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05 January 2023

How to Choose White Label Crowdfunding Platform

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If you plan to launch a crowdfunding platform, then this is best done using white-label, as it is faster, cheaper, safer and less risky. To launch a site using this solution, you need to do four things: choose, buy, configure and connect to the network. The last three things are usually the responsibility of the software vendor, so all you have to do is choose a white label solution. In the article we will analyze in detail on the basis of what criteria to do it.

As a litmus test for analysis, you can use the white label for crowdfunding platforms from Merehead. So you can understand with a real example whether this product is specifically for you, and even if not, this experience will help in analyzing products of other developers.

Criterion 1: Crowdfunding Model

The first thing to do when choosing a white label solution for launching a crowdfunding site is to decide on the fundraising model and target audience, since not all white labels can support the financing model you need. According to these criteria, crowdfunding sites can be divided into five types:

Donation platform. Investing in various projects, companies, states, initiatives or people without any reward, except for moral satisfaction. Usually in this way they raise money for disaster management, treatment of children, environmental projects, poverty alleviation in developing countries, etc. Recently, this model is also used for financial support of sites, bloggers and political forces.

Mightycause is a prime example of a charity platform

Who are donation platforms targeted at:

  1. Businessmen raising money for business development or launching social, environmental, educational or charitable projects.

  2. Non-governmental organizations that help people (refugees, victims of disasters, patients, victims of repression and violence), homeless animals and disadvantaged countries / regions (building schools, wells, etc.).

  3. Activists raising money for socially significant or entertaining projects, such as financing music festivals.

Examples of charitable sites: GoFundme, Mightycause, and DonorsChoose. Such sites are completely free, participants pay only commission fees of banks and payment systems.

Reward platform. People invest in a project to get rewards, discounts or benefits. The type of reward is usually determined by what the money is invested in. So, if this is the development of a video game, then they give the game, if it is the support of a blogger, then they give an autograph, a personal meeting or create special content for donors. The size of the award also usually varies: invested $ 50, got a game, $ 100 - a game + an autographed T-shirt, $ 1,000 - a collector's edition of the game and personal thanks from the developer.

Kickstarter - the most famous reward crowdfunding marketplace

Who are the reward platforms targeted at:

  1. Programmers, entrepreneurs, startups and large companies raise money for business development, paying off debts and launching new products.

  2. Musicians, bloggers, artists, animators, directors who need financial support to record an album, shoot a movie, organize a concert, or simply those who get money for bread and butter.

Examples of sites: Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Patreon and InDemand. Typically, these sites charge 5-10% commission on each crowdfunding campaign.

Equity platform. A kind of crowdfunding when donors receive an award in the form of shares or part of the capital of the company for which the money is being raised. We can talk about both large sums - from $ 100 thousand, for which purpose the status of an accredited investor is needed in the United States, and relatively small amounts (in the United States it became legal after acception of JOBS Act).

Crowdfunder - crowdfunding platform with a stock award

Who are equity platforms targeted at:

  1. A small or start-up business that cannot conduct an IPO.

  2. Startups seeking funding to implement their ideas.

  3. Large companies for co-financing projects.

Asset Tokenization Platform. Purchase of ICO, STO, IEO tokens or another option for fundraising during the initial financing of blockchain projects. This is a new crowdfunding model that emerged thanks to the success of Bitcoin and Ethereum. How it works is described in the article «Key benefits of blockchain asset tokenization».

Key Features of IPO and Asset Tokenization with ICO and STO

Who are asset tokenization platforms targeted at:

  1. Blockchain startups in need of early funding.

  2. Builders, realtors and agencies who want to raise money for the construction of real estate using asset tokenization.

  3. Farmers - can conduct tokenization of the future crop.

An example of a crowdfunding asset tokenization platform: Ethereum, Hyperledger Fabric, EOS and IOTA, as well as Polymath, Harbor and Securitize. The launch of a crowdfunding campaign may be free or require a fixed payment with a small number of tokens of the selected site.

