The next wave of crowdfunding will most likely look totally different then the current manifestation we’re experiencing. The fact is, sourcing funds through thousands or millions of small donation is the most decentralized way to raise money. In a lot of ways, decentralization makes you more resilient as a business because the more funding sources you have, the more stability you have. Think of it this way, if you are dependent on just one sponsor and they go out of business then your funding will dry up. On the other hand, if you have a large plethora of multiple sponsors all giving you small donations then you have more security. The influential website Wikileaks relied on millions of small donations form people around the world to operate. Governments will attempt to cut of the funding to a site like Wikileaks but are unable too because of this simple concept.
The next big frontier in the crowdfunding industry will be education crowd sourcing. Recently, a small school on the Oregon Coast used crowdfunding to help raise money to relocate their schools out of the tsunami zone. While their campaign was not very successful, the basic idea behind the concept is sound. It would be very difficult to find anyone willing to donate the near 100 Million dollars they would need to build a giant new school campus on the hill, but this could be done successfully with thousands of small donations. As the world becomes increasingly connected then speed and complexity of new ideas will continue to increase.
Recently we’ve seen a new company emerge named SmashFund. They have taken a unique approach to crowd sourcing money that doesn’t fit within the standard business model. Instead of giving the platform away free they charge a membership type fee on a monthly basis. On the other hand, the monthly membership fee unlocks a powerful social media crowdfunding tool that no other company currently offers. Integrating the best aspects of the traditional business model, but adding a social network that allows users to promote within the same platform. Combining the best aspects of both systems and giving the end user the freedom to do as they wish. The traditional model has always relied on up sells and other fees to generate revenue. SmashFund CEO Rob Towles believes that their unique approach to the competitive market will allow them to carve out a niche and eventually disrupt the entire industry. Rob is a longtime accomplished tech entrepreneur who’s had multiple successful technology startups and ventures. Moving forward, SmashFund has planned a giant global expansion that includes countries like Australia and possibly into African Nations. The ambitious plan seems impossible until you hear Rob explain it. Like a true revolutionary he manages to cut through the clutter and instead of telling you what can’t happen, he tells you what’s possible. And that’s not all, Rob tells you what’s possible in a way that makes you believe him. From the power whisper, to the power close, Rob believes in his vision for SmashFund like all the bold technology visionaries that came before him.
So what will the crowdfunding space look like in the next 5, 10, or 20 years? It’s impossible to know for sure, but I have a feeling it will look entirely different than it does today.