Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Crowdfunder Targets the Social Enterprise

There’s crowdfunding for creative projects, crowdfunding for charity and crowdfunding for products. But now a company called Crowdfunder is out to support something that exists in between all those categories: Social enterprise.


Crowdfunder is launching today a section of its site to raise money in support of for-profit enterprises that serve communities. It has an impressive list of partners — among them the X Prize Foundation, Singularity University, TED Fellows, Endeavor Mexico and GOOD — that will curate businesses to raise money from their community.

Crowdfunder CEO Chance Barnett argued that the big difference between his site and existing crowdfunding efforts is that it won’t be campaign-based.

“Crowdfunding 2.0 is about relationships and longer-term engagement put alongside an actual business and management team,” he said in an interview this week. “Other crowdfunding platforms aren’t about businesses; they’re mostly about projects.”

Barnett has been heavily involved in regulatory efforts around the JOBS Act, which is expected to open the doors to equity crowdfunding — where so-called “backers” become actual investors — early next year. He said he expects to support equity crowdfunding for accredited investors starting in February 2013.

Based in Los Angeles, Crowdfunder has a team of 13 and is backed with $600,000 in seed funding.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald