How to spot a potential crowdfunding scam or flop

How to spot a potential crowdfunding scam or flop

Crowdfunding has taken off since the passage of the JOBS Act in 2012. In addition to being a way to fund personal causes, crowdfunding has opened up new avenues for investors who want to put their money into real estate or startups. As an investment tool, crowdfunding has some advantages. But it has its drawbacks as well. Before wading in, you need to know what to expect.

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The Pros

1. You Don’t Need a lot of Money to Get Started

One of the most attractive features of crowdfunding platforms is that they set the bar relatively low when it comes to minimum investment thresholds. With real estate crowdfunding, for example, you might be able to invest in a property with as little as $1,000. Certain peer-to-peer lending sites allow investors to fund loans in $25 increments.

When you compare that to something like mutual funds, which may require a minimum buy-in of $3,000 to $10,000, crowdfunded investments look like the better option if you can’t afford to part with a lot of cash all at once.

2. You Could Earn Above-Average Returns

Although its track record is relatively short, crowdfunding has the potential to be a lucrative bet for investors. Depending on the type of investment involved, it’s possible to match the market or even beat it. In the real estate sector, for instance, you may be able to watch your investments grow and see annual returns of 12% to 14%. The more risk you’re willing to take on with crowdfunding, the more rewards you could reap.

3. Crowdfunded Investments Are More Transparent

How to spot a potential crowdfunding scam or flop

Crowdfunding has injected a new degree of transparency into investing that you don’t always get with other kinds of investments. If you’re investing in a startup, for example, you can get the full rundown on the company before ponying up any cash. With a mutual fund, you may be limited to the information that’s included in the prospectus or your quarterly statements. Having that extra knowledge about an investment can make it easier to decide whether it’s a good bet.

The Cons

1. Returns Aren’t Guaranteed

Like any other investment path, crowdfunding is not risk-free. Take equity investing in startups, for instance. The idea is that you invest in a company and in exchange, you receive ownership shares.

Assuming that the company you’ve invested in takes off, you could sell those shares for a profit down the line. That sounds great. But you’re taking a huge gamble because if the company flops, your shares (and your investment) could be worthless.

2. Crowdfunding Can Be a Long Game

How to spot a potential crowdfunding scam or flop

If your goal is to generate returns in a short period of time, crowdfunding likely isn’t going to be a good fit. Depending on the kind of investment you choose, it could take months or even years for you to get any traction. Ultimately, you have to decide what kind of time frame you’re comfortable with to gauge whether there’s room in your portfolio for crowdfunded investments.

The Bottom Line

The crowdfunding industry is on track to expand even more in the years ahead, especially now that the SEC is allowing non-accredited investors to fund crowdfunded investment vehicles. If you’re thinking about incorporating crowdfunding into your investment strategy, it’s a good idea to research the particular niche you’re interested in carefully. It’s also important to vet crowdfunding platforms thoroughly to find a reputable company that won’t charge excessive fees.

The world of crowdfunding is fluid and ever changing. The trends are never consistent, new campaigns are continually being launched, and updates on funded campaigns are released in a steady stream. Plus, sometimes products are funded and never actually get made. There are a lot of details to keep track of, and this information isn’t always aggregated in an easy to find spot. Well, until now, that is.

Here at ChipIn, we aim to keep you caught up on the latest developments in the crowdfunding world. Whether it’s a new campaign that really deserves your attention, a campaign that exceeds its goal tenfold, or a spectacular flop, we’ll tell you about it. We’ll also help you stay informed about when funded projects will ship and where those companies are in terms of licensing and manufacturing stages. Keep up with our news, and you’ll become a savvy backer in no time.

Viberate and Blockparty to Launch First-Ever Live Gig NFT

How to spot a potential crowdfunding scam or flop

Over the past month, we’ve seen music artists drop “tokenized” albums, digital art, and products. Now, Viberate proposes using NFTs (and the blockchain technology behind them) to manage secure live performance bookings. According to their announcement, blockchain-based music research and analytics platform Viberate (whose native token VIB is listed on Binance, Bittrex,

The Future of the Data Economy is Here: Filecoin is Live

How to spot a potential crowdfunding scam or flop

Amid a rising threat to the foundations of the internet and access to information, the decentralized storage network is designed to store humanity’s most important information Filecoin, the world’s largest decentralized storage network, has launched its mainnet, enabling people from all over the world to store, request, retrieve and transfer

Fasset Launches to Accelerate Investments and Growth in Sustainable Infrastructure Development

How to spot a potential crowdfunding scam or flop

Upon launch, company aims to bridge US$15 trillion gap in sustainable infrastructure development with blockchain-backed investmentsUS$4.7 million raised to date from strategic backers in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Singapore Fasset, a UK-headquartered fintech company, has launched the world’s first comprehensive operating system dedicated to the ethical financing

Unitize Conference Announces Agenda and New Additions to Speaker Lineup

How to spot a potential crowdfunding scam or flop

Free online event hosted by San Francisco Blockchain Week and Blockshow aims to foster collaboration and highlight continued achievements of blockchain community in 2020 Unitize, the collaborative online blockchain event organized by San Francisco Blockchain Week and Blockshow, has announced its agenda and a number of new additions to its

Expert Takes – Fidelity Report States that a Third of Institutional Investors Own Crypto Assets

How to spot a potential crowdfunding scam or flop

Financial Services Institution Fidelity, recently released a report indicating that a third of institutional investors own digital assets such as Bitcoin. The report which surveyed 800 institutional investors across the globe, also found that European institutions (45%) were much more likely to hold digital assets compared to their American counterparts

The purpose of this paper is to review the literature on the Disruptive Innovation Theory and on the disruptive potential of real estate crowdfunding (RECF) in the real estate finance industry, assessing whether RECF constitutes a potentially disruptive innovation to the real estate finance industry. Based on a review and synthesis of the literature, the paper advances an initial conceptual framework of core characteristics of disruptive innovations. This framework is used to examine the disruptive potential of RECF in the real estate finance industry.


