New-launch platform promises shake-up of crowdfunding by making it available in any country for nearly any project – and no fees.
The world’s first completely free and global crowdfunding platform has unveiled its pre-sale launch plans today and said its offer will shake up an industry where substantial fees and high barriers to entry are still the norm.
Crowdfunding is overtaking venture capital as the main way businesses access financing. But as of now global platforms charge high fees, accept a small percentage of proposals and all but shut out developing countries.
With the pre-sale starting on January 29th, Acorn Collective is raising funds through an initial coin offering with a target of raising up to USD 50m. The business model differs from the likes of Kickstarter and Indiegogo through its use of blockchain to fund growth and long-term global market potential. It will accept virtually any legal project, operate in any country and is completely free to use. Central to Acorn is the platform’s openness to all projects – not just those with a particular profile and social traction for established Western markets. Using blockchain, Acorn eliminate payment fees, and through unique revenue-generating mechanisms and an ICO, can eliminate platform fees for good.
The main elements of Acorn’s offer are:
Free, and open from anywhere An open crowdfunding platform that’s free to use and accepts any legal proposal from any country, with no commissions taken
A post-campaign marketplace, which provides a free sales channel for products and services that were funded on the Acorn Hub.
Project Incentive Fund Early adopters benefit from Acorn’s Project Incentive Fund. The fund will give huge rewards to early founders and backers, ensuring that the platform gains early traction.
Best-of-breed support Acorn will also provide additional campaign and business support services to support founders and generate revenues as a value-add
Acorn’s founder and CEO, Moritz Kurtz, said: “We think our ICO fulfils the early promise of crowdfunding through improved transparency, a better incentive model and the right support. All other global platforms have shareholders to satisfy, which means the pick a few projects that they think will raise the most fees. ICO changes that – we want an expansive global marketplace that is as available for a community food business in Ghana as it is a tech startup in California”
Acorn’s founders argue that blockchain-backed crowdfunding is different because it puts the marketplace before shareholders. Early backers are token holders who have invested in Acorn’s and the market’s growth potential.
This re-gearing of the marketplace to support a zero-fee platform is further helped by blockchain payments, which all but eradicate payment fees – currently around 3-5%.
The team is actively engaged with accelerators and other organisations in developing countries and large economies. The aim, from the start, is to fulfil the promise of delivering a truly accessible way for any business, community group or charity to secure funding.
Among Acorn’s advisors are David Ives, who as CTO helped build the team and architecture of CrowdCube, one of the most successful equity crowdfunding platforms in the world. Technical blockchain expertise comes from University College London and cybersecurity advice is from Jeremy Suarez of the cybersecurity platform drie and from serial security entrepreneur Simon Minton.