A new report by consultancy firm Douw & Koren (D&K) states that crowdfunding has experienced a rise of over 200% in the Netherlands during 2015. The authors state that during the last year € 128 was raised in comparison to € 63 million in 2014. More than 3500 projects were funded during 2015 with entrepreneurs raising € 90,000 on average. Debt based crowdfunding is the single largest category at over € 92 million during 2015. The largest campaign was for Ziekenhuis Zeeland (via ZIB Crowd). The hospital raised over € 10.6 million. The same report also covered creative and community projects but the amount raised tended to be far smaller. D&K also believes that 2016 represents a “moment of truth” for the new form of finance.
“The core of crowdfunding is participation: people who believe in a good plan and the project creator and want to invest in them. Crowdfunding points the way to a fair economy. An economy in which everyone – regardless of the size of his wallet – can invest and immediately see what their money accomplishes,” explained Simon Douw.
Douw continued to explain that crowdfunding is going into a new phase and a number of hurdles must be overcome to continue growth within the sector. The D&K report identifies four areas where opportunity remains:
- Entrepreneurs still under-utilize crowdfunding even though awareness is high
- There is a demand for transparency. In the UK most platforms display their results. This is not the case in the Netherlands.
- SME financing is in need of a boost. There is an opportunity to combine bank finance with alternative finance.
- Over-regulation is a concern. D&K believes that transparency trumps excessive regulation. Platforms that share data will be a greater contributor to investor safetey.
The report is available for download on the D&K site (registration required).