This paper is a systematic literature review that synthesizes and analyzes relevant extant research articles retrieved from online databases.


Findings suggest that according to the theory of disruptive innovations, and the core characteristics of disruptive innovations, RECF is a potentially disruptive innovation to the real estate finance industry. RECF seems to generally align with the classic characteristics of disruptive innovations. A more comprehensive and systematic analysis, supported by empirical data, is necessary to evaluate whether and to what extent RECF constitutes a disruptive innovation to the real estate finance industry.

Research limitations/implications

This study has only captured and reviewed articles published and available in database searches. RECF is a nascent field that has recently begun receiving academic attention.

Practical implications

Real estate plays an integral part in the economy, and the way it is financed has become an increasingly important issue following the Global Financial Crisis. This paper provides useful insights for assessing whether and to what extent RECF may be disruptive to the real estate finance industry.

Social implications

RECF may potentially improve accessibility and affordability of real estate finance, thereby helping to address the problem of shortage of real estate project finance.


While RECF is portrayed in the academic and gray literature as a disruptive innovation, its disruptive potential is yet to be determined. This paper advances an initial conceptual framework of defining characteristics of disruptive innovations. This framework is used to evaluate RECF as a potentially disruptive innovation in the real estate project finance industry. This study forms a basis for future empirical examination of the disruptive potential of RECF in the real estate finance industry.

Our team is diligently working to keep up with trends in the crypto markets. Keep up to date on the latest news and up-and-coming coins.

Avalanche (AVAX) is a smart contract platform that deserves to be on everyone’s radar — not only because of its incredible performance over the last year but also because of its future potential.

Over the past year, the price of Avalanche and the platform have experienced incredible growth. Even though that is the case, this platform’s innovation and performance advantages still make it an excellent long-term investment.

From a low of $2.80 in December, the price of Avalanche increased by more than 2,700%, hitting an all-time high of $79.51 on Sept. 23 (Huobi price). Ultimately, how high can AVAX go? Only time will tell.

What is Avalanche?

Avalanche was launched in 2020 by Ava labs and is a competitor to Ethereum and other smart contract platforms. Avalanche is a platform on which any developer can build custom blockchain networks and decentralized applications (dApps).

Avalanche’s core is a subnetwork (subnet) called the primary network. The primary network contains 3 blockchains, an exchange chain (X- chain), a platform chain (P-chain), and a contract chain (C-chain). The exchange chain is for creating and trading crypto assets. The platform chain allows for the creation of new blockchains and new subnets. It also tracks active subnets and coordinates transaction validators.

Ultimately the Avalanche network will consist of thousands of subnets forming an interoperable network containing many blockchains. The subnets have the choice of having staking rewards paid in AVAX, a stablecoin, or they could have a token of their own.

Avalanche uses a proof-of-stake consensus algorithm that requires anyone interested in becoming a validator to stake 2,000 AVAX to participate in consensus. A consensus mechanism’s purpose is to achieve agreement, trust, and security across the network.

AVAX is the native token for the Avalanche network and acts as a reward and payment system for customers. The AVAX token has a current circulating supply of 220,286,577, and a maximum supply capped at 720 million.

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are also fully supported with plans to build a registry to make an entire universe of NFTs available on Avalanche.

Avalanche Market Capitalization

Avalanche is ranked No. 12 on CoinMarketCap, with a price of $63.71 and a market capitalization of $14.03 billion. When looking at the market cap alone, it appears Avalanche has a lot of room to grow from here. Compared to the market cap of Ethereum at $332.37 billion, the market cap of Avalanche is less than 5% of the size.

Avalanche’s main competitors are Ethereum (ETH), Solana (SOL), Cardano (ADA), Polkadot (DOT), and Elrond (EGLD).

Although, when you compare speed, latency, and transaction costs, Avalanche has a considerable edge over the competition. Avalanche has a very high throughput of 4,500 transactions per second (TPS) per subnet and very low latency with 90% of all transactions sub 1-second finality. All of this with meager transaction costs make Avalanche a desirable platform.

When judging whether a coin or token has substantial upside potential, you need to consider more than just the price. If you see a coin trading at $0.10 and another trading at $10, don’t automatically assume the $0.10 coin is a better value. The lower-priced coin could have a substantially larger circulating supply.

$0.10 x 500 billion = $50 billion market cap

$10 x 100 million = $1 billion market cap

That would mean that the $0.10 coin has a market cap 50 times larger than the $10 coin. So in this example, you can see how you just can’t look at the price of a coin or token to determine its valuation.

Bull Case for Avalanche

Since 2017 has been filling the demand for quality, free-of-charge technical forecasts for cryptocurrencies. Recognizing how time-consuming the task would be because of the size of the cryptocurrency market, it created an AI-based solution to generate predictions.

