Are Barcelona startups ready to turn to crowdfunding to bootstrap their ventures?
Amidst purely anecdotal reports we’re hearing that early-stage venture capital may be drying up for Spanish startups, are Barcelona entrepreneurs beginning to turn to crowdfunding in order to bootstrap their startup “with a little help from (their) friends”?
The launch of two new crowdfunding startups in Barcelona would seem to indicate there is room to make this a future trend. One is Lemon Fruits, a Barcelona-based equity-based crowd-funding platform for investment in startups that is currently in Beta and slated to launch next week at www.lemonfruits.com. Lemon Fruits has designed an end-to-end crowdfuncing solution, with inputs and outputs for startups at every stage of the process — from building a funding project database, to project screening, defining the community funding targets, drawing up an equity agreement and launching the funding campaign.
According to CEO Xavier Olivella, here in Barcelona Lemon Fruits has a business development team located at the Technocampus Maresme and a tech development team in BCN Activa, as well as a registered and staffed office in the Netherlands and plans to expand into the U.S. market soon.
Another platform is Nuuuki, which launched on February 6th with a first-round call for submissions by startups to be included in a list of nine most innovative projects that will be published on April 1st and open to receive funding via the Nuuuki platform.
Founded by Alexis Vegas Egea, Nuuuki will enable micro-investors to contribute anywhere from 90 to 3,000 euros and become shareholders in the funded project.
According to a local news article this week in El Periódico, more than 35 startup submissions were received in the first week following Nuuuki’s launch.
The near-simultaneous launches of Lemon Fruits and Nuuuki come on the eve of a Barcelona meetup focused on crowdfunding tonight, sponsored by the UOC, featuring two crowdfunding platforms that focus on micro-financing for innovative projects:
Speaking at tonight’s UOCMeet will be Enric Senabre Hidalgo, co-Founder and Coordinator of Projects & Community at Goteo.org, an innovative crowdfunding platform for collective financing as well as distributed collaboration for services, infrastructures and micro-tasking on creative projects.
Also speaking will be Jonàs Sala, co-Founder and Partner at Verkami, a Mataro-based crowdfunding platform for creative projects that matches innovative projects and their creators with patrons online. Joining in from a platform user’s perspective will be writer, filmmaker and graphic design professor Alexis Barroso, who’ll talk about his experience with crowdfunding projects through Verkami.
So, is crowdfunding an emerging trend for bootstrapping Barcelona startup projects? If you’re interested in finding out more, you might want to turn out for the UOCMeet tonight — conducted in Catalá, though Q&A is often a mix of Catalá and Castellano — to ask just that question and to see what the crowdfunding experience might be like for local startups and projects in Barcelona.