Alexis Ohanian knows startups.
As the founder of three successful companies -- including reddit -- and an investor in and adviser to over 70 more, Ohanian knows what's going to make a company successful and what's going to make a company fail.
So what startups should investors keep their eye on? Crowdfunding, says Ohanian. “I’ve got to give credit where credit is due and crowdfunding has just done amazing things in just three or four years.”
Below are the two crowdfunding companies Ohanian has invested in, and the one he wishes he could be a part of...
Crowdtilt aims to make it easier to organize group events. Everyone gives money towards a planned event through the site, guaranteeing that no one gets stuck with the bill in the end. Crowdtilt charges a 2.5% fee for each successful transaction and has raised over $2 million in venture capital. “You don’t need $10,000 for a documentary, you just need $500 for a tailgate -- so you get all your friends to pool in their money because you always have that one friend who never shells out,” explains Ohanian.
Coinbase calls itself a “bitcoin wallet.” The company has raised over $6 million through investors and has 303,000 consumer users and 11,000 merchant users. Like other mobile payment systems the Coinbase allows users to buy and sell bitcoin with a U.S. bank account and transfer bitcoin through email. It also allows merchants to accept the alternative currency. “I am particularly excited about a platform which aims to be the PayPal, the secure way, for our parents to get into the Internet economy using bitcoin,” says Ohanian.
“Kickstarter has really brought crowdfunding to the masses and done it for creative projects…I wish I had been an investor in Kickstarter,” says Ohanian. A total of $711 million has been raised for individual projects through the website, which charges a 5% fee (meaning they’ve made at least $35.3 million since their inception in 2009).
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