Crowdfunding: Outlining the New Era of Fundraising

  • Michael M. GierczakEmail author
  • Ulrich Bretschneider
  • Philipp Haas
  • Ivo Blohm
  • Jan Marco Leimeister
Part of the FGF Studies in Small Business and Entrepreneurship book series (FGFS)


Crowdfunding is increasingly gaining attention in theory and practice. Various platforms have emerged, offering entrepreneurs and project owners the possibility to raise money from an undefined group of online users (“crowd”). In this article we aim to provide a deeper understanding of the rise of crowdfunding as an alternative funding opportunity by discussing its main characteristics, the market development, different classification approaches, its fields of application and by providing directions for future research.


Crowdfunding Crowdinvesting Crowdsourcing Crowdfunding types Crowdfunding platforms 



Our thanks go to Oliver Englisch for his excellent support and valuable comments. This paper was developed within the project “The Open Innovation Project (IOIT)”, funded by the European Union INTERREG IVB NWE Programme (Funding code: 166F-IOIT).


  1. Agrawal, A., Catalini, C., & Goldfarb, A. (2010). The geography of crowdfunding (NET Institute Working Paper No. 10-08). doi: 10.2139/ssrn.1692661
  2. Agrawal, A., Catalini, C., & Goldfarb, A. (2011). Offline relationships, distance, and the Internet: The geography of crowdfunding.
  3. Agrawal, A., Catalini, C., & Goldfarb, A. (2013). Some simple economics of crowdfunding (NBER Working Paper Series No. 19133). doi:  10.3386/w19133
  4. Ahlers, G. K., Cumming, D., Günther, C., & Schweizer, D. (2012). Signaling in equity crowdfunding. doi: 10.2139/ssrn.2161587
  5. Bakos, Y. (1998). The emerging role of electronic marketplaces on the Internet. Communications of the ACM, 41(8), 35–42. doi: 10.1145/280324.280330 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Banerjee, A. V. (1992). A simple model of herd behavior. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 107(3), 797–817.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Belleflamme, P., Lambert, T., & Schwienbacher, A. (2010). Crowdfunding: An industrial organization perspective. Prepared for the Workshop Digital Business Models: Understanding Strategies, Paris, France.Google Scholar
  8. Belleflamme, P., Lambert, T., & Schwienbacher, A. (2014). Crowdfunding: Tapping the right crowd. Journal of Business Venturing, 29(5), 585–609. doi: 10.1016/j.jbusvent.2013.07.003 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Blohm, I., Leimeister, J. M., Wenzlaff, K., & Gebert, M. (2013). Crowdfunding-Studie 2013/2014: Analyse, Perspektiven und Erfolgsfaktoren innovativer Unternehmens- und Projektfinanzierungen. Berlin: epubli GmbH.Google Scholar
  10. Blohm, I., Leimeister, J. M., & Krcmar, H. (2013). Crowdsourcing: How to benefit from (too) many great ideas. MIS Quarterly Executive, 12(4), 199–211.Google Scholar
  11. Blohm, I., Sieber, E., Schulz, M., Haas, P., Leimeister, J. M., Wenzlaff, K., et al. (2014). Delphi-Studie Crowdfunding 2020—Komplement oder Substitut für die Finanzindustrie? Norderstedt: Books on Demand.Google Scholar
  12. Bradford, C. S. (2012). Crowdfunding and the federal securities laws. Columbia Business Law Review, 2012(1), 1–150.Google Scholar
  13. BRAINPOOL Artist & Content Services GmbH. (2013). Stromberg—Der Film. Retrieved August 15, 2013, from
  14. Brenner, W., Karagiannis, D., Kolbe, L., Krüger, J., Leifer, L., Lamberti, H.-J., et al. (2014). User, use & utility research. WIRTSCHAFTSINFORMATIK, 56(1), 65–72. doi: 10.1007/s11576-013-0394-y CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Bretschneider, U., Knaub, K., & Wieck, E. (2014). Motivations for crowdfunding: What drives the crowd to invest in start-ups? Paper presented at the 22nd European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS 2014), Tel Aviv, Israel.Google Scholar
  16. Bretschneider, U., Leimeister, J. M., & Mathiassen, L. (2015). IT-enabled product innovation: Customer motivation for participating in virtual idea communities. International Journal of Product Development, 20(2), 126–141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Burtch, G. (2011). Herding behavior as a network externality. Paper presented at the International Conference on Information Systems, Shanghai.Google Scholar
