German equity crowdfunding platform Companisto starts taking on startups from across Europe

There's a new player at the European equity crowdfunding table. Berlin-based Companisto is opening up to non-German speaking markets today, aiming to boost startups continent-wide.
German equity crowdfunding platform Companisto starts taking on startups from across Europe

Berlin-based crowdinvesting company Companisto is today debuting its new pan-European platform, aiming to boost startups from across the continent. Up until now, Companisto has focused solely on German-speaking markets.

Founded by Tamo Zwinge and David Rhotert (pictured below), Companisto is among a number of crowdfunding platforms in Europe that offer investors equity rather than rewards. The amount of money startups can raise through Companisto's platform is unlimited, while backers – known as 'Companists' – can invest between €5 and €100,000.

The latest announcement means that Companisto now joins UK-based Seedrs (which went Europe-wide last November) and Stockholm-based FundedByMe (which operates in 7 European markets) in offering its platform across borders on the continent.

When asked about how the company differentiates from its competitors, Companisto cofounder Zwinge responded: “One of the differences is that we’re bigger. Even though we had not expanded to any other country and only had a German website, we raised more capital than FundedByMe and also raised more capital than Seedrs.”

companisto_firmenportraits_2013 20598 (sunglow)

We tracked down some numbers to compare:

  • Companisto claims that €4.5 million has been invested in 25 startups through the platform since its launch in 2012. Companisto charges startups 10% of the capital successfully raised through the platform. For investors, the company charges investors 10% of profits made off an investment.
  • According to FundedByMe’s homepage, the Swedish company has raised a total of about €4.5 million to date. For entrepreneurs, it charges 6% in administration fees as well as 6% commission payable to FundedByMe on all money raised.
  • Seedrs has closed 56 deals totalling £5.50 million (approximately €6.6 million) in funding. Entrepreneurs are charged 7.5% of the money successfully raised through the platform. Similarly, investors are charged 7.5% of profits made off any investment via Seedrs.

Keen observers will note that this actually makes Seedrs the largest crowdfunding platform in Europe in terms of money raised, but it really depends on the way you look at it: Seedrs secured more than £2 million (€2.4 million) of investment via its own platform after originally calling for only £750,000 (roughly €900,000). Either way, it seems all three pan-European platforms are growing.

In Germany, Companisto faces competition from Seedmatch, which claims that €11.7 million has been invested to date across 57 projects, as well as Innovestment and Bergfürst.

“The other difference is that we’re very much focused on quality,” said Zwinge in an interview.

“The other platforms have an approach where there are a lot of campaigns and virtually anyone can upload one to the site. But of course, that leads to having quite a few campaigns that don't have very high potential. Our startups and investment proposals are usually startups that have already gotten substantial investments from business angels or VCs," he added.

"Usually a startup on Companisto has already received a few hundred thousand Euros of seed investment and has other options of financing, but they choose to do a crowdfunding campaign because it's additional marketing.”

Companisto reportedly has more than 15,600 investors from 32 different countries backing projects on the platform.

Featured image credit: Quintanilla / Shutterstock

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