possible by Epirot Ludvik Nekaj (organizer Crowdsourcing Week), Wolfgang Gumpelmaier (Gumpelmedia/ikosom), Nina Passerelli (student) and all crowdfunding platforms that contributed by sharing their visions. This publication is a follow-up for two European conferences on Crowdfunding: Crowdfunding Day (Amsterdam, April 15th 2013) and The Future of Crowdfunding (Berlin, April 17th 2013) The views expressed in this publication are those of their respective authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of the producers of this publication. Creative Commons This publication is released under the following license: CC BY NC SA 3.0. Attribution- NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
  2. 2. About the publishers Daniela Castrataro Daniela is co-founder and director of twintangibles, a Scottish-Italian research and advisory firm that helps organisations create value from the application of social technologies. She is co-founder of the Italian Crowdfunding Network. twintangibles, together with nois3lab, are the founders of crowdfuture – The Future of Crowdfunding, the first crowdfunding conference in Italy. Fabien Risterucci As a consultant (FR Prospektiv) Fabien facilitates the international business development of innovative business concepts in high- growth areas. He has been conducting research on crowdfunding for the last three years, co-launched the discussion group Crowdfunding for Europe and has been an active member of the French crowdfunding professional association, Financement Participatif France. Passionate about disruptive innovation, entrepreneurship and development finance, Fabien has a background in economic development, investment attraction and international business development in Europe and Asia. He was trained in Political Sciences, Business Administration, Competitive Intelligence, and in Microfinance. Fabien is based in Paris and is frequently in Germany. Gijsbert Koren Gijsbert is a creative entrepreneur and crowdfunding addict. He found out the hard way that funding from a bank or one investor could be hard to attain, even if (potential) users were interested. Hacking the system, by getting money directly from consumers to fund a product, seemed to be an interesting alternative. Gijsbert is managing partner at Douw&Koren Crowdfunding Consultancy and advises companies, governments and other organizations on using crowdfunding. Karsten Wenzlaff Karsten is one of the co-founders of ikosom – Institut für Kommunikation in sozialen Medien, a private research-center based in Berlin. He has conducted research on crowdfunding since 2011 – having published the first crowdfunding survey in Germany. He is also co-author of the first Crowdsourcing Report in Germany. He has a BA in Philosophy & Economics and a MPhil (cantab) from the University of Cambridge.
  3. 3. Introduction Crowdfunding is a source of finance for projects and businesses, with the specific characteristic that the capital is raised by the crowd: a group of individuals donate or invest relatively small amounts of money. The main types of crowdfunding are: donation based, reward based (pre- sales/non-financial return), loan based and equity based. Besides capital, crowdfunding also results in gaining more visibility for a project or company, as well as generating involvement and support from a large group of people. Crowdfunding is changing the way we think about finance. But what will the future of crowdfunding look like? With this publication, we share our views and the ones of European crowdfunding platforms on the future of crowdfunding. Crowdfunding has been used as well to finance this publication. We would like to thank all early supporters who believed in the importance of sharing visions on the future of crowdfunding in Europe. The main goals of this publication are: 1. Sharing visions It provides researchers, politicians, entrepreneurs, investors and government officials with visions regarding the impact of crowdfunding in Europe. 2. Initiating discussions It helps to initiate a discussion about future trends and developments in crowdfunding and crowdinvesting. With this publication, we hope to contribute to the further development and growth of crowdfunding in Europe. - Daniela, Fabien, Gijsbert and Karsten November 2013
  4. 4. Visions of the publishers
  5. 5. Civic Crowdfunding During the last few years, crowdfunding has become a far wider and more complex phenomenon, having developed into many trends and models. In my opinion, one of the most interesting ones is civic crowdfunding. Civic crowdfunding seems to be a solution to the lack of funds in local governments, much like crowdfunding in a wider sense presents itself as a solution to the lack of capital on the market. Whereas crowdfunding in a general sense is based on a potentially global audience, local crowdfunding looks for funds in a geographically small area, which implies a small community in terms of numbers. In fact, local communities seem to be a suitable environment in which civic crowdfunding can flourish, as this aims at financing local works and projects. Therefore, we are talking about relationship capital here, rather than social capital, i.e. few but strong relations that form tightly bound communities, rather than large networks with weak ties between them. The development of a strong bond between citizens and their territory, the citizens’ active involvement in discussing and giving their feedback, their willingness to cooperate directly or indirectly with the local administration on choices aimed at the local community would find in civic crowdfunding a perfect tool. The process would both address the scarcity of capital in local administrations and bring citizens closer to institutions, thus increasing people’s respect for public assets and implementing a model of active citizenship and collective and sustainable innovation. The key point seems to be both to facilitate digital cooperation and to build offline relationships. In fact, the real power of the crowd does not lie with people randomly connecting on the web. The future of this technology seems to be pointing towards local online environments that promote strong interactions both online and offline. As I see it, this is the future of crowdfunding, and civic crowdfunding is the future. - Daniela Castrataro
