Crowdfunding has been rapidly gaining popularity among food businesses looking to raise capital. Almost daily, I come across a handful of new, innovative food-related crowdfunding campaigns on websites like Kickstarter and Indigogo. And now I’m starting to see a number of niche food-focused crowdfunding platforms cropping up to help food artisans grow their business. Foodie Crowd Funding is one such platform, dedicated entirely to helping small and medium food businesses take their companies to the next level.
Restauranteur husband and wife team John and Karen Foley launched the platform in August 2013 after noting the small portion of food projects of the 4,300-plus live projects on Kickstarter. The duo set out to build a funding community of farmers, makers, purveyors, restaurateurs and cookbook authors. “We want to introduce entrepreneurs, their products and their projects to foodies who realize the key ingredient to every successful food operation are the people behind it,” says John Foley.
How It Works
“Seekers,” food entrepreneurs looking to launch a project, must first apply to launch a campaign on the platform. Those who are approved, pay a $99 set up fee, and the platform takes 5 percent of funds raised from projects that reach their funding goal and 7 percent from projects that elect the “partially funded” plan. “Funders” receive Kickstarter-esque rewards for pledges– cookies by the dozen, t-shirts, coffee mugs etc.
In addition to capital support funding, the platform is focused on simultaneously building brand awareness. It assigns a “crowd pleaser,” a community manager from the Foodie Crowd Funding team who specializes in project development, to each approved project. “Crowd pleasers” give complimentary consultations to help with website navigation, setting up projects and email marketing template layouts. Selected projects also receive a dedicated blog post on FoodieDaily.com, get project video support and have access to over a dozen other business development services, according to its site.
Unlike Kickstarter, Indigogo and Foodstart, the platform welcomes food companies who are not looking to raise money, but instead are seeking exposure, marketing and brand awareness. These companies can access the “crowd pleaser” services mentioned above to help grown their business, and not attempt to raise money on the platform.
“There is extreme growth in new, local, better-for-you food businesses that have a hard time getting the funds they need to grow. Merging these two trends together with the popularity and success of crowdfunding made this the perfect time for our startup,” says Foley.
Have any of you used Foodie Crowd Funding? We’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below.