You cannot raise money on our platform, but you can do everything else. If you are interested in our features, please see the service description or user manual.
Below you find a list of FAQs and also general information about the startup / innovation sector (e.g. basics about crowdfunding or share types).
On our platform we do not offer to raise funding. However, as we work very closely together with various Crowd-/funding platforms, we can support you to find the right one efficiently. You can also use the supplier overview to find the right platform for you.
As we come across many information, which may help you, we share it with our community (either via the chat, news-messages or frequently we also release a “tips and tricks” document.
From time to time we also release a message on our website “company diary”. However, this is not really learnings related, but sharing of our “startup journey”.
Do you want to validate a product or an idea? You can find such users by applying the filter in the community search.
In future we will also automate this and offer as guided feature (see community service „challenge“)
As a young startup it may be difficult to become visible in the market. Our platform allows you to present your startup, your ideas or products etc. We frequently select startups and run interviews. This will get published on the platform and the summary will also be part of our newsletter, which reaches a broad community (it’s not meant as free product advertising of already established companies, but to allow startups to present them self’s)
As an investor you benefit from getting access to a broad overview of (Crowd)funding offerings, data analytics & Community related services
The list below is just an abstract of the investor services offered by StartupSpider, please see service description to get a full overview (including the information that is already available).
By using the service, you accept that it cannot be understood as advising. It is fully the investor`s decision to invest or not to invest
Broad overview of Crowd-/funding opportunities from various Crowdfunding platforms
Get access to an overview of the Crowd/-funding opportunities. Please note that some platforms or information may only become visible or updated when logged in.
Get in contact with other investors and share thoughts
You can reach out to other investors and share thoughts and questions.
Become a beta test user
As a beta tester you may get contacted by a startup if they would like to validate a product or product idea. This can be an amazing experience (for you and the startup). To indicate your interest, you need to flag your StartupSpider account accordingly (please login and select details).
Use artificial intelligence e.g. to validate a potential investment based on your own criteria
StartupSpider uses artificial intelligence and big data for increasing the benefit of our users and to produce “added value” for the investor.
E.g. you can define a set of criteria for which you would like to validate an investment opportunity. On the one hand it helps you to review an investment opportunity in a structured way. By storing your result (can be stored in an anonymous way) it becomes available to other investors, in two ways:
- If someone is interested in the same investment opportunity, he sees how others have rated it
- If you are defining criteria for which you would like to run a validation, the system shows you the criteria others have used
Get access to data analytics
StartupSpider maintains a data universe, which allows to run certain checks like: has that startup already tried to raise funding on another platform? Are there other startups raising money for a similar idea? This data analytics is built over time and is extended with every day.
• Some of the services may come with a fee (charged by StartupSpider), to be paid via StartupSpider-“Credit points”.
• StartupSpider does not make investment recommendations/advices to you. No communications from StartupSpider, through this website or any other medium should be considered as an investment recommendation/advice. Further, nothing on this website shall be considered as an offer to sell, or as a solicitation of an offer to buy, any security to any person in any jurisdiction to whom or in which such offer, solicitation or sale is unlawful. StartupSpider does not provide legal-, financial- or tax advice of any kind. If you have any questions with respect to legal-, financial- or tax matters you should consult a professional adviser.
You can NOT invest on StartupSpider. The investment takes place on the individual Crowd-/funding platform. StartupSpider is only a technical enabler. If you use the opportunity overview and click on "invest" it guides you to the corresponding Crowdfunding platform. In case you have a corresponding sub-account of that platform (see StartupSpider technology, account vs sub-accounts) StartupSpider only supports you by "easy login", but the whole investing process takes place on that corresponding Crowd-/funding platform.
Crowdfunding is a way for people, businesses and charities to fund money. It works through individuals or organizations who invest in (or donate to) crowdfunding projects in return for a potential profit or reward. Investing this way can be risky, so make sure you know what you’re doing and that you understand the various concepts/models and also the specific risks (all specific per Crowdfunding platform). There are different crowdfunding types you can choose. Each type has different type of benefits for investors.