  6. 6. The sums collected by Europe-based internet crowdfunding platforms register an exponential progression. This could be of quite a different importance, and especially have a greater economic impact, if platforms benefited from a European regulatory framework adapted to the nature and potential risks which engenders their activity. So far the lead action has been situated at the national level. The key players of the European crowdfunding sector already compelled themselves to greater transparency by creating national professional associations and by working on their respective self-imposed Code of Conduct, which are codes of best practice committing platforms to provide services with full transparency, safety, assistance, ethics, and respecting the laws and regulations. Several national governments, such as the United Kingdom, Italy and Austria have been dealing with the regulation of crowdfunding. Portugal has seen some interesting local initiatives recently as well. France is about to facilitate the multiple forms of crowdfunding and discusses the creation of a special status of Crowdfunding Service Provider (“conseiller en investissement participatif”). But for now, the laws are very different from one country to another. This could represent an impediment to the development of internet platforms in the short to medium-term as by the nature of their business, they cannot know national boundaries of their market. An initiative at European level is also under way with the European Crowdfunding Network and the determination of the crowdfunding sector that rallies in Europe. Moreover, the different workshops organized by the EESC, the SME Assembly, DG Connect, and DG Internal Market and Services of the European Commission in the presence of Commissioner Michel Barnier to review the opportunities and risk reduction related to crowdfunding, confirm the direction taken towards a likely forward evolution of the European texts. To remedy disparate national level legislation, the European Commission has taken over the case and has launched a public consultation so a project can start to be developed from next year. So, after months of exchanges and raising awareness in small committees on the benefits offered by crowdfunding, proposing a special European level status of Crowdfunding Service Provider, this synchronization between administrations denotes a real commitment of the authorities towards concrete action on the subject. Having spent a few years analyzing microfinance and crowdfunding (also called collaborative funding) and what I call “community funding”, it is fascinating to measure how much it allows to aggregate entrepreneurs, creators, the financial sector, governments, local governments, economic development stakeholders and above all us all European citizens and citizens of the world whom we are. Nobody knows today what will happen to crowdfunding in the next couple of years. What is certain is that it will become a real alternative for start-up and seed capital. I hope that the dynamism and creativity of European entrepreneurs will be enhanced by a new regulatory framework at the European level. At the same time bold, this Crowdfunding regulation at European level
  7. 7. framework should be non-discriminatory, fully complementary with other sources of funding and ensure the professionalism of this emerging industry. Allowing the multiple forms of crowdfunding platforms to operate freely across boundaries would be for the European Union the sign of a will to continue the deepening of the Single Market. - Fabien Risterucci
  8. 8. Growing Crowdfunding Innovation and the start and growth of new projects and companies are an important engine of our economy. It is therefore of great importance to provide these projects and companies with access to capital. Crowdfunding can contribute in providing better access. The crowdfunding market is growing fast In Europe, there are a few hundred operational crowdfunding platforms, making it possible for projects and companies to (added all together) raise hundreds of millions of euros in 2012. The market is expected to keep on growing very fast. Crowdfunding will grow into an important alternative to other sources of finance for projects and companies. However big the potential impact, I think there are some obstacles that have to be addressed in order to realise this potential. 1. Many people, projects and companies are not familiar with crowdfunding yet Although crowdfunding could be an alternative source of finance, many people are still ignorant about the existence and high potential of crowdfunding. Besides that, not all government bodies and authorities fully acknowledge crowdfunding for being a relevant source of finance. Moreover, knowledge about how to make best use of crowdfunding is still not widely spread, resulting in people, projects and companies not considering or using crowdfunding yet. Via directed communication, more awareness can be raised for crowdfunding. Communication can be specifically targeted at high potential funders, projects and companies. To integrate crowdfunding into financial planning, business advisors, bankers and accountants can also be important partners. 