Europe’s first community funding platform
In 2010 Harry met Martin. Harry had that idea of community crowd funding. Kickstarter had barely launched and was funding commercial projects. No other crowd funding site existed. And none had any plans for facilitating the local community’s fundraising efforts. The local table tennis club, a friend’s birthday, the local kindergarten’s newspaper, a school garden, a local band’s first concert, all projects that would otherwise go unfunded.
With experience from Rocket ventures and Fortune 500 companies under their belt, the founders knew they had to launch within 3 months. They went through the discovery phase and sketched out the required functionality for an MVP.
The founders engaged a talented designer and worked out the branding and visuals for the MVP. Working in an early version of the agile Hack and Craft methodology, they built the platform iteration by iteration. Very early on they had a working prototype and got positive, real feedback from real alpha users. They built a comprehensive group payment system, that would only collect money from Paypal or credit cards, once a funding goal had been achieved. The payment system would retry failed payments, keep accurate account of all transactions and provide reliable accounting for all funding campaigns and dispense the funds automatically at the end of a campaign.
Friendfund received great press coverage from the like of Techcrunch, BBC Click, the Guardian and others. Investors followed suit and funded scaling up the friendfund platform. The friendfund team hired community managers, localised the platform to US, Canadian, UK, German and Austrian markets. Friendfund received cash and Amazon cash voucher payout options. We added advanced fraud protection capabilities, where multi dimensional criteria would establish the likelihood that a particular user is a scammer or not. Scammers would get isolated in a fenced off sandbox.
Friendfund became the first and most advanced community funding platform in Europe. With its advanced technology, it helped build a reputation for security & trust. With our community, we built a reputation for public responsibility. Together we funded wide ranging projects from the budding musician’s documentary, the student living abroad, who wanted to visit her sick boyfriend, the sports club wanting to visit the Olympics, the living room whiskey tasting club, funding for the local cinema, upkeep of a local community area or the towing of an artist’s boat-home for much needed repairs. Friendfund had a lasting impact on many lives.