2015 is already shaping up to be an exciting year for Crowdfunding. Investors, entrepreneurs and portal operators will benefit from innovations originating from other sectors who are attracted to the growth markets opened through Crowdfunding. Four of those innovations that will influence the sector this year are included below.
- Mobile Pay options will permeate Rewards based Crowdfunding sites. Similar technologies that lead to digital streamlining and efficiencies will benefit Equity and Debt Crowdfunding companies. 2015 is on track to see significant advances across mobile devices and responsive design of web sites. Since the number of worldwide mobile smart devices surpassed the total number of computers, online transactions have grown exponentially. Like most innovations, financial systems lag behind leaders in other sectors, but Crowdfunding does not have the burden of legacy systems and operates in a lean fashion. It is therefore unsurprising that embedded in a sector not known for its nimbleness, Crowdfunding will pace industry leaders in technology, digital arts and entertainment.
- Marketing Services are the hallmark of Reg D, 506c deals. Even so, we will see still further innovations across the sector as digital resources and expertise are brought to bear in this otherwise nascent industry. As the impact of a ten billion dollar global industry reaches the attention of both accredited investors and entrepreneurs, the search for services that meet demands will entice innovations. The ability of firms to attract entrepreneurs to their portals, to likewise attract accredited investors, and then connect the two across a kind of new age financial marketplace is not to be underestimated given the tremendous stakes available. Firms who display uncommon skills in marketing, such as RAZR Ventures, and who establish low fee structures and leverage wide ranging relationships will secure early market share in this expansion of traditional financial systems.
- Education Tools have started to appear in an ad hoc fashion over the last half of 2014. The new year will see dedicated and more professional trainings and tools that help individuals and companies learn how to navigate and maximize advantages across Crowdfunding platforms. Many tools will come at a nominal cost, but they are designed to leapfrog entry into Crowdfunding. A company that reaches market 4-6 weeks faster due to these options will often benefit from such tools and services many times over. The fact that trainings will be available 24/7 on demand and linked to specific platforms will further accelerate entrepreneurship and access to investor pools (ready-to-launch).
- Integrated Platforms using all three of the above innovations as well as cloud interfaces, partnerships with brokers, accountants, lawyers and other ancillary (yet key) services will ultimately be the norm. RAZR Ventures is pretty unique with their integrated services launch on January 1st. Investors see such services as bringing credibility to offerings and entrepreneurs like the value and positioning such integrated services provide them. Creating the right deal at its first attempt saves time, money and builds enormous good will across stakeholders. Flattery will follow as other platforms rush to mimic such services.
Dr. Rickel is a Senior Advisor at RAZR with executive experience across multiple industries. Member of CFIRA, NLCFA. Todd can be reached at $Doctor@razr.com.