Crowdfunding platforms seem a dime a dozen since the passing of the JOBS Act, but with saturation comes greater selection for new projects. Some of the newest spate of crowdfunding sites focus on creative and artistic projects. Others welcome commercially viable business plans. The way they deal with that pesky equity problem is turning out to be a differentiator.
Rock the Post is one of the latter. Today the company, after eight months in beta, launched its official version. Rock the Post caters specifically to entrepreneurs, small businesses, and non-profits. Its twist on the idea comes in the reward for backers: Rather than offer equity to backers in the way that platforms like Crowdcube or Motaavi might, Rock the Post projects reward their backers with alternative forms of “thanks.”
This circumvents the non-voting share problem but also begs the question as to why someone might donate money to a commercial enterprise. “You can get startups to offer cool, tangible stuff that people actually get on board with,” co-founder Tanya Prive says.
Rock the Post believes it is unique in its focus on entrepreneurs. It also focuses a disproportionate amount of time on helping campaigns develop and market their plans, which, like Kickstarter, are only paid out when the goal is reached, co-founder Alejandro Cremades says. “We have our phone number on the site. Every single project creator gets a phone call from us informing and educating them about how it works,” he says.
With its latest version, Rock the Post has built in editing features allowing companies to better personalize their pages, tips for project creators that are custom to their stage in the fundraising process, a rating system similar to eBay’s, and team page management. Another important tweak: campaigns can no longer allow people to invest anything but money. Previously Rock the Post allowed users to invest time or other resources, but it was impossible for Rock the Post to track successes.
The company has around 300 active projects on its site. Rock the Post itself raised $700,000 from eight angel investors in February.