  18. Burtch, G., Benedetto, C. A., & Mudambi, S. M. (2014). Leveraging information systems for enhanced product innovation. In F. J. Martínez-López (Ed.), Handbook of strategic e-business management (pp. 211–216). Berlin: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Burtch, G., Ghose, A., & Wattal, S. (2013). An empirical examination of the antecedents and consequences of contribution patterns in crowd-funded markets. Information Systems Research, 24(3), 499–519.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Chesbrough, H. W. (2006). Open innovation: The new imperative for creating and profiting from technology. Harvard: Harvard Business School Press.Google Scholar
  21. Cumming, D., Leboeuf, G., & Schwienbacher, A. (2014). Crowdfunding models: Keep-it-all vs. all-or-nothing. doi:  10.2139/ssrn.2447567
  22. Forsythe, S. M., & Shi, B. (2003). Consumer patronage and risk perceptions in Internet shopping. Journal of Business Research, 56(11), 867–875. doi: 10.1016/S0148-2963(01)00273-9 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Für-Grü (2014). Crowdfunding-monitor. Retrieved September 2, 2014, from
  24. Gerber, E. M., Hui, J. S., & Kuo, P.-Y. (2012). Crowdfunding: Why people are motivated to post and fund projects on crowdfunding platforms. Paper presented at the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, Vancouver, BC, Canada.Google Scholar
  25. Gierczak, M. M., Bretschneider, U., & Leimeister, J. M. (2014). Is all that glitters gold? Exploring the effects of perceived risk on backing behavior in reward-based crowdfunding. Paper presented at the International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS), Auckland, New Zealand.Google Scholar
  26. Haas, P., Blohm, I., & Leimeister, J. M. (2014). An empirical taxonomy of crowdfunding intermediaries. Paper presented at the International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS), Auckland, New Zealand.Google Scholar
  27. Harris, J. (1986). A statue for America: The first 100 years of the statue of liberty. New York: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar
  28. Hars, A., & Ou, S. (2002). Working for free? Motivations for participating in open source projects. International Journal of Electronic Commerce, 6(3), 25–39.Google Scholar
  29. Hemer, J. (2011). A snapshot on crowdfunding (Working Papers Firms and Region, No. R2/2011). Karlsruhe: Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI.Google Scholar
  30. Hemer, J., Schneider, U., Dornbusch, F., & Frey, S. (2011). Crowdfunding und andere Formen informeller Mikrofinanzierung in der Projekt- und Innovationsfinanzierung. Stuttgart: Fraunhofer Verlag.Google Scholar
  31. Howe, J. (2006). The rise of crowdsourcing. Retrieved June 10, 2014, from
  32. Kappel, T. (2009). Ex ante crowdfunding and the recording industry: A model for the U.S. Loyola of Los Angeles Entertainment Law Review, 29(3), 375–385.Google Scholar
  33. Kickstarter. (2014a). COOLEST COOLER: 21st century cooler that’s Actually Cooler. Retrieved August 30, 2014, from
  34. Kickstarter. (2014b). Kickstarter stats. Retrieved April 18, 2014, from
  35. Lehner, O. M. (2012). Crowdfunding social ventures: A model and research agenda. Paper presented at the 2012 Research Colloquium on Social Entrepreneurship, University of Oxford, Skoll Center of SAID Business School UK.Google Scholar
  36. Leimeister, J. M. (2010). Collective intelligence. Business & Information Systems Engineering (BISE), 4(2), 245–248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Leimeister, J. M. (2012). Crowdsourcing: Crowdfunding, crowdvoting, crowdcreation. Zeitschrift für Controlling und Management, 56, 388–392.Google Scholar
  38. Lin, Y., Boh, W. F., & Goh, K. H. (2014). How different are crowdfunders? Examining archetypes of crowdfunders and their choice of projects. Retrieved November 19, 2014, from  10.2139/ssrn.2397571
  39. Lin, M., Prabhala, N. R., & Viswanathan, S. (2013). Judging borrowers by the company they keep: Friendship networks and information asymmetry in online peer-to-peer lending. Management Science, 59(1), 17–35. doi: 10.1287/mnsc.1120.1560.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Lin, M., & Viswanathan, S. (2013). Home bias in online investments: An empirical study of an online crowd funding market. doi:  10.2139/ssrn.2219546
