The Rise of Online Crowdfunding: Key Moments and Inspiring Successes
ArtistShare, launched in 2000, was the very first online crowdfunding platform. Created by Brian Camelio, it was a place where music fans could support their favorite musicians. In return, fans got special access to the music-making process and unique rewards. It bridged the gap between artists and their supporters.
Sellaband, starting in 2006 in the Netherlands, followed a similar path. It let fans, called "believers," invest in music albums and even share in the profits. This platform made it possible for fans to be part of a band's success story.
One of ArtistShare's big success stories is jazz composer Maria Schneider. In 2004, she used ArtistShare to fund her album "Concert in the Garden." This album won a Grammy, showing the world the power of crowdfunding in music.
Sellaband also had its moments of fame. The rap group Public Enemy raised $75,000 through Sellaband to produce an album. This was one of the first times a famous band used crowdfunding, proving it's a great way to support music projects.
Crowdfunding then took a new turn with platforms like SeedInvest and CircleUp. These sites focused on equity crowdfunding, where people invest in a startup in exchange for a piece of the company.
On SeedInvest, a virtual reality platform called Virtuix Omni raised over $6 million. It was a big moment showing that equity crowdfunding could support large projects.
CircleUp had a major success with Halo Top Creamery. This ice cream brand started with funding from CircleUp and became the top-selling ice cream in the U.S. by 2017. It's a great example of how crowdfunding can boost consumer products.
To sum up, the growth of online crowdfunding has been a game-changer. It started with ArtistShare and Sellaband and now includes many other platforms. These sites have opened up new ways for people to support creative ideas and businesses. They show how powerful crowdfunding can be.