Which are the best 'crowdfunding' websites?
Is the phenomenon of “crowdfunding” – where entrepreneurs or more or less anyone asks the public to put cash into their proposed venture – getting out of control?
Numerous websites have sprung up offering one version of crowdfunding or another. The websites allow those seeking finance to publish details of their project including how much cash they need, how they will use it and how investors stand to profit (if at all) in future.
Some of the sites vet the fund-raisers – others don’t. In most cases the investors, who can usually subscribe as little as £10 per venture, are offered shares in the business.
But the craze has grown so fast that one high-profile figure who successfully used a crowdfunding website to raise money for a business venture now wants to set up a site of her own. Nicola Horlick, the controversial fund manager who was dubbed “superwoman” in the Nineties for juggling a career and family, announced plans to launch Money&Co, a crowdfunding website, early next year. Ms Horlick has set up the company on the back of her own crowdfunding success, as earlier this year she raised £150,000 for film finance company Glentham Capital in only 22 hours.
According to Ms Horlick, it is a “no-brainer” that crowdfunding has become so mainstream, given that banks are not lending to small business and savers are fed up with receiving paltry interest rates in bank and building society accounts. “Crowdfunding is all about cutting out the middle man and allowing small businesses to get the funding they need without banks taking a slice of their margins in fees from when firms take out business loans,” she said. “For savers, these ventures offer the potential for much greater returns.”
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