KissKissBankBank, France’s crowdfunding pioneer
Launched in 2010, the KissKissBankBank crowdfunding platform has already helped support more than 10,000 projects. Over €21 million has been raised so far in 2014. Spotlight on a success story.
Mélanie and Cyril wanted to bring the public’s attention to a hot current topic: the search for a new vision of the future to resolve today’s ecological and economic crises. Their dream? To make a documentary film – “Tomorrow” – to raise awareness on issues affecting the planet. But, the duo needed a substantial amount of money to carry out their project. In early summer 2014, they decided to try crowdfunding. After three days on the KissKissBankBank platform, donors had pledged all the money needed. Finally, they received twice their goal: €444,390, against their initial target of €200,000, breaking the website’s record. “It was a dream come true. We are moved, amazed and deeply inspired by all this positive energy.” Like these two filmmakers, over 10,000 people were able to finance their proposed project with KissKissBankBank since the platform was launched.
A simple concept
The platform functions in a relatively simple way. Project creators file an application. Prospective projects are evaluated and selected by an internal panel. The creators of selected projects inform their contacts, by e-mail or Facebook. People can then make a donation in exchange for premiums. Not surprisingly, the initial donors are the closest friends and family of the project creators. The key to maximize donations is to reach an inner circle of contacts who will relay the information, thus triggering a second circle of people they know. In short, a campaign based on web 2.0 virality.
Waiting for success
While it is seeing a glowing success today, the platform’s beginnings were not so glorious. “KissKissBankBank took a while to take off,” explained Ricordeau Vincent, co-founder of the site. Our best day this past July corresponds to what we collected during the first 15 months, €100,000.” Originally based solely on artistic projects, the platform now encompasses creative entrepreneurial projects: the launch of a collaborative supermarket (La Louve) and an e-commerce site that delivers potted Christmas trees (Treezmas) were recently funded on KissKissBankBank. “In the broadest sense, what interests us is creativity.” Although the French crowdfunding market is still lagging behind the United States (notably its “KickStarter” site), KissKissBankBank is on a roll, roughly tripling its results every year. The platform garnered €100,000 its first year, €500,000 the second, followed by €2 million, €8 million, and now €20 million this year.
New projects on the way
Convinced that they have triggered a wonderful virtuous circle whose mission is to change the world, these messiahs of project financing continue to build momentum. A year ago, the same team created a platform for zero-interest loans between individuals dubbed “HelloMerci.” A third site emerged this fall. Lendopolis exclusively concerns the financing of micro businesses and SMEs. “Our platforms address all of the unfunded or underfunded creativity in France.” It’s clear that these three projects have a common denominator: to support initiative, entrepreneurship and innovation.
|The ECN Crowdfunding Convention is coming to ParisThe next meeting of the European Crowdfunding Network will be held in Paris on December 11 and 12 in the offices of Bpifrance at 6 boulevard Haussmann in the 9th arrondissement. The ECN has chosen the French capital to hold this major event for collective fundraising players. It was a clear choice in view of France’s efforts to promote and facilitate crowdfunding.|