As an analyst and writer on crowdfunding (what is crowdfunding?), I'm always on the prowl for new tools and resources I can write about for you. A great source of fresh ideas is Product Hunt, a website that's simple in concept but incredibly powerful. Product Hunt is essentially a list of cool tools, websites, and resources that users can vote on, comment on, and which frequently, the entrepreneurs behind many of these tools appear to field questions and provide commentary on their products.
Here's a list of the top ranking sites, apps and tools on Product Hunt in the crowdfunding category.
Not all crowdfunding campaigns make sense to run on a platform like Kickstarter or Indiegogo. There are times and places where a business would like to run a crowdfunding campaign on their own site -- hence, Celery Launch. With this tool, you can easily set up a pre-sell or crowdfunding campaign on your own site with just a couple of lines of code. Easy peasy.
Backer News: Fresh crowdfunding projects
Backer News is essentially a listing service that surfaces interesting and popular crowdfunding projects. The site resembles Hacker News, the well-known resource for the tech community, not only in name but also in practice. Backer News enables its users to post, vote, and comment on new crowdfunding campaigns.
Next up on Product Hunt when you drill down for crowdfunding is PeerStreet. Unlike some of the other real estate crowdfunding sites which focus on investing in actual properties, PeerStreet is focusing on real estate lending (debt). The site, which has been written up on Bloomberg and Businessweek, is currently in private beta.
According to BusinessWeek:
Brett Crosby left his post at Google last week to join Brew Johnson, once a lawyer for a company acquired by TripAdvisor Inc. (TRIP), to start PeerStreet Inc., a Los Angeles-based online platform for financing real estate through a form of crowdfunding. They’re partnering with small, non-bank lenders whose short-term commercial-property loans they can fund using a throng of individual investors.
The company has already bagged a couple high-profile investors and is poised to make the real estate lending industry more efficient and transparent with its crowdfunding model.
ShopLocket: Ecommerce solution for hardware makers
Crowdfunding for a real, manufactured product is hard but after a successful campaign, the real work begins: manufacturing. It can take almost a full year from prototyping a new product until it's ready to ship (see 3 things you need to know when crowdfunding hardware to help streamline this process). ShopLocket enables product makers to begin taking pre-orders on their websites for products that aren't quite ready to ship just yet. With easy to use plugins, ShopLocket is a popular turnkey ecommerce solution.
Swarm: Kickstarter powered by Bitcoin
If you want to see the future of crowdfunding, look no further than Swarm. It's a crowdfunding platform that uses perhaps the most interesting, newest currency on the block, Bitcoin.
Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority or banks; managing transactions and the issuing of bitcoins is carried out collectively by the network. Bitcoin is open-source; its design is public, nobody owns or controls Bitcoin and everyone can take part. Through many of its unique properties, Bitcoin allows exciting uses that could not be covered by any previous payment system.
Some pundits are calling Swarm the Facebook of crowdfunding because at its core, Swarm will be a social network for cryptocurrency investors.
Journalism has gotten destroyed as free content continues to undermind its revenue streams. That's about to change if deepr takes off. The site allows professional and enthusiast writers of all stripes to raise money for content creation. Money in hand, authors get paid to write the content that inspires them, that they want to write. Best of all, authors retain rights to their works.
It's not easy to get a business idea off the ground. It takes forethought, good execution, smart strategy, and the input from experienced advisors. That's where Designbook comes in. It's a collaborative platform for entrepreneurs and advisors to work together to come up with great business ideas and launch them successfully.
Product Hunt is a great platform to discover all kinds of applications, websites, and tools. What's more is that Product Hunt has done a great job building out a smart community that comments and questions on these tools. For those of us interested in crowdfunding, Product Hunt provides us interesting insight into some of the new crowdfunding tools and platforms hitting the market.