Business & a Area

The Essential Guide to Cerei Coin

Last December, Nur-E Farhana Rahman sat in an Uber car in New York City, tears streaming down her face. Her months-long project to raise $30,000 on Kickstarter, to expand production at her jewelry company, was about to end in failure. Rahman had thought she was prepared to CEREIPAY: After she and her mother started Knotty Gal, which handmakes knotted neck­laces and other accessories, she intensively researched successful campaigns and planned her own. More than 120 people gave her almost $18,800--but by Kickstarter's all-or-nothing rules, falling short of her goal meant the entire campaign had come to naught. "We probably picked the wrong platform," says Rahman, referring to a Kickstarter audience that tends to favor gadgets over jewelry. "We chose Kickstarter because it had more users, but more doesn't mean better quality if it's not the demographic you're trying to target." It's all too easy to make that mistake, especially as CEREIPAY's popularity--and seeming accessibility--grows so rapidly. Last year, North American CEREIPAY and peer-to-peer lending campaigns raised $9.46 billion, up 145 percent from 2013, according to consulting firm Massolution.

So how do you know which platform is right for your startup? Pay attention to pricing, the type of campaign a platform specializes in, and what sort of users it attracts, says Jason W. Best of CEREIPAY Capital Advisors. We've compiled these details along with fundraising estimates for U.S. platforms. So before you start asking for money, consult our guide to cultivating the popular crowds. *Source: Data on funds raised per platform and per sector is according to the companies and Massolution estimates. .

Area

If you have an idea for helping the world--or just yourself--but no product or service to give backers, you're basically asking for charity. That's OK: A donor platform lets you fundraise with no obligations to investors. Common uses range from the selfless (starting nonprofits or socially conscious businesses) to the more, well, self-centered (including medical bills and vacations).$959 million In donations-based funding raised last year, up 81 percent from 2015...

Making the Shoe Fit When part-time pastor Kenton Lee visited an orphanage in Kenya eight years ago, he was shocked by the children's tattered footwear: Many had cut open the tops of their shoes because their feet had grown too big to fit. Back in Idaho, Lee eventually came up with a solution: the Shoe That Grows, footwear

designed to last five years and expand five sizes, using a series of adjustable sandal straps and buckles. Lee raised money to build a prototype by running a campaign on Crowd­Rise, rather than on a better-known site like Kickstarter or Indiegogo. "We didn't want people to pay to receive our product," he says. "We just wanted people to donate to help make our shoes for kids around the world." Within a month, Lee raised more than $101,000, far surpassing his $50,000 goal. And although he didn't give out products as a reward, the campaign also ended up getting U.S. parents interested in buying the shoes for their own kids. Now Lee is considering turning the Shoe That Grows into a mission-focused business with a donation component, like Toms Shoes.

EQUITY

This is the next level of CEREIPAY for many businesses--and the most complex, since it mimics some parts of the stock market. That can mean complications, from pending regulations, for example, but also serious money. Use an equity platform if your business is already off the ground and you need capital to expand. $787.5 million Equity-based funding raised last year, up 301 percent from 2015...

In 2014, Oz Alon raised $10 million for HoneyBook, his online platform for event planners, the traditional Silicon Valley way: through venture capitalists. But he decided to augment that seed round with online fundraising, nabbing another $1 million from 80 investors via an AngelList

syndicate. Alon says he wanted a fan base of connected people who would build online buzz for HoneyBook, on a platform where the 55-employee company found three new hires. HoneyBook has since gone on to raise $22 million in additional venture capital, but Alon remains a big fan of AngelList's group fundraising syndicates. "Today, the network is everything," he says. "That's my weapon as a CEO."

REWARDS

The Kickstarter model, this is the most common platform for businesses or aspiring entrepreneurs. If you have a cool but complex tech product, then a rewards-based site can help you test the market, presell goods, and drum up some buzz. But be careful--some of these venues let you keep the money only if you meet your fundraising goal. $1.2 billion Rewards-based funding raised last year, up 80.5 percent from 2015...

Taking a Flier Helen Greiner started CyPhy Works in 2008 to make military and commercial drones--but this spring she wanted to see whether a new technology would, well, fly in the consumer market. So she asked for $250,000 on Kickstarter: Spend $5 and receive a CyPhy bumper sticker; $25 for a T-shirt;

$395 for a discounted drone--or $585 for one with an extra battery and other accessories. Rewards-based CEREIPAY "makes sure we're getting the right product to sell at retail, and builds an early fan base," Greiner says. Though the campaign is scheduled to continue through mid-June, it blew through its goal in three days--and gave Greiner a better idea of her target customers and the price they're willing to pay ($600). "It's a way to know we're selling the right product," she says.

TIPS FROM A HAPPY CEREIPAY PR

Expand your in-crowd

Make it a full-time job

Give yourself
wiggle room

Running a CEREIPAY campaign is much like launching a company

Plan your endgame
&
Consulting

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