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IgnitionDeck Acquires Crowdfunding Assets Fundify and CrowdPress to Power Star Citizen-Class Fundraising Campaigns on WordPress

14 Jul

The growing software developer has embarked on a strategy to buy up  and integrate the world’s most powerful crowdfunding tools on the WordPress platform in order to build best-of-breed fundraising platforms

 By Robert Hoskins

Apollo Beach, FloridaIgnitionDeck, Inc. announced that it has acquired two of the most popular and powerful tools that offer customers a  no-commission-fee crowdfunding platform. Fundify was purchased from Astoundify and CrowdPress was purchased from BoxyStudio. These assets position IgnitionDeck as a powerful force in the crowdfunding industry and gives the company a dominant position within one of the leading online publishing platforms, WordPress, which accounts for more than 60 million websites worldwide.

IgnitionDeck - The Crowdfunding Industry's Most Popular WordPress Platform Templates

IgnitionDeck – The Crowdfunding Industry’s Most Popular WordPress Platform Templates

IgnitionDeck’s No-Commission-Fee crowdfunding tools let fundraisers host their own donation pages, keep all of the money that they raise, and control their relationship with users. Self-hosted campaigns offer a professional-looking and money-saving alternative to sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, which charge commissions on all funds raised, limit fundraising time periods, impose their own branding, and control the communications between fundraisers and donors.

A crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter campaign that raises $2 million would pay a platform commission fee of 5% or $100,000 for doing nothing more than allowing a client to upload a video, write a crowdfunding profile and add up to 20 perks.  A similar campaign running on Indiegogo that falls $1 short of its goal would pay a 9% commission or $180,000.

For example, Star Citizen, one of the most funded crowdfunding campaigns in history utilized a Kickstarter campaign, running between October 19th and November 19th, 2012. It raised $2,134,374, but had to pay a Kickstarter commission fee of approximately $106,718.

Roberts Space Industries Star Citizen is the Most Funded Crowdfunding Campaign in History

Roberts Space Industries, Chris Robert’s  Star Citizen is the Most Funded Crowdfunding Campaign in History, Dwarfing Kickstarter and Indiegogo

To circumvent paying this fee for their second crowdfunding campaign, Star Citizen’s Chris Roberts turned to IgnitionDeck to help him host his own fundraising campaign using his video game’s website, Roberts Space Industries, versus going with Kickstarter.  Star Citizen used IgnitionDeck for the first $13 million, thus at 5%, saved ~$650,000 by going IgnitionDeck direct.

After that, Star Citizen hired Turbulent to further customize the Star Citizen/Roberts Space Industries site and as of July 13, 2014, the Star Citizen campaign had raised approximately $48,050,064 from 498,029 pledges, which is more than any Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign.

Customers that have a large community of followers and feel comfortable in setting a goal of $2 million or more on Kickstarter would save a minimum of $100,000 by hosting an IgnitionDeck crowdfunding campaign on their own website. The more money raised, the more IgnitionDeck will save them.

After the experience with such a successful crowdfunding campaign, the IgnitionDeck management team realized that they needed more functionality.  Of all the tools they analyzed, it was clear that buying the functionality that the Fundify and CrowdPress themes provided would be strategic to the future direction of IgnitionDeck’s WordPress crowdfunding platform.

Launched in 2012, Fundify soon became one of the most popular tools for hosting multiple crowdfunding projects simultaneously, enabling people to “be their own Kickstarter.” The CrowdPress design theme provides a customizable front-end to Fundify’s functionality. All of these solutions– IgnitionDeck, Fundify, and CrowdPress– let hosts avoid the typical 4% to 9% commissions levied by commercial crowdfunding sites, have sold thousands of copies, and enjoy active user communities.

According to IgnitionDeck co-founder Nathan Hangen, “The IgnitionDeck and Astoundify teams have had multiple positive interactions. During one recent conversation, we began toying with the idea of bringing Fundify into the IgnitionDeck product suite. Within weeks, both teams knew it was the right thing to do, agreed on the terms, and shook hands.” Says Astoundify co-founder Adam Pickering, “We’re proud of Fundify, and all of the success and good will that it has generated. We are glad to see it become part of the IgnitionDeck family– it’s a perfect match.”

In January 2014, Indiegogo announced Indiegogo Outpost, which replicates IgnitionDeck’s ability to embed a crowdfunding campaign on a host’s website. The Outpost feature was scheduled for release Q1 2014, but it has not yet been delivered as of this writing.

The Fundify theme only costs $60. IgnitionDeck yearly license fees range between $79 and $349. WordPress hosting for a 90-day campaign costs about $20.  All forms of online crowdfunding incur transaction fees from a payment processor such as Amazon, PayPal, Stripe or WePay.

WordPress is a robust publishing system that takes most non-computer literature users a day or so to learn. The other option is to hire  a WordPress consultant who is familiar with off-the-shelf tools like IgnitionDeck and Fundify to create and launch a custom crowdfunding site for you.

In addition to standalone crowdfunding platforms for single campaigns, the IgnitionDeck Enterprise Edition allows anyone to build a full-scale, white-labeled crowdfunding site that can be branded and setup to compete directly with Kickstarter or Indiegogo.

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BancBox Launches First Automatic Escrow Service Aimed At Crowdfunding Platforms

28 Apr

By Mike Butcher

Last June, BancBox, a payment services platform similar to Stripe, debuted its platform allowing developers to build a lot of different payment services. As cofounder Sanj Goyle claimed at the time, “PayPal could be built on top of our platform.” Now it has launched BancBox Crowd, what is — as far as we can tell — the first independent escrow service aimed at crowdfunding portals that operate on equity, debt or revenue share models.

BancBox Launches ‘First’ Automatic Escrow Service Aimed At Crowd Funding Platforms

BancBox Launches ‘First’ Automatic Escrow Service Aimed At Crowdfunding Platforms

The company is also announcing partnerships with crowd investing services 99Funding, SoMoLend and Localstake.

BancBox Crowd claims to be the only solution on the market that provides online investment portals with an automated escrow solution that can replace the manual paper escrow process. They also say it is compliant with FINCEN, FINRA and SEC requirements.

In essence it means being able to create independent escrow accounts for each crowd-backed project, collect funds from those many investors, and either safely return funds if the project doesn’t work out, or disburse those funds when the project, whatever it is, reaches its funding goal.

Goyle says, “We want to have the payment part of the experience of an investor to be a sticky experience so we make it as easy as possible to pay and go through the process.” He says the business model is based on a set transaction fee to the platform partner.

You could say they know about payments. BancBox manages $100 million in consumer deposits daily in nearly 200,000 individual accounts. Its transaction volume has increased 100 percent to nearly $2 billion annually.

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