A lot of articles are written about Apple every week, some with new insights and others with well-known information. A relatively new insight regarding Apple is the growing crowdfunding sector. Every week new websites are established.
As a crowdfunder I really think the concept of crowdfunding is becoming more and more important and could become a real competitor for the traditional stock exchange in the future. What is crowdfunding?
Crowdfunding, inspired by crowdsourcing, describes the collective cooperation, attention and trust by people who network and pool their money together, usually via the Internet, in order to support efforts initiated by other people or organizations. Crowdfunding occurs for any variety of purposes, from disaster relief to citizen journalism to artists seeking support from fans, to political campaigns.
Crowdfunding can replace the need for specialized grant applications or other more formal and traditional fundraising techniques with that of a more casual, yet powerful, approach based on crowd participation.
Crowdfunding, like crowdsourcing, is very much related to online communities and social networks. The crowd can already exist as a community but they can also suddenly form from disparate groups around the world who all happen to share an interest in funding a person, project, event, campaign etcetera. The Internet allows for information to flow around the world, increasing awareness. A Crowdfunded network can assemble and disassemble at any time. This is the primary difference to traditional co-ops.
Nowadays there are a lot of crowd funding websites. Some examples:
- Crowdcube.com is a new crowdfunding platform enabling startup companies to raise funding by offering real equity. Uniquely, Investors can invest very small amounts of money (minimum £10) allowing the average Joe to build their own investment portfolio.
- Kickstarter.com funds all types of creative projects through donations, where donors receive "rewards" of products, benefits, or experiences. Some projects have received donations as high as $200k, and a large portion of the projects are movies.
- peerbackers.com. A crowdfunding website specifically focused on helping entrepreneurs raise the capital they need to launch or grow their business. Donors receive tangible rewards for backing the businesses.
- SellaBand (sellaband.com) is a service for musicians and bands to promote their work in an effort to gain "believers" who will help to fund the production and distribution of an album. Believers must raise $50k in order to graduate the artists into contractual agreements. Believers can earn money back from ad revenue used in tandem with giving away the music for free online at sellaband's site.
In fact a lot. At several crowdfunding websites, entrepreneurs and designers are working at apps for the iPhone and iPad. Several successful apps for the iPhone were funded by Kickstarter.
I found even a wholesale marketplace for iphone + ipad apps. The crowdfunding website is called: appbackr.com.
The website allows Apple developers to get funding upfront for iPhone, iPod and iPad apps in the concept stage by selling the app wholesale to backers, who receive a percentage of the profits for the apps they have purchased. Many app buyers also assist developers with marketing and promoting their apps to ensure that their investment is fully recouped. With a growing number of social enterprises tapping into the explosive apps market to raise awareness and sell products or services, AppBackr may be a useful tool to help offset app development costs, and even gain some extra promotional help.
All these crowdfunding initiatives will become the growth drives for Apple the coming years and investors can profit from both sides. As an investor in Apple shares or as a crowdfunder of promising apps.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.
Additional disclosure: I have no position in shares of Apple, but I invest in some crowdfunding initiatives regarding iPhone apps.