When MSPmentor blogged about the crowdfunding trend yesterday, several readers sent me emails outlining additional funding options for small business owners, entrepreneurs and MSPs. Among those I heard from: BoeFly and Seedups. Here's a look at their strategies, and the potential funding implications for SMBs.
First some background and words of caution. Yesterday's MSPmentor blog explored how entrepreneurs could use crowdfunding website -- destinations like Peerbackers.com, IndieGogo.com, Kickstarter.com and RocketHub.com -- to raise small sums of money from numerous individuals. An example: You can potentially raise $10,000 by pursuing $100 from each of 100 individuals. With crowdfunding, the money doesn't need to be paid back, but the "borrower" typically gives the "lenders" free goods and services in return for the SMB funding.
Additional Small Business Funding OptionsYesterday's article overlooked alternative options like BoeFly and Seedups. I don't have direct experience with either site, so do your homework. Here's some background.
BoeFly.com is an Internet loan exchange -- somewhat akin to Match.com and eBay but built to connect small business owners with more than 1,500 U.S. banks, the company claims. BoeFly works to eliminate many of the inefficiencies in the process of securing small business loans, such as business owners having to go from bank to bank and fill out numerous applications, and banks having to review dozens of applications that may not fit their lending parameters, BoeFly adds.
BoeFly has a tool called the Fundability Wizard, which borrowers can use to input a few pieces of information and get an instant read of the number of banks that have matching profiles for their loan details. This feature also tells them the strengths and potential weaknesses of their loan request, BoeFly claims.
MSPs love Wizards... so I bet the Fundability Wizard will be a welcome distraction for some readers.
Meanwhile, Seedups funds SMBs in return for a stake in the SMB. The company is based in the UK but has a US office and launched a US-based service in March 2011 at the South by Southwest conference. Traditional MSPs typically are not on Seedup's radar, concedes Online Community Manager Connor Doherty. But I suspect fast-growth companies -- perhaps MSPs that have proprietary technology tied to the cloud or mobile management -- might catch Seedup's attention.
Let us know if you leverage any of the services above. And ultimately: Let us know how funding potentially helped to accelerate your business.