The article has been written for a guest blog for my friends at Fintune.ch kicking off an equitiy-based crowd funding campaign:
Wisdom of the crowd – Unlimited universe of success
I am Ivo Meier and a strong believer in the ‘Wisdom of the Crowd’ and its potential to innovate our way of working. The crowd is indeed the unlimited universe for mining bright ideas and professional services, for acquiring complete concepts and best practices, as well as funding of investments from individuals and communities. Does it sound too good to be true?
Establishing and executing a successful crowd with regular crowd campaigns requires effort: you need a purpose, a vision, cross-domain knowledge, and convincing skills. In this article I share my experience on crowd in various shapes in large corporates and how the crowd can help to fund an early-stage startup like Fintune to achieve their great mission on financial literacy.
Crowd testing and crowd design
Since 2016 I foster crowd methodologies to increase the value and quality of software and mobile apps – with great result. The crowd increased quality, security, design and code of our applications. Once established, all engagements resulted in a positive return on investment. The responsible teams renewed the contracts, which is the best proof for success.
Facts and culture
The way, we leveraged the ‘crowd’ in my company is a success story. There are two ingredients to this success: fact-based arguments and cultural change.
A thorough analysis is needed to articulate foreseen value, calculate a positive business case, and envision feasibility checks. However, convincing decision makers is the tough part, because corporate culture tends to stick to proven procedures. Line managers of departments often ask for extra analysis and avoid taking a final decision, because of a fear of failure. Preaching entrepreneurial mindset is not enough, what matters is to live them and take concrete actions. Values like openness, courage, and willingness help to escape inertia and take controlled risks to innovate the status quo.
Values, incentives, and trust
Once you get the buy-in from decision makers, you choose a wise approach and a suitable crowd platform partner. To gather a wise crowd, the ultimate key success factors are about values, incentives, and trust. Compare it with the stock market: investors want to understand the business case and business plan, but whether they pick or skip your company is about their values. Do they trust and believe in the corporate vision and purpose? Your targeted crowd is not different – they pick or skip your initiative based on a mixture of curiosity, values, and believe in the vision and purpose.
The comparison with the stock market leads directly into a popular area of crowd sourcing, where the deliverable is not a bug in your software, an innovative design, or an improvement of your source code, but money. Let’s talk about two flavors: crowdfunding and crowd-investing. We will find out: money is not the only benefit.
Crowdfunding or crowdinvesting?
Crowd funding and crowd investing have one common denominator: the crowd does not provide ideas, but funding support for an idea.
Crowdfunding: Platforms like Kickstarter or Indiegogo offer crowd investors a reward for a monetary support. This reward may be a final product or a wide range of benefits. Besides the raised funds, the crowd funding campaign results in a positive public attention and a community of ‘backers’ supporting your vision.
Crowd investors often seek more: While they support the vision they want to participate in the success of the company – equity-based crowd-funding is the solution. Essentially it is based on a business angel investment model – scaled through a dedicated platform that gather investors through a specialized public crowd of investors. These types of crowd investments are booming. In 2017 more than a billion dollar equity-based crowd funding has been raised. In 2019 the investments have nearly doubled by raising 1.88 billion dollar. A substantial growth is expected in 2020 again. The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the driving factors. Analysts expect a total volume of 2.3 billion dollars.
As with any kind of crowd sourcing you’ll find numerous platforms available one equity-basd crowd funding. Two popular ones, Seedrs and Crowdcube recently merged, while new platforms further innovate and develop the market: Funderbeam offers a secondary trading market where the equity can be bought and sold which gives investors additional flexibility.
Fintune just started their crowdinvesting campaign
Like other forms of crowd methodologies, crowdinvesting follows the same rules: Methodologies and techniques are important, but the essential differencing factor it is about values, incentives and trust. A proper business model and business case is a pre-requisite, but to really scale you need:
- a great idea and vision
- articulated value and purpose
- a skilled and trustworthy team of professional and advisors
- demonstrate established value
- be able to raise confidence, trust and a sense of community
Fintune has all these ingredients. They have a great product with FINNY, an innovative and entrepreneurial mindset, a skilled team, and a powerful advisory board. Last but not least: Fintune shares a great vision to teach kids money. Fintune just started their crowdinvesting campaign on Tuesday, 15.12.2020 on Funderbeam. I proudly support Fintune with my investment!
Fintune’s crowdinvesting campaign
Learning how to manage money is a key capability in life. Parents lack the tools to teach their children all aspects of managing money in our digitalised world. Banks, on the other hand, face the challenge of connecting with generation Z and their children (generation alpha).
These problems have been recognised by the two founders, Ruth Mojentale and Andreas Kirchner (both former Credit Suisse Switzerland employees and developers of Digipigi for Credit Suisse), and with their Swiss fintech company Fintune they have developed a mobile banking app system that is completely customisable for banks, consisting of a children’s app, a parent’s app, and a digital piggy bank.
Further information can be found in the Funderbeam campaign directly.
Fintune's mission is to become Europe’s number 1 digital piggy bank. For parents, we offer opportunities to support the financial literacy of their children. For children, we are developing educational game apps and hardware for learning about digital and physical money. We offer solutions for all banks and B2B partners who have a real interest in financial literacy
Ivo Meier has a proven track record in fiduciary and IT with a focus on financial management, quality assurance, process improvements and corporate culture along with a wide set of management and leadership skills acquired over more than 20 years in IT, leading cross-disciplined software development and expert teams, virtual communities and large globally federated IT teams (100+ members). Ivo has a talent to foster innovation and connecting the dots bringing people and skills together.
Ivo has initiated the introduction of crowd testing at Credit Suisse in 2016, which is now an established process within the bank and got enriched by crowd security testing in 2018. For more than 10 years, he is a conference board member of the Swiss Testing Day and initiator of the DevOps Fusion conference – the conference attracts yearly 800+ professionals in technology.
He worked for large corporations in the financial industry: Coopers & Lybrand, Swiss Reinsurance Company and Credit Suisse. He is married with a psychotherapist for more than 25 years, which has given him an additional different view: Understand the human skills, traits and attitude as a core success factor and treat it as the differentiating factor for success.