ING Belgium has formed a partnership with two leading crowdfunding platforms. Seedrs, based in the UK, and KissKissBankBank, based in France, will power a fast-track process for clients looking to raise capital. In recognition of the fact that bank loans are not optimal for entrepreneurs and early stage companies, ING will now offer equity crowdfunding on Seedrs and rewards based crowdfunding on KissKissBankBank. This will allow SMEs to diversify sources of funding while engaging a much broader audience.
According to information provided by the bank, using the ING fast track procedure, will only take the entrepreneur a couple of clicks to get access to the selected platform. Seedrs and KissKissBankBank will then swiftly get in touch with the entrepreneur and give him a first indication on the suitability of the project for their platform and on the chances to succeed. The fast track procedure can save the entrepreneur significant time and effort. The process is designed to improve the entrepreneur’s chances on successfully completing his crowdfunding campaign. Across continental Europe there is a growing recognition that an equity culture must be fostered to help build a more innovative and dynamic pan-European economy. Crowdfunding is recognized as a much needed catalyst in this objective.
“To our knowledge this is the first time that a well-respected, global financial institution like ING has partnered with a leading international equity crowdfunding platform like Seedrs, and we think this relationship is very encouraging for the future of business finance. We’re proud to have been chosen as ING’s partner for this venture, and we see our selection as further validation of our “equity crowdfunding done properly” approach,” stated Lynn.
“Our partnership with KissKissBankBank and Seedrs is an example. Our aim is to strengthen our customer’s project and to support them in the growth of their business. Our role is therefore much larger than that of your classic lender: we are a collaborative partner and advisor.”
It is a fact that entrepreneurs who have access to several funding sources automatically find themselves in a more comfortable financial position. When assessing a loan application, banks naturally also look at the makeup of the company’s resources. Through crowdfunding, entrepreneurs can therefore reinforce their business as well as their position when applying for a loan. ING benefits by maintaining the relationship with the SME and may be well positioned to provide debt financing and other services going forward.
ING also recognizes that a benefit of crowdfunding is that it gives the entrepreneur a chance to estimate whether the market is ready for such products or services. The exposure to a broader audience of course also creates a good marketing opportunity for an enterprise.
ING states that a project will be assessed within two days at most whether or not the project is suitable for the respective platform and what the chances of success are. If the project receives a positive appraisal from the platform, the entrepreneur can immediately kick off his crowdfunding campaign, supported by the platform.
“We are thrilled to announce our first large-scale partnership in Belgium and Luxembourg. The ING-KissKissBankBank partnership is an important step in the development of crowdfunding that demonstrates how it can complement traditional financing methods,” said Vincent Ricordeau, Co-Founder and CEO of KissKissBankBank.
Seedrs and KissKissBankBank have helped to fund Over 250 projects combined raising more than 38 million euro for creative entrepreneurs. KissKissBankBank also operates a P2P lending platform but information available at this time did not indicate if this would be an option for entrepreneurs as well.