10 Best Crowdfunding Sites for Startups

Cut-out figures around one hundred dollar bills.

Crowdfunding is one of the most popular ways to obtain funding when starting a business or launching a startup, and for a good reason. By crowdfunding, entrepreneurs can obtain startup capital from a variety of sources in varying amounts, oftentimes in exchange for products or equity. If you’re thinking about crowdfunding your startup but aren’t sure where to start, you’re in the right place. We have researched the best crowdfunding sites for startups and compiled the pros and cons of each one.

Also recommended: Check out our guide on how to invest in startups.


Best Crowdfunding Platforms

Deciding to crowdfund your startup is the first step; next is deciding the right crowdfunding platform for your startup industry, funding needs, and eligibility. Fortunately, there are many startup crowdfunding sites to choose from in order to obtain the money you need to start a business; these are the top choices for startups, from pre-seed creative startups to high-growth tech startups.

Feeling inspired? Learn how to launch your company with our guide on How to Start a Startup.

Types of Crowdfunding for Business

Once you've decided that crowdfunding your business is the best option for you, your next decision is going to be the type of crowdfunding you choose. This decision will be guided by your ultimate plan for your startup as well as a few other factors, including how quickly you expect to turn a profit and your projection for the size of this profit.

It is vital to decide on the type of crowdfunding you intend to use before you choose a platform, as many crowdfunding sites are specifically geared to one method of funding. These are the two most popular types of startup crowdfunding:

  • Equity Crowdfunding: In this type of crowdfunding, you will offer equity in your business in exchange for funding. If your startup has a long-term goal and is growth-focused, this is likely the best form of crowdfunding to consider. The amount of equity you offer (and the form it takes) will be completely up to you, but you'll have to make it worth your investor's time and money. 
  • Rewards Crowdfunding: This type of crowdfunding is particularly effective for creative startups and projects. Rather than offering a share in the business, you offer those donating to your cause a gift or reward in return. Of course, the reward does not need to match up in monetary value to the donation. The beauty of crowdfunding is that most donors are there for the pleasure of seeing something they believe in growing, so any reward they receive will be gratefully accepted.

1. StartEngine

Pricing: 7%–12% platform fee based on method of investment and fees associated

About

StartEngine Crowdfunding, Inc. has become a leader in the US equity crowdfunding space. According to its website, the platform has raised over $450 million through a combination of Regulation and Regulation A+ crowdfunding by using its subsidiaries, StartEngine Primary and StartEngine Capital. This funding has been split between over 500 startup offerings available on their platform to date.

Best For

  • Startups with a long-term vision
  • Growth-focused startups

Pros

  • The platform has an excellent reputation in the equity crowdfunding space
  • The startup founder is in control of their offering
  • Funding can be immediately collected after reaching $12,000

Cons

  • Only US-based startups qualify
  • Maximum funding amount set at $50 million under Regulation A+ and $1.07 million under Regulation crowdfunding 
  • Minimum funding goal of $10,000 applies

2. Indiegogo

Pricing: 5% platform fee

About

Since its launch in 2008, Indiegogo has become one of the most popular crowdfunding sites across the globe, with over 19,000 campaigns launching monthly. Overall, Indiegogo’s capabilities, flexibility, and functionality are unparalleled. Plus, as one of the largest crowdfunding platforms available across the globe, campaigns have access to a wide range of investment opportunities.

Best For:

  • Startups overall
  • Early-stage startups
  • Startups looking to reach a global audience

Pros

  • Services are available in 235 countries and territories worldwide
  • Flexible requirements to start campaigns on the platform
  • Able to connect with Facebook and Google to better promote campaigns

Cons

  • In addition to the site’s 5% platform fee, there is a separate third-party payment processing charge.
  • Large number of campaigns on the platform

3. Kickstarter

Pricing: 2.9% payment fees; 3% + $0.20 per pledge; 5% + $0.05 per pledge under $10

About

Kickstarter is one of the most popular and commonly known crowdfunding websites. Understandably so, the site has been in existence for over a decade and has over 15 million project backers in counting.

Best For:

  • Tech startups
  • Art and design startups
  • US, European, and Australia-based startups

Pros

  • Kickstarter is a trusted, well-known platform
  • Accepted campaigns have access to over 15 million project backers globally
  • Services are available in six countries around the globe

Cons

  • Highly competitive, meaning the approval process for projects can be difficult 
  • All campaigns must fall under one of Kickstarter’s pre-selected categories

4. SeedInvest

Pricing: 7.5% placement fee + 5% equity fee

About

SeedInvest is a crowdfunding platform built specifically for early- and seed-stage startups to increase the access they have to capital and introduce them to an extensive network of angel and venture capital investors. With over 235 startups successfully funded on the platform since its inception in 2012, startups that pass the strict vetting process have a likelihood of success in funding their project. 