There are several types of Crowdfunding
• Donation: This type of crowdfunding is designated for charities, or those who fund money for social or charitable projects, to gather and connect a community online and to enable them to donate to a specific project. While most established charities coordinate this through their own website, Crowdfunding platforms can be useful for smaller organizations and people funding money for personal or specific charitable causes.
• Reward: Reward crowdfunding allows investors to contribute to your venture in return for non–financial benefits. This type of funding is commonly used for creative projects. It usually operates as a reward system – the more an investor donates to your fund, the more the reward will be (e.g. credits on a record cover, tickets to an event, free gifts etc.). A benefit to the business is that receiving the reward doesn’t usually cost much to deliver.
• Equity: An equity crowdfunding type will invest money in return for shares, or a small stake in your business, project or venture. This type of crowdfunding could work best for growth-focused companies in areas where there is potential for return.
• Debt Crowdfunding (or Lending): Debt crowdfunding provides investors with the chance to lend money to businesses or individuals with the expectation that it will be repaid together with interest added. This finance option may provide the startup with borrowing at a lower cost than compared by applying for a loan through a bank. The advantage of this model is that it may be easier to get support for a campaign, as the investors are attracted to getting a return. This type of crowdfunding may work best for a business with a track-record of revenues. Various types of instrument types exist.
NESTA (National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) has published crowdfunding guidance which provides further information on the different types of crowdfunding, statistics, examples and key considerations.
Campaign (also called “Crowdfunding project”)
A startup presents his company / idea on the platform and asks for money.
A crowdfunding campaign is in an essence:
• A presentation of the fund seeker (the investee e.g. startup) to the “Crowd”, helping the Crowd to learn more about the product or service you are looking to launch. The campaign provides all the essential information about the fund seekers’ business, such as its history in a digestible way for potential investors. The main point of a crowdfunding campaign is to give the business a reach that they have not been able to achieve before helping them increase awareness about their brand.
• A request of the fund seeker (investee) asking investors to participate in the funding. This “request” has usually a fixed time (how long he is looking to get the funding completed), a fix amount he is looking for (depending on the campaign setup the investment will not take place if the amount is not reached (underfunding), or it does not accept overfunding (as the investee looks only for a specific amount of money), a clear return (donation has no return in that sense, but the reward described by the product you can expect and for investment campaign the return in shares, or bonds or other investment vehicles
When running a campaign, one of the key features is that it allows the fund seeker (investee) to streamline all fundraising efforts. A campaign eliminates the need of having to pursue investors individually. It allows to present everything online in a much more accessible format, especially in the current smartphone / tablet period.
In conclusion, crowdfunding campaigns are a modern way of obtaining funding and rising alternatives to taking debt finance from the banks or seeking large amounts of money from investors. It enables investees to keep in touch with investors and keep them updated on any product development.
You can lose all your investments. Crowdfunding is a new concept of investing in young business ideas – this can be very risky.
Investment-based crowdfunding (equity, equity like, lending)
The main risks of investment-based crowdfunding are:
• The return is not guaranteed: The shares may not rise in value and you may not receive any dividend payment (a share of the profits).
• Dilution: Is the reduction in the investor’s ownership percentage of a share of stock caused by a follow-up financing. Follow-up financing usually brings in additional investors as new shareholders. This means that the participation rate of existing shareholders is slightly reduced, which is called dilution. The dilution of existing shareholders including equity crowdfunding investors, is not only common in venture capital, it is also an absolute prerequisite for follow-up financing. However, this could have an impact on the value of your securities (dilution of your securities)
• The business you invest in might go bankrupt: Many new businesses fail in the first few years, so you could lose all your money.
• It may be hard to sell the shares. The shares are normally unlisted, which means you may not be able to sell them easily in the way you could sell shares of a big company that’s listed on the stock market.
• The Crowdfunding platform itself may go bust: This could mean you lose money if you’d paid the crowdfunding website, but it goes bust before your money was invested within the business.
Also reward based funding has its specific risks
• The business might go bust or fail to deliver: The funded company may go bust or simply fail to deliver the reward (e.g. product) you are waiting for and you get nothing for your money
• Not achieving quality: The reward may suffer under a lot of bugs / problems or not support all the features originally mentioned
• Delay: It may take much longer as originally planned by the company and you will have to wait very long until the reward arrives
• The crowdfunding platform itself may go bust: This could mean you lose money if you’d paid the crowdfunding website, but it goes bust before your money was invested within the business.
