Crowdfunding is a financial transaction tools and methods that involve large numbers of people to fund a project.

This mode of financing is done without the help of the traditional actors of the financing, it is said disintermediated. The emergence of participatory financing platforms was permitted through the Internet and social networks, supplementing or replacing traditional subscriptions. This trend is part of a more global movement: that of collaborative consumption and participatory production.

3 Big categories of crowdfunding

Participatory financing includes 3 big categories subdivided in many small categories
• Donations and reward based crowdfunding
• Crowdlending (include with and without interest) (also known as credit crowdfunding, crowdlending, peer-to-peer lending or private equity) from enterprise or between particular
• Equity crowdfunding including royalties crowdfunding


Community and participatory financing was born in the 18th century in the field of charitable actions. One of the first notable projects funded by participatory funding was the Statue of Liberty.

Some older forms of financing such as business angels, angel investors, are one of the likely sources of inspiration for participatory financing. This is actually a case where a sum of individuals outside the project will invest in it .

It has diversified with the emergence of the Internet, as early as the mid-1990s.

For example, while botany was virtually no longer taught in universities, the Francophone community of botanists created Tela Botanica in 1999, for lack of funding for teaching positions and laboratories.

In 1997, the English rock band Marillion received a participatory fundraising campaign initiated by its American fans, without the involvement of the group’s members, to finance a tour in the United States2,3. Forty-seven thousand dollars had been collected. The band proposed to their fans to pre-fund their next album, even before it was recorded. Twelve thousand five hundred fans financed the album Anoraknophobia 4 (2001). Subscribers received a specially illustrated double CD. The names of those who pre-ordered the album early enough were indicated. Marillion subsequently used this method successfully5,6,7 for the albums Marbles (2004), Happiness is the Road (2009), and Sounds That Can not Be Made (2012).

In the field of cinema, the first structured example of participative financing campaign based on the use of the Internet is due to producers and entrepreneurs Guillaume Colboc and Benjamin Pommeraud from Guyom Corp., for the purposes of producing their film Tomorrow the day before, in August 2004. The producers had launched the first subscription system of the genre, via a dedicated website on which internet users had the possibility of being credited in the credits, to watch the shooting or to receive a DVD in exchange for their contribution. The campaign enjoyed a spectacular success and allowed them to raise in half days almost half of the funding needed to make the film.

The Finnish film Iron Sky, a project launched in 2006, has benefited from contributions from Internet users8 to finance the project. The film was released in 2012.

This type of collective investment was then stimulated by the disk crisis and the rise of downloading. In this case, it offers a solution to the control of the majors of music production.

The Dutch sellaband site was the first to apply the model to the record industry in August 2006. In France, several sites of the same type then appeared quickly, among them Spidart (since, bankrupt), Akamusic (Belgian site) , Buzzmyband (formerly NoMajorMusik), Stationtubes (published by the Digital Alien Prod label), My Witty Games (participative games company) or My Major Company (participatory label).

The huge success of Grégoire – the first artist produced by My Major Company – has largely contributed to popularize this new mode of production.

This type of financing was subsequently diversified in several areas with the appearance of Indiegogo (January 2008) and Kickstarter (April 2009, best known as Time Magazine 2010). This method of financing was subsequently legislated in the United States by Barack Obama who established the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act) on April 5, 2012. This set of laws distinguishes between participatory And the one with a return on investment.

According to a study by the FPF9, 56% of French people know participatory financing, and 7% have already contributed to a project. 43% would be willing to participate in a participatory campaign within five years10.

In 2014, a completely fanciful project to produce a potato salad takes on unexpected proportions and collects more than $ 55,000. Its creator promises to donate the money to a charity work while critics believe that this discredits participatory financing


Categories of crowdfunding


Charities have been collecting for years on the principles of participatory financing. In this case, we are talking about fundraising or online donations. Participatory financing can be seen as a new form of fundraising, more efficient and cheaper than traditional fundraising, thanks to the Internet. The voluntary sector has its own participatory funding sites. In France, we can mention in particular HelloAsso. In the UK, JustGiving is also a reference.

