Good news for all you CEE startups out there! The German equity-based crowdfunding platform Companisto has just announced its expansion into the rest of Europe. While quite a few startups have had successful crowdfunding campaigns on platforms such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo, these platforms are not accessible to companies that do not a have product-market fit and are often restricted to entities registered in certain countries (mainly the UK and the US). However, for those ambitious startups that would still like to access alternative financing, an equity-based crowdfunding – or crowdinvesting, platform might be just the solution.
To date, more than 14.000 people have invested a total of over 4,7 million euros in companies that ran a campaign with Companisto, and the platform is now ready to take over Europe. inventures.eu caught up with Companisto’s founders, David Rhotert and Tamo Zwinge to talk about their expansion.
“As little as one year ago, we never would have believed that we would expand across Europe. Now this step has become almost inevitable,” said Zwinge. “Our highest priority is to present the best and most promising startups to our investors at all times.”
The access to equity-based crowdfunding might prove to be a great opportunity for many CEE startups who have been unable to access this type of financing – until now. “We are paying close attention to the CEE region because a highly dynamic and fast-growing startup scene has developed there. In particular, the large number of excellent developers seems to boost the foundation of promising companies,” said Zwinge.
Companisto is an equity-based solution in Europe that is accessible to the general public, in that it does not require a minimum investment. In practice, this means that anybody can become a shareholder, even with a small contribution starting at five euros. This way, early adopters and supporters can contribute financially to the success of a startup, even if they do not have the financial means to make large investments.
With this expansion, the two founders expect to enrich an already wide range of startups. “Companisto is not limited to specific industries. Our portfolio contains both traditional “offline” companies such as the frozen yogurt chain Wonderpots and technology-centered companies such as Tame (the “Google for Twitter”), and there are B2B companies such as doxter or swabr and B2C start-ups such as readfy. Overall, we are assuming that the range will increase further due to startups from Eastern Europe applying”, said Zwinge.
Also, the platform welcomes startups in any phase. “It is solely important that the business concept is scalable and can be understood by a large number of investors,” Zwinge added. However, startups that apply will go through a VC-worthy screening procedure. “In this process, we consider a multitude of factors; as a first step, however, a compact pitch deck, which startups may email here, is sufficient. Once our investment manager has checked this pitch deck, we provide initial feedback and request additional documentation if the case is interesting,” he said.
What you might also be interested in reading is the latest news on crowdfunding in Austria.