5 NYC-Based Companies That Killed it With Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding has experienced immense growth in recent years. At the start of 2017, the global crowdfunding industry was at $34.4 billion and is predicted to reach as much as $90+ billion by 2025. This makes crowdfunding the preferred means of generating capital for many startups, often eclipsing traditional venture capital. Here are five NYC-based companies that have been extremely successful with their campaigns.

1. +POOL

 Jeff, Archie and Dong of +POOL had a lofty ambition. Create a massive floating plus-shaped swimming pool that filters 600,000 thousand gallons of river water every day. It’s essentially a massive strainer that removes bacteria and contaminants enabling New Yorkers to swim in clean river water for the first time in a century. +POOL also aims to educate the public on issues surrounding water safety and reducing our collective environmental footprint. It’s innovation with an undeniable “cool factor.”

The campaign was a smashing success. It raised over $270,000 through Kickstarter, exceeding its initial goal of $250,000. Some perks for contributors included an opportunity to take a first dip in the pool as well as having their name engraved in one of the pool’s tiles.

2. Robin Hood

Robin Hood is an NYC-based company that partners with over 200 non-profits in New York to fight poverty. Last year, they launched a campaign to fund the 2016 TCS New York City Marathon, which consisted of a 20 mile run through the Bronx. Every dollar generated was donated to aid in poverty-fighting efforts throughout the city.

They managed to reach a grand total of $306, 840, exceeding the initial goal of $300,000. The success of Robin Hood’s campaign was largely due to its compelling story and use of videos and images to explain its mission. Backing up a social cause is a powerful selling point, especially for millennials. 

3. Smove

Here’s a company that developed a simple yet revolutionary device – the Smove Stabilizer. It’s a smartphone stabilizer that allows you to record completely stable videos as well as automated 360-degree panoramic shots. Watch the product video, and you’ll quickly realize that it’s an amazing device.

When it comes to groundbreaking campaigns, NYC’s Smove completed dominated by reaching $1,885,650, from over 12,700 backers, which was 4646 percent of their original goal. The comprehensive Indiegogo page features an amazing explainer video to quickly describe the concept along with the product’s technical specifications, a detailed overview of features and robust images.

4. Taga

Taga is a company from NYC that specializes in creating “family bikes,” which combine bicycles with strollers in a functional, safe and aesthetically pleasing way. They launched a campaign on Indiegogo in 2016 for the Taga 2.0: The Ultimate Most Affordable Family Bike. Designers combined style and safety to create arguably the best family bike ever.

Taga’s success is evident considering that it destroyed its original goal and raised over $4.1 million. A quick scan of their Indiegogo page fills you in on the details for an in-depth understanding of product features and company history. You can also get a sense of Taga’s values and their emphasis on sustainability and being eco-conscious.

5. The Indypendent

This is a print project of the New York City Independent Media Center. Unlike many other publications, The Indypendant is produced by volunteers and largely funded by donations. You can think of it as a grassroots alternative to traditional corporate media outlets.

They launched a crowdfunding campaign in 2016 called Operation Battle of New York to distribute The Battle of New York newspaper a week before the primary. The Indypendant managed to raise over $70,000 from 1,695 different backers, which is roughly 10x the amount of an average successful crowdfunding campaign of $7,000.

The success of these five companies proves that the crowdfunding realm is rife with opportunity. What’s interesting is that crowdfunding is niching down where smaller platforms are becoming available for specific industries. In turn, this is opening new doors where companies can look beyond just the heavy hitters like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. This is encouraging for hungry NYC startups looking for serious financial backing.

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