In May 2013 we launched CrowdingIn.com, the UK’s first directory of crowdfunding platforms. CrowdingIn was developed to help its users navigate what was then the relatively new and unknown world of crowdfunding, by allowing them to search for platforms by model and sector. Four and a bit years on and we have decided that it's now time to shut down CrowdingIn.com. Here we present some key insights from an analysis of data collected from the directory.
Since we launched CrowdingIn.com, the crowdfunding market has changed dramatically, both in size and diversity. In 2012, less than £500 million was raised through a handful of platforms. By 2015, this had grown to more than £3.2 billion and at least 65 platforms. These include an expanding number of niche sites focussing on specific types of projects; for example, CrowdJustice (public interest law cases), DigVentures (archaeology projects) and PledgeMusic (music projects). Large parts of the market have shed the 'alternative finance' label and with more than 10% of the market share, crowdfunding is now part of the mainstream market for financing start-ups and SMEs. Furthermore, as the market has matured, it has received increasing involvement from larger institutional funders such as banks, venture capitalists, foundations and governmental bodies.
There are now several alternative directories to CrowdingIn, such as those set up by CrowdfundChampion.com, raisemoney.com and eurocrowd.org. Moreover, a number of aggregators of crowdfunding offers have been set up aimed more squarely at businesses raising finance (e.g. ABF, Finpoint, Funding Options and Informed Funding), some of which charge a small fee for their intermediation services.
While CrowdingIn includes platforms from all over the world, the platform has primarily been promoted and used within the UK. For this reason, this blog focuses just on those based in the UK.