Okay, okay, I was going for the whole ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ thing with that headline, I admit it. But why pick ‘reindeer’ in relation to Seedrs?
Reindeer aren’t typically thought of as being innovative, badass, game-changing members of the animal kingdom. A little-known fact about reindeer, however, is that they have the ability to adapt themselves to live in the harshest of environments, making whatever changes to themselves that are for survival. Hence the comparison to Seedrs, the innovative, badass, game-changing members of the crowdfunding kingdom.
Seedrs concentrates mostly on equity crowdfunding, which is different to the benefits-based crowdfunding that DigVentures uses for our own campaigns. Basically, equity crowdfunding takes your financial support to the next level, by using the funds as investment. That means that you effectively become a shareholder in whatever enterprise you’ve invested; you can expect a return on your investment, subject to the particulars of the project.
This opens up exciting new vistas for people who want to be able to really support things they feel passionate about, which might previously have been out of reach if they have only small amounts to invest. Equity crowdfunding means that you don’t need to meet investment minimums, which can be in the thousands of pounds. Got a tenner? You’re in.
What did Seedrs do? Well, much like DigVentures did with the Leiston Abbey Saints & Secrets campaign, Seedrs used their own platform to fund themselves. What did they sell? Well – it’s not quite the chance to excavate with us, but it’s pretty good: Seedrs sold 33.3% of the equity in their business, to 909 investors, for £2.58 million. It’s a bargain, right? Especially if you’re one of the lucky 909 peeps.
The question for 2014 has moved beyond whether crowdfunding is right for your organisation, to: why aren’t aren’t you doing it? Crowdfunding in general – and equity crowdfunding specifically – has the potential to empower traditionally overlooked innovators, such as women, minorities and ARCHAEOLOGISTS.
It is a ‘disintermediary’ – propelling the democratisation of finance by taking out the middleman, potentially unlocking new opportunities for investors and startups for generations to come.
We have already seen the power of this model of participation with our own Venturers. Each of you becomes part of our team when you fund us, no matter what level of funding you provide. It’s one of the most powerful and wonderful aspects of our business…besides the digging, of course!
At the very least crowdfunding will grow your communities and revolutionise how your organisation interacts in the world. What’s not to like about that? Don’t let crowdfunding be another Bitcoin: you know, one of those things you keep telling yourself to find the time to read about and understand a bit better. Understand it now – you won’t be sorry!
DigVentures crowdfunds archaeological projects that everyone can be part of, in the UK and overseas. With help from people all over the world, we investigate the past and publish our discoveries online for free. Become a DigVentures Subscriber and be part of great archaeology - all year round!