Local Development

Independent shops (bars and restaurants included), craftsmen and neighborhood associations are finding it increasingly difficult to cope with the deductibles, rising rents and are confronted with the bankiness of the banks. Since January 2013, Bulb in Town proposes to the public to finance, communicate and create a community of people who have projects with a local economic and / or social impact, farmers or renewable energy projects (REN) Ambassadors around their project and establishment (businesses, shops, cafes, restaurants, farmers, associations).

Farther from the cities, French citizens can support farmers and their use of the territory through the Miimosa platform


Music is one of the first areas that has truly popularized modern crowdfunding. The possible scenarios are often either artists who want to make themselves known to launch their first album or better known artists who wish to make a tour for example but are not able for the moment to finance the latter.


The cinema has several community production sites. This is a convenient way of financing that is mostly for fans or to start a project with a small budget.
Video games

The first video game funded by a major socio-financial campaign dates from 2012 on Kickstarter and leads to an explosion of amounts collected for video games that year28. Since then, specialized platforms have emerged as Digital Coproductions was created at the end of 2010, which allows video game creators to freely present their projects, and to interact with the public to involve them in creation, soliciting ideas , Opinions, suggestions, or even financing in the form of subscription. Subscribers receive in exchange a portion of the profits of the game thus co-produced. It should be noted that the video game is a sector not only requiring a lot of money, but in addition there is no sale before the end of the game and it is done over a very short period.

Fine Arts

Some platforms have specialized as Fabrique d’ which allows visual artists to present their promotional projects (exhibitions, participation in fairs, limited edition prints …). This allows art lovers, collectors and investors to participate in the preparation of artists’ exhibitions, to finance the projects of these visual artists and to receive in return part of the gains generated. It is also an area that can be developed with high-end 3D printers. An old form of this type of crowdfunding can be scrapworking or patchworking.


This is historically one of the oldest areas, but some particular forms emerge. The real key point is the audience, because now making a book print has become within the reach of most scholarships.

Publishers and associated authors is a traditional publishing house that is now appealing to Internet users to be part of a new editorial adventure.

At the beginning of 2010, Sandawe publishers propose to co-produce cartoon authors. We can also mention Mymajorcompanybook.

Since October 2013, Numalire of the Yabé company has been proposing the re-publication of patrimonial documents held by libraries

Board Games

On the Kickstarter site, the Zombicide game has, for example, been supported by more than 5,000 donors. Board games are a field among which you need a bit of capital and a lot of advertising, so interesting concepts are often offered for fans in pre-sales collections.

Sports and hobbies

Sport is still a little explored sector in France, the sector being mainly the adage of some sports brands or certain sectors (energy drinks for only cited red bull).

However, sporting at a high level requires equipment and especially equipment, which is why sites like Tennis Angels (which offers Internet users to finance future tennis champions ranked in the 200th place around the world) and My Poker Squad Are the first to offer this type of community offer. But there were already initiatives abroad, like Myfootballclub in Great Britain.

Real estate

There are many socio-finance platforms in the real estate sector, especially in France where real estate remains the preferred investment of the French.

For real estate I advise you to read the special folder crowdfunding real estate

Financing of real estate projects. There is often a demand for companies or developers to have money to carry out several construction or rental projects. This is often reflected in issues of repayable bonds.

Collective investment is one of the forms that the crowdfunding real estate can take. Actors then group together to buy apartments or businesses in order to rent them and to obtain a return and a potential added value. They usually do it through an SCI or a SAS.


Websites are experimenting with community production in the press sector. We can cite NowPublic, the French project in gestation Glifpix and Mediapart


A category is being developed, that of patents which are then distributed in the form of royalties to investors.

A second area in science is also developing. Not benefiting from access to public finances or private funds for projects deemed unprofitable or insufficiently interesting by the states and institutions, it is the field of citizen sciences often developing in the associative mode

Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Inventors, business leaders often need additional means than love money (money from his family) to develop their concept (product idea, technique or service) and later access to bank loans.

