For those befuddled by the blizzard of data in the fragmented world of crowdfunding and peer-to-peer finance, Crowdsurfer is trying to bring order to chaos.
Founder Emily Mackay, a former technology analyst, notes that collaborative finance, which relies on intermediaries as little as possible, is not new. But the rise of smartphones and digital platforms now makes it easier for individuals to send money directly to one another without relying on, say, financiers and brokers, for anything from equity to peer-to-peer student loans.
Crowdsurfer sucks in data from more than 200 crowdfunding platforms, crunches it and spits out pretty charts and analytics. One application of this data dashboard is to give market watchers a peek at trends before they bubble to the surface. Perhaps internet-connected homeware projects are hotting up on Kickstarter? A good time to launch that “smart” spoon, perhaps.
Ms Mackay had the idea for Crowdsurfer when setting up a platform that let people buy and sell shares in community renewable energy projects. She sold it to Co-operatives UK, but realised the potential of helping people access and understand collaborative finance. “We’re building up a suite of questions that people want answering from this data – like how much a market is worth, or whether a particular campaign is happening.”
Crowdsurfer is in trials with two global financial institutions. It expects to make money by selling subscriptions for its platform and to access parts of its code. Backers include angel investors from BlackRock and Goldman Sachs, as well as the angel syndicate Rockspring.
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