With the credit crunch that started during the 2008 global financial crisis still lingering, startups all over the world have been forced to come up with innovative ways to raise financing. One way that has become very popular today is crowdfunding.
According to Fundly, the total global amount raised through crowdfunding as of 2017 is $34 billion. Out of this total, $2.5 billion has been raised through equity crowdfunding. Fundly predicts that by 2025, the crowdfunding industry will grow to over $300 billion. That figure is over three times higher than the World Bank forecast of $93 billion by 2020.
In 2018, crowdfunding is expected to skyrocket, with Invesdor predicting that equity crowdfunding for real estate will be the most lucrative of all. If you are planning to raise financing or invest through equity crowdfunding in 2018, here are the top 10 platforms to watch.
Founded in 2012, Wefunder is among the leading crowdfunding platforms on the market today. According to the National Crowdfunding Association of Canada, the platform has so far helped 63 companies raise over $10 million in crowdfunding equity since regulation crowdfunding began in May 2016.
In 2016, the Wefunder became the first equity crowdfunding platform to accept Bitcoin. As an industry leader, the firm is expected to skyrocket in 2018 as crowdfunding and cryptocurrencies continue to gain traction.
StartEngine equity crowdfunding platform was launched back in 2015 and has since helped raise over $50 million in equity crowdfunding for more than 150 companies.
In October 2017, the firm announced that it has started accepting applications to list an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) on its crowdfunding platform. With analysts predicting robust growth in the crowdfunding industry, coupled with the fact that ICOs are currently the hottest thing in the blockchain community, Start Engine has a high potential for growth in 2018.
Since the beginning of 2017, MicroVentures has raised over $2.3 million in equity crowdfunding, making it the third-best performer of the year. The firm's success stems from its six-year experience as an online venture capital platform with over 250 investment opportunities and over $100 million in transactions.
The MicroVentures equity crowdfunding platform is known for offering its investors opportunities to invest in companies such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, among others.
For instance, in 2011, the platform raised a $300,000 fund to invest in Facebook through the secondary market. According to Techcrunch, 30 investors were lucky to get the opportunity. With a good performance in 2017, MicroVentures is likely to maintain the upward trend in 2018 as the equity crowdfunding sector continues to grow.
SeedInvest is an equity crowdfunding platform designed specifically for savvy investors. As of 2017, the platform has made 85 investments with over $10 million in total funding.
In September 2017, SeedInvest entered into a partnership with Crowdcube, the UK largest equity crowdfunding platform with the goal of offering cross-border investment crowdfunding. According to Darren Westlake, the co-founder and CEO of Crowdcube, the partnership will give UK investors access to firms being funded on the SeedInvest Platform. With this exposure, SeedInvest growth is expected to skyrocket in 2018 and beyond.
Republic is an equity crowdfunding platform founded in July 2016 and owned by AngelList, a platform that gives startups access to accredited investors. The equity crowdfunding platform allows investors to invest as little as $10.
According to CrunchBase, as of August 2017, Republic had raised a little over $800,000 in two rounds of financing. 2018 is expected to be the take-off year for the platform as equity crowdfunding continues to gain traction among small-scale investors.
CircleUp was founded in 2011, and as of 2017, the platform has helped around 211 startups raise over $300 million.
The firm has raised over $53 million in five rounds of financing and has invested in a total of 55 companies. CircleUp is the first equity crowdfunding platform to apply big data analytics and AI to identify potential investments. These tools are currently the key competitive advantage in most industries and therefore the platform is likely to attract huge investments in 2018.
Founded in 2005, EquityNet is among the pioneers in the sphere, not to mention the only patented crowdfunding platform in the world. According to thecrowdcafe, the platform has so far raised over $200 million in financing for thousands of startups.
In 2018, EquityNet is expected to maintain a growth trend as the firm continues to improve its platform and more investors and startups turn to crowdfunding.
EarlyShares is a real estate equity crowdfunding platform founded in 2011. According to CrunchBase, the platform has thus far raised over $5.8 million in two rounds of financing.
With analysts predicting high growth in real estate crowdfunding in 2018 and beyond, EarlyShares should be on top of the list for both real estate startups and investors.
PeerRealty is another real estate equity crowdfunding platform to watch in 2018. In April 2017, the platform was acquired by Brelion, an Ohio-based real estate equity crowdfunding platform, as a strategy towards strengthening service provision.
According to Crowdfund Insider, the acquisition is likely to boost growth, especially in a time when real estate crowdfunding is becoming popular. While the platform has recorded lackluster performance in 2017, its growth is expected to take off in 2018.
Founded in 2012, Crowdfunder is an equity crowdfunding platform with over 125 users in its investment network. As of November 2017, the platform has helped raise over $120 million for startups with over 30,000 entrepreneurs submitting financing applications.
Since launch, the firm has raised over $4.9 million in four rounds of financing. Crowdfunder's principle investors include Ping An Ventures, RageOn, and Saucey.