Peoplefund.it and Crowdfunder Merge to Create The UK’s Leading Crowdfunding Network

British FlagThe British crowdfunding market heats up as two of the biggest platforms join forces to create the UK’s leading crowdfunding network.

Two South-West rewards-based crowdfunding websites, are to merge this month creating the UK’s leading crowdfunding network.

Exeter’s Crowdfunder, run by Crowdcube, the world’s leading equity crowdfunding company will join forces with Plymouth’s Peoplefund.it, launched by KEO digital, the makers ofrivercottage.netfishfight.netlandshare.net and energyshare.com.

Peoplefund.it and Crowdfunder will combine their technology and marketing platforms, branding and teams to create a platform that will rival other new entrants to the crowdfunding market, including US-based Kickstarter.

It is hoped that the move will further grow the market which is already estimated to be worth £80 million*. “It’s a game-changing move for Peoplefund.it and makes us the UK’s leading crowdfunding network,” says Nick Underhill, Peoplefund.it’s co-founder. “Our aim is to inspire, engage and transform communities through enterprise – and following the arrival of Kickstarter in the UK – this is another huge step forward for British crowdfunding.”

“The merger of Crowdfunder and Peoplefund.it makes a huge amount of sense for UK projects that need funding,” says Crowdfunder founder, Darren Westlake. “It will deliver scale, expertise and marketing reach – essential for those projects who want the best funding platform possible.”

Backed by the UK’s leading University of Enterprise, Plymouth University, and their Enterprise Accelerator Partnership, Peoplefund.it has already created a network which now includes:-WeDidThis, the Arts and Culture funding platform, and publishing crowdfunder Unbound.

The Peoplefund.it network reaches over 2 million people thanks to being part of KEO’s digitalnetwork which includes rivercottage.net, fishfight.net, landshare.net and energyshare.com.

It will also have its own distinct British and community feel says Peoplefund.it co-founder, Simon Deverell. “The international arrivals into the UK market are fantastic news as they grow and validate the market, however Peoplefund.it has a distinctly UK feel in line with our culture. It’s more local and community connected. It’s a great platform for entrepreneurs, socialpreneurs and civic-preneurs who want to make a difference. Peoplefund.it seeks to remodel the relationship between communities and UK enterprise – one street at a time.”

Peoplefund.it, moved to the South West, following the establishment of a partnership with Plymouth University. “This is a very exciting step for Peoplefund.it and opens all sorts of opportunities not only for the learning community at Plymouth University, but also for enterprise in the region,” said Professor Wendy Purcell, Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive of Plymouth University

Peoplefund.it enables people with a great business idea to ask the general public for the funding they need to set up or expand. The business sets a target for the money it wants to raise and explains how it will use the cash. People can then make pledges for small amounts of money in return for a reward if the target is reached.

Peoplefund.it has raised £40k in six days for The Bicycle Academy, thought to be one of the UK’s fastest crowdfunded projects ever. Other successful projects to date include the Food Cycle Station House Community Café, a group of people cooking reclaimed surplus food on a ‘pay what you can’ basis. London based MONOLITH magazine that successfully raised £4,067, from 37 backers, to launch the first issue of the magazine. While Leeds Bread Co-op recently raised over £8,000 to set-up a community bakery.

Launched in November 2010, Crowdfunder has established itself as one of the UK’s leading rewards-based crowdfunding websites. It has raised more than £330,000 for nearly 200 ideas and projects including the creative arts as well as community and charity based projects. Crowdfunder recently helped The Magnets, a group of a cappella stars making great music simply with their mouths, exceed their funding target when they raised £15,081. Bristol based bike cafe ‘Roll for the Soul’ also successfully raised £13,047 while A Great Little Place, a social network site based in London, raised £11,023 from 380 funders.

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