CraftFund Launches Crowdfunding Platform for Beer

by Adam on August 28, 2013

As both a lover of craft beer AND of innovation in the food space, I was really interested in the recent announcement about CraftFund, a crowdfunding platform for craft beer companies and startups:

http://www.foodtechconnect.com/2013/08/26/craftfund-to-launch-equity-crowdfunding-craft-beer-food/

While we’ve been seeing an incredible increase in the adoption of craft beer across the country (now accounting for 10% of total beer sales, $10.2B), as well as a commiserate, and no less remarkable increase in the backing of food-related crowdfunding campaigns on Kickstarter and other platforms, the idea of a niche-focused, vertically-oriented crowdfunding site dedicated to such  a specific part of the market is something quite new. I would expect we’ll see more of these kinds of opportunities in the future, though it does have pros and cons that will be indicative of its overall success over time.

For hyper-focused crowdfunding, the largest potential lies in being able to attract a crowd of highly engaged, enthusiast supporters, and harnessing that user base as a way to vet new ideas and allow consumers to vote with their dollars. A site such as this cuts through the noise and allows consumers to quickly find the projects they want to fund. But, this is a double-edged sword, as it creates a niche community that requires significant marketing investment to draw attention to these opportunities and to get supporters behind each project. Contrary to other crowdfunding sites, such as Kickstarter, which rely on serendipity and discovery as a way to help consumers find affinity projects they want to invest in, CraftFund is so specific in its focus, that much of that serendipitous discovery is lost, and it requires consumers to have heard about the site already in order to find those projects.

But, while there could be hurdles to the site’s adoption, and to the funding of projects listed, I do think it points to a larger trend in the vertical marketplace that will allow for other niche crowdfunding sites to gain traction, whether in food, clean tech, EDU, or other arenas.

 

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