Crowdfunding, and indeed investment platforms in general are set to take over the UK’s investment sector in 2015. With convenience, accessibility and flexibility as their main features, the appeal stretches out to those who would like to become involved in investing, but who have no prior knowledge of how to do this effectively, and little disposable income. This, let’s face it, is most of us.
Out of the current crop making huge strides, here are the current UK top 10:
Set to be the fastest growing platform for 2015. Already secured some massive funding for some high profile projects such as the mini-bond Eden funding, which is covered later on here.
Perhaps the current equity crowdfunding leader, raised over £1 million in its first year. Basically run by a selection of high-profile lawyers. Is that a good thing or not? You decide.
Abundance offers investment opportunities in the renewable energy sector only. We will continue to see a trend of platforms like this focussing on very specific areas of investment for those with a vested interest in a particular sector.
Crowdfunder is one of the platforms which doesn’t provide equity, and doesn’t provide peer-to-peer lending services. This is a rewards-based platform whereby the company seeking funding offers perhaps a sample of their product or a free gift in return for investment. Its success tends to revolve around community-based sharing, as many investors will be people closely associated to the entrepreneur seeking capital.
This is a peer-to-peer lending platform which puts pre-approved businesses in front of those with capital available to loan. Many startups prefer this option to giving away equity, and the interest rates are usually very attractive.
I like Buzzbnk as it caters specifically for social projects and environmental initiatives. It also mixes it up to an extent by offering incentivised funding along with peer-to-peer lending, and sometimes even a combination of both. A platform with a conscience.
Another sector-specific entrant, is Unbound. Authors pitch ideas for books, and fans of the idea pledge in return for rewards. Fairly simple, and will no doubt be the catalyst for an array of best-sellers throughout the next few years.
WeFund are the original crowdfunding platform. Their investment structure is rewards-based, and businesses must reach their funding target in order to get the money. They focus on more art-based and creative projects.
BloomVC accept all ideas and projects, regardless of whether devised for commercial or community benefit, and they are a rewards-based platform. They also offer a project manager for each campaign in order to try to help devise a plan to attract investment.
- Bank to the Future
With a glittering endorsement from Richard Branson, Bank to the Future looks set to establish itself as a crowdfunding leader in 2015. It’s a peer-to-peer lending platform but with many other functions too. They are just about to launch an equity crowdfunding aspect to their platform as well, which is sure to propel them above many of the aforementioned competitors.