Cisco UK & Ireland Blog

Cisco Start-up Hub: Tom Talks To… Emily Mackay, Crowdsurfer

May 3, 2016

Crowd finance is now a global industry that takes in thousands of platforms where funders and fundraisers connect and transact billions of dollars.

Despite this, and the 84% growth that the industry experienced last year, there is a notable lack of any data services or authoritative sources to help stakeholders and potential participants make more informed decisions.

That, says CEO Emily Mackay, is where Crowdsurfer comes in.

At last counEmily Mackay, Crowdsurfert, around 1,800 of all current active crowd finance platforms were being aggregated by Crowdsurfer, not including China. Around 10% of these platforms are based in the UK and take in all forms of crowd finance: from raising equity for SMEs to providing borrowing pools, allowing donations, charitable endeavours or events, or sharing royalties or revenue with contributors.

I sat down with Emily to hear her thoughts on the future of the industry, and to get her top tips for start-ups considering the crowdfunding route to finance. 

We spoke about the importance of research, and Emily was keen to emphasise that crowdfunding is by no means an easy option for start-ups looking for funding.

Though perhaps most strongly associated with consumer-focused platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, and the outlandish or light-hearted products that they’ve given life to, the crowd finance market has matured over the years into something that tech start-ups of all kinds should be taking seriously.

The huge variety of different platforms, each offering different specific benefits to different kinds of companies, makes research all the more important. Start-ups, she told me, should look for precedents when considering which offering is best for their particular needs. Hit play on the video below for the full download, and get in touch with me over on Twitter with any thoughts or comments you might have.

This is just the latest in the ‘Talks To…’ series. I recently caught up with Helen Watson of People Puzzles to talk about the challenges start-ups face in trying to create a productive flexible working environment. Before that, I spoke with Rob Moffat, partner at Balderton Capital, to get his views on the VC scene and what start-ups should expect from investors as they approach funding rounds.

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