Walletinvestor rates AVAX as an outstanding long-term (1-year) investment. As a 5-year investment, it expects a return of 229.85%. According to Walletinvestor, a $100 buy now could be worth $329.85 in 2026.

Avalanche Forecast, Long-Term Price Predictions for Next Months and Year: 2021, 2022
How to spot a potential crowdfunding scam or flop

Bear Case for Avalanche

Founded in 2000, FXStreet is a leading independent portal dedicated to the foreign exchange market. FXStreet has always been proud of providing neutral and unbiased forecasts that allow users to make more informed decisions.

How to spot a potential crowdfunding scam or flop

© Image credit: FXStreet

After an extreme bullish period, AVAX has formed a rising wedge pattern, signaling a deep corrective move ahead. Just recently, AVAX has broken down below that significant bearish pattern. Bullish traders were hoping that the news of a Coinbase listing would push AVAX back up into the wedge and kill off any bearish momentum. But so far, the lower trendline is holding as resistance.

Coinbase listings have almost always resulted in pump and dump behavior. With minimal price reaction, early investors will now be looking to take profits. Short sellers will target the $54 support zone near the Fibonacci 38.2% retracement level.

Where to Buy Avalanche

Suppose you feel the bull case is compelling enough to warrant investing in AVAX. In that case, you can buy it at the following exchanges: and Houbi Global both offer the ability to stake your crypto so that you can earn interest.

Coinbase is an excellent exchange for investors who are just starting their crypto journey. It has a more basic platform that is easier for 1st-time users to navigate. Coinbase offers a feature where you can earn crypto while you learn about cryptocurrencies. You can also buy AVAX on Coinbase Pro, which has a more advanced trading platform.

It’s only February, but multiple cancer scams have already made headlines this year.

Thanks to the power of social media and online crowdfunding, it's now easier than ever to raise money for a worthy cause. If you're not familiar with crowd funding sites such as GoFundMe, GiveForward, and YouCaring, they allow users to set up fundraising pages to collect donations for anything from medical bills to financial support during a crisis. But sadly, on occasion, people do exploit these resources for personal gain.

It's only February, and multiple cancer scams have already made headlines this year. In January, a Georgia nurse who accepted $25,000 in donations from online supporters was arrested for first-degree forgery and misdemeanor theft after investigators discovered that she was pretending to have stage IV cancer. Then a Seattle TV station revealed that local cancer advocate Tracy Dart—who had become well-known for beating breast cancer three times—may have actually never had the disease. And a few weeks ago, a Connecticut man who faked terminal brain cancer was charged with first-degree larceny after he collected thousands of dollars in donations from friends and family.

As disappointing and depressing as news like this is, it doesn't diminish the fact that online crowdfunding can help those who truly need it. And it's important to remember that the vast majority of causes listed on these sites are legitimate and deserving: "Scams are incredibly rare," says Dan Pfeiffer, Vice President of Communications and Policy at GoFundMe, adding that they represent "much less than one-tenth of 1%" of the campaigns on his site.

Josh Chapman, CEO of GiveForward, agrees. "In the beginning, scams weren't a concern because people personally invited family and friends to their donation pages," he explains. "But in our experience, it's definitely something that has grown in the past year or so."

With that in mind, before you make your next donation, experts recommend that you take the following precautions to make sure that your money and good intentions go where you intend.

Give to campaigns you have a personal connection to

The best way to protect yourself in any situation in which you're donating money—whether in "real life" or online—is by having a connection to the cause. "We encourage people to donate to campaigns of users they personally know and trust, or are connected to within one or two steps," says Pfeiffer. "When you're considering a campaign, look to see if you personally know the campaign organizer, the beneficiary, or any of the individuals who have already donated to it." This greatly reduces the risk of fraud, since people are much less likely to deceive family and friends than they are strangers.

Don't know the campaign organizer, but still feel moved to give? Read the comments section, says Chapman. "We really emphasize commenting on GiveForward," he explains. Users are urged to comment both when they donate money and when they set up a campaign. "That way you can tell if the donations and social shares are coming from people who know the organizer in real life." Reading those comments can offer greater insight into the campaign and reassure you that the information listed is accurate.

Do some research

Most crowdfunding sites require you to register with a verified Facebook account, which means that users should be displaying their real identities on the site. If you don't personally know the campaign organizer or beneficiary, it's not a bad idea to check out their Facebook page to get a sense of whether or not it's a legitimate account. (For example, is there activity on the page, such as recent comments and photos? Is there a bio section with information like location and education filled out? Are they sharing the campaign on their own personal social networks?) A Facebook account that clearly looks fake, inactive, or has an especially low friend count could be a red flag.

Consumer Reports has another good tip: Check out other crowdfunding websites to see if the organizer has posted their campaign in multiple places. While it's not necessarily a bad thing to have the same campaign listed on different websites (it's a good strategy for helping boost your reach, after all), you can compare and contrast the information on the different listings to make sure the details line up.

Proceed with caution around trending news stories

"We have seen the biggest growth in scams when a tragedy occurs that attracts press attention," says Chapman. Reporters often visit crowdfunding sites like GiveForward to find related personal stories to feature in their coverage, he explains. The vast majority of the time, the stories the press shares involve legitimate fundraising campaigns, he says. But the opportunity for press attention can be tempting for would-be scammers, who know that a campaign could have the potential to go viral in the wake of a newsworthy event, potentially reaching compassionate strangers. "So if you were to come across an online fundraiser in the press, and there's not a lot of Facebook shares or comments from 'real life' friends and family on the page, I might be skeptical of that," Chapman says.

