CONDA: ‘establishing crowdinvesting as an alternative’ in Austria
On 21 March, the team of CONDA will be celebrating their first birthday. 2013 has been a successful year, the team believes, during which CONDA managed to gather around 500,000 euros for the ventures on the platform.
Co-founder Daniel Horak says that they managed to form an innovative complement to the Austrian investment scene, apart from traditional financing options for entrepreneurs. When it comes to the question of which of the previous ventures has managed to raise the most capital with CONDA’s assistance, Horak points to the innovative low-carb beer NIXE. They were “up until now our ‘model student’ who managed to raise 150,000 euros within merely a few weeks.” Currently, the restaurant-franchise startup ‘Burgermasta’ is just nearly as successful: “They are also nearing the 150.000”, says Horak. By now, 83 investors have put in some 113,000 euros and prospects have until 16 March to invest.
What’s in the pipeline?
For 2014, CONDA wants to further implement crowdinvesting as a recognised and respected form of corporate financing in Austria. “It is apparent that small and medium sized enterprises and startups need to find alternative methods of financing and we want to establish crowdinvesting as an alternative.” Also, Horak says that the team “want to spread the word that it can be a suitable form of investment for everyone.” The crowdinvesting platform tries to be there for people who tend to invest their money in small enterprises and startups with a national or regional connection.
Horak is keen on noting the difference between the first two expressions, as they are often taken for synonyms: “When people crowdfund, they typically get a goodie or at some time, maybe the finished product. Crowdinvestors, however, are economically connected to the venture and benefit of the future economic well-being of the firm.”
Due to the fact that all the investors are economically intertwined with the venture, even if some invest only 100 euros, they tend to become brand ambassadors and its active promoters. What’s particularly important, Horak noted, is that “when it comes to crowdinvesting, there is always a legitimate business model behind the ventures that are financed.”
While there may not be a clear rule of when crowdfunding or -investing is more suitable for a company, Horak sees benefits in both financing options. That being said, he emphasised the further fostering of crowdinvesting in Austria as CONDA’s main goal for 2014.