Western Webs for Galway, the developers of the 'iDonate.ie' website, have launched a new crowdfunding website for Ireland called iCrowdFund.ie.
The website differs from the international 'Kickstarter' and the Irish 'Fundit' in that it supports both 'All or Nothing' and 'Keep it All' type projects. All or Nothing projects must raise the full target amount or else nothing is transacted, whereas with the Keep it All option any amounts pledged to the campaign will be transacted. The initial version of iCrowdFund supports both donation and reward based crowd funding, which are ideal for non-profit and charity situations.
Paddy Coyne, managing director of iCrowdFund, explained how the site works: "A project owner registers on the iCrowdFund website and a campaign page is set up with a target amount for the project. The campaign is then advertised mainly through social media, but also any other channel open to the project owner. People can pledge support via credit card over the course of the campaign. At the end of the project period the system will process the credit cards of those who pledged and the funds are transferred."
The site will uses the internationally recognised 'Stripe' credit card processing software to transact payments. There are no set up charges for projects on iCrowdFund.ie. A commission and transaction fee is charged at the end of the campaign.
In 2012, Western Webs developed the iDonate.ie fundraising platform, which is now claimed to be the largest charity fundraising website in Ireland, supporting over 600 non-profits organisations, with the assistance of over 18,000 registered fundraisers. iDonate.ie has raised over €3m for Irish charities and non-profits since it was launched.
Crowdfunding is currently unregulated in Ireland. Consequently an equity option is not available.
The Central Bank is currently monitoring the situation on equity and peer to peer lending.
The United Kingdom however has taken a much different approach where the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have regulated flexible funding and websites such are Crowdcube and Seedrs have raised millions of pounds sterling for start-up ventures. Several other European countries have also regulated crowd funding as a means of financing SME’s and start-up enterprises.
For more information contact: Paddy Coyne: 00 +353 93 52467 or email@example.com
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Chris Johns: What the banks could learn from crowdfunding (Irish Times)