Dozens of new cryptocurrencies launch each month, and alongside these new tokens and coins comes a series of initial coin offerings (ICOs). The appetite among a broad pool of investors for these opportunities has grown, even in spite of the fact that cryptocurrencies were battered in 2018. All of these factors combine to entice scammers. After all, if investors have proven that they are willing to throw money toward a highly speculative cryptocurrency, they seem to be equally likely to invest in fraudulent tokens or ICOs.

For the cryptocurrency investor looking to make the most of the host of new investment opportunities while remaining safe from fraudulent ICOs and sketchy coins and tokens, the prospect can be daunting. Blockchain and cryptocurrency technology is developing at a rapid pace, and even experienced investors may find it hard to keep up with the terminology. While there's no guarantee that any cryptocurrency or blockchain-related startup will be legitimate or successful, the steps outlined below can help you to be as sure as possible that you're not falling for a scam.

Key Takeaways

  • Fraudulent ICOs and sketchy coins and tokens abound, but there are many ways to help ensure that you avoid these potential scams.
  • One of the best ways to protect yourself is to thoroughly research the individual team members of a project before you invest.
  • A cryptocurrency or ICO whitepaper is the foundational document for that project. Companies that don’t offer whitepapers should be avoided at all costs. Make sure you read and analyze the whitepaper carefully.
  • Any ICO will depend upon a token or currency system in order to facilitate the crowdfunding process. Legitimate companies and endeavors make the system itself and the progress of the token sale easy for potential investors to view. Watch token sale figures for the ICO over time.
  • Overall, be extremely cautious as you look for new investment opportunities in the ICO and cryptocurrency spaces.

Get to Know the Team

Perhaps the single most important success factor for any ICO or cryptocurrency is the developers and administrative team behind the project. The cryptocurrency space is dominated by major names, with superstar developers like Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin capable of making or breaking new projects simply by having their names listed on a development team. For that reason, it’s increasingly common for scammers to invent fake founders and biographies for their projects.

The best protection against this fraudulent tactic is to thoroughly research the individual team members of a project before you invest. It's a bad sign, for example, if you're unable to find any information about a particular developer or founder on LinkedIn or other social media outlets. Even if profiles do exist, check to see if their activity seems to match up with the number of followers and likes they accrue. Individuals who rarely engage with their followers and yet have thousands of fans may not be real.

Beyond determining whether the development team is real, it's important to make an effort to see if their qualifications measure up. Do the founders have the experience they claim to have? Is it relevant to the current project at hand?

Pore Over the Whitepaper

A cryptocurrency or ICO whitepaper is the foundational document for that project. The whitepaper should lay out the background, goals, strategy, concerns, and timeline for implementation for any blockchain-related project. Whitepapers can be incredibly revealing: companies that have a flashy website may reveal they lack a fundamentally sound concept. On the other hand, a company with a website containing spelling errors may have a whitepaper that indicates a rock-solid concept and a carefully conceived implementation plan.

The first step toward analyzing a whitepaper is to read it very thoroughly. Check to see if the whitepaper has complimentary resources as well, including financial models, legal concerns, SWOT analysis, and a roadmap for implementation.

Companies that don’t offer whitepapers should be avoided at all costs. Still, it’s possible for a fraudulent company to put forward a convincing whitepaper, as was the case with PlexCoin; this company managed to raise over $15 million before the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) stepped in to shut it down. A whitepaper should answer all of the questions a potential investor might have about what sets this particular project apart from its competitors, how it aims to be successful, and the measures it will take to achieve its goals.

Look to the Token Sale

Any ICO will depend upon a token or currency system in order to facilitate the crowdfunding process. Legitimate companies and endeavors make the system itself and the progress of the token sale easy for potential investors to view. Look for the token sale figures as the ICO is ongoing. Better yet, watch the token sale over time to see how it is progressing. If a company makes it difficult for anyone to chart the progress of its ICO, this is a major red flag. Some scam ICOs will hide their token sale progress under the pretense of individual contribution addresses; this prevents potential investors from seeing exactly how much has been raised and how much time remains in the sale. In some cases, this might be an effort to generate a sense of urgency among potential investors, even if there isn't evidence of a successful sale going on at the same time.

How Feasible Is the Project?

While it may seem obvious, ICOs, and cryptocurrencies with the greatest chances for success are those that have the fundamental structure to outlast their competitors. Many launches, even highly-publicized ones, have sputtered after initial interest faded. Your best chance of a successful investment relies on a company having an achievable, feasible set of aims. The company should have a compelling concept for the time being, but it also must be able to carry that concept over into execution over the short and long terms alike.

Going along with the question of feasibility is the issue of transparency. Companies that have outstanding concepts and models are more likely than others to want to be as transparent as possible with the broader community. Look for companies that aim to keep potential investors up to date with regular, detailed progress reports on a company website or on social media. It's also useful to look if a company has a timeline for what has taken place in the development process, as well.

