How to pick the best crowdfunding platform for investing
When you google the best crowdfunding platforms for investing you inevitably stumble upon the big brand names like StartEngine, Seedrs, Crowdcube, RealtyMogul and Fundrise.
While these must be great established platforms that offer great investment opportunities even for beginner investors, you may want to have a useful tool to find and analyze more crowdfunding platforms quickly and effectively.
Use a checklist for analyzing crowdfunding platforms
There are several factors you may want to look into before choosing your crowdfunding platform for investing.
- Geography – where the platform is operating
- Authorization – if the platform is registered
- Industry – like impact investing, green tech, real estate, agriculture, etc.
- Investment types – debt, equity, p2p, mini-bonds, etc.
- Investment portfolios – whether it matches your investment preferences
- Minimum investment – what’s the entry amount to invest on the platform
- Auto-investing – allows you to make investments when you’re offline
- Interest rates – how much can you make via crowdfunding investments
- Money lock in – how do you withdraw and when can you withdraw money
- Commissions – platform’s fees and rates
- Secondary market – can you sell your investments on the secondary market
Guarantees and special perks:
- SIPC (USA) or FSCS (UK) protection – in 99% of cases there is no protection
- Cancellation period – how much time do you have to cancel an investment (usually 48 hours)
- Cashback – any bonuses and cashbacks when you top up wallet, for example
- IRA (USA) or ISA (UK) eligible investments – whether you can invest in tax free offerings
Explore crowdfunding platform directories
Now when you’re equipped with a solid crowdfunding platform checklist, you can actually think of the crowdfunding platform directories, listings, and registers.
There are different websites to look for crowdfunding platforms which allow you to see different information and compare similar platforms in your country, by your industry or preferred security types to build your crowdinvesting portfolio.
CrowdSpace focuses on the European and United Kingdom crowdfunding markets and includes over 350 crowdfunding platforms that you can choose from.
The CrowdSpace crowdfunding platform directory has an easy-to-use search panel which allows you to find and compare different crowdfunding platforms. The basic search filters include:
- Investment type
Apart from that, you can also search by name and years on the market to ensure that the crowdfunding platform wasn’t created yesterday.
The search results are neat-looking cards with the basic platform description as well as the link to the website or company’s profile.
In case a company’s profile is available, you can find some more information about the crowdfunding platform including:
- Platform fees
- Secondary market availability
- Registration number
- Latest news and activity on social media like Twitter
- Similar companies
P2PMarketData provides an overview of the TOP 90 crowdfunding platforms in Europe, the UK and the USA. As the name of the crowdfunding directory suggests, you can find P2P lending platforms as well as real estate investing platforms.
You can search by different parameters, including country, currency, financing type, and also see some interesting specs like an investor’s cashback and platform’s performance over the 90 days.
The data in the directory comes from the crowdfunding platforms themselves and the information is updated monthly, according to P2PMarketData.
GoodCrowd divides platforms into social impact, real estate, non-profit and personal crowdfunding in the USA.
While the website doesn’t provide a user-friendly search panel, it features plenty of crowdfunding platforms in the USA to choose from. If you click on a platform’s name, you’ll be redirected to a company profile page where you can find the basic information about the crowdfunding platform and see if it catches your attention.
YieldTalk is a powerful directory that has over 110 investment platforms in the USA. The platform focuses on individual investors both accredited and non-accredited and allows you to search crowdfunding platforms by:
- Investor status
- Investment type
- Investment minimum
Apart from providing a comprehensive overview of a crowdfunding platform, YieldTalk also reviews the platforms and gives them ratings based on their own criteria.
Depending on the available information, YieldTalk may specify the advertised interest rates of a platform as well as particular regulations that a platform is working with.
YieldTalk gathers information from Crunchbase and investment websites and also mentions that some of it may be sponsored.
Can you rely on the crowdfunding platform listing websites?
Crowdfunding platform directories are a great way to find the platforms which you’ve never heard of before. For example, if you’re exploring new niche markets to diversify your portfolio in:
- Green energy
- Impact investing
- Education & science
- Real estate, etc.
On a side note, competitive crowdfunding platform directories may be affiliated and sponsored by the investment platforms so you should double check all of the information and do your own research based on the above-mentioned checklist or even come up with your own one.
If you’re aiming to become an accredited or rather a professional investor, you should definitely go more in-depth and read the boring stuff like terms and conditions, reviews, etc. In these docs, you can find the insights that crowdfunding platforms or listing websites don’t usually advertise.
In addition to that, crowdfunding directories may not specify whether a crowdfunding platform is actually registered and authorised as a funding portal or broker-dealer to conduct operations in your area. In that case, you need to check out the open registers like:
At the official websites you can make sure that the platform is registered and authorised to run a crowdfunding platform.
Crowdfunding platform directories are a great way to search for crowdfunding platforms for investing. When it comes to making the investment decision and picking the right platform, you need to research further, read reviews, consult financial experts, work with an advisor, explore platform’s services, fees, and history of successful payouts.
At CrowdSpace, we provide a useful tool to find crowdfunding platforms in Europe quickly and easily; and if you need to explore the US market, YieldTalk or GoodCrowd will probably work best for you.