SilverAlms, a recently launched crowdfunding platform based in India that raised questions regarding the veracity of their new site has responded to questions forwarded to a gmail account. The interaction was engendered after SilverAlms emailed Crowdfund Insider responding to an earlier article as TheCrowdfundingCentre had noticed duplicated campaigns from other crowdfunding sites appearing on the platform. TheCrowdfundingCentre attempted to contact SilverAlms but was unable to get a response.
In the first of several emails, SilverAlms stated;
“We do not dupe any campaigns on our portal and we do not restrict anyone to dupe own campaign on our website too. Steve Creech campaign was created by the owner of the Indiegogo campaign himself. The image of David Blunket was used as [an] Avatar by a particular. As a startup portal, we do not have verification methods to restrict such actions.
Thanks for pointing out such errors on the site and we learn from people like you and improve our portal as we go ahead. Your support and advices are always welcomed. Such minor errors on the portal doesn’t mean SilverAlms is a scam. Each dollar donated by people will reach the deserving beneficiary at the end of the campaign.”
TheCrowdfundingCentre, via Barry James, commented on the recent communications as well;
“As a result of the article we now have a named person at SilverAlms and have made contact. It does seem that the site has been created by a well meaning group of students who have not understood the implications of cloning other’s projects, and allowing or encouraging clearly false statements that appear to be from the site. Such as the false testimonial with misleading information purporting to be from David Blunkett. We are seeking to establish who is responsible for looking after donations to ensure that they don’t go astray and will keep an eye on this and keep you updated.”
After receipt of the first email Crowdfund Insider forwarded several questions directed towards SilverAlms. The responder states they are a group of young entrepreneurs from India, UAE with friends and supporters in the UK, USA, Brazil and Australia. The responder states; “SilverAlms is our brainchild and we want it to grow to the extent of a known brand in crowdfunding. Some of the issues you pointed out was real and we have taken necessary measures to correct them”.
Additional questions answered:
Why did you not respond to the CrowdfundingCentre’s attempts to contact you?
SilverAlms: In fact, we didn’t notice the mails from crowdfundingcenter. Only when we went through your article, we came to know that you attempted to mail us. Now SilverAlms has integrated mail notification with all the admins of the site and we hope in future all our mails will receive prompt reply.
Why are you duplicating campaigns from other platforms?
SilverAlms: SilverAlms never duplicate a campaign and apart from a specific campaign of our own, we do not favor any campaign with personal interests. This is the policy of SilverAlms. Some of the users took a chance on our newly launched status and copied some of the campaigns from other crowdfunding sites. We tried to contact the project owners and such projects were removed, whose owners failed to verify the ownership.
We allow owners to create projects on SilverAlms, even if the same project is running on some other sites too. We will make sure in the future that only owners of a running campaign create it on our site too.
Do you intend on running your own campaigns?
SilverAlms: Yes. SilverAlms will always have a single campaign running on the site for social good. IT may not always be a funding campaign. It can be a find volunteers for a charity activity or social awareness campaign etc… We may even promote a social welfare campaign of a user on the space allotted for our own campaign.
The testimonial claims you have been doing this for “years” yet the site was launched only recently. Please explain.
SilverAlms: Testimonials were not moderated and they were user published comments. One of the users wrote the testimonial, may be to impress the site admin. However now we have added the moderate option. The initial test website was launched 5 months back and the new platform is two months old. No where on the site we have claimed that we are years old. Our only claim is that we are the world’s first charity crowdfunding portal. There are other sites that have charity crowdfunding options along with other categories too. But silveralms denies if your project is not a charity initiative. Thus we believe that we are the one and only exclusively crowdfunding platform. (We are happy to remove the slogan if you could prove us wrong)
Why did you clone the #FansUnited campaign on Crowdfunder? A site that has confirmed via theCrowdfundingCentre they have no connection to your site.
SilverAlms: SilverAlms doesn’t create any campaigns on our portal. The create campaign option is opened to the users. When we came to know that the particular campaign was copied by a user from some other portal and when the user failed to verify his ownership on the campaign we instantly removed it.
Are you based in New York City or do you have an office in NYC?
SilverAlms: As of now, SilverAlms is a start up by a group of young entrepreneurs from multiple countries. We will soon have our offices in few Cities and… you know better how great organizations begin their operations. NYC is our first preference and we want our operations headquartered in NYC.
Who operates the SilverAlms platform (we could not find any reference to founders etc)?
Silveralms is operated by NeonDigilabs, a start up company. Apart from silveralms, we do have other projects coming up. Soon we will be launching our international job search platform, shop & sell portal etc… See the link below. The site is underdevelopment, thus it is now on the .info URL. we own the .com domain too.
In the crowdfunding space the need for transparency and trust is paramount. When you are accepting donations, contributions or investments from individuals it is profoundly important the veracity of a site is readily apparent. There have been more than a few bogus campaigns in the rewards space. It is always good counsel to question and be prudent in what you support.