2. A roadmap for legislation and professionalization With growth, comes professionalization. In several countries, crowdfunding platforms are formulating a Code of Conduct to create a common set of quality standards. Next to self- regulation, legislation is of importance to protect investors and companies. In relation to crowdfunding, it is often unclear for platform owners, funders, projects and companies which legislation applies and what that effectively means at an operational level. An on-going dialogue between crowdfunding platforms, the government and financial authorities is essential to overcome barriers in legislation and react in a timely manner on undesired developments. 3. Financing the growth of platforms A high growth potential puts pressure on cash flow. Crowdfunding platforms are (besides a few exceptions) relatively small companies. This results in the challenge of finding enough capital to finance growth. It is important to support crowdfunding platforms in realising growth to reach a scale at which they can contribute substantially to providing access to capital for projects, starting companies and SME’s. Both governments and venture capital funds could prove to be an essential partner for financing the growth of crowdfunding. - Gijsbert Koren
  9. 9. Crowdfunding on the internet is a fairly new phenomenon. Although established as a cultural practice for centuries, digital crowdfunding which we have seen emerge in Europe and in the US has brought new models, fascinating projects and new standards. Along with these developments, a wide range of institutions have tried to quantify this market – and thus set standards for its analysis. The differentiation of equity-based, reward- based, lending-based and donation-based platforms, as blurry as it is, came with the desire to cluster the platforms and make them comparable. The next step for the industry will be to have reliable data about the market. I predict that we will have institutions which provide market data, platform comparisons, success statistics and comparisons between platforms. Right now, with some 500+ platforms worldwide, such an overview for investors, donors and project-owners is absolutely necessary to simplify the access to crowdfunding. It will also give institutional investors a way to use crowdfunding as an asset class, alongside traditional forms of investments like corporate bonds, equity and government debt. It will also allow the media to distinguish trends from hypes and make evaluations based on real market-data. At crowddata.eu we will provide a lot of data for the European market and make it accessible for a wide range of audiences. This will be done in a constant dialogue with the platforms and other stakeholders. - Karsten Wenzlaff Crowdfunding Data
  10. 10. Visions of European crowdfunding platforms and service providers
  11. 11. Crowdfunding is about citizen banking. - Arnaud Poissonnier, President at Babyloan Babyloan is a French social micro-lending platform www.babyloan.fr “
  12. 12. As more platforms become regulated, more investors will see equity crowdfunding as a trusted, mainstream avenue to grow their capital. - Alysia Wanczyk, Marketing Director at Seedrs Seedrs is an English equity based crowdfunding platform www.seedrs.com “
  13. 13. Crowdfunding is going to be a new and attractive financing model in Europe and a serious alternative for the financing of startups. - Dana Melanie Schramm, Corporate Communications at Seedmatch Seedmatch is a German equity based crowdfunding platform www.seedmatch.de “
  14. 14. In our information oriented world donors find it increasingly important to know how their donations are used. Donors prefer to give to projects where they feel to be part of a bigger goal. Crowdfunding supports these trends by clearly defined projects and goals with the possibility to empower a large group of supporters. Crowdfunding also brings the fun in fundraising by the rewards an organization gives supporters back for their donations. Non-profit organizations now start to include crowdfunding as an integrated part of their “online friend and fundraising” strategy. In this strategy successful non-profits will engage supporters and facilitate them to contribute to the goals of the organization in the way each individual supporter prefers. - Marc Schoutens, Director at Mobillion Mobillion creates crowdfunding software www.mobillion.nl “
  15. 15. A new way to see ideas come to reality. For the US and European countries, crowdfunding is a real opportunity to overcome the crisis. - Fabio Simonelli, Project Manager at Eppela Eppela is an Italian reward based crowdfunding platform www.eppela.com “
  16. 16. We are just at the very begining in Europe. More and more internet users become aware of what crowdfunding is and how it works. Europe does not have much million EUR projects at this stage, but that number will grow quite soon. Politicians will begin to understand that they should promote crowdfunding, and Europe will have its own crowdfunding act. With the act in place, it will be possible to fund even bigger projects through crowdfunding. - Arnaud Burgot, CFO at Ulule Ulule is a reward based crowdfunding platform for all European countries www.ulule.com “
  17. 17. Crowdfunding is a tool for society to allocate financial resources to the projects and ideas they believe in. It enables the society to shape the society without usage of intermediates like the state or banks. - Christin Friedrich, Director at Innovestment Innovestment is a German equity based crowdfunding platform www.innovestment.de “
  18. 18. Pan-European equity based crowdfunding for investors of all backgrounds will be the future of crowdfunding, with no limits to funding amount. - Philipp Steinberger, CEO at c-crowd c-crowd is a Swiss equity based crowdfunding platform www.c-crowd.com “
  19. 19. This is only the start of crowdfunding. More is to come, particularly in the field of governance and public infrastructure as well as at the level of local decision- making. - Gregory Vincent, founder at Sponsume Sponsume is a reward based crowdfunding platform from the UK www.sponsume.com “
