Everyone (almost) has heard of Kickstarter, right? It's the best known (I think) of the so-called Crowd Funding services. Let's say you have a project - it can be anything - a record, a book, some kind of invention - and you need funding. The crowd funding sites give you a tool to propose your project to everyone on the web and it makes it easy for you to motivate them to donate or fund, and it makes it easy for them to do so. Cool idea.
And like any cool idea, there are lots of variations. I don't want to say that their knockoffs because they all have different flavors, focuses, types of users, size of funding and so on. Here's a helpful list that I came across. The editorial comments are mine.
The following seem to be for smaller and more creative or DIY projects
- Kickstarter - "Kickstarter is a funding platform for creative projects"
- Indiegogo - "People all over the world use our industry-leading platform to raise millions of dollars for all types of campaigns. No matter what you are raising money for, you can start right now with no fee or application process."
- Fundable - " Fundable is the premier platform to promote and manage your fundraise."
- CircleUp - "Investing in private consumer products companies"
- Crowdfunder - "Business Crowdfunding for U.S. startups and small businesses to raise funds through equity, debt, and revenue-based investment."
- MicroVentures - "MicroVentures is an investment bank for startups. We conduct due diligence on startups and then if approved we help them raise capital from angel investors."
- Wefunder - "Wefunder highlights some of the best new companies that are tackling important problems, and gives you the opportunity to help them with your time, advice, and investment."
- EquityNet - "Use EquityNet's equity crowdfunding platform, angel investor network, and business plan software to produce a winning business plan and get funding quickly."
And this last one is more about lending and borrowing, not investing:
- SoMoLend - "SoMoLend exists to help entrepreneurs and business owners by matching businesses who want to borrow money with investors who want to lend. "
And this one is focused on non-profits and charities and other do-gooder projects:
- Crowdtilt - "We Want To Rid The World of the Phrase, 'Wouldn't it be cool if we"