Exercise Caution

Even the most successful ICOs and cryptocurrencies are slammed for being fueled by speculative investing. The idea of getting rich quick on an investment in a hot new project is tempting enough to draw seasoned investors and beginners into risky areas. Keep an eye toward caution as you look for new investment opportunities in the ICO and cryptocurrency spaces. Be aware that projects sounding too good to be true likely are. Spend time scrutinizing every detail, and assume that the absence of a piece of crucial information may be an attempt to hide an unsound model or concept. Look for outside sources to verify the legitimacy of any project before making an investment, and always ask questions that you can't already find the answers to. The cryptocurrency and ICO spaces offer tremendous opportunities for investors who have done their homework and are able to make sound investment decisions. They also feature pitfalls, which can lead to large amounts of money being lost due to scams, frauds, or even legitimate businesses that are simply poorly designed and unlikely to succeed.

How to spot a potential crowdfunding scam or flop

โครงการใน Kickstarter, Indiegogo และแพลตฟอร์มระดมทุนอื่น ๆ ส่วนใหญ่อยู่ในช่วง up-and-up แต่ก็มีหลายโครงการที่พยายามสร้างรายได้อย่างรวดเร็ว นี่คือวิธีที่คุณสามารถมองเห็นพวกเขา.


นี่เป็นคำแนะนำที่ดีสำหรับชีวิตโดยทั่วไป แต่ใช้ได้กับการระดมทุนออนไลน์โดยเฉพาะ หากดูเหมือนว่าแกดเจ็ตใหม่จะไม่สามารถทำได้ด้วยเทคโนโลยีปัจจุบันแสดงว่าอาจไม่สามารถทำได้ นี่เป็นเรื่องจริงโดยเฉพาะอย่างยิ่งสำหรับทีมอิสระที่ดูเหมือนจะแห่กันไปที่ Kickstarter เพื่อระดมทุน.

ตอนนี้เพื่อให้แน่ใจว่า “แนวคิด” เหล่านี้บางรายการไม่ได้แสดงด้วยเจตนาร้ายใด ๆ พวกเขาเป็นเพียงความคิดที่ไม่สามารถทำได้ในขณะนี้ ผู้จัดงานจะรู้สิ่งนี้หากพวกเขามีประสบการณ์ด้านวิศวกรรมหรือธุรกิจที่จำเป็นในการนำผลิตภัณฑ์ฮาร์ดแวร์ที่ซับซ้อนมาสู่การบรรลุผล.

ในอีกด้านหนึ่งมีแคมเปญที่ลดลงในด้านที่เป็นอันตรายซึ่งดำเนินการโดยที่ไม่ได้ตั้งใจที่จะบรรลุความสำเร็จธนาคารบนความตื่นเต้นของผู้มีโอกาสเป็นลูกค้าสำหรับแนวคิดใหม่ที่จะเอาชนะสามัญสำนึกของพวกเขา การหลอกลวงเช่นนี้กลายเป็นสิ่งที่หายากใน Kickstarter เนื่องจาก บริษัท เริ่มต้องการต้นแบบการทำงานเพื่อขออนุมัติ ตอนนี้ผู้จัดงานต้องมีความสามารถทางเทคนิคบางอย่าง แต่การหลอกลวงเหล่านี้ยังคงเจริญเติบโตบน Indiegogo – Wild West ของ crowdfunding – ที่ไม่มีการป้องกันดังกล่าวอยู่ในสถานที่.

How to spot a potential crowdfunding scam or flopมีดโกนเลเซอร์ไม่ได้มีอยู่จริง . อย่างน้อยยังไม่ได้.

ยกตัวอย่างเช่นมีดโกน Skarp-a ที่มีคมตัดเลเซอร์ มันเป็นการยากที่จะขายสำหรับใครก็ตามที่ไม่เชื่อในเครื่องมือเลเซอร์มือถือที่ทรงพลังพอที่จะตัดผม แต่ปลอดภัยพอที่จะใช้กับผิวหนังของมนุษย์ หลังจากการรณรงค์ถูกเตะออกจาก Kickstarter เพราะขาดต้นแบบผู้จัดงานได้ลองใช้มือที่ Indiegogo ซึ่งระดมทุนได้มากกว่า 500,000 ดอลลาร์ หนึ่งปีครึ่งผลิตภัณฑ์ยังคง“ เร็ว ๆ นี้” โดยไม่มีวันที่จัดส่งที่ได้รับการยืนยันและลูกค้าจะเหลือ $ 300 รูในกระเป๋าของพวกเขา นี่ไม่ใช่การหลอกลวงที่ผ่านการตรวจสอบ แต่ดูเหมือนว่ามีโอกาสน้อยที่ผลิตภัณฑ์จะออกสู่ตลาดเมื่อใดก็ตามในทศวรรษนี้.

How to spot a potential crowdfunding scam or flopในการเข้าใจถึงปัญหาหลังนางแบบควรจะเป็นเบาะแสอย่างแท้จริง.

อีกตัวอย่างหนึ่งคือ Smarty Ring แนวคิด “สมาร์ทริง” ซึ่งน้อยกว่าชุดการแสดงผลสำหรับเสียงกริ่งที่จะแจ้งเตือนคุณถึงอีเมลใหม่และการแจ้งเตือนทางโทรศัพท์อื่น ๆ หลังจากแคมเปญ Indiegogo สองแคมเปญสองปีและรายรับเพิ่มขึ้นเกือบครึ่งล้านผู้จัดงานนิรนามหายตัวไปโดยที่ไม่เคยส่งมอบอะไรมากกว่าภาพการผลิตครึ่งใจเดียว.