Many entrepreneurs have created their company but lack funds (a few tens of thousands of euros) to make the necessary investments and to succeed in the seed phase. As their projects are not always considered sufficiently profitable by institutional investors and business angels, they have to find other solutions to finance themselves. For this, there are equity crowdfunding platforms that allow to invest in capital, and to buy shares of companies in creation. For project promoters in France, some participatory financing platforms go beyond simply raising funds, enabling the future entrepreneur to build up a real social network to exchange, test his idea and bring it to maturity; Participatory financing thus makes it possible both to avoid the isolation of entrepreneurs and to compensate for the lack of “conventional” financing methods in this period when banks no longer follow French entrepreneurs.


Renewable energies are a definite future, but projects require significant funding and crowdfunding helps to mitigate this

Solar energy
Photovoltaic solar energy
Solar thermal low temperature
Solar thermal high temperature
Wind energy
Hydropower – Hydroelectricity
The great hydraulics
Small hydraulics
The marine energies
The biomass
Wood energy
The biogas
Bioclimatic architecture
Renewable energy

Smart City

Some sites have specialized in crowdfunding the smart city and its services

The term “smart city” refers to a city using information and communication technologies (ICT) to “improve” the quality of urban services or reduce its costs. This emerging concept – whose meanings are changing in French1 – means a type of urban development capable of responding to the changing or emerging needs of institutions, businesses and citizens, both economically and socially, environmental.

A city can be described as “smart” when investments in human capital, social capital, energy infrastructure (electricity, gas), flows (human, material, information) contribute to sustainable economic development and A high quality of life, with sound management of natural resources, through participatory governance and the efficient and integrated use of ICTs. A smart city would be able to implement infrastructure management (water, energy, information and telecommunications, transport, emergency services, public facilities, buildings, management and sorting Waste, etc.) that are communicative, adaptable, sustainable and more efficient, automated to improve the quality of life of citizens, while respecting the environment.

Restaurants and wine

Many restaurateurs were able to create a small store and develop it in need of funds.


Agriculture is an area in which crowdfunding develops well, especially with activities such as beekeeping.


Some platforms have specialized in a specific religious community such as Catholic or Muslim.


Donation consists in giving to a project, often associative, without compensation. The gift is disinterested and timeless. However, in order to honor the gift, the beneficiary association can make a symbolic gesture in return, which is called the counter-gift. It is not an act of exchange of values such as sale or barter. The associations thus collect several billion euros each year12.

Actors propose to act as intermediaries between donors and associators. HelloAsso, one of France’s participatory financing platforms, says it collects nearly one million euros a month

Donation with counterpart

Donation with counterpart is to give to a project, in exchange for a return, called the counterpart. This exchange is close to sale or barter.

Kickstarter, the leading company on this model in the US, raised over 320 million euros in 2012. Estimates for 2013 are over $ 900 million for Kickstarter alone. In Europe, Ulule (media, games) and Kisskissbankbank (creative projects) are the most well-known platforms.

Community production

Community production, a model in which investors are also coproducers (eg Myfashionline, My Major Company, Myshowproduction, Touscoprod, Fabrique d’artistes, Sandawe editions, and more recently Méhari editions). This is a financial incentive in the form of royalties on future revenues. A non-financial counterpart is also often considered (album, derivative products, invitations, etc.).

Finally, it should be noted that, according to industry players and analysts, participatory financing segmentations can be significantly different. Some only distinguish four types (loan, stock, gift, rewards).


Business loan

The business loan or crowdlending is a form of loan granted by individuals with a repayment of interest spread over time. In France, 14 platforms are active in this sector in June 2016, including Unilend,, Lendix (which bought its competitor Finsquare in March 2016), 15 Lendopolis, PretUp and WeShareBonds. The leader Lendix has a turnover of 25 million euros in 2015.15 In 2016, 651 projects were supported by individuals on French platforms, for a total amount of 83 million euros, more than double The previous year.

