Any user who has trasferred money to his or her account and has allocated (a part) of this money to an idea will be considered an investor on the platform.
Anyone with an emailaccount or a social media account with Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin or Hyves can sign up. After sign-up you can start registering your idea and/or start investing in great business opportunities. So if you are looking for start or growth capital, or you want to invest in a potentially new Google or Facebook you can sign up.
People who have created a profile are called users. Once you are a user you can start investing and/or place your idea(s).
Once a user has posted an idea, this person is called an entrepreneur for this idea.
Anyone contributing with funds to ideas on the platform is a backer. Backers can be investors or pledgers (or they can do both):
- an investor: is any person, aged over 18, investing money into equity of the idea entity,
- a pledger: is any person, aged over 18, paying money directly for idea perks (to be delivered in the future),
- a follower: is any user not actively contributing with funds but who is interested in a idea and has clicked the follow button.
Yes, a user can place a proposition on the platform as well as investing in other propositions.
A pledger on the platform is a contributor with donations, eventually the pledger could get a reward. The term "pledge" originates from the promise a contributor makes to fund something once a certain threshold is reached. In this case the threshold is the target funding to develop the particular proposition described on the platform. When the entrepreneur reaches the target funding amount the pledger is obliged to contribute his/her pledge.
Perk: a reward set by the entrepreneur, which, for example, can be the products the company intends to sell or is selling. In the case of pledging, perks are only produced and sent to pledgers if the target funding has been achieved and has been wired to the entrepreneur. Pledges for perks include shipping costs.
In the case of equity-crowdfunding, the arrangements are less strict and depends on if the entrepreneurs wants to offer a reward and what the conditions are.
The two main reasons for signing up are:
- to find starting capital for your business idea or attracting growth capital for your existing company. Except funding you also get honest and valuable feedback from the crowd (users)
- to invest in promising new ideas in order to get a financial return. Of coursein addition you are free to help the entrepreneur with the company you may have invested in to reach full potential.
It is very easy to register your business idea on the platform. Just press the green button ‘register idea’ on the 'idea' page and fill in the information. Within a few minutes you will have your idea listed and you are ready to attract investors.
It depends on where you want to recieve the money you have acquired through the platform. If you want to receive the money in a new company (BV; Dutch ltd), using the platform for attracting capital is completely free upfront. If you want to receive the money in an already existing company we ask for an upfront fee of € 250,- (exclusive of VAT).
After you have successfully attracted your funding Symbid asks for a 5% successfee (exclusive of VAT) over the total amount you have raised.
Depending on several variables certain legal and setup costs for the legal structure will be there (only after successfully raising your capital). Please download our factsheet Step-by-Step plan Entrepreneurs and Investors for the exact costs of using the platform for your usercase.
An existing company should be a Dutch limited company (BV) or at least be willing to transfer the company into a BV once the funding target has been reached. Further we require you to provide us with the Chamber of Commerce registration number.
Yes, you can register as many ideas as you want, but remember, it’s not about quantity but about quality. Investors want to see a clear focus!
Yes, it is allowed to get your idea funded on multiple crowdfunding platforms. Several entrepeneurs have already done this. However we strongly advise you to double-check this with the other platform.
If the idea has a pledge-for-perks campaign, there is no limit to the amount of funding within the period that the campaign runs. An equity-based campaign always stops at 100% funding.
- Investments for equity: people make a financial contribution to the idea in exchange for a ‘piece of the pie’. The pie represents the company of the entrepreneur, meaning investors become partial owners of the idea and share in the profits of the company.
- Pledges: directly payable contributions to an idea in exchange for a perk. With a Perk being a reward set by the entrepreneur worth a minimum amount of pledge. The reward can be the product a company is selling so this can be seen as a pre-sales process for the product.
Ideas should be finished as much as possible prior to being submitted for review. If it’s something minor like a typo (or, say you came up with an even more amazing perk), feel free to adjust after submission.
Once an idea profile has been built it is submitted to ensure that it does not violate the Terms and Conditions. At this point, we may reach out directly to the Entrepreneur with any questions or requests for clarification. An email will then be sent to the Entrepreneur with either an Approved or Declined idea status. The Entrepreneur has the option to appeal a decline by sending an e-mail that states the reasons for appeal.
After activation of your proposition you can only increase the equity percentage you are offering to the investors.
Currently users only have the ability to INVEST from abroad (with exception of US citizens); the business ideas on symbid.com are written in English as well as the legal documents. As an entrepreneur however, it is at the moment NOT YET possible to subscribe your foreign legal business entity to the platform or any of her partner portals.
A foreign start-up that is willing to accept a Dutch legal entity (BV) is eligible to participate in attracting funding through the platform.