แคมเปญ Kickstarter และ Indiegogo มีหน้าโปรไฟล์สำหรับผู้ที่สร้างพวกเขา ตรวจสอบหน้าเหล่านั้นอย่างละเอียดก่อนที่จะวางเงินของคุณ Google ผู้คนที่เกี่ยวข้องและ Google พันธมิตรของพวกเขาด้วย ดูว่าประสบการณ์เบื้องหลังของพวกเขาตรงกับโครงการที่พวกเขากำลังพยายามบรรลุหรือไม่.

ลองดูตัวอย่างที่ดี: Pebble Smartwatch แคมเปญที่ประสบความสำเร็จอย่างสูงนี้ช่วยเปิดตัวหมวดหมู่ผลิตภัณฑ์ทั้งหมด แต่ไม่ได้เกิดจากสีน้ำเงิน Eric Migicovsky ผู้จัดงานหลักได้สร้างและขายนาฬิกาแบบเชื่อมต่อ Bluetooth ที่ชื่อ InPulse เรียบร้อยแล้ว ประสบการณ์นี้ทำให้เขาและทีมของเขามีสายเลือดทั้งในด้านธุรกิจและวิศวกรรมในสาขาที่เขาต้องการ ข้อมูลทั้งหมดนี้พร้อมใช้งานออนไลน์และถูกกล่าวถึงในหน้าแคมเปญ Pebble ดั้งเดิม.

How to spot a potential crowdfunding scam or flopโปรไฟล์ผู้ต้องสงสัย: ไม่มีภาพถ่าย, ไม่มีคำอธิบาย, ไม่มีการเชื่อมต่อเครือข่ายโซเชียลและมีเพียงแคมเปญเดียวที่ดำเนินการอยู่.

แคมเปญคราวด์ฟันดิ้งที่จัดทำเป็นเอกสารอย่างดีควรมีบุคคลที่อยู่เบื้องหลังพร้อมด้วยชื่อจริงโปรไฟล์โซเชียลที่คุณสามารถยืนยันและที่อยู่อีเมลที่ได้รับการตอบกลับ (อีกครั้งพร้อมข้อมูลประจำตัวที่สามารถตรวจสอบได้สำหรับทุกคนที่เกี่ยวข้อง) หากแคมเปญมีชื่อเดียวด้านหลังโดยไม่มีลิงก์ไปยังข้อมูลที่ได้รับการยืนยันใด ๆ หรือแย่กว่านั้นเพียงแค่ชื่อธุรกิจที่ไม่มีประวัติแนบมาให้เก็บเงินของคุณให้ห่างจากมัน.

เพียงบอกว่าไม่ให้เงินทุนแบบยืดหยุ่นกับ Indiegogo

มาตรฐานหละหลวมของ Indiegogo สำหรับการตรวจสอบแล้วทำให้มันเป็นเป้าหมายสำหรับนักหลอกลวง แต่สิ่งที่ผลักดันให้เกินจริงคือตัวเลือก “การระดมทุนที่ยืดหยุ่น” ด้วยการเปิดใช้งานการจัดหาเงินทุนที่ยืดหยุ่นผู้จัดการแคมเปญไม่จำเป็นต้องทำตามเป้าหมายการระดมทุนของตนเอง (ซึ่งค่อนข้างเป็นกรณีใดก็ได้) เพื่อรักษาเงินที่ผู้สนับสนุนได้ให้คำมั่นไว้ หากคุณสนับสนุนพวกเขาจะเรียกเก็บเงินจากบัตรเดบิตหรือบัตรเครดิตของคุณทันทีที่ข้อสรุปของแคมเปญแม้ว่าคุณจะเป็นคนเดียวที่เสนอเงินจริงให้พวกเขาและพวกเขาอยู่ห่างจากเป้าหมายของพวกเขาหลายพันดอลลาร์.

How to spot a potential crowdfunding scam or flop

การอุทธรณ์ต่อผู้จัดงานนั้นชัดเจนเช่นเดียวกับอันตรายของผู้สนับสนุน หากไม่มีการบรรลุเป้าหมายผู้จัดการ crowdfunding จะไม่มีความรับผิดชอบใด ๆ สิ่งใด พวกเขาได้สัญญาไว้ พวกเขาสามารถพกเงินสดและเดินออกไปได้ แน่นอนว่าบางคนอาจใช้โทเค็นเพื่อทำเป้าหมายบางอย่างให้เสร็จ แต่อย่างน้อยก็ถึงแม้ว่าจะไม่ใช่รหัสปกติของ crowdfunding ที่ถือมันทำไมทำไมคุณถึงเชื่อใจพวกเขาทำเช่นนั้น?

ระวังแคมเปญการระดมทุนที่ยืดหยุ่นโดยเฉพาะเป้าหมายการระดมทุนที่สูงเกินไปไม่ต้องใช้เงินหลายล้านดอลลาร์ในการสร้างเกมกระดาน แคมเปญเหล่านี้อาจถูกตั้งค่าเป็นเป้าหมายที่สูงโดยเฉพาะ ลาด ถึงจึงให้ผู้จัดกระเป๋าเพิ่มเงินทั้งหมดโดยไม่ต้องเสนออะไรมากไปกว่าหน้าแคมเปญ.


