Over the past two decades, crowdfunding has evolved from a personal fundraising platform to a widespread tool for individuals, companies, and non-profits. In 2016, equity crowdfunding came into effect due to the JOBS Act and crowdfunding continued to grow. The World Bank Report estimates that by 2025, crowdfunding will be a $93 billion dollar industry. What can we expect from crowdfunding in 2017? Only time will tell, but here’s some things we’re hoping to see.
Corporate Crowdfunding as Validation
Just a few years ago, it was accepted that big businesses didn’t “need” to crowdfund – they had big budgets and didn’t require funding to create a new product. However, many corporations now see the benefit of crowdfunding; it helps with validation and proof of concept. If a company can get a gadget funded through crowdfunding, it is probably worth it to produce it on a larger scale. If a product doesn’t reach its funding goal, it would probably not be popular on the market, either. Crowdfunding can also be used to build customer loyalty for large businesses; customers who helped to bring a product to life are likely to come back and buy again and again.
Crowdfunding to be Embraced by Mainstream Media
Although you do see the occasional crowdfunding story on CNN or FOX, crowdfunding is mostly mentioned in online media such as Engadget, Huffington Post, and Entrepreneur. Because crowdfunding continues to grow in popularity, it will start to show up more in mainstream media, including online, print, TV, and radio mediums. These stories will likely focus on both the business and human sides of the story. As the mainstream media introduces crowdfunding to the general public, more people will become educated on crowdfunding.
Many More “Smart” Devices
Internet of Things (“IoT” or “Smart” devices) are about to take over our homes. We already have Wi-Fi cameras and door locks and voice activated personal assistants, and this year, we’re going to see many more smart devices. At CES 2017 in Las Vegas, many different companies debuted IoT devices, so it’s clear this trend will continue throughout the year. Be wary though – not every device needs to be connected. Many companies will try to put out gimmicky products, like a smart hairbrush, to take advantage of buyers who are excited for this trend.
Nonprofits to Benefit from Crowdfunding
Crowdfunding is a no-brainer for many nonprofits. It’s really just the newer, better way to fundraise. Crowdfunding allows non-profits to get the funding they need in a cheaper, more accessible way. As crowdfunding becomes more of a well-known concept, more non-profits will create campaigns and more people will donate to their favorite charities through crowdfunding platforms.
2017 is sure to be an exciting year in the world of crowdfunding. What trends are you hoping to see?