Giving advice, bringing entrepreneurs together, furthering their ideas, offering loans… ING Belgium supports entrepreneurs in many ways.
Today this supporting role takes on a new dimension. In partnership with Seedrs and KissKissBankBank, ING Belgium is adding crowdfunding to its funding solutions for entrepreneurs.
This will enable entrepreneurs to diversify their funding sources and also to test their projects with a broad audience.
For entrepreneurs who are driven by innovative ideas, a classic bank loan is not always the best or only solution. Both entrepreneurs and banks can benefit from a diversified funding combination. ING Belgium will now be able to offer an additional solution to projects that it believes will get added value from (partial) financing through crowdfunding, a fast-track procedure at both Seedrs and KissKissBankBank.
Says Erik Van Den Eynden, Head of Midcorporates & Institutionals ING Belgium: “The crowdfunding partnership fits in perfectly with ING’s commitment to support entrepreneurs and the economy, not only through traditional bank funding but also through different solutions”.
ING Belgium informs the entrepreneur of the approach of both platforms. Using the ING fast track procedure, it only takes the entrepreneur a couple of clicks to get access to the selected platform. Seedrs and KissKissBankBank will then swiftly get in touch with the entrepreneur and give him a first indication on the suitability of the project for their platform and on the chances to succeed. The fast track procedure can save the entrepreneur a lot of time and effort and improves the entrepreneur’s chances on successfully completing his crowdfunding campaign.
Says Philippe Gusbin, Head of Lending and Insurance Services ING Belgium: “In our efforts to help our customers keep a step ahead in their business, we are going further than traditional bankers. Our partnership with KissKissBankBank and Seedrs is an example. Our aim is to strengthen our customer’s project and to support them in the growth of their business. Our role is therefore much larger than that of your classic lender: we are a collaborative partner and advisor.”
ING Belgium is also associating its crowdfunding initiative with the ING Solidarity Awards (1). Each year 70 money prizes are awarded to non-profit organisations that are committed to a social cause. This year ING Belgium will in addition offer the 50 finalists of the Impact Awards the possibility to start a crowdfunding campaign, an excellent example of synergy between business relevance and social commitment.
Entrepreneurs who have access to several funding sources automatically find themselves in a more comfortable financial position. When assessing a loan application, banks naturally also look at the makeup of the company’s resources. Through crowdfunding, entrepreneurs can therefore reinforce their business as well as their position when applying for a loan.
At the same time a crowdfunding campaign is also a test for the entrepreneur’s project. Whoever wants to invest in the project must believe in the product or service that it will offer. It thus gives the entrepreneur a chance to estimate whether the market is ready for such products or services. The exposure to a broader audience of course also creates a good marketing opportunity for an enterprise.
Thanks to the partners with which ING Belgium works, projects and entrepreneurs enjoy international visibility as well.
Seedrs and KissKissBankBank each have their own distinct business model that aims to offer the chance to entrepreneurs to have their project funded by a broad audience of investors through using their respective online platforms.
When one of the platforms receives a project via the ING fast track procedure, it is assessed within two days at most whether or not the project is suitable for the respective platform and what the chances of success are. If the project receives a positive appraisal from the platform, the entrepreneur can immediately kick off his crowdfunding campaign, supported by the platform.
Seedrs targets entrepreneurs who are offering part of the shareholding in their company in exchange for funding for their project. In other words, interested investors buy a share in the company in which they are investing.
Jeff Lynn, co-founder and CEO of Seedrs: "We are very excited to be working together with ING in making equity crowdfunding more easily available to the Belgian business community. To our knowledge this is the first time that a well-respected, financial institution like ING has partnered with a leading international equity crowdfunding platform like Seedrs, and we think this relationship is very encouraging for the future of business finance. We're proud to have been chosen as ING's partner for this venture, and we see our selection as further validation of our "equity crowdfunding done properly" approach."
KissKissBankBank targets independent creative individuals looking for funding. Those who put money into a project via KissKissBankBank will get remuneration in kind. The nature of the reward is often defined by the type of project and can for instance be a discount or an exclusively customised product.
Vincent Ricordeau, Co-Founder and CEO of KissKissBankBank: “We are thrilled to announce our first large-scale partnership in Belgium and Luxembourg. The ING-KissKissBankBank partnership is an important step in the development of crowdfunding that demonstrates how it can complement traditional financing methods.”
Both Seedrs and KissKissBankBank already have extensive experience. Over 250 projects have been funded through Seedrs and KissKissBankBank has already collected more than 38 million euro for creative entrepreneurs.
In addition to her role as lender and as collaborative partner and expert, ING Belgium can present its customers with an additional funding offer : Equity-based crowdfunding, as well as reward-based crowdfunding.
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ING Belgium NV offers all customer segments, retail as well as private banking customers, small, medium-sized and large enterprises, a wide range of financial products and services via the distribution channel of their choice. ING Belgium NV employs 8,558 people full time and is a subsidiary of ING Bank N.V. which offers services to 33 million individual, corporate and institutional customers in more than 40 countries in Europe, North America, Latin America, Asia and Australia.
Seedrs is the largest crowdfunding platform in Europe to focus solely on equity investments. It allows all types of investors to invest as little or as much as they like (from £/€ 10 up) in businesses they believe in and share in their success. And it allows ambitious businesses in all sectors to raise capital and build community through an efficient, online process. Seedrs has funded over 250 deals to date, and it is growing 15% month-on-month. All investments made through Seedrs offer voting shares to investors and use professional-grade subscription agreements. This ensures that investors get the same level of protection that angel investors and venture capitalists enjoy. Seedrs is open to investors and entrepreneurs across Europe, and it plans to launch in the United States later in 2015.
KissKissBankBank is Europe’s leading crowdfunding platform dedicated to international innovative and creative projects. Our mission is to promote independent projects by providing the creators of the world with a financial tool that allows them to maintain 100% intellectual property rights for their inventions. KissKissBankBank is an optimism generator with the simple message: "It’s time to free creativity!” April 2013 marked KissKissBankBank Technologies’ launch of its second platform. Hellomerci is the world’s first crowdfunding platform dedicated to direct, zero-interest solidarity loans between individuals for personal and professional projects: “Borrow from people who want you to succeed.” In September 2014, KissKissBankBank Technologies launched LENDOPOLIS: a remunerated loan platform dedicated to French micro businesses and SMEs in partnership with the Les Echos Group and the French National Association of Chartered Accountants (Conseil supérieur de l’Ordre des experts-comptables). By providing users with the option to back all types of projects, KissKissBankBank Technologies thus becomes the only company in the world to provide an offer in every segment of the crowdfunding ecosystem. KissKissBankBank was founded in September 2009 by Ombline Le Lasseur, Vincent Ricordeau and Adrien Aumont.