News from Another Crowd

Fever Pitch

Crowdfunding is generating excitement of “fever-pitch” levels, but it needs to be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), according to Richard Martin of Central Union Partners (CUP). CUP is a consultancy providing alternative financing for property projects and investments and linked to peer-to-peer platform ThinCats.

Cambridge music streamer raises £200k

Wannabe ‘Dragons’ looking for the next Spotify have backed a unique pay-as-you-play digital jukebox, Psonar, investing over £200K of their own money. The streaming service sold equity through the crowdfunding platform SyndicateRoom, based in Cambridge, exceeding its funding target of a cool £200,000. The cloud-based service lets music fans stream the songs they want to hear on their mobile phones, paying per track using pre-paid credit. Just as mobile phone top-ups revolutionised the world of telecommunications, so Psonar hopes to have a similar effect on the growing music streaming industry.

Billions of people worldwide want to stream music, especially on their mobile phones, but at an annual cost of £120/$120/€120 for services such as Spotify, Deezer and Rdio, the cost for some is just too high. Psonar removes that barrier to entry, “aiming to serve the disenfranchised majority of music fans who want access to on-demand streaming, but who cannot afford subscription streaming”, according to Psonar CEO Martin Rigby.

Crowdfunding their way to the Olympics

Cool Runnings was in need of some cool cash. The Jamaican bobsled team, which charmed the world in the 1988 Winter Olympics with its unlikely appearance in the games, will return this year but it may not have been able to attend if it weren't for the generosity of the crowdfunding community. The team officially qualified for the Sochi Games on Jan. 18. Instead of celebrating, though, it faced a major cash crisis.

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