  41. Malone, T. W., Laubacher, R. J., & Johns, T. (2011). The big idea: The age of hyperspecialization. Harvard Business Review, 89(7/8), 56–65.Google Scholar
  42. Massolution. (2012). Crowdfunding industry report—market trends, composition and crowdfunding platforms. Retrieved May 18, 2014, from
  43. Mitchell, V.-W. (1992). Understanding consumers’ behaviour: Can perceived risk theory help? Management Decision, 30(3), 26–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Mitchell, V.-W. (1999). Consumer perceived risk: Conceptualisations and models. European Journal of Marketing, 33(1/2), 163–195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Mitra, T., & Gilbert, E. (2014). The language that gets people to give: Phrases that predict success on Kickstarter. Paper presented at the Proceedings of the 17th ACM conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work & Social Computing, New York, NY, USA.Google Scholar
  46. Mollick, E. (2014). The dynamics of crowdfunding: An exploratory study. Journal of Business Venturing, 29(1), 1–16. doi: 10.1016/j.jbusvent.2013.06.005 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Moritz, A., & Block, J. H. (2014). Crowdfunding und Crowdinvesting: State-of-the-Art der wissenschaftlichen Literatur [Crowdfunding and Crowdinvesting: A Review of the Literature]. ZfKE—Zeitschrift für KMU und Entrepreneurship, 62, 57–89. doi: 10.2139/ssrn.2274141 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Nerdinger, F. W. (2006). Motivierung. In H. Schuler (Ed.), Lehrbuch der Personalpsychologie (2nd ed., pp. 385–404). Göttingen: Hogrefe.Google Scholar
  49. Ordanini, A., Miceli, L., Pizzetti, M., & Parasuraman, A. (2011). Crowd-funding: Transforming customers into investors through innovative service platforms. Journal of Service Management, 22(4), 443–470.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Pavlou, P. A., & Gefen, D. (2004). Building effective online marketplaces with institution-based trust. Information Systems Research, 15(1), 37–59. doi: 10.1287/isre.1040.0015 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Riedl, C., Blohm, I., Leimeister, J. M., & Krcmar, H. (2013). The effect of rating scales on decision quality and user attitudes in online innovation communities. International Journal of Electronic Commerce, 17(3), 7–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Rossi, M. (2014). SMEs’ access to finance: An overview from Southern Italy. European Journal of Business and Social Sciences, 2(11), 155–164.Google Scholar
  53. Schulz, M., Haas, P., Blohm, I., & Leimeister, J. M. (2015). How idea creativity and hedonic value influence project success in crowdfunding. Paper presented at the 12th International Conference on Wirtschaftsinformatik (WI2015), Osnabrück, Germany.Google Scholar
  54. Schwienbacher, A., & Larralde, B. (2012). Crowdfunding of small entrepreneurial ventures. In D. Cumming (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of entrepreneurial finance (pp. 369–391). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  55. Surowiecki, J. (2004). The wisdom of crowds: Why the many are smarter than the few and how collective wisdom shapes business, economies, societies, and nations. New York: Doubleday Books.Google Scholar
  56. The World Bank. (2013). Crowdfunding’s potential for the developing world.
  57. Verstein, A. (2011). Misregulation of person-to-person lending. The University of California Law Review, 45(2), 445–530.Google Scholar
  58. Walsh, A. (2014). SEEK!: Creating and crowdfunding a game-based open educational resource to improve information literacy. Insights, 27(1), 63–66.Google Scholar
  59. Zvilichovsky, D., Inbar, Y., & Barzilay, O. (2013). Playing both sides of the market: Success and reciprocity on crowdfunding platforms. Paper presented at the International Conference on Information Systems, Milan, Italy.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael M. Gierczak
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ulrich Bretschneider
    • 1
  • Philipp Haas
    • 2
  • Ivo Blohm
    • 2
  • Jan Marco Leimeister
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Information SystemsKassel UniversityKasselGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Information Management (IWI)University of St. GallenSt. GallenSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations