Summary of our market study

The crowdfunding market has experienced significant growth globally, with a particular emphasis on its dynamic nature in the French domestic market. Globally, the market was valued at $1.25 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow annually at 14.5% to reach $3.6 billion by 2030, with China, the USA, and Europe holding substantial shares. In France, the sector achieved a 25% increase in the total amount raised between 2021 and 2022, reaching a striking €7023 billion by 2022.

The French market is primarily driven by loans (90% of funds raised), with the cultural sector attracting the majority of donation-based crowdfunding. Real estate crowdfunding is a burgeoning segment, marked by a 40.2% increase in amounts raised in 2022 and over a thousand projects funded since 2020. The market is relatively concentrated, with six platforms accounting for over half of the total collected amounts, and a decline in new platform approvals. The COVID-19 pandemic had varying influences on the sector, triggering an increase in solidarity campaigns and a short-term investment slowdown, but the market demonstrated resilience with the recovery of fundraising activities. Overall, French investors show a strong preference for loan-based crowdfunding, with a high concentration of activity in Ile-de-France and a notable focus on socially and environmentally impactful projects.

Trends in Participatory Finance: A Deep Dive into the French Market Dynamics

In recent years, crowdfunding has become a pivotal component of the French financial landscape, demonstrating a robust growth trajectory fueled by a diverse array of projects and enthusiastic investors. In France, this market is predominantly characterized by loans, with a staggering 90% of funds raised in 2022 channeled into loan-based crowdfunding. Donations, while a smaller slice of the pie at 4.5%, and investments at 6.4%, show the variegated nature of participatory finance in the country.

The crowdfunding segment in France has witnessed a remarkable compound annual growth rate of more than 90% in 2022, indicating the sector's rapid expansion within a relatively short period. In 2022 alone, the French market saw over 2,300 billion euros raised through crowdfunding initiatives.

One of the most notable areas of growth has been real estate crowdfunding, which has soared to over 1,600 million euros in 2022, an uptick surpassing 40% from the previous year. This specific market segment is booming, as evidenced by the financing of over 1,600 real estate projects in a single year. The focus largely remains on real estate transactions, with a significant emphasis on renovation and urban development projects.

The cultural sector, too, is a significant beneficiary of crowdfunding donations, raising upwards of 70 million euros. Investor behavior has been shaped not only by the types of projects available but also by the prevailing societal conditions. The COVID-19 pandemic, for instance, significantly influenced the sector. State-guaranteed loans via crowdfunding platforms emerged as a pivotal tool for businesses to maintain liquidity.

While platforms such as Wiseed leaned into business continuity plans to sustain operations during uncertain times, others like Lita.co waived commissions to encourage continued investment in impactful businesses. Moreover, the societal shift towards sustainability and social responsibility has been mirrored in the crowdfunding scene. A substantial number of over 60,000 projects bear a social or environmental imprint, further substantiating the market's alignment with contemporary values.

Despite the sector's promise and expansion, crowdfunding in France isn't without its challenges. For instance, the real estate segment, although resilient, has to reckon with the nuances of the development process, like obtaining permits and navigating appeals. Geographically, the Ile-de-France region leads in crowdfunding investments, accounting for roughly a third of the financed amounts, followed by Provence Alpes Côtes d'Azur and Auvergne.

Landscape of Leading Entities in the Crowdfunding Arena

The realm of crowdfunding has been marked by the presence of several standout platforms, each of which has etched its own distinct space within the market. Notably, these platforms serve a myriad of purposes, ranging from philanthropic endeavors to entrepreneurial ambitions. Here is a look at the main players that punctuate the crowdfunding ecosystem based on their contributions and distinguishing features.

Global Powerhouses

  • GoFundMe: Known for its global reach and its predilection for personal fundraising, GoFundMe has emerged as one of the most recognizable names in the crowdfunding domain. Though its financial specifics are not disclosed in our reference material, the platform's wide-ranging influence is undeniable, particularly in the sectors of emergency funding, medical expense channelling, and charitable drives. It has fundamentally shifted how individuals seek financial assistance in times of crisis.
  • Kickstarter: With an impressive track record of aiding creative projects to fruition, Kickstarter stands tall as a visionary force. It has become synonymous with the artistic and tech-savvy crowd, helping breathe life into thousands of innovations, films, music albums, and other creative pursuits. The platform is not just a conduit of funds but also a catalyst for community engagement and support for ideas that captivate the imagination.

