Though Adam Smith was correct when he said, “All money is a matter of belief,” that belief system is the lifeblood of commerce. Not only making it, but securing varying amounts necessary to facilitate growth or launch new products and ideas. This is the challenge every business, whether it is a multi-national corporation or an aspiring startup, faces every day.
Therefore, this month we look at entrepreneurs who have successfully navigated the waters of growth and those helping others to do likewise, especially when it comes to funding.
The business world celebrates venture capital superstars like Snapchat or Uber, who raised billion-dollar rounds. However, venture funding is the exception, not the rule among growing businesses. Surprisingly, only a small percentage of companies have raised capital from VCs, fewer than one percent. Angel investors, affluent individuals who put up smaller amounts and often at earlier stages than VCs, fund 16 times more companies than do VCs, and their numbers are growing.
Of course, crowdfunding, unheard of a few years ago, is another emerging means of raising initial funding. The idea, however, has been around for centuries. Countries often financed military campaigns through various bond vehicles. Sites like Kickstarter repackaged the idea for the Internet age. Earlier this year, Star Citizen, an online space trading and combat video game being developed by Chris Roberts and Cloud Imperium Games, claimed to have raised over $158,726,941 through crowdfunding.
There was also the story of a woman in Sydney, Australia who used the crowdfunding page GoFundMe to help pay her rent in the city’s most expensive beachside suburb of Bondi. A television host, Kylie Gilles, said after interviewing the 40-year-old aspiring actress who launched the GoFundMe campaign, “I have a handbag I have my eye on.”
“The key is modernizing your money. Unfortunately, online investing doesn’t show you how to do that.”
— Jeffrey Small [Pg 16]
“We have elected to put our money and faith in a mathematical framework that is free of politics and human error.”
— Tyler Winklevoss, Co-creator of Facebook [Pg 28]
“I was fortunate to have mentors who were well-respected and experienced in the industry, and I took advantage of their wisdom and advice along the way.”
— Kent Winkelseth [Pg 58]