There are additional risks and also depending on the exact type of security (or reward type) you want to invest and also on the business model of the Crowdfunding platform on which you invest. Therefore, it is important you understand and accept the risks, terms and conditions (“how it works”) of the individual Crowdfunding platforms. Please see also the overview of connected Crowdfunding platforms.
The different Crowdfunding types are described in section “What is Crowdfunding”. The following list of security types currently used on Crowdfunding platforms is related to the Crowdfunding type chosen. Most security types have also their specifics for each individual Campaign (which are described in the Campaign terms as part of the campaign documentation). Therefore, it is important to understand the specific term of a campaign and the list below should only be understood as high-level information.
Equity (see equity-based Crowdfunding)
When a company raises money by selling its shares, allowing shareholders to become partial owners of the company through the purchase of stock. Both debt and equity financing can happen independently or in combination with each other.
When issuing shares some Crowdfunding platforms are following the concept of the nominee arrangements. A nominee arrangement is a very common structure whereby the nominee holds a legal title to the shares for the benefit of another person. This means that the Crowdfunding platform is the legal shareholder in the relevant company’s shareholder register, but the Crowdfunding platform hold those shares on behalf of the various individuals who had invested in the company through the Crowdfunding platform.
The effect of this structure is that the Crowdfunding platform holds the shares; the full economic interest in them – including the benefits of individual tax reliefs such as SEIS and EIS – is passed through to the underlying investors. This concept reduces the administrative effort for the investor (who would have to take many small decisions as a shareholder) and the investee (who would have to manage many individual investors). This arrangement is very similar to a trustee relationship as well as to the structures used by stockbrokers and other types of intermediary platforms. The nominee concept is only supported in some countries (e.g. UK). Countries where this concept is not supported are using e.g. Crowd note.
Crowd note (see equity-based Crowdfunding)
One of the biggest early challenges to the type equity crowdfunding is the concern of a startup about managing lots of small shareholders (mainly when the concept of Nominee structure is not possible, as in most of the countries). Crowd notes are convertible notes, but the terms are not addressing an upcoming campaign, but a business events on which the crowd note will get converted into shares, such as Company’s election or a Corporate Transaction.
Fund (sometimes classified under the type equity-based Crowdfunding, even a fund is not an equity)
Diversification across multiple businesses with a single investment and become a shareholder in each. The fund organizer (who may run an accelerator- or venture capital fund, for example) identifies the businesses and often provides them with advice, support and mentorship.
The key to successful equity investing is selected diversification. A fund campaign allows you to easily diversify with the added benefit of the selected businesses receiving additional support and help.
Convertible notes (usually classified under the type equity-based Crowdfunding)
Invest in a business now and in the future your investment will convert (usually with a discount to other investors). Convertible campaigns are often used by businesses when there is a large fundraising round on the horizon, but in the meantime they want to raise a smaller funding round. By offering a convertible note, the business doesn’t need to put a valuation on their company now and therefore avoids potentially affecting their negotiations with future investors. Investing in a convertible campaign allows you to invest today, with your investment being converted into an equity in the future at a discount compared to other investors, sometimes subject to a maximum valuation (referred to as the “Valuation Cap”). This is a very common structure used by angels and VCs all over the world. While this is the standard approach to convertibles, each one is unique and that is why it is important to understand the individual terms of the campaign before investing.
Debt (see debt- or lending-based Crowdfunding)
Debt crowdfunding provides investors with the chance to lend money to businesses or individuals with the expectation that it will be repaid together with interest added. Various types of instrument types exist e.g. crowdfunding contract with interest-based returns, securities of a business, a debt instrument such as corporate bonds, for example. Some instruments allow for investing into shares that relate to potential company growth whereas others are strictly interest-based. Additionally, there are secured and unsecured debt instruments. Interest rates are typically based on the level of risk associated with a particular startup or entity. Each type has its on specifics.
Therefore, please read the corresponding terms.
