Funded By Me, founded by Daniel Dadoczy, Arno Smit and Eric Weber, is an opportunity for entrepreneurs to fund their projects through social networks. The startup helps people raise money online through their own social networks. Funded By Me has had its own development crowdfunded in itself, and now it’s sharing that ability for everyone else.
From their website, “Funded By Me was born out of the frustration that all entrepreneurs, creative people and enthusiasts experience while they struggle to bring to life a vision; the difficulty of reaching out and raise funding.” Crowdfunding isn’t a new concept, but with the success of Facebook and Twitter into our everyday lives, the ability for designers, musicians, writers, entrepreneurs, pretty much everyone has the branch to reach out to many individuals to help fund their visions and tell their stories.
Interestingly, the founders were initially rejected by KickStarter in September for their own project submission and decided they should venture on their own and created Funded By me, which launched on May 1st, 2011. Today, Funded By Me has helped over 51 projects raise money – truly awesome. Arno Smit, says they are specializing in locality, appealing to the local networks of those looking for funding. The website was launched within Sweden, launching soon in Norway and eventually the rest of Scandinavia, Funded By Me appeals to local networks via local language, currencies and appeal.
Users are given the opportunity to set their funding goals, and if and only if their funding goals are met, Funded By Me takes 6% of the money raised. If the goal is not reached, all the backers of the project are refunded. Funded By Me believes that this workflow may change in the future because those looking for funding appreciate any level of backing for their project, even if their goals are not reached. Furthermore, once a backer gives into a project in need of funding, they usually are not looking for a refund, but have faith that the project will grow with any amount of support. According to Funded By Me, they may “change to a 9/5 scenario – [where if] less than 100% of the goal is reached it’s 9% else [if the goal is reached] 5% only [the percentage retained by Funded By Me]” and will give as much as possible, no matter what, to the those in need of funding.
Funded By Me uses PayPal for payments, thus opening up an international market, and they were recently voted #11 out of the top 100 Web entrepreneurs of 2011 in Sweden by InternetWorld
We asked Arno Smit, one of the founders, what changes they see being implemented in the near future? Arno told us:
“We are looking at focusing not only on the project owner but also the backers, trying to make them more aware of projects that might pertain a similar interest, so a global notification system with customizable interest/likes is not too far off. i.e. you have business/social entrepreneurship as an interest in your profile, then we might send you a notification if a new project has gone live within this category.”
Those with ideas can submit what they need funding for, after which Funded By Me will review the submission, offer feedback, provide the platform, then leave it in your hands to promote and share your vision. Crowdfunding does work, and people want to help ideas come to life. So far Funded By Me has helped raise 274991.75 SEK in pledges from 556 people for 54 projects.