If you’re trying to get your own business idea off the ground, how to get funding for your startup is often one of the biggest hurdles you’ll face. Attracting investment and resources can require a lot of time and effort in making meaningful connections. However, with the help of startup funding platforms, it can be a little easier in trying to raise much-needed funds.
There’s a range of the best crowdfunding platform for business startups out there, which offer different ways of gaining capital for your business. From popular crowdfunding websites to startup accelerator platforms putting you in front of potential investors, we’re running through the eight best startup business funding platforms to get you started.
This is one of those funding websites that almost everyone has heard of before. GoFundMe is a versatile startup business funding platform that can be used for almost anything from raising money for a charity to trying to launch your own business.
It’s one of the largest fundraising platforms online, with a very simple setup process that is much loved by time-constrained individuals. One of the most surprising things about GoFundMe though is that they don’t charge a fee for using their platform and your fundraiser can be unlimited in time. The only thing you’ll lose is a processing fee for transactions.
Along with GoFundMe, Kickstarter has now become synonymous with crowdfunding online. It was founded in 2009 and has successfully helped over 200,000 projects spring off the ground since then.
The difference with Kickstarter is that it's reward-based. This means that backers or investors are incentivized to support a project or idea, in return for rewards such as a T-shirt, credits or exclusive pre-order or early bird offer.
Another aspect that sets Kickstarter apart is that it’s a higher-risk campaign platform. You must set a target or fundraising goal, and you only get access to the pledged funds if you reach your goal.
Often considered one of the best platforms for startup business funding, Indiegogo has a long track record of helping ideas come to life. It’s particularly well-liked by entrepreneurs, with the ability to create a crowdfunding campaign for any idea or product that you want to launch into the world.
As with other crowdfunding sites, there is a fee involved in collecting finances. On Indiegogo you can set up a campaign for up to two months, with requires a 5% platform fee, plus a 3.2% third-party processing fee.
Trying to bridge the equality divide, GoFundHer is a crowdfunding platform for women entrepreneurs and business owners. They offer an easy-to-use platform, with investors or supporters able to make a one-off donation or set up a monthly sponsorship for your idea or business.
Tracy Garley is the chief executive officer and co-founder of GoFundHer.com. She explains a little more about what the platform entails: "GoFundHer is a crowdfunding platform for equality, providing unlimited fundraising pages for girls and women to elevate their dream job and financial success to live out their dreams through sponsorships. Available in over 200 countries, the platform supports women-owned businesses, victims and survivors of domestic violence, members of the LGBTQ+ community, single mothers, women of color and more."
It operates worldwide and can be set up in just a few simple steps. Similar to other crowdfunding platforms though they do have a 5% platform fee and credit card processing fees on top of that.
SeedInvest is an equity crowdfunding platform. This means that backers become investors rather than just supporters. It operates a bit differently than a donation or financial investment platform, with investors on SeedInvest becoming part owners after they buy in.
It’s aimed at high-growth tech and ecommerce businesses, with the much-needed access to capital and a network of potential venture capital investors. It’s seen quite a lot of success with projects, particularly in the tech world. There are high fees though, including a 7.5% platform fee and 5% equity fee based on how much you raise.
Startup Xplore is a platform that offers investment opportunities to businesses with plenty of potential. It’s mostly active in Europe and is the largest startup community in Spain. Investors that are registered with Startup Xplore can invest in startups and share knowledge and experience with businesses looking for funding and resources. Mark Daoust, CEO of Quiet Light, a company devoted to helping entrepreneurs buy and sell their internet businesses, says: “They also offer a great deal of support to help set up the raise, deal with the cap table and they have an impressive success rate of 96%."
One of the most unique aspects of Startup Xplore is that they too invest in each of the startups offered to other investors on the platform. This means that emerging companies not only get capital directly from Startup Xplore but are then promoted on the platform for other potential investors to see.
A slightly different option than a typical crowdfunding platform, TinySeed is an online accelerator for early-stage SaaS (software as a service) founders. Rob Walling, the co-founder of TinySeed, shares about what the platform does: "The first place a startup looking to fundraise should look to is accelerator programs. For example, at TinySeed, we work remotely with SaaS founders to help them scale their businesses through mentorship, community, education and funding."
Their program runs for a full year, which gives you both the time and investment needed to start your company or business idea.
Of course, it’s a very selective program. They open for applications for potential startups only a couple of times a year and it’s competitive. They look for traction and potential and tend to lean towards those that show the likelihood of eventually becoming multimillion-dollar companies.
Offering a bit of everything, Fundable has equity crowdfunding and rewards-based crowdfunding options for startups looking for investors and finance. It’s aimed at small businesses and high-potential tech start-ups and is currently only open to US-based entrepreneurs and businesses.
The payment and fees schedule is also a little different. Fundable requires users to subscribe and pay a monthly fee to create and manage campaigns instead of a platform percentage fee, whether they are successful or not. With rewards-based fundraising, there is also a 3.5% processing fee for credit cards.
Whether you have the next big idea or you’re trying to get your small business off the ground, capital investment and funding become extremely vital, which is why Incfile helps connect entrepreneurs with the best resources for success. One of the best ways to do that in today’s online world is to utilize crowdfunding platforms and online accelerator programs. While it can be overwhelming, there are online platforms to suit your entrepreneurial needs.
Jenna Scatena is a writer and content strategist with a love for stories that have never been told before. More than a decade of working with prominent magazines and brands informs her approach to impactful storytelling. Her stories have reached more than 30 million readers, won multiple awards and been anthologized in books. Jenna's work has appeared in Conde Nast Traveler, Vogue, Marie Claire, The San Francisco, BBC and The Atlantic. She's the founder of the editorial consultancy, Lede Studio.