The associated risks are those of borrower default, although payment providers like Lemon Way participate in repayment in the event of borrowers defaulting. Since the end of 2014, French legislation requires intermediaries to post the borrower default rate on a quarterly basis, but the decline is small compared with the duration of the proposed loans (up to 7 years). In February 2017, the consumer association UFC-Que Choisir published a study that denounced participatory financing platforms, “accused of overestimating returns and mitigating risks”. At the same time, there is a slowdown in the growth of the sector, due to the effectiveness of bank loans and the reluctance of individuals unconvinced by the posted yields

Crowdlending: Loans to individuals

Personal loans (peer-to-peer), or peer-to-peer lending, are possible through lending platforms to finance individuals. Most of these platforms pool their loan portfolios (examples: Loan of Union in France, Lending Club and Prosper in the United States, Zopa in the United Kingdom), so the lender does not choose the borrower to whom he wishes to lend But sees its savings spread among several borrowers. These platforms generally operate with the agreement of a partner bank to ensure transparency of operations.

Best crowdfunding site



Lendix is a French lending platform for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), based in Paris. Founded by Olivier Goy in 2014, it allows SMEs to borrow directly from private and institutional lenders.
, Lendix allows the financing of SME development projects by individuals. They can lend up to € 2,000 per project. Individual lenders and institutional lenders lend directly to companies with the fixed interest rate depending on the quality of the project. Lendix, as IFP (Participating Financing Intermediary), is registered with ORIAS.

As at March 2017, the platform had 68 million outstanding loans.

You can get a bonus of 20€ for 500€ lended by using this link :



Bondora is a leading European non-bank consumer lender. With Bondora you can access a new asset class and earn a strong return with well-diversified risk. Bondora is one of the bigest crowdfunding website you can found on Europa.

You can get an extra 5€ bonus by using this link


Mintos is a peer-to-peer lending marketplace that connects investors with borrowers of various loan originators. It is an easy and transparent alternative to the traditional banking system.

At Mintos, both retail and institutional investors can invest in fractions of loans originated across Europe. Currently, we offer the opportunity to invest in mortgage loans, personal unsecured loans, secured car loans, invoices, and small business loans.

By connecting to the Mintos platform, loan originators get instant access to investors that are looking to purchase loans

For every successful referral, we will reward both you and your friend with 1% of the amount they invest!

To start earning use this code .

Your code: OKXETL

(valid until 07.07.2017.)

Once you enters this code in the “Promo code” field during registration, Mintos will  reward you with 1% of the invested amount. The reward will be calculated based on their average daily invested balance over a 3-month period – 30, 60, and 90 days after the registration date – and paid in three instalments.

Equity crowdfunding

Participatory equity financing, also known as equity crowdfunding, allows equity participation in financed companies and financial reward through dividends and potential capital gains realized (eg SmartAngels, Bulb in Town, Investir99, Anaxago, SparkUp , Wiseed, Raizers, Sowefund, PRE-IPO). Investors become shareholders. These platforms give access to the largest number of investment in unlisted SMEs, as do business angel networks. They are complementary to other early-stage financing actors such as public bodies or business angels or seed and venture capital funds18. The major advantage of equity crowdfunding is that it allows business creators to raise funds very quickly, given the attractiveness of this means of financing to investors. It also allows investing in companies that will have a direct impact on the local economy, to develop its network by meeting dynamic entrepreneurs.

Moreover, thanks to the crowdequity, French residents have the possibility to make tax deductions on their income tax, wealth tax or benefit from advantageous conditions of the PEA PME.

On the other hand, participatory capital funding benefits from the attractiveness of many people for lovemoney. Thus, in some cases, the people investing in the projects are not part of the network of the platform but of the entrepreneur’s extensive network: it can be direct relations (family, friends), but also indirect, Hence the expression “buddies, cousins, madmen” designating the different types of investors

Financing in royalties

The royalty financing, also called royalty crowdfunding, allows an investment for financial consideration, without diluting the capital. The project holder pays each quarter to investors a percentage of his income for 3 to 5 years. This method of financing is particularly suitable for raising seed funds from 20 000 to 100 000 €.