After a successfull funding an investor cooperative will be incorporated to bundle the investors. The investment cooperative will be one single shareholder within your company and will represent the voice and votes of the investors. The investor cooperative will always be a Dutch entity, for more information you can downlaod our Step-by-Step plan Entrepreneurs and Investors.
Your proposition can be online for one year, however we expect you to raise the funds in a much shorter period of time! Read about our tips and trics in the 'Factsheet Crowdfunding Campaign'.
Depends on the entrepreneur and varies per equity-raising idea. Investors get equity in the ideas they have chosen to fund but investors are still eligible to purchase perks in another idea offering perks if they wish. Also, an equity-entrepreneur may decide to offer perks nonetheless but this not obliged or otherwise to be expected.
Perks are required for pledges of €20 and up. Creative and engaging backer perks are absolutely essential to an idea’s success. Usually, but not always, perks are objects or content produced by the entrepreneurial team itself. There’s a wide range of prices and tiers. A perk can be as simple as a €5 download or as elaborate as a cruise on a yacht. It's up to the entrepreneur to create, price, and fulfill their perks.
Prohibited items include:
- Financial incentives, returns and repayment. You use the equity offering within the equity based campaign for these kind of reimbursements,
- Raffles, lotteries, and sweepstakes,
- Coupons, discounts, and gift certificates,
- Alcohol, tobacco, medicine and drugs,
No. Once an idea is launched the end date cannot be changed.
Perks can be priced anywhere from €5 to €20,000.
Yes, perks can be tailored to offer only a limited quantity (upon request by the entrepreneur).
Ideas continue to accept pledges until the funding deadline expires. There is no option to end an idea early. If you exceed your goal, you simply get more money to realize your business.
Once your idea is successfully funded, you can request any information you need to facilitate fulfilling your pledgers’ perks, like their T-shirt size or a mailing address. Delivery surveys are sent only after an idea has achieved funding success. Clear communication is essential to any good relationship; if backers have questions, please let them know that you will follow up with them when you're ready to deliver their perks.
The estimated delivery date for a perk is the date you expect to deliver that perk to your pledgers. If you have more than one thing in a single perk tier, set your estimated delivery date to when you expect everything in that perk tier to be delivered.
You can change the estimated delivery date on your Edit Idea page IF no backers have selected the perk tier. If the perk has already been selected the delivery date cannot be changed, instead you would have to notify your pledgers/backers of the new delivery date by utilizing the "Message All" function for that perk tier in your Backer Report.
This is why it’s important to sit down and create a workable timeline for your idea so that you will have a good sense of when you'll be to complete it. It makes choosing a delivery date you can be confident you can meet a lot easier.
The Estimated Delivery Date is designed to help you set concrete expectations for pledgers on when they will receive perks. Setbacks are typical to any type of idea; this is especially true for the more creative endeavors. When the unexpected pops up, Entrepreneurs are expected to post a Status Update explaining the problem and proposed course of action. Becoming a part of the greater story, warts and all, is part of the experience.
Entrepreneurs who communicate honestly and transparently will find their backers to be far more forgiving of the foibles of the creative process. We’ve all felt the urge to avoid addressing things when we feel bad about them, but leaving investors and pledgers in the dark can have them assuming the worst. It not only reflects poorly on the greater idea, and is inherently disrespectful to the greater support that the community is capable of giving to and had given to other Entrepreneurs. Consistent, timely, positive, honest and transparent communication is a must for success.
A "Status Update" is our name for each idea's mini-blog page. Entrepreneurs can use Status Updates to keep backers informed on the development of the idea. Some entrepreneurs may post ten Status Updates a day, others may use that functionality sparingly, but it's really one of the best ways to keep investors and pledgers informed of a business idea's progress. Entrepreneurs have the optional ability to make each post publicly viewable or exclusive to Investors only. An exclusive InnerCircle Update allows you to communicate privately with Investors as a group.
Status Updates can elevate business ideas from basic funding drives to complex, relatable stories that backers (and other observers/followers) will eagerly follow and identify with. Allow pledgers and investors to be intimately engaged in the behind the scenes details as you make choices and defeat obstacles on your journey towards your ultimate objectives.
Status Updates, periodical digests, Q&A's, etc. are directly emailed to investors, pledgers and followers if they choose to be kept up to date via the notification settings. These are shown to a user after they have chosen to pledge, to invest or to follow your idea. Afterwards you can go back to your dashboard and adjust each of these settings. Additionally, activities of ideas you are interested in are displayed on your dashboard.
- Transaction fees: The costs incurred by the backers for the payment providers,
- Administration fees: The administration costs incurred by backers (2.5% exclusive of VAT),
- Success fee: the 5% fee over the total funded capital (excluding VAT) that we charge
- Refund fee: A flat fee of €0.50 for PayPal €0.40 for Credit Cards and €0.15 ideal (Most used Dutch local payment processor).
