Crowdfunding is hardly a new concept, having taken off in recent years as entrepreneurs have increasingly taken to platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo to fund their creations and others have used service like GoFundMe to raise money for charitable causes. What about athletes? Be it tennis, rugby, cycling, or some other sport, athletes need money to compete and Irish startup PledgeSports aims to help, providing a crowdfunding platform through which teams or individual can raise funds for competitions and other expenses.
Those familiar with crowdfunding platforms will notice that certain aspects of this service are similar to competitors. The service works by enabling athletes or teams to create a campaign and to then add photos and pictures in order to provide insight into what they are aiming to do. They set a deadline and then, if they reach it, are provided the funds through Stripe (with Pledge Sports taking an 8% cut). Those seeking funding do not need to reach their full goal in order to receive the money, the but the service says that they must at least hit the 50% mark. After the campaigns are completed, backers will receive their reward (unless they indicate that they do not want one), be it a mention on social media, a letter, or some other reward. Since the service launched back in February 2014, they tell me that they have attracted 3,500 users and funded “hundreds” of projects.
I guess that it is somewhat meta, but Pledge Sports has taken to a different crowdfunding platform, Seedrs, in order to further fund their business. Having previously raised 100,000 Euro, they sought to double their total external backing, offering a total of 5% equity, which they subsequently did. With the money that they raised, the company intends to expand into Europe and the United States.