วันนี้มันค่อนข้างง่ายที่จะสั่งซื้อสินค้าจำนวนมากจากศูนย์กลางการผลิตเช่นจีน และเนื่องจากผลิตภัณฑ์เหล่านี้ถูกวางตลาดเป็นหลักเพื่อจำหน่ายหรือร้านค้าปลีกขนาดใหญ่ผู้บริโภคปกติอาจไม่ได้ตระหนักถึงพวกเขา (หรือจากการประหยัดจากขนาดที่ทำให้พวกเขาราคาถูก) รวมเข้ากับผู้ชมที่กำลังมองหาอุปกรณ์ใหม่และเป็นเรื่องง่ายสำหรับนักหลอกลวงที่จะส่งต่อผลิตภัณฑ์ที่มีอยู่เป็นสิ่งใหม่และน่าตื่นเต้น.

How to spot a potential crowdfunding scam or flop

ใช้ LunoWear เป็นตัวอย่าง แคมเปญระดมทุนได้มากกว่า $ 400,000 ใน Kickstarter สำหรับสิ่งที่บ่งบอกถึง แต่ไม่เคยระบุว่าเป็นนาฬิกาข้อมือทำด้วยมือ ผู้สนับสนุนแคมเปญบางรายพบว่ามีการขายนาฬิกาแบบเดียวกันในตลาดจีนออนไลน์สร้างแบรนด์และราคาประมาณหนึ่งในสี่ของราคา Kickstarter ระงับแคมเปญและไม่เคยเรียกเก็บเงินจากผู้สนับสนุนหลังจากนั้น LunoWear หนีไปที่ Indiegogo และระดมเงินจำนวนเดียวกันสำหรับนาฬิกาเดียวกัน.

จริงๆแล้วธีมที่เกิดขึ้นที่นี่ดูเหมือนจะอยู่ห่างจากแคมเปญ Indiegogo ต่อไปนี้เป็นแนวทางทั่วไปอื่น ๆ ที่จะใช้เมื่อตัดสินใจกลับมาเป็นโครงการคราวด์ฟันดิ้ง:

  • พิจารณาการรอคอย: หากคุณสามารถทำได้ให้รอให้แคมเปญเสร็จและไปถึงตลาดทั่วไปก่อนซื้อ ส่วนใหญ่หากผลิตภัณฑ์ประสบความสำเร็จคุณจะสามารถซื้อได้ทันที (โดยไม่มีความเสี่ยง) ในบางจุด.
  • ใช้บัตรเครดิตที่มีการคุ้มครองผู้ซื้อ: บัตรเครดิตบางใบเสนอการรักษาความปลอดภัยการซื้อสำหรับการชำระเงินด้วยบัตรโดยทั่วไปจะช่วยให้คุณสามารถใช้สำหรับการชำระเงินคืน (และการคืนเงินให้แก่ผู้ค้า) ภายใน 90 วัน.
  • ลดความกระตือรือร้นของคุณ: บางครั้งแม้แต่โครงการคราวด์ฟันดิ้งที่สร้างขึ้นโดยไม่มีอะไรนอกจากความตั้งใจที่ดีล้มเหลวเนื่องจากปัญหาของซัพพลายเออร์การวางแผนที่ไม่ดีหรือขาดเงินทุนที่จำเป็น.

เหนือสิ่งอื่นใดให้ใช้สามัญสำนึก หากดูเหมือนว่าสิ่งที่จะปิดในแคมเปญคราวด์ฟันดิ้งก็อาจจะเป็น จำละตินของคุณ: ข้อแม้ emptor (ให้ผู้ซื้อระวัง).

What it is: Crowdfunding is about persuading individuals to each give you a small donation — $10, $50, $100, maybe more. Once you get thousands of donors, you have some serious cash on hand.

This has all become possible in recent years thanks to a proliferation of websites that allow nonprofits, artists, musicians — and yes, businesses — to raise money. This is the social media version of fundraising.

There are more than 600 crowdfunding platforms around the world, with fundraising reaching billions of dollars annually, according to the research firm Massolution.

How it works: The most common type of crowdfunding fundraising is using sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo variety, where donations are sought in return for special rewards. That could mean free product or even a chance to be involved in designing the product or service.

It is also possible to use crowdfunding to assemble loans and royalty financing. The site LendingClub, for example, allows members to directly invest in and borrow from each other, with the claim that eliminating the banking middleman means “both sides can win” in the transactions. Royalty financing sites appear to be more rare, but the idea is to link business owners with investors who lend money for a guaranteed percentage of revenues for whatever the business is selling.

The holy grail is to sell company shares or ownership stakes in the company on crowdfunding sites, because it could be like a mini-IPO without the traditional hurdles. In the past, this has only been legal with accredited investors, people who each have more than $1 million in net worth or more than $200,000 in annual income.

The good news is that the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012 allows stock to be sold to the general public over crowdfunding sites, but as of mid-2013, the SEC was still hammering out the rules.

Upside: Crowdfunding provides another strategy for startups or early stage companies ready to take it to the next level — such as rolling out a product or service. Before, a business owner was subject to the caprices of individual angel investors or bank loan officers. Now it is possible to pitch a business plan to the masses.

A successful crowdfunding round not only provides your business with needed cash, but creates a base of customers who feel as though they have a stake in the business’ success.

Downside: If you don’t have an engaging story to tell, then your crowdfunding bid could be a flop. Sites such as Kickstarter don’t collect money until a fundraising goal is reached, so that’s still a lot of wasted time that could have been spent doing other things to grow the business.

