Crowdfunding: Mainstream, Normal, Attractive

All kinds of people, all kinds of ideas. Share and exchange in the crowd.

Investors and entrepreneurs see the evidence steadily accumulating: crowdfunding works.  Don't believe the hype. Do believe the data.

Ken Symon, in, describes Why crowdfunding is now a mainstream way for businesses to raise much-needed finance. He interviews Paula Skinner, a partner in law firm Harper McLeod, where she regularly advises  Scottish businesses on crowdfunding deals.

She says: “It’s well and truly established in business now. If a business comes to talk to us about funding generally, whether that’s £100,000 or whether it’s £5m, crowdfunding absolutely comes up in every single conversation we have now. It’s something that businesses see as mainstream now and more of the advisors are starting to see it as mainstream.”

We're grateful for the emphasis on need. This is not speculation; it's about businesses with ideas and plans for growth. The article also describes FreeAgent, an Edinburgh company that raised equity crowdfunding on Seedrs, and then progressed to a listing on AIM (the Alternative Investment Market.)

What Investment magazine asks: Does crowdfunding really offer attractive returns for investors? This is a cautious, skeptical piece, but what we like about it is that it's grounded in solid data - much of it from Cambridge's pioneering crowdfunding data TAB (formerly known as Crowdsurfer)

in Forbes David Prosser reviews recent commentary on peer-to-peer lending for Forbes, where he concludes that Rumours of P2P's Demise Have Been Exaggerated.

"Are we really saying that an industry that didn’t exist a decade ago is failing because only one in 20 or so Britons have used it over the past 12 months? In fact, that seems like a pretty impressive adoption rate, particularly in an industry such as financial services, where start-ups face all sorts of issues around trust and credibility."

These stories - all three surfacing in the last 24 hours - are music to our ears. An ounce of evidence is better than a pound of shouting, and the best thing we can hope for is oridinary people putting money into businesses they understand. We are not offended by sobriety in investment.

It isn't so long ago that the newspapers were printing stories about crowdfunding  growing so fast it was out of control  and the bubble was surely about to burst! (Not only the cautious This Is Money said so, but also the the exuberant )

The real story of investment crowdfunding and peer-to-peer it's that it's mostly sober, practical and valuable to the people who do it. Which doesn't make for big headlines with exclamation marks, but it does make good news.