Product (see reward-based Crowdfunding)
Rewards can range from something simple such as a thank-you postcard to a production version of the crowdfunded product.
StartupSpider collects the data (related to startups / innovation projects) from our community, retrieves information from individual Crowd-/funding platforms & many additional data sources. To make the data usable data analytics and big data is supported. The underlying “DataHub” consolidates many data sources of the Startup-Ecosystems, acts as a meta platform and serves the Community-layer as a catalyst.
StartupSpider is a combination of a portal and DataHub
What is a portal?
A web portal is a specially designed website (application) that brings information from diverse sources, like other websites (applications), emails, online forums and search engines, together in a uniform way.
StartupSpider is connected with various Crowdfunding platforms. This allows StartupSpider to display the data in a uniformed way. Some of the data is sourced following a certain sequence schedule (e.g. every hour) or other data is sourced real time. This concept allows to support fast data filtering, but also displaying the latest updated data when going into details of a campaign.
Connect existing Crowd-/funding platforms
There are two ways of connecting a Crowdfunding platform with StartupSpider, decided by the Crowdfunding platform.
1) Our portal reaches out to the connected Crowdfunding platforms and retrieves the data (Crowdfunding campaign) displayed on those specific platforms – Get Data (web scraping)
2) The Crowdfunding platform sends the data to StartupSpider by using the StartupSpider-API/StartupSpider-Technology – Push Data
Transparency, comparability and time saving
StartupSpider-Portal collects data from various Crowd-/funding platforms and displays the data (campaigns) in an unified way. This makes it easier for our users to compare the various campaigns across the various platforms. Beside this, it also means that otherwise a user would have to scan all individual platforms separately.
Benefit from additional services
As Crowd-/funding platform focuses on the investment of a campaign. Some do due diligence (which campaign to accept on the platform), some support the startups by how to present themselves etc. And of course, most important a Crowdfunding platform takes care on taking care of getting the investments done (e.g. issuing shares, move the money from the investor to the startup etc.).
StartupSpider is not doing this. All of this remains with the Crowdfunding platforms.
This allows us to focus on building user services and a community environment. Some Crowdfunding platforms may offer such services over time as well, but always as second priority.
(Note: In this section the services are described from a more technical point of view. Please find additional information in the section: Investor, Startup or Crowdfunding platforms)
StartupSpider supports some basic services to make your life easier
a. Simplified account-opening on the connected platforms (see also user account and user sub-account) (not supported yet)
To be able to invest on a Crowdfunding platform, you need to have an user account on the specific Crowdfunding platform. Either as part of the account opening or when doing the first investment a Crowdfunding platform requires a set of information from you. From a “portfolio diversification” point of view it makes a lot of sense to consider several platforms and benefit of a brought offering of potential investments. To set up all this user accounts requires some initial effort. We are offering to help you with this. When we onboard a Crowdfunding platform, we check what they require.
• When we onboard a Crowdfunding-platform we check what they require for user-account-creation.
• When you create an account with us you can technically send the required data via us (via StartupSpider) to them and by doing so, initiating the account opening with them. That means you just processing ones a submission of e.g. a copy of a passport, and it gets send to those Crowdfunding platforms you want to get an account with.
b. Connect individual Crowdfunding platforms and displaying the data in a unified way
Via our portal technology we retrieve the data from the individual platform and display it in a unified way. This allows you easy filtering, comparing and increase transparency.
StartupSpider cannot take responsibility of the correctness of the data of the connected platforms (in most cases this is even not guaranteed by the individual platform, but with the investee / campaign owner who uploads the data on the specific Crowdfunding platform. However, we have implemented quality processes for the benefit of our users.
Additional services (most for free)
Our user benefits from being part of a community (which allows knowhow sharing) and data analytics
a. Community services
<Stay friends>: If you are "friends" with someone on the platform you are also able to "make it visible" when you have done an investment and also see what kind of investments your "friends" have done. Or also if you like a campaign let your friends know. Maybe they have not seen it and may miss it.