It could be even worse if you meet your goal but then realize you underestimated how much money you needed. A business risks getting sued if it promises customers products or perks in return for donations, and then fails to deliver.

There is also an argument to be made that angel investors and even bank officers provide more than just money. They provide entrepreneurs with needed advice. Business owners miss out on such mentorship when they ignore traditional investors and turn to the crowd.

Here are more factors that can better ensure a successful crowdfunding campaign:

A decade ago, Ryan Grepper decided he wanted to be able to make frozen mixed drinks while picnicking with his friends and family. So, he attached a blender to a weed whacking engine.

The picnic-ready frozen drink machine was a hit at outdoor parties — and it inspired a product that, as of today, has raised more money on crowdfunding site Kickstarter than any other product ever. That single act of problem-solving ingenuity launched a million-dollar idea, times ten.

Building on his initial contraption, Grepper eventually designed a cooler with a blender built in. The Portland, Ore.-based serial inventor also added a smattering of snazzy features including speakers, a phone charger and rugged wheels. He dubbed his pimped-out cooler “The Coolest.”

How to spot a potential crowdfunding scam or flop

Last month, he launched a crowdfunding campaign, seeking to raise $50,000 for large-scale production. The campaign — which closes Friday — has since raised more than $10.3 million, breaking the previous record set by the Pebble smartwatch in May 2012.

Perhaps the most remarkable component of Grepper’s story, though, is not that his MacGyvered cooler raised mega money, but that six months earlier, The Coolest was a dud. That’s right — in its first Kickstarter campaign, launched last November, The Coolest failed to make its $125,000 goal.

At a glance, the two campaigns don’t look all that different. So, what gives? How did Grepper’s crowdfunding campaign fail the first time and, a few short months later, rock to the top of the most funded list? tracked down Grepper to get his best advice on running a blockbuster, come-from-behind Kickstarter campaign. Here are his secrets.

1. Have a fully equipped prototype available to show in photos and videos. Grepper had built a version of The Coolest when he launched on Kickstarter that first time, but he wasn’t able to fashion all of the features promised. For example, having a USB charger in The Coolest was a “stretch goal” that would be included if the campaign hit a threshold, but it was not embedded in the prototype featured. Also, the wide-wheels and space divider were not built into the first prototype. By the time he launched his second campaign, he had a fully retrofitted prototype. “It is such a visual medium that I think that is one of those minimum steps I would suggest people make is bring their design to a state where people can see what the product is going to be rather than imagine how great this will be.”

2. Make sure your video is short and customer-focused. Grepper watched scores of videos on crowdfunding campaign pages for products in a similar product category to The Coolest and analyzed what he liked, didn’t like and what was successful in getting him interested in the product and what was offputting. First and foremost, you need to keep your video short. You don’t have much time: 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 minutes tops, estimates Grebber.

Also, successful videos aren’t narcissistic: They focus on the customer. “So many people focus on the features [of their product] and they focus on how they came up with this idea, and really it needs to be primarily about the benefits of your potential backer. How is this going to improve their life, their situation, their day to day experience?” said Grepper, who hired a 17-year-old for the production of his video.

3. Think about your product’s timing. Launching a crowdfunding campaign for a cooler in December was a bit of an error in judgement, said Grepper. He had thought that launching in the holiday shopping spree might be a boon for his campaign, but “the obvious hindsight observation is that one of the coldest months of the year is not the time to trying to get people excited about coolers,” said Grepper. “And so relaunching here in the summer was a big help.”

4. Tell people about your crowdfunding campaign before you even launch it. “So much of what makes a crowdfunding campaign successful is the work that is done before it ever goes live,” said Grepper. You have to get people excited about your product, aware of your crowdfunding campaign and lining up to donate when you finally officially launch.

Grepper’s Kickstarter failure the first time worked to his benefit, as he was able to launch his second campaign with support from his initial group of backers. “When we launched [the second time], we had this larger group who would be with us on day one to help make a big splash. And just like throwing rocks in a pond. If you throw pebbles, the ripples you get from a pebble are significantly different from throwing a big rock in. And the big splash helps us attain that multiplier effect and that is what really helped our project get the momentum it did early on.”

Related Book: Cash From The Crowd

5. Go all out on the social-media channel where you’re getting the most traction. Reach out to potential campaign backers on Facebook, Twitter and email with updates. Grepper blanketed the social-media spectrum, but had the most success on Facebook and decided to focus more of his energy there.

6. Successful crowdfunding requires marketing. You can’t expect everyone to love your idea the way you do — you have to sell it to them. “That first Kickstarter campaign, I made what I would call, one of the most rookie mistakes of crowdfunding, which is thinking that when you launch with a good idea, that’s all that’s required,” said Grepper. Raising money from the crowd requires preparation, elbow grease, and honest analysis of your idea. “That’s the biggest mistake most inventors make — is they look at an idea from a passion perspective rather than analyzing it as a business opportunity.”

7. A crowdfunding failure doesn’t mean “game over.” “I think the biggest lesson from that first campaign was recognizing that failure isn’t permanent,” said Grepper. “It is an opportunity to either give up and move on to the next project, if that’s what the data and what the feedback shows, or it is a chance to recognize and learn from those mistakes, dive deeper into best practices and launch again.” In addition to his own continued commitment to the idea of The Coolest, Grepper said that he was buoyed by the enthusiasm of his earliest backers.