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Symbid's First Fully Crowdfunded Project
© Image: Screenshot by Eric Mack/Crowdsourcing.org; Brand-Expedition.eu
editorial

Symbid's First Fully Crowdfunded Project

More proof that crowdfunding works with the announcement last week that Dutch site Symbid reached a major milestone--fully funding its first project to the tune of 20,000 euros--pledged from a total of 171 investors, both Dutch and foreign.

The project involves pursuing an English translation and international distribution for author Martijn Arets book "Brand Expedition, a 5-month journey visiting Europe's most inspiring brands." The book chronicles Arets' 2010 road trip across Europe to speak with the brains behind the continent's biggest brands. The Dutch version was well-received, but Arets opted to turn to the crowd to bring the book to the wider world.

It took about two months to meet the 20,000 euro goal, and unlike similiar U.S. sites such as Kickstarter, Dutch law allows all 171 investors to become actual shareholders in the project. 

"The past two months I have not only gained the necessary investment, but also an additional chapter to the story, overwhelming media attention and 171 Brand Expedition ambassadors," says Arets.

According to Symbid, the English version of the book is expected in February, available for purchase online as an eBook or in hardcover. Arets also has a promotional trick up his sleeve to get word out--1000 fans from 15 countries will read a chapter from the book in front of a webcam, making it what Arets believes will be the first fully-read "audiobook" on YouTube.

"With this first successful financing, we proved that the platform works," says Symbid CEO Korstiaan Zandvliet.

That platform--one of the first of its kind--allows for investments of as little as 20 euros and as much as 2.5 million in exchange for equity.

A few other ideas on Symbid are quickly approaching full-funding, with a sustainable innovations company and a mobile app development platform both more than halfway towards their funding targets at the moment.

- Eric Mack is a Crowdsourcing.org contributing editor. Reach him at eric AT crowdsourcing DOT org.

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