Today, in France, only two platforms offer this type of financing: We do good, dedicated to positive impact projects, and My Pharma Company, which specializes in healthcare.


Legal frameworks and figures

Xerfi estimates the share of participatory financing in the United States to be $ 1.6 billion and about 945 million euros in Europe. In France, the amounts raised by participatory financing in 2014 amounted to 152 million euros, almost twice as much as in 2013. Specifically, 88.4 million euros were raised in loans, 38.2 million euros In donation and 25.4 million in equity crowdfunding. There are large differences in the average amounts per leverage depending on the type of financing. If for the gift or the loan it amounts to a few thousand euros, this represents several hundred thousand euros for the equity crowdfunding. The crowdfunding thus responds to different needs in its different forms, which explains the success of this method of financing. The prospects are also very pleasing since the breakthrough of participatory financing is not near to stop according to the various studies carried out

In France

In France, certain activities linked to participatory financing remained highly regulated, which tends to hinder the development of this sector54,55. François Hollande announced on April 29, 2013, the closing of the foundations of entrepreneurship, the establishment before September 2013 of a secure legal framework for the development of participative finance in France. In May 2013, the Autorité des Marchés Financiers and the Autorité de contrôle prudentiel et de resolution (Autorité de contrôle prudentiel et de resolution) drafted a guide enabling project promoters to know the various regulations currently in force.

A public consultation on the future law governing participatory financing was opened in France between September and December 2013. Order 2014 559 of 30 May 201457 on participatory financing was published in the official gazette of 31 May 201458. Introduces new articles to the Monetary and Financial Code by laying down two statutes for the exercise of participatory financing activities59: the participating financing intermediary (IFP), Article L. 548-2 of the Monetary and Financial Code and the investment adviser Participatory (CIP), Article L. 547-1 of the Monetary and Financial Code. These two statutes of access and exercise require registration in the Register of Insurance, Banking and Finance intermediaries, maintained by ORIAS, on a compulsory basis from 1 October 2014. The Autorité des And the Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel and Resolution have prepared a special file.

Investors can thus consult the Register to verify that the participatory financing operator they are addressing is properly registered and supervised as a professional in this trade.

An important step has been taken in the standardization of participatory financing in France with the Decree of 23 September 2014.

Participatory financing thus tends to become a stronghold in France, which is logical in view of the pronounced interest of the French for this activity. Indeed, one French person out of two is willing to invest in a company, especially if it is close to home. These figures show a strong appetite for participatory financing, and increased interest in equity crowdfunding through several incentives for investment. Thus, since January 1, 2015, any individual investing in an enterprise through this means benefit from a deduction of 18% of their investment from their taxes. Moreover, the law fixing a limit of 49 shareholders in the same holding in order to benefit from tax exemption is abolished, as is the requirement for a holding company to hire at least two employees in the year following the investment.

Observing that several crowdlending platforms circumvent the limitation of € 1,000 per lender by using cash certificates, the French government creates in 2016 the minibon, nominative title issued for 5 years, more flexible than the loan initially organized by law

After that the law was changed on 31/10/2016, people can lend 2000€ per project and anf the palteforme can make projet until 2,5millions. They open the possibility for legal entities to lend to companies in the context of participatory financing.

A participatory equity financing platform through the subscription of financial securities issued by an unlisted company must be registered with the ORIAS Register as a Participating Investment Advisor (CIP). It also has the option to opt for Investment Service Provider (ISP) status if it provides advice, but in this case it must be approved by the ACPR. The AMF regulates only the PICs and jointly by the AMF and the ACPR for the ISPs.

→ The platform must be registered with the ORIAS register as a participatory financing (IFP) intermediary if it proposes loans (paid or unpaid).

In Quebec

In Quebec, the term “sociofinancing” is used to refer to participatory financing. The neologism was created in 2010 by Audrey Benoît and Thomas Duperré, co-founders of the first socio-financing platform in Quebec, Haricot, on line in August 2011. The common name is privileged by the Office Québécois de la langue française and the verb Is commonly used in mainstream media.

