Innovation That Matters

Crowdfunding platform for web and mobile startups

Financial Services

Much the way Kiva matches investors with entrepreneurs in the developing world, so Grow VC brings a crowdfunding platform to mobile and web startups around the globe. Launched earlier this month, Hong Kong-based Grow VC aims to bring the first truly transparent, global, community-based approach to early-stage funding. Focusing on startup funding needs ranging from USD 10,000 to USD 1 million, Grow VC collects membership fees from its participants and pools 75 percent of them into a community fund. That fund then gets invested into promising member startups. Grow VC manages these investments, but members can control how their portion of the fund should be allocated, allowing them to focus on the startups they feel have the most potential. Grow VC users can follow each other in Twitter-like fashion, while reputation statistics reflect their track records. When a startup fails, the community fund covers its own losses. But when one does well, 75 percent of the returns are paid as commissions to top-ranked members. The company explains: “We’re here to fix the traditional opaque and mysterious startup funding system. Grow VC offers the platform and tools so the process from idea to launch can be managed and communicated with a more structured manner, while at the same time enabling the race to success to start much earlier.” Fees depend on the amount to be raised or invested. Startup and funder pricing starts at USD 20 per month. Others, such as experts, certified partners and business sponsors pay more. Grow VC spent several months in beta, and by January had already gained more than 700 registered users. One to get in on early…? (Related: Twitter for entrepreneurs“Open-mic nights” for business ideas.) Spotted by: John Greene



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