Only recently could brands receive funding via online crowdsourcing. Fundable shows it’s possible to “kickstart” startups by winning pledges from individuals and other companies.

Crowdfunding for startups could alter the B2B sphere

Startups can now access a whole new category of funding opportunities with the passing of the JOBS Act. Crowdfunding has moved from project-based donations on Kickstarter and the like to company-based ones, as discussed when the legislation made news in March. Not only will new companies be able to receive funding from individuals, and with luck launch successfully, the platform that they need to receive visibility will also enjoy a population boost. One startup crowdfunding site has launched in May called Fundable. This Ohio-based company’s website will look familiar to those who have visited Kickstarter, since each company (instead of each project) has a profile, promo video and tiered rewards for backers.

A vetting process and pledges that go beyond cash

The interface and structure of Fundable are familiar, but backing companies is different than backing projects. Therefore, the brand side of this site is quite different to project crowdfunders. Entrepreneurs submit applications to Fundable, and if the startup meets specific criteria of brand affinity, strong strategy and credibility, the funding profile is approved. In addition to pledging money, however, backers can also offer assistance - a voluntary service or skill that can help get the startup off the ground, such as “a key introduction made to a potential customer or an offer to write some code for their application.”

Launch partners show diverse strategies involving B2Bs

Fundable launched with five brands, and one can see the broad approach that companies can take on the site. Reward tiers for some profiles are more customer-targeted, others are more geared towards other businesses. Bicycle accessory designer bikedabs has higher pledge levels that are specifically for bike shops - with retail packaging, countertop displays and door decals. With this B2B benefit, it is possible that communities can be built within such a crowdfunding system that could influence new startups - and the companies that support them as well.

By Ivory King