¿Qué es el crowdfunding?

Petra Arévalo.

Hasta hace poco, cuando alguien quería sacar un proyecto adelante y necesitaba financiación tenía una serie de opciones genéricas, pedir un préstamo al Banco, conseguir una subvención de algún Organismo público o Entidad privada, o financiarse a través de familiares o amigos.

Hoy en día, nuevas opciones están naciendo, entre ellas, el crowdfunding, del término inglés crowd, que significa ‘multitud’ y funding, que significa ‘financiación’.

El crowdfunding es un sistema de financiación colectiva o micromecenazgo que permite a cualquier creador de proyectos reunir una suma de dinero entre muchas personas para apoyar una determinada iniciativa.

La idea tiene como precedente las peticiones de donaciones para determinados proyectos, cuya respuesta fue mayor de la esperada. En ese momento, entre los creadores (que requerían de financiación) y los usuarios (que demandaban proyectos creativos y pagaban por ellos) nacía el crowdfunding como una nueva opción para financiar, en un primer momento, proyecto creativos.

Actualmente, existen varios tipos de crowdfunding, basados en: recompensas, quienes hacen aportaciones monetarias esperan una recompensa a cambio de su contribución; donaciones, quienes hacen aportaciones monetarias no esperan beneficios de la transacción; inversión, se invierte en una empresa y se recibe acciones o participaciones de la misma o bien se espera una parte simbólica de los beneficios; y préstamos, se financia con préstamos o créditos a una empresa a cambio de un tipo de interés.

Los tipos de proyectos que se financian mediante el crowdfunding no dejan de crecer, desde proyectos creativos hasta solidarios, pasando por empresariales. La especialización es cada vez mayor, desde artistas buscando apoyo de sus seguidores, campañas políticas, financiación de deudas, vivienda, escuelas, dispensarios y hasta el nacimiento de compañías o pequeños negocios.

Miles de proyectos que antes se quedaban en un cajón, anidando en la cabeza de un soñador, a la puerta de un Banco que no otorgaba la financiación necesaria, encuentran ahora un camino.

Lo importante no es tener una buena idea, lo importante es poder realizarla y gracias a la atención recibida por parte de comerciantes y empresarios, de las redes sociales, las comunidades online y las tecnologías hace que sea mucho más sencillo y seguro obtener donaciones de un grupo de personas interesadas a un precio muy bajo.

Aunque no necesariamente se tiene que proceder de manera online, la mayoría de los casos actuales de crowdfunding se realizan por Internet, dado que gran parte del éxito de esta forma de financiación descansa en la publicidad que se da al proyecto, las plataformas de financiación colectiva más importantes en la actualidad tienen soporte en Internet, por su alcance multitudinario y su bajo costo comparativo.

Tras el éxito de las grandes plataformas han comenzado a desarrollarse plataformas de ámbito especializado, por sectores industriales o áreas culturales, como música, cine, investigación o educación.

El mundo de la cultura ha sido uno de los más beneficiados de este tipo de financiación, se han publicado libros, cómics e incluso lanzado películas gracias a pequeñas aportaciones. 

Los defensores de los métodos de financiación masiva argumentan que permite a las ideas creativas, que no encajan en los patrones requeridos por las financieras convencionales, obtener dinero en efectivo a través del apoyo y la solidaridad de grandes grupos de personas.

Las principales desventajas son el hecho de la divulgación del proyecto, cuando aún se encuentra en fase muy temprana, expone al promotor a que su idea sea copiada por otras empresas y que hay pocas personas o empresas dispuestas a invertir en estos proyectos, ya que al encontrarse en fases muy tempranas podrían tener éxito o no. Lo cierto es que es un modelo con muchos riesgos, se puede perder la inversión, pero también la posibilidad de unos grandes beneficios con una baja inversión si la idea sale bien.

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