2013 saw crowdfunding reach new heights as the industry raised record funds. Hundreds of new platforms emerged to target different niche markets, ranging from dog lovers to sports fans to the party goers. With an estimated $5 Billion plus in total market value already, where does crowdfunding go in 2014?
Apart from the expected growth stemming from equity crowdfunding, industry insiders also predict a change in the fundamental crowdfunding model. Conventionally, crowdfunding has been conducted on destination sites. Anyone who wishes to start or donate to a crowdfunding campaign must do so on a destination site. There are various inbounding methods such as links and widgets, but the campaign creation and donation process all took place on the destination site.
2014 will change convention as many platforms adapt to allow users to set up mirrored crowdfunding campaigns on their own sites. The idea is to let users with high traffic websites (predominantly businesses and organisations) take advantage of their existing traffic and crowdfund right on their site.
Although the concept seems new, Canada's largest crowdfunding platform, FundRazr has been using this model for years. FundRazr began adopting the mirrored crowdfunding campaigns model way back in 2012. Through utilising a lightbox technology on their widgets, and by embedding these widgets to websites, FundRazr allowed donors to donate to campaigns straight on third-party sites.
Recognising the potential of the model, FundRazr further refined the technology and developed CFaaST ( Crowdfunding as a Service Technology). Unlike the light box technology, where only donations can be made on third party sites, CFaaST allowed branded sites to essentially become crowdfunding platforms; complete with the ability to create campaigns, host campaigns, and donate to campaigns.
The new technology comes with no additional costs and uses an easy to implement embedding technology similar to those used by Facebook. It also supports the use of third party software such as Google Analytics to further enhance the user experience. After successful collaborations with Save the Children, an international NGO, and the SETI Institute in California through CFaaST, FundRazr officially announced CFaaST under the brand name PoweredBy FundRazr in August 2013.
FundRazr CEO Daryl Hatton believes that the change in model would bring plenty of benefits to its partners as he emphasize, "It's about building your brand rather than building a platform's brand". He also added, "the numerous benefits for partner brands include the brand halo of public good enabled, new content, repeat traffic and heightened community and loyalty. Plus partner campaigns will also receive bonus visibility on FundRazr.com."
With the announcement of partnership with Healthline Networks Inc. (a major U.S.-based health information portal) and several partnerships in the works, FundRazr already has a head start on the industry in 2014. With over $20 million raised in 2013, FundRazr is expecting tremendous growth as its industry leading technology takes the business into new markets.