Crowdfunding platforms

Crowdfunding platforms can be a great way to implement a business idea. However, with so many options available outside of the big 3 - Kickstarter, Gofundme and Indiegogo, it is important to know what crowdfunding platform one should use depending on the project.
It is also important to know what are the alternatives to crowdfunding platforms, which can fund a project for less, easier and without the hassle. Such alternatives include normal bank loans, BTC Loans, loans from friends, P2P Lending, Blockchain crowdfunding and many other ways to make some money.

Crowdfunding platforms

Crowdfunding platforms: the big 3

  • https://www.kickstarter.com/
    Kickstarter is the world's most popular crowdfunding site as you probably already know and it has become synonymous with the fundraising method. "Let's kickstart this" is a saying people say to refer to the practice! It started in 2009 and it was unique for promoting products even with small donations with the offer of products: 5 dollar donations or "investments" for a t-shirt or a set of stickers.
    Most projects on it are creative such as artwork, movies and so on. It is a good site for starting retail products that are unique too. Because of the way the funding is structured, it is much easier to raise money for art or a cool paperclip set than it is to start a brand new software business. They charge 5% fee + bank fees and if you don't raise 100% of your target, you get nothing!
  • https://www.gofundme.com/
    Another big name indeed, but it is no Kickstarter. Here you can raise money for anything even if you want to pay for college, medical bills or that dream season tickets to the Lakers...
    So, gofundme.com is more about personal projects or causes which is good for small businesses for example. There is NO PLATFORM FEE for US people (foreigners pay a 5% fee) and payment processing fee is the usual 2-5%.
  • https://www.indiegogo.com
    The coolest thing about Indiegogo is that it on't require that you meet the goal set in the beginning of the project for your project to raise the funds. This is a big deal because often there are projects that will almost meet the goal and have to start again. Beware that the fees for not reaching the target fundraising goal are high so not paying for the high fee is the incentive to work hard on marketing for the project.
    It is a great fit for all sorts of projects because it has fixed and flexible funding (hard or soft targets). The fee is 5% and not hitting the target doubles it. There is no fee for fixed funding if you hit the goal which is great and payment processors will charge you as well (impossible to avoid).

Crowdfunding platforms

Crowdfunding platforms: the other 5

The world of crowdfunding is popular all over, with hundreds of well oiled platforms helping people in dozens of countries to realize the potential of their intellect and ability to invest and create well being for each other. There are over 100 crowdfunding platforms running all over the world in places such as Israel, Australia, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, India, China and so on.

  • Patreon
    A great platform for creative people such as film makers and writers with a regular audience (such as youtubers). The biggest difference here is that the platform is a subscription where users get to help their favorite artists and stars on a regular basis contributing to their income and keeping them from going back to regular jobs. Donors are the ones paying the service fee or more or less 3%.
  • Rockethub
    Rockethub is all about venture capital and entrepreneurial pursuit! You can even pitch your idea and get the funding to start your creative or tech business from an online store to artificial intelligence. If you raise the money you will pay 4% fee + payment processing. If you don't the fee doubles.
  • Gogetfunding.com
    Not as popular as many others but around since 2011, users keep the funding even if fundraising targets aren't reached. There is no specific goal for the site, so users are encouraged to raise funds for businesses, personal or non-profit causes. Fees are 7% which include the platform and payment professing fees making it one of the most competitive in terms of fees out there!
  • Ulule
    Popular in Europe and being one of the pioneers, Ulule is like Kickstarter in the sense that it is the all or nothing fundraising method. It is a great option even for Americans especially for those people looking to get the word out about creative projects. It has a focus on makers and entrepreneurs according to the site's mission but the website clearly seems to feature a lot of creative projects. Fees are about 7% all included.
  • Circleup
    Circleup is the most unique site of this list. Companies need to be having actual revenue to apply and at least a million dollars a year! It is all about raising capital to grow then with CircleUp and as a result it is popular with companies looking to take it to the next level. Fees are calculated based on the amount raised and approval is not very easy but their fees are comparable to what bankers charge out there, so expect the fees to be like fundraising rounds (2-5%).

Crowdfunding platforms

Crowdfunding platforms: the alternatives

Raising money for a noble reason can be difficult, but if entrepreneurial pursuit and the American dream is your thing (which it should) then look no further than the list below to fund your dream business idea (or personal project).

Further reading