In Quebec, the idea of lovemoney goes back some thirty years. In 1983, the Love Money Association for SMEs was created to allow entrepreneurs to meet individuals interested in investing in a project and thus participate in an exciting adventure. While this initiative has been successful, crowdfunding sites have not developed in the wake of Quebec. They took time out of the ground. But today, crowdfunding is much more developed in the Province. One of the main sites, having raised no less than 500 000 € in just 6 months, is Yoyomolo

In Belgium

In Belgium, participatory financing sites have been active since 2011 and the supervisory body of the Belgian financial institutions (FSMA) has adopted certain rules from 2012 but it was not until April 2014 that the first amendments to the law were made. As these changes are only partial, the regional governments of the country have agreed to consolidate the legislative environment during the legislature between 2014 and 2019. This has recently been endorsed in the agreement of the Flemish government The first actor Of the Belgian market specializing in equity financing through equity participation and through loans is the website which raised over EUR 4 million in 3 years


Several limitations exist at Crowdfunding. While legislation in different countries tends to restrict and sometimes restrict participatory financing, some believe that the crowdfunding business model should be changed or adapted and / or professionalized within traditional models or new models of the economy Collaborative:

A specific status may be required (eg, Investment Advisory Committee (PIC) for investment activities or Participating Financing Intermediary (IFP) for financing activities, exclusive status of any other activity, or management company, Investment firm, financing company in countries where law allows these statutes to do crowdfunding) to open a platform for donation versus donation or participatory financing . Some funding thresholds may exist (vary according to the legislation national)
Another limitation is the amount of money that investors / lenders are willing to contribute

Faced with the success of this new form of financing, the players in market finance are interested in this phenomenon, sometimes to lead some historical actors of alternative finance to transform their model

Advantages and disadvantages

Participatory financing is an online service that incorporates the practice of most associations and entrepreneurs: a way of being surrounded, advised and supported. Fundraising is the final step in a community mobilization strategy.

One of the strengths of participatory financing is that it allows transactions involving individuals, allowing a financial relationship based on criteria other than a single profit search. Thus, participatory financing is sometimes a good way to promote mutual aid, or for a company, to communicate while raising funds.84, Participatory financing helps project holders, who have an idea or a company to develop, but who are unable to raise the necessary funds on their own. It is therefore a complementary service to other means of financing such as bank loans and institutional investors.

Some participatory financing platforms go beyond mere fund raising and are a way to test the idea with a community of Internet users. Thus the project leader will have elements on the feasibility of his project and can pre-sell his products or services to a community that will support him.

For projects that already have their own network, participatory financing sites are not always useful because the commission charged by these new intermediaries can be significant. For example, the MyMajorCompany platform deducts from the promoter a commission of 10% of the amounts collected, on which deductible (but non-refundable) transaction fees have already been deducted but may exceed 4% on small contributions. Some platforms, such as HelloAsso, offer alternative and free models, leaving contributors, for example, to give a voluntary and optional tip. It is nevertheless complicated to compare the different platforms of participatory financing


There are events in France aimed at promoting participatory financing, discussing current issues and advancing the legislative framework, such as those organized by the Parisian association FPF (Participative Financing France), with the foundations of participatory finance, Festival crowdfunding or the Tour de France of participative finance. In Marseilles, the Euro-Mediterranean Crowdfunding Meetings, organized by the Popfinance Association during the Mediterranean Economic Week, act as debates, round tables and speeches focusing on issues between Europe and Africa -Orient and major future developments in alternative finance, notably Finance fiction where guests such as economist François Morin; The former trader Jérôme Kerviel or the writer Alain Damasio react and imagine possible or desirable evolutions of participatory financing in a general public format.

Participatory financing technology

There are several existing technologies allowing alternative finance players or fintechs to create their financing platform. These existing technologies facilitate the emergence of actors whose primary vocation is to encourage the emergence of innovations.

These solutions for creating a participatory financing platform are often offered either as a white label or through API (application programming interface).

These solutions enable participatory financing actors to focus their efforts on the quality of service offered to entrepreneurs and investors.

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