Best For

  • Pre-seed startups 
  • Early-stage startups 
  • Tech startups 

Pros

  • Startups looking to connect with angel investors and venture capital firms have the opportunity through this platform. 
  • Unsuccessful campaigns are not responsible for paying fees 
  • Access to a wide network of investors and resources 

Cons

  • High fees for using the platform 
  • Strict vetting process

5. Crowdfunder

Pricing: Monthly plans range from free, $299/month, and $499/month

About

Crowdfunder is an equity crowdfunding platform that provides startups with access to an extensive network of 12,000 accredited investors for a monthly subscription fee to help them raise funds from pre-seed to Series A. Since its inception, the platform has helped raise $150 million in funding from accredited investors to startups. 

Best For

  • Pre-seed startups 
  • Early-stage startups 
  • High-growth startups 

Pros

  • Variety of plans available to suit different startups needs 
  • Additional resources available for members such as document storage 
  • The platform only allows accredited investors 

Cons

  • Equity crowdfunding only 
  • Must be high-growth startups

6. Fundable

Pricing: 3.5% payment fee + $0.30 per pledge; 5% platform fee for successful campaigns only

About

Fundable offers both equity crowdfunding and rewards-based crowdfunding options for startups on the platform. Unlike many other crowdfunding platforms, Fundable doesn’t simply take a percent of your earnings; users subscribe to the platform through a monthly fee and are able to create campaigns to raise money as long as they are approved by Fundable, which is highly beneficial for successful campaigns.

Best For:

  • Tech startups 
  • High-growth companies 
  • US-based startups

Pros

  • Equity crowdfunded campaigns are able to keep funding if a goal isn’t reached. 
  • Low monthly flat fee for subscribers 
  • Access to additional resources

Cons

  • Startups cannot keep the funding they receive if their goal isn’t met unless they partake in equity crowdfunding.
  • You are required to pay the platform fee whether your campaign is successful or not. 
  • US-based startups only

7. CircleUp

Pricing: Commission varies depending on the amount raised

About

CircleUp specializes in equity crowdfunding, making it ideal for established and high-growth startups. The crowdfunding platform has been around since 2010 and has helped over 250 companies raise $390 billion in funding. 

Best For

  • High-growth startups 
  • Early-stage startups
  • Consumer product startups 

Pros

  • Only accredited investors are able to fund projects on the platform 
  • Campaigns have a high success rate
  • Due to a low acceptance rate for campaigns, those that are accepted have a better chance of reaching their funding goals 

Cons

  • Application process is extremely strict 
  • Only product-centric startups are able to utilize the platform 

8. Patreon

Pricing: 5%–12% platform fee depending on subscription plan 

About

Patreon is a widely-used crowdfunding platform in creative communities specifically to fund projects and support new startups. Since its inception, the platform has facilitated over $2 billion in crowdfunding to creators from fans, family, and friends. 

Best For

  • Art startups 
  • Lifestyle startups 
  • Small business 

Pros

  • Users can set up monthly subscriptions 
  • Flexible funding options makes the platform ideal for creative professionals 
  • Available integrations make promoting campaigns easy 

Cons

  • High platform fees 
  • Not ideal for high growth startups

9. Wefunder

Pricing: 7.5% platform fee

About

Wefunder is an equity crowdfunding platform, which means that investors are rewarded with equity in the company in exchange for their funding. Alternatively, startups are also able to engage in debt crowdfunding on the site as well which means they will be responsible for paying the amount back they receive in funding. For startups that expect to see venture capital investment in their future due to rapid growth, Wefunder is the absolute best crowdfunding platform out there. 

Best For

  • High-growth startups
  • Tech startups 
  • Equity-based startups 

Pros

  • High success rate of roughly 75%
  • Access to additional resources for legal help, crowdfunding support, and more 
  • WeFunder isn’t super exclusive despite being an equity crowdfunding platform. 

Cons

  • Due to it being an equity crowdfunding platform, there are increased legal requirements. 
  • This is not a platform for small businesses or lifestyle startups 
  • There are more rules and regulations to participate in crowdfunding on this site

10. GoFundMe

Pricing: 2.9% payment fee + $0.30 per pledge; 0% platform fee 

About

While not always synonymous with startups, GoFundMe is a great platform for social entrepreneurs and nonprofit organizations that want to make the world a better place and need funding to do it. Startups that are founded to help out, such as medical startups, animal startups, and eco-friendly startups, are all welcome here. 

Best For

  • Social entrepreneurs
  • Nonprofits
  • Eco-friendly startup 

Pros

  • 0% platform fee to use GoFundMe services 
  • Whether or not you reach your goal, you are able to keep the funding donated to your campaign. 

Cons

  • Reportedly low success rate for campaigns due to saturation 
  • Strict requirements for campaigns on the platform meaning most startups will not qualify 

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