CrowdFundBeat News Wire, September 23, 2014: 08:00 AM ET
Leading investment platform Symbid Corp. (OTCQB: SBID) celebrated passing the EUR 5 million ($6.4 million) crowdfunding milestone this week, demonstrating the growing power of investment crowdfunding both in the Netherlands and globally.
“We’re delighted to make this announcement ahead of schedule after a really busy few months here at Symbid,” said Korstiaan Zandvliet, Symbid co-founder and CEO. “The exponential growth we’ve been seeing in investment crowdfunding worldwide continues to amaze us and we’re already looking forward to hitting our EUR 10 million funding milestone in 2015.” With the Dutch crowdfunding market predicted to double its funding volume this year, the Netherlands looks set to continue punching above its weight in terms of the global crowdfunding industry with Symbid leading the pack.2 “Over the last couple of years we’ve seen crowdfunding mature into a serious, profit-generating system of investment,” Zandvliet continued, “and Symbid is in a great position to take advantage of this process both in the Netherlands and elsewhere as we expand internationally.”
Symbid’s announcement caps a promising year for the crowdfunding platform so far, with $1.55 million invested during the second quarter alone – an increase of 860% compared to 2013. In fact, 2014 accounts for more than 50% of Symbid’s total transaction volume, a figure which hints at the rapid growth. The site, which invites anyone to become a shareholder in emerging companies for a minimum investment of just $27 (EUR 20), added 3000 new users to its thriving community of over 25,000 active investors in the same 3 month period. The EUR 5 million milestone was reached quicker than expected after a fruitful couple of months during which the average funding total for a Symbid campaign rose to $107,000. This figure is significantly higher than the Dutch crowdfunding industry average which currently stands at $32,000.3
All in all, 2014 has seen the Rotterdam-based platform cement its status as the Dutch market leader in investment crowdfunding. Symbid successfully funded several $150,000+ campaigns over the summer, including BrightNL ($386,238), Greendaddy ($315,688), GrondVrij ($244,617), and Wezp ($186,681). Meanwhile, fellow Dutch crowdfunding platform Lendahand raised $77,247 via Symbid for an expansion of its debt-financing model. With 9 active campaigns and many more set to go live in the coming weeks, Zandvliet expects last week’s investment total of $138,868 to continue rising. “Right now we’re reaping the rewards of some platform improvements made earlier this year and lots of hard work put into attracting the right campaigns,” added the CEO, “but we have to keep pushing forward into the future as crowdfunding’s image changes from one of Silicon Valley tech-geeks, independent films and niche video games into genuine investors seeking genuine profits through innovative, high-growth start-ups.”
Founded in 2011 as one of the first equity crowdfunding platforms worldwide, Symbid recently featured a number of high-profile campaigns which helped to push the company over the EUR 5 million barrier. Greendaddy, which raised over $315,000 on the Symbid platform in just 48 hours in June of this year, is an example of how investment crowdfunding can offer an established business something different to the traditional financing methods. Through the effective use of social media and the press, crowdfunding campaigns are able to generate a self-sustaining cycle of publicity and excitement which ultimately results in more invested capital. What’s more, the crowdfunding process can act as a form of social due diligence through which business owners have access to an enormous pool of knowledge and experience direct from the “crowd”. Of course, the crowd’s involvement does not end with the campaign itself — investors typically seek an active advisory role in the company as it grows. In addition to its added value for business owners, crowdfunding makes it much easier for the average individual to actively participate in the financial system as an investor. The transformative and democratizing potential of crowdfunding is widely acknowledged both within the industry itself and the alternative finance world generally.
Founded in April 2011 in the Netherlands as one of the first equity crowdfunding platforms worldwide, Symbid’s unique legal-financial structure allows non-accredited investors to invest online in start-ups and growing companies for as little as $27 (EUR 20). Symbid has emerged as a global leader in equity crowdfunding due to its innovative technological infrastructure, user-friendly interface and commitment to providing a secure funding environment for both investors and entrepreneurs. The Symbid team’s extensive start-up experience means entrepreneurs receive all the coaching and advice necessary for a successful campaign. This, in turn, ensures that investors using the Symbid platform can be confident in the profitability of their investment. As of September 2014, Symbid has successfully funded over 50 entrepreneurs and their start-ups for a total capital sum of over $6,500,000. It is generally accepted that Symbid became the first equity crowdfunding platform to be publicly listed in December 2013 (OTCQB: SBID). The company anticipates a European roll-out of its crowdfunding platform beginning in late 2014.
1 Dutch seed capital market refers to all early-stage investments from venture capital and angel investors made in the Netherlands in 2013. Figure derived from EVCA Research, ‘EVCA Yearbook — 2013 European Private Equity Activity’, 6 May 2014 [http://www.evca.eu/media/165475/yearbook-2014-europe-country-tables-final.xlsx] 2 Douw & Koren, ‘Crowdfunding in Nederland’ infographic, 22 July 2014 [http://www.douwenkoren.nl/crowdfunding-op-weg-naar-mainstream/] 3 Douw & Koren, ‘Crowdfunding in Nederland’ infographic, 22 July 2014 [http://www.douwenkoren.nl/crowdfunding-op-weg-naar-mainstream/]
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