Peer-to-peer lending platform. Fundraising using peer-to-peer lending, when people lend money without the participation of banks or credit agencies. A loan is not issued for free, but with interest, which is usually slightly higher than in a bank, since such investments are riskier.

Prosper issued $ 16 billion peer-to-peer loans

Who are peer-based lending sites targeted at:

  1. People with negative credit history.

  2. People who do not trust banks and Big Brother.

  3. Individuals and companies in countries with unreliable banking, economic and / or political systems.

Examples: Prosper, Lending Club, and Kiva US. Such sites charge 1-5% of each transaction and often require the citizenship of certain countries in order to be eligible for investment or a loan. The rate depends on the platform and various factors, for example, on Prosper it varies from 6.95% to 35.99%.

Criterion 2: Functionality and interface language

Most white label solutions have only English support. This can be a problem if you and your team do not own it, as well as if your crowdfunding platform is targeted at non-English speaking countries. In this case, you need to either find software that supports the necessary languages, or start translating the software you need.

A set of functions is also important when choosing white label software, so make a list of the functions and tools you need in advance. To understand what you need, analyze the main competitors and those sites that you like. Currently, the following services dominate the crowdfunding market:

Comparison of the most popular crowdfunding sites. Source of the image

Be sure to check the availability of functionality for user verification through the KYC (Know your customer) and AML (Anti-money laundering) procedures. AML is important if you work with big money or countries where there are problems with corruption, terrorism and high crime rates, as well as countries and regions that are under sanctions.

Criterion 3: Payment Gateway Support

Next, when choosing a white label for a crowdfunding platform, you need to pay attention to the supported methods of depositing and withdrawing funds. In addition to supporting Visa / MasterCard and PayPal, there should also be the possibility of cryptocurrency transactions and support for local payment systems in the region you need.

The popularity of payment systems by country:

  1. China: WeChat Pay, Alipay, Cash, Apple pay and bank transfers.

  2. Russia: WebMoney, Yandex.Money, Qiwi and ePayments.

  3. Europe: ELV, Klarna, Payone, Ingenico and iDEAL.

Criterion 4: Installation, Setup, and Training

The next step is to examine how easy it is to use white label software and whether the supplier has a program for staff training (the service may be paid). There are two ways to do this:

  1. Analyze reviews online. It takes a lot of time and effort, as well as an understanding of what to look for, since many posts are paid.

  2. Find those who have already used the chosen white label solution to launch their site. Usually this information is on the website of the software vendor.

The analysis should be done based on what services the provider provides. So, if it takes care of installation, configuration, and startup, then you need to understand how easy it is for white administrators and users to use the white label. If setting up and running is on your shoulders, then you need to find out about the complexity of the task and the requirements for the performer (programming, design skills).

Criterion 5: Reliability and Security

In a similar way, you need to analyze the reliability and security of the platform: protection against DDoS, XSS and CSRF attacks, IP address tracking, two-factor authentication, and more. And all this needs to be checked not only with respect to the white label for the crowdfunding platform, but also with all the software of the development company. If, according to reviews or headlines in the press, its products are slow, give errors, have compatibility and security problems, this indirectly indicates possible problems with the white label for crowdfunding.

In addition, also check the software on:

  1. Compliance with laws, such as Reg D 506 b and c, Reg S, Reg CF, Reg A + and Intrastate in the United States of America. In the EU, it is also important to comply with the new rules for the processing of personal data (General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR).

  2. Frequency of updates. Usually this is one or two major updates per year + several small fixes. If updates take place once a month, this probably indicates a poor quality of software, if every few years - insufficient funding or other problems.

  3. Availability of technical support. Check the reviews for the quality and speed of the service and whether you need to pay for it separately. Most white label providers provide it as a bonus to their basic subscription. Some train your staff.

Criterion 6: Website Design and SEO

If you analyze the appearance of popular crowdfunding platforms, you will notice that they are quite similar and resemble regular marketplaces, only people sell ideas instead of phones and clothes. And this is good, because white label solutions are limited in the possibilities of creating a unique design.

Nevertheless, even these minimal features are needed, so choose white label software wherever possible:
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