French Front-Runners

  • KissKissBankBank: This platform champions a diverse array of crowdfunding formats within France, catering to entrepreneurs, artists, and social causes. KissKissBankBank has positioned itself as a cradle for European innovation and cultural projects, supporting a wide range of initiatives from the initial sparks of community-sourced concepts to the full-blown ignition of impactful enterprises.
  • Ulule: As one of France's premier crowdfunding platforms, Ulule has proven itself to be more than just a funding gateway; it is a launching pad for dreams. Specializing in reward-based crowdfunding, it has facilitated a significant volume of funds and propelled projects spanning across various spheres, including social impact, innovation, and culture. With records indicating a total fundraising sum that speaks volumes of its efficacy, Ulule exemplifies how strategic crowdfunding can empower a spectrum of endeavors.

Other Notables

  • WiSeed and Lita.co: Also noteworthy in the French market are platforms like WiSeed, which tailors its services towards sustainable and green projects, thus aligning financial growth with ecological responsibility. Lita.co, on the other hand, has carved a niche in ethical investing, suspending commissions to bolster solidarity with impactful companies. 
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Summary and extracts

1 Market summary

1.1 Introduction and definition

Crowdfunding, or participatory finance, refers to "the exchange of funds between individuals outside of institutional financial circuits, in order to finance a project via an online platform."[French Ministry of the Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty]

One of the specific features of crowdfunding is therefore the nature of the players in this sector: funders are mainly individuals, rather than traditional players (banks, investment funds, etc.).

The main forms of crowdfunding are reward crowdfunding, equity crowdfunding, lending crowdfunding and donation crowdfunding:

  • Reward crowdfunding: used for artistic and cultural projects. Backers receive non-monetary rewards linked to the funded project, such as access to exclusive content or delivery of the product they are funding.
  • Participatory financing: mainly adopted by SMEs and innovative start-ups. In exchange for their investment, backers receive shares in the company or a share of the profits, thus becoming partners in the business.
  • Lending Crowdfunding (or P2P Lending): this involves lending money between individuals via a platform. The individual making the loan receives the return of capital plus interest.
  • Donation Crowdfunding: lenders support a project or cause without expecting anything in return. Mainly used to finance social initiatives, charitable or humanitarian projects.

The principles of crowdfunding originated in the 19th century with the financing of part of the Statue of Liberty. However, crowdfunding has only existed in its current form since the late 2000s.

Although relatively recent, this sector is very dynamic and has experienced strong growth since its inception. Between 2022 and 2021, the total amount raised through participatory financing rose by 25%.

1.2 A robust global market

Crowdfunding market size Worldwide, ****-****, in billions of dollars CAGR: +**.** Source: ****

In ****, the global crowdfunding market size was estimated at $*.** billion. The market is expected to grow at a rate of **.*% per year until ****, reaching sales of $*.* billion. In terms of volume, China dominates the market: in ****, the country held a ...

1.3 Sustained growth in the domestic market

Market size of alternative finance France, ****-****, in millions of euros CAGR: +**.*% Source: ****

The graph above shows the evolution of the total amount of funds raised in France through participatory finance between **** and ****. The market has experienced exceptional growth in recent years. Since ****, the funds raised each year have multiplied by ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1 Preferences of French investors

Donations

Evolution of the volume and structure of donations in crowdfunding France, **** - ****, in €M Source: ****

Although it represents a small share of the total amount raised in crowdfunding (***), the donations segment grew significantly between **** and ****. This increase was driven by non-rewarding donations, which increased more than fivefold in ****. This dynamic ...

2.2 Characteristics of French investors

Source: ****

The map above shows the geographical distribution of French investors, expressed as a percentage of amounts financed in each region. There is a strong concentration of demand in Ile-de-France, with **.**% of amounts financed, followed by Provence Alpes Côtes d'Azur (***) ,with foreign investors contributing **.**% of amounts financed.

The age breakdown ...

2.3 Demand trends: real estate crowdfunding

Today, real estate crowdfunding is a very dynamic sector, driving growth in the crowdfunding market.

Growth in amounts raised through real estate crowdfunding France, **** - ****, in €M Source: ****

In fact, the volume raised by this crowdfunding segment is clearly on the rise, topping the €*,*** million mark in ****. This figure is **.*% higher ...

2.4 Demand trends: sustainability

At a time of climate change, the crowdfunding market has a crucial role to play. The sector has a duty to develop a sustainable industry that combines economic, social and environmental dimensions. Investors seem well aware of this challenge, as this segment is very dynamic. **,*** projects have a social or environmental ...