<Get in touch with startups>: Investing into a campaign means you "believe" in an idea and the team behind. Wouldn't it be great to work closer with this Startup? E.g. Become member of "beta tester group", or a Startup may wish to discuss their thoughts with the community their thoughts about the development of a product. This allows you to share your thoughts with the Startup and the Startup benefits from getting feedback and validate their ideas.
b. Reporting and Data analytics
<Reporting>: If you are active on several Crowdfunding-platforms you may get many emails from those platforms. All of them sending you weekly newsletters, monthly reports etc. It is difficult to keep the overview, sometimes it is close to information overload.
With our concept of StartupSpider-Account and sub-accounts (those sub-accounts are used as contact address towards those Crowdfunding-platforms) we have the opportunity to optimize the information flow for you and can combine them into one report or one email. If you want to go to the original information no problem. This generates efficiency and freedom of decision.
To benefit from StartupSpider and the services you need to have an account with us, which is a technical precondition for most of the services (E.g. How can you stay friend with someone, if you are anonymous?)
If you want to be able to invest in a campaign, you have two options: 1. Go to the individual Crowdfunding platform (means login separately on the individual Crowdfunding platform and search for the campaign) or 2. Use the setup of sub-accounts.
Under “user configuration” you can define with which Crowdfunding platforms (connected with StartupSpider) you would like to work with and therefore want to have an account. As StartupSpider has already most information from you (to create your Startup-Spider-Account), StartupSpider offers you to forward that information to the Crowdfunding platform you have chosen and to initiate such an account-creation. To avoid that you are ending up with managing many separate accounts, we have created a feature called sub-account-functionality. When you are asking us to trigger an account-creation on those crowdfunding-platform we are using a technical key, which allows us to connect them. That means even if you have e.g. accounts with 10 Crowdfunding-Platforms, for you it is like having just one “e-mail-box”.
However, it is important to understand that StartupSpider is not involved in the investment or investment-process itself. Also, we don’t ask for any fee. The investment, funding, return e.g. shares, rewards, notes and documents related to those activities etc. all remains with the individual Crowdfunding platform, the campaigns and you. We are just a technical enabler to make your life easier, but we are not involved in the investment- or any advisory process.
Cancellation of an account / a sub-account
If you decide to cancel your account with StartupSpider (which we of course would regret) we will send you the information about your account including all those sub-accounts.
If you have found a campaign you would like to invest in there are two ways (see also accounts / sub-accounts)
1. Go to the individual Crowdfunding platform (means login separately on the individual Crowdfunding platform and search for the campaign) or
2. Use the setup of sub-accounts.
However, it is important to understand that StartupSpider is not involved in the investment or investment-process its self’s. Also, we don’t ask for any fee. The investment, funding, return e.g. shares, rewards, notes and documents related to those activities etc. all remains with the individual Crowdfunding platform, the campaigns and you. We are just a technical enabler to make your life easier, but we are not involved in the investment- or advisory process.
No. StartupSpider is not a regulated platform.
- The investment takes place on the individual Crowdfunding platform, NOT on StartupSpider. We do not sell investments.
- We do not give investments advice
- We do not manage your portfolio
StartupSpider is "just" a technical enabler which displays information of investments (done on the respective Crowdfunding platform).
You get access to a large customer base and volume.
StartupSpider is acting as a portal and showing projects / campaigns from your Crowdfunding platform. The selling remains with the source.
Work together and benefit
Get access to working groups and achieved results. Benefit from single API and reduce technical efforts.
Please download the two documents “one pager & membership request” and “membership articles”. Please read the membership articles carefully through. Please send us the signed membership request back by email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
We will reach out to you to check details, if required. Depending on your membership type (passive / active, please see membership articles) you will get technically connected fast.
There are two ways of connectivity:
StartupSpider uses its “web scraping” function and retrieves the data from the Crowdfunding platform. This is done at least once a day and is used to create an overview (reference data). If a customer of StartupSpider is interested in a certain Campaign the latest data updates will be retrieved real time.
Instead of StartupSpider retrieving data (via web scraping) from a Crowdfunding website, the Crowd-/funding platform uses an API to submit reference data. The same approach can be used for making the latest data available, when an investor is interested in a Campaign.
StartupSpider stores the basic information (like campaign name, investee, raised funding, management team etc.) of the campaigns / projects getting displayed. With this data we are offering additional services towards the StartupSpider-customers