Who the fuck is … Seedmatch?
12th March 1 Comment
The crowdfunding startup Seedmatch is talked about a lot these days – Exciting Commerce see them as Germany’s most important online startup. The startups they present on their platform have received considerable rounds of funding virtually within hours. A couple of weeks ago, we have visited the Seedmatch crew in Dresden and were lucky to have some questions answered.
Please describe your business in a few words.
Seedmatch is the first and leading crowdfunding platform for startups in Germany and was launched last year in August. It is dedicated to bring startups in their seed phase and micro-investors together. After we have analysed the business plans of the companies that approach, we publish them on our platform. People can then pledge a certain amount of money starting from 250 Euro and become dormant partners in the startup business.
Your platform received considerable media attention because investment thresholds were reached virtually within hours. Please tell us a little more about this.
Indeed, we’ve had two projects on Seedmatch that really went through the roof. The first of those was Lingoking, a platform which makes it easy to find telephone translators for a particular purpose. The last startup we have presented was Sugarshape, who want to produce lingerie in special sizes with a new measurement system. As soon as we publish the business plans for the startups we present, the time is ticking. On a first-come-first-served basis investors can place their pledges and if the investment threshold – which currently EUR 100,000 – is reached, the applications are closed.
What is the typical Seedmatch audience? And why do those people become investors in the first place?
We have see that most of the people that approach us are well-educated and savvy people who are not looking for quick money in the first place but rather put their focus on companies and their products as well as services. Usually, they like the idea that they can contribute to something that otherwise probably won’t appear on the market at all.
An important pillar of the Seedmatch concept is that our audience talks about the companies they invest in, which can create an enormous publicity push. So, using our platform is also a clever marketing tool.
We believe that there’s a lot of potential investors willing to support what they believe should get an economic chance, and with Seedmatch we have now institutionalised this and built the proper platform.
What you are looking for in a startup? What does the company have to bring to the table for you to present it on your platform?
First of all, we are concentrating on B2C businesses with a powerful costumer value, an outstanding usp, and an attractive investmentstory, because usually those are the concepts that appeal to our audience. Those companies need to have a finished product or service that can be presented to the potential investors but should still be in the seed phase of their development. We are very interested in first-mover, game changing business models an crowdsourcing concepts.
As you said, some of your projects received the funding threshold within hours. Does this give your investors enough time to have a good look at the business concepts?
As much as we like to see our startups getting so much attention, we already got the feedback that some investors are not happy about this short time period that’s available for thorough research. Right now we’re working on a concept to address this problem.
What happens if an investment does not get through?
If a funding doesn´t get through all investors get their money back. But until now all startups were successful.
Apart from the mediation between startups and micro-investors, do you offer additional services to the parties involved?
We support startups via our social media channels and by means of PR work. This attention provides them with important tailwind especially in the tough initial phase. After successful funding, the startup companies can use their own investor relations area on the Seedmatch site as a one-to-many-channel, in order to inform investors in the future and to communicate with them.
From your dealings with the companies, can you already see some trends?
After this short amount of time it is hard to pinpoint real trends. But of course it is in our hands to decide which direction we take by chosing the startups. Generally speaking we see that especially those companies providing a completely new and at the same time very high customer value – which people like to support not only because of the possible yields – are successful.