Idea.me, one of the leading crowdfunding platforms in Latin America, announced earlier today that it has passed the $1 million mark in pledges received.
The platform has helped fund 180 projects since launching eighteen months ago.
Crowdfunding in Latin America has yet to explode like it has in Europe and North America, but there are many signs that the region is ready for the new method of capital formation.
Your correspondent met Idea.me CEO Luis Ortiz Gross at a recent workshop on crowdfunding in Latin America organized by the Multilateral Investment Fund and massolution (a Crowdsourcing.org sister company). After the workshop, Ortiz Gross was kind enough to answer a few questions about his company and what the plans are for the future.
Anton Root, Crowdsourcing.org: One of the interesting things we talked about during the workshop was the effect of the diaspora on crowdfunding in the region. Are you able to track how much money has come in from outside Latin America?
Luis Ortiz Gross, Idea.me CEO: Today, it’s not more than five percent. But it’s going to grow because now, we are focusing on that market. We’re starting operations in Miami soon, and that will increase our income from outside the region by a lot. In the short term, I believe that’s going to be a much bigger market because crowdfunding in the U.S. and Europe has much more awareness than in Latin America. I believe our growth in the U.S. Hispanic market will be faster than inside Latin America.
Is there anything you’re doing markedly different in the U.S.?
Yes. One big difference is the process of education or coaching for the project creators. In the U.S., platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo don’t do much around education. We have seen that here in Latin America, it is very important to council entrepreneurs and project creators.