The future of Crowdfunding

AndreasWe got lucky last week, getting the chance to chat with Andreas Hadjisofocleous, founder of the exciting new crowdfunding platform,

We Hug A Cause.

Having won multiple awards already, we decided to find out more about Crowdfunding, and where it’s headed.

What is Crowdfunding  all about?

According to A Framework for European Crowdfunding (2012):

“Crowdfunding can be defined as a collective effort of many individuals who network and pool their resources to support efforts initiated by other people or organizations. This is usually done via or with the help of the internet”.

In a nutshell, by pooling small amounts of money from a lot of people you can raise a significant amount of money, thus everyone has the power to achieve financial goals with the help of the crowd.

Crowdfunding is more transparent than other traditional funding channels because the crowd decides who will receive the money, the power shifts from traditionally the banks and venture capitalists to the crowd when deciding which idea will be funded and survive.

It can be used as a market research tool for someone who plans to start a venture or can give motivation and necessary funds to someone with a cause! It is a powerful tool for funding a new idea, starting a business or raising money for a cause.

How and why did you decide to get into the scene?

At the time of the inception, Cyprus was in a harsh economic and social situation due to the economic collapse and the measures imposed upon the country by Troika.

Loans were restricted, funding was eliminated, unemployment was at the highest rate ever and young people suffered the most. At that time we felt the need to help young entrepreneurs and organizations in need to raise money in order to fund their cause.

In 2013 we won 1st Prize at the Youth Power Entrepreneurship Awards giving us the strength and confidence to go forward.

Thus, We Hug A Cause was born with the vision to bring a social and economic change in Cyprus and the world by helping bi-communal projects, charities, artists, activists, organizations and entrepreneurs to raise money.

What do you see in the future of Crowdfunding?

In 2012, Research Firm Massolution, reported results that there were around 600 crowd-funding platforms worldwide raising $2.7 billion and successfully funding more than 1 million campaigns. The results aren’t in for 2013 yet but global crowd-funding volumes are expected to have been $5.1 billion.

“That’s a 81% increase so you can see the crowd-funding industry is growing exponentially.”

In the USA, the JOBS Act (Jump start Our Business Start-Ups) will allow non-accredited investors to make investments in exchange for equity; it’s expected to liberate the Crowdfunding market in the summer of 2014, and more equity Crowdfunding platforms will emerge as a result.

Academics have just recently started studying crowd-funding and its implications in the world and have noted that many crowdfunding projects with non-financial rewards are functioning in a grey zone of taxation; therefore they suggest that a framework for Crowdfunding platforms should be developed to regulate Crowdfunding operations.

In my opinion, it’s an alternative funding channel with the potential to become the primary medium with which organizations and individuals will raise money, promote their brand and create a community around their cause.

It allows the direct interaction between the giver and the receiver making funding social, transparent and democratic.

It is a new way of financing and is here to stay!

Currently, Crowdfunding is in its early stages of development and I believe that it will evolve in a greater tool for society in the coming years, so stay involved.

How is different from current platforms?

We Hug A Cause has been designed with campaigners in mind:

  • It’s quick and easy for anyone, wherever you are in the world to set up.
  • We offer more options such as; deciding between All or Nothing Campaigns and Flexible campaigns. Most platforms only offer All or Nothing campaigns.
  • We offer professional support and advice to help strengthen your campaigns.
  • We don’t take a big cut from the money you raise. Our fees are the lowest in the market!
  • We also don’t charge registered NGO’s & Charities to use the platform.

We Hug A Cause is more than just a platform though. We see ourselves as a social business designed to help (or ‘hug’ ) strong causes that can make this world a better place.

What kind of campaigns are you looking for and how does a campaign make it through your application process?

We’re looking for individuals, start-ups, artists, entrepreneurs, organizations, bi-communal projects and people with innovative ideas and who have a cause that will benefit society and/or help others.

We allow campaigns that follow these guidelines, anyone who wants to create a campaign on our platform can submit an application and we will review it within two days.

Thanks Andreas!