When governments start passing legislation to address perceived problems, that’s a pretty strong clue that there has been some heavy growth in the area where the legislation was targeted. In this case, I’m talking about crowdfunding.
Earlier this year, German parliament tightened the rules on crowdfunding. This is a pretty clear sign that crowdfunding has grown quite a bit in the country. But I didn’t need legislation to tell me that.
What Are The Top Crowdfunding Sites in Germany?
Most of the top crowdfunding platforms in Germany don’t actually operate out of Germany. In May 2014, for instance, Crowdsourcing Week listed the top15 crowdfunding platforms in Germany. Only one of those, Companisto, was a German-based company.
Companisto is an equity-based platform that offers investors a way to invest in startups and real estate companies. They’ve done quite well.
Even larger than Companisto is Crowdcube, based in the UK. This leading crowdfunding platform was one of the first equity-based platforms in the world and is currently the largest crowdfunding site in Great Britain. The company got its start in 2010 and has done quite well all through Europe.
Leading peer-to-peer lending, Funding Circle is another UK-based crowdfunding platform. Germans can cut out the banker and go directly to the funding source for their loans.
Seedmatch is another site doing well in Germany. Based in Germany, it has a large investor base. They specialize in startups.
Two other crowdfunding sites leading the pack in Germany are located in Berlin. Bergfürst has a lot going for it with some huge capital backing it, and Innovestment is shaking things up with an auction-based crowdfunding model. Both companies are platforms to watch in the future.
Crowdfunding Trends: Worldwide Growth and the Future
Growth in crowdfunding worldwide started in 2011. The world’s best known crowdfunding platform, Kickstarter, opened its doors in April 2009. Other sites soon followed. Google Trends, however, doesn’t show a spike in searches for the term “crowdfunding” until 2011. The needle really starts to move in 2012.
According to Statista, the number of crowdfunding platforms worldwide in 2012 was 454. The United States led the pack with 191. The United Kingdom ranked second with 44 crowdfunding platforms. Germany was ranked sixth with 20. In 2013, Germany exploded.
In September 2013, there were more Google searches on crowdfunding in Germany relative to the total number of searches over time than there was in the United States or United Kingdom. Search interest has gone up, both worldwide and within Germany, ever since.
While the relative number of Google searches for crowdfunding in Germany today is less than it was September 2013, the general trend is upward. Aside from the anomaly of that one standout month, the upward trend of Google searches in Germany for the term “crowdfunding” looks like a standard stochastic chart. The steady upward trend only says one thing: The future of crowdfunding is bright all around—in Germany and worldwide.
Since September 2013, crowdfunding searches in Germany have slightly trended upward, but search interest has remained fairly steady through 2015 so far.
The Future of Crowdfunding in Germany Looks Bright
These trends spell one thing: Germany is poised for growth in crowdfunding in the near future. As the number of crowdfunding platforms continues to grow, there will be new players enter the market and offer new products that meet the demand. Germany could become one of the top three or four crowdfunding countries by the end of 2016. It certainly won’t be falling asleep any time soon.