Yes. If a company feels that crowdfunding is not the right place for them, or the proposition may not have had the success it has wished for the ideapage for that company (or idea) can be deleted from the platform. All allocated parts to that idea will be trasferred back to the account of the users from which the money was from.
All EU inhabitants are able to invest (aged over 18 years). No matter what sort of education, income or investment experience you have, we believe that everyone has the right to become partial owner of exciting start-ups and SME-companies!
Yes, you can invest in as many entrepeneurs (with ideas) as you want. As long as the target capital has not been reached, you can also retrieve your investment from one idea and invest the amount in another idea.
The platform will not act as a gatekeeper, so in theory anybody can register an idea on it. This of course does not mean that you as a user are not able to screen a proposition and/or the people behind it. Here are some tips for finding legitimacy for an listed idea or entrepreneur:
1. Google! Use google to do a background check on the name of the entrepreneur and/or the name of the company or product it offers.
2. Check the entrepreneur's Linkedin profile. Check his history and the amount of connections. Of course this too can be fake, but it will cost a lot of effort to build up an extensive network on linkedin too. An added video on the ideapage can help to get to know the entrepreneur. If you feel you know too little of an entrepreneur ask him or her to explain their proposition in a video, this gives you a sense of the type of person it is you might invest in.
3. Check whether the entrepreneur him-/herself has invested more than €20 in their own proposition and whether there are many of very few investors for a proposition. In general many investors should indicate many people have been convinced of the fact that this may be a promosing idea.
4. Read the business plan! And try to invest in things you understand. Of course you are able to invest in things 'others' invested in, but understanding your investments helps you better judge a plan.
5. Use common sense, things that seem to good to be true probably are.
Yes. We challenge you to invest in the propositions you find most promising and seem to give you the highest return on your investment. As an investor there are two ways in which you can make money. As an investor you'll receive dividends over the amount of shares you own and/or you can exit by selling your shares to others. By selling your shares you can profit from value creation within the company.
- Target funding: the sum of capital required to attain the goals set by the entrepreneur (incl. the 5% success fee),
- Current funding: the total amount of capital raised to this point,
- Funding Success: When target funding is completed within the deadline,
- Funding Remaining: funding still required completing target funding. It’s the difference between current funding and target funding. If the company wishes to fund this capital through a new raise and deadline with equity this is the amount that new offering % is based on,
- Funding Deadline: the number of days from start of campaign to the end of the raise. Possibly extended with 180 days to complete the ‘funding remaining’ with an equity raising,
- Funding Fail: Target funding was not successful within the deadline,
- All-or-nothing funding: every, single businessidea must be completely funded before its deadline expires or no money will change hands.
No gain without a risk. So yes, there is a chance that the startups proposition does not catch on when it hits the market. It’s your job to select those ideas that have the best risk reward tradeoff.
The platform aims to support the crowdsourcing process by providing a Crowdsourcing Tool where the entrepreneur can communicate, collaborate and discuss with his investors. Besides that the formalities of the investor cooperative can all be handled online within this InnerCircle, so this does also offer the board of the cooperative convenience to fulfill their task.
It will to other users be visible THAT you have invested in an idea on the platform, but the amount will not be publically revealed. In the InnerCircle, which is only accessible for investors, the number of parts will be shown.
The capital you had allocated to this idea will be made available on your balance again, this way you will be able to allocate this money to other plans again.
The invested money so far can always be transferred back to the wallets of those who have invested in the proposition. Alternatively, you could disinvest the money yourself before the deadline and invest in another proposition or transfer the money back to your bank account.
We are a transaction platform and earn money by making as many transactions as possible. Every investor pays a small transactionfee on the investment of 2,5% (3% including VAT). This transaction fee is directly payed at the moment money is invested or placed on an account.
When you invest or transfer EUR 100,- to you wallet, you will pay an additional transaction fee of 3% and extra costs for the use of the online payment provider.
An entrepreneur who is being funded, pays a successfee of 5%(excluding VAT) over the funded amount.
An entrepreneur gets EUR 100.000,- funded. When he succeeds, the entrepreneur will get EUR 95.000,- and the platform will get EUR 5.000,- from the total financed amount.
Until the idea has reached its target funding you will be able to follow all steps on the ideapage of your idea. Also in your dashboard you will be able to follow all the steps made by the idea you invested in.
Additionally you will be able to receive daily or weekly digests of the progress and/or instant notifications by email regarding the progress of your investments.
As an investor you will automatically get access to a secured environment only available for the entrepreneur and the shareholders of the company, the InnerCircle. Within this environment the entrepreneur will be able to perfectly keep the investors up to date. Also in this environment the investors will be able to share their knowledge and network to make the company reach its full potential.