2.5 Influence of the pandemic on the sector

The French government helps companies meet their liquidity needs. For example, since May *, ****, the government has provided a state-guaranteed loan via a lending platform with the status of an intermediary in participatory financing (***). [***]

Planet-fintech reports that there will certainly be a slowdown in investments linked to traditional fundraising, and therefore also ...

3 Market structure

3.1 Market overview

Crowdfunding platforms act as intermediaries between investors/donors and project contributors. The following diagram describes the relationships between these different players:

Source: ****

France has three market-leading platforms: Ulule, KissKissBankBank and WiSeed.

Fundraising is organized on web platforms that must be registered with ORIAS (***) as :

Intermédiaire en financement participatif (***) for financing ...

3.2 A relatively concentrated market

Volume of funds raised

The crowdfunding sector is driven by a small number of major players, and in this sense resembles an olligopoly.

Platform segmentation by fundraising volume France, ****, in Source: ****

In fact, six platforms account for more than half of the total amount collected (***), while ** others account for just *.*%. What's ...

3.3 Typology of players

The players who can launch a fund-raising campaign are diverse and varied. The following chart provides an overview of the main projects funded:

Number of projects financed by type of player France, ****, in units Source: ****

Individuals are the most prolific in terms of projects financed, with **,*** projects in ****. Players in the ...

4 Offer analysis

4.1 Types of financing

As mentioned above, there are three main types of funding: donations, loans and investments.

The following table lists the financing methods and project proposal frequency of the various crowdfunding players:

Associations are the most active in terms of project proposals. On average, they propose *** projects per week. This dynamism is due ...

4.2 Case study: the Ulule platform

Ulule is a major player in the French crowdfunding sector. The company has raised a total of over *** million euros. In ****, total funds raised amounted to **.*** million euros.

The following chart shows the average amount paid out by category:

Average contribution by project category France, ****, in € Source: ****

Average contributions are globally ...

4.3 Fee comparison

Source: ****

5 Rules and regulations

5.1 Current regulations

Structure

The text below comes from Financement Participatif .

The decree of September **, **** created the status of intermediary in participatory financing (***), for IFP platforms; or by the AMF l'Autorité des marchés financiers, for PIC platforms. Platforms must adopt one of the following statutes, and be registered with Orias , the unique register ...

6 Positioning the players

6.1 Segmentation

  • GoFundMe
  • Funding Circle
  • KissKissBankBank
  • Ulule France
  • Anaxago
  • Bricks.co
  • Crowdcube
  • Tudigo
  • Club Funding
  • Tickando

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Crowdfunding market size
  • Most active categories
  • Most popular categories, by total amount invested (euros)
  • Growth in amounts raised through crowdfunding
  • Breakdown of funds raised through crowdfunding by type
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Latest news

Bloks, real estate crowdfunding that focuses on local businesses - 17/04/2023
  • Bricks.co and Bloks are real estate crowdfunding platforms in French Tech.
  • Bloks was created recently and focuses on commercial real estate investment.
  • Baltis Capital is another real estate crowdfunding platform created in 2016.
Anaxago - 08/02/2023
  • Alternative investment specialist specializing in real estate, combining the crowdfunding platform Anaxago.com, the management company Anaxago Capital and a wealth management consulting business
  • Sales in 2022 of €14 million (versus €10.5 million in 2021).
  • Anaxago is profitable (20% of sales).
  • Its investment platform (mainly in real estate) has raised €200 million (48 operations, 30% more than in 2021).
  • It repaid nearly €80 million to its investors at an average annual interest rate of 9.5% in real estate.
  • More than 13,000 investors on the platform, and 10 disposals
  • 27 million euros invested in start-ups
  • Acquisition of French management company Cap Horn

Real estate investment platform Bricks.co launches a participative fundraising campaign with the 1001Pacte platform. - 11/04/2022
  • Brick.co has raised 5 million euros in equity capital from its 150,000 users.
  • The platform is aiming for 600,000 customers and 250 million euros in new acquisitions by 2022.
  • It intends to expand internationally, opening subsidiaries in Portugal, Spain and Belgium.
  • Around 100 new hires are planned.
  • With initial sales of 1.5 million euros and 40 employees, proptech is paid on a commission basis.

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

GoFundMe
Funding Circle
KissKissBankBank
Ulule France
Anaxago
Bricks.co
Crowdcube
Tudigo
Club Funding
Tickando

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