  20. 20. Facebook “likes” and crowdfunding donations are both PR tools. However, people will be more attached through funding. - Konrad Lauten, CEO at Inkubato Inkubato is an Austrian/German reward based crowdfunding platform www.inkubato.com “
  21. 21. The global crowdfunding market will be 1000 billion euros by 2020. - Thierry Merquiol, CEO at WiSEED WiSEED is an French equity based crowdfunding platform www.wiseed.fr “
  22. 22. Equity based crowdfunding will grow strongly in the coming years, given the high level of start-ups seeking between € 100,000 and € 1 million. However, the high risk nature of the proposed transactions may result in the closure of many platforms that will not have enough good projects selected upstream. Indeed, if investors want to live an entrepreneurial adventure, they also want to earn money. Reward based crowdfunding will also grow strongly, particularly for projects before creation (to test new business). - Anne Saint Léger, CEO at Finance Utile Finance Utile is a French equity based crowdfunding platform www.financeutile.fr “
  23. 23. Crowdfunding is and will be an essential tool to raise money for every kind of activity, matching entrepreneurial and social principles, practices and visions. - Claudio Calveri, Senior Content Manager at DeRev DeRev is an Italian donation and reward based crowdfunding platform www.derev.it “
  24. 24. We believe that crowdfunding is a great tool that can be applied to many different sectors. Platforms promoting itself as non-specialised, will naturally become specialised in the end, as communities will stick and give colour to a platform. - Alexandre Laing and Stéphane Vromman, founders at Bulb in Town Bulb in Town is a French crowdfunding platform for local initiatives www.bulbintown.com “
  25. 25. Using mobile platforms and cyber currencies will be a next step for crowdfunding. - Angelo Rindone, founder at Produzioni dal Basso Produzioni dal Basso is an Italian donation based crowdfunding platform www.produzionidalbasso.com “
  26. 26. The future of equity-based crowdfunding will be dominated by local investing platforms. Here’s why: some people are interested in investing in specific sectors (e.g. clean energy), whereas others want to support specific individuals (e.g. African entrepreneurs, female-led startups). However, everyone wants to support their local economy. As such, we believe ‘local’ is going to be the major force that will drive equity-based crowdfunding into the mainstream. - Kristian de Groot, founder at Investeer Lokaal Investeer Lokaal is a Dutch equity based crowdfunding service www.investeerlokaal.nl “
  27. 27. Crowdfunding will bring news ways for Europeans to exchange, relate, and exercise a collective force that will reinforce European identity. In the field of energy, crowdfunding will be a change maker that will empower citizens and reveal the relevancy of regional solidarity. I strongly believe that community-based financing is an effective tool for European citizens to join forces for the transition towards renewable energies. - Alex Raguet, Cofounder and President at Lumo Lumo is a French crowdfunding platform for renewable energy projects www.lumo-france.com “
  28. 28. Crowdfunding is just part of the deeper peer-to-peer revolution, that will empower citizens and give them back control on their everyday life! - Fabrice Carrega, CEO at Arizuka Arizuka is a French reward-based platform www.arizuka.com “
  29. 29. Crowdfunding will make sure that every European citizen will get a chance to become part of The Next Big Thing, while more ideas and companies are put to the market. - Daniel Daboczy, CEO at FundedByMe FundedByMe is a European equity based crowdfunding platform www.fundedbyme.com “
  30. 30. Reward based crowdfunding will be a democratization of people’s chances, to support artists and startups they belive in. No more curation by so-called experts - the ‘crowd’ decides with their money and entrepreneurs have a new source of funding. - Michael Eis, Founder at Booomerang Booomerang is a Danish crowdfunding platform www.booomerang.dk “
  31. 31. In a few years, crowdfunding will be an established and well-known financing tool for the film-industry worldwide. But more importantly, it will be also embedded in the overall communication strategies, as it supports the filmmakers, the producers, the cast to be in touch with their audience and get direct feedback in all “stages” of the production and distribution process. This direct link to the people will be crucial, not only in terms of financing, but also marketing a movie. Hopefully there will also be specialized film-crowdfunding platforms that address all groups, filmmakers and moviegoers, and will represent all their needs within one platform, from communicating the idea of a film, financing of that idea and then distributing the finished movie. - Wolfgang Gumpelmaier, CEO at Gumpelmedia Gumpelmedia has expertise on crowdfunding for the film industry www.gumpelmaier.net “
  32. 32. Real money for realy projects. - Reinhard Willfort, founder at 1000x1000 1000x1000 is an Austrian crowdfunding platform www.1000x1000.at “
  33. 33. Crowdsourcing and crowdfunding are transitioning us into a more open, connected, and socially productive society. At Crowdsourcing Week, our big, ambitious goal is to get everyone thinking about collaborating with their stakeholders to create shared value. Companies, government and social enterprises can now interact with their communities on a completely new level - through more than just social media interactions. Imagine social media turning into purpose-driven social productivity - crowdsourcing and crowdfunding are driving this revolution. - Epirot Ludvik Nekaj, founder at Crowdsourcing Week Crowdsourcing Week organizes crowdsourcing events around the world www.crowdsourcingweek.com “
  34. 34. Crowdfunding unleashes creativity. - Vincent Ricordeau, co-founder and President at KissKissBankBank KissKissBankBank is a French crowdfunding platform www.kisskissbankbank.com “