An entrepreneur will be able to see the amount an investor has invested in their plan. An entrepreneur will only be able to see the amount an investor invested in THEIR proposition. Investments in other plans will only be visible for the entrepreneur for that particular plan. The public profile will also be visible for all users, the information on this page will not contain investment amounts and will only contain information that is put in the profile by the user itself.
The invested money is securely held on a bankaccount of our financial partner FEET and will be managed under the supervision of the Dutch Central Bank. When an idea reaches its target and the entrepreneur's legal entity is set up, the money (minus the successfee of 5% of the total investment) is wired to the entrepreneur's legal entity.
Yes you can! All individuals from within the EU are able to make investments via the platform. Please inform yourself sufficiently about any tax-schemes in your respective country considering your investments.
We ask for a small administration fee of 3% (including taxes of 21%) over the total invested amount you transfer to your wallet. Besides these administration fees, there will be transaction costs involved, dependent upon the payment method (Paypal, iDeal, CreditCard). Further we have to charge you EUR 1,- per transaction for the services of our financial partner FEET. By doing so we enable you to refund the money in the future to your bank account, plus your invested money will be held on a secure trust bank account of FEET. The costs associated with doing a transfer to your back account are EUR 20,- in adminstrative fees. After you have transfered a certain amount to your wallet you are free to allocate your money to ideas and switch between ideas without further costs!
Taxes of course can have a large influence on certain investment decisions. The platform has not chosen to construct ambigues schemes for investing, so 'normal' tax regulations for investments will apply:
DUTCH TAX REGULATIONS
Investor is an income tax company (one-man business)
- Income tax
Investor is a legal entity / corporate body
- No dividendtax,
- No profit taxes on received dividends
Investor is natural person
- Stake < 5%, box 3
- Taxes on dividends can be deducted from the income tax
- Stake> 5%, box 2, 25% on received dividends
Please notice: we advice foreign investors to consult their local tax advicer on any tax implications for the investments on the platform
Yes, log in to your dashboard page and you can place a 'refund request'. By following the steps in this section you will be able to get your money refunded to your bank account.
The fixed costs per refund are EUR 20,-
FEET – First Electronic E-money Trust - an Electronic Money Institution (“EMI”) is defined in the Dutch Financial Supervision Act (Act on Financial Supervision) as “a financial institution that has been licensed in accordance with this Act and authorized to issue electronic money or that holds an equivalent authorisation in another country in terms of the Electronic Money Directive to issue electronic money. Electronic money (e–money) is an electronically (including magnetically) stored monetary value, represented by a claim on the issuer, which is issued on receipt of funds for the purpose of making payment transactions, and which is accepted by a person other than the electronic money issuer.
Once the target funding of an proposition has been reached the investors will not be able to allocate their investments to other ideas. All investors will be bundled and act as one single shareholder within the underlying entity. For more information on this topic please read the Factsheets on this topic or the How It Works section.
No, after the target capital has been met you can no longer invest in a business idea. But no worries, there are more entrepreneurs with inspiring ideas and concepts. Make sure you’re a part of those ideas!
Per successfully funded proposition one Investor Cooperative will be incorporated. From this entity the bundled group of investors bring their combined knowledge, network and capital into the legal entity of the entrepreneur. An Investor Cooperative participates in only one entity of an entrepreneur who raised capital on the platform.
The additional costs consist of setting up the legal structure and the operational costs of the investor cooperative for example the administrative costs. For more detailed information please download the Step-by-Step Plan Entrepreneurs and Investors.
When the Target capital has been reached, the incorporation of the investor cooperative will start. The entrepreneur provide from his pool of investors three founders who will become the first board. These three people will consist of the entrepreneur and two other investors who invested a relevant amount. Three board seats will be available, so the following roles will have to be fulfilled: chairman, treasurer and a regular board member.
The entrepreneurs will share information on important developments of the business, yearly financial statements and other information required for the crowdsourcing process in the InnerCircle.
If the legal entity of the entrepreneur decides to pay out dividends, these dividends will be paid out to the investor cooperative. The investor cooperative then will pay out the dividends to its members.
Once you have obtained memberships in an incorporated investor cooperative you will be able to transfer those memberships to others, under the condition the board of the investor cooperative approves the transfer of the memberships. Please remark the liquidity of the cooperative membership is limited.
You as an investor are responsible for selecting the right ideas, if a company you have invested in goes bankrupt you basically lose your money. In any case normal Dutch corporate law rules can be applied during the bankruptcy proces. Since you have an indirect shareholding, you will only lose your invested capital.
No. The equity of a startup is considered a high risk investment, and in most cases
none of your money will be returned. The goal with this type of investing is to invest
in one or several startups that perform so well that they more than compensate for
the ones that don't work out. But as there's no guarantee that you'll pick one of the
big winners, you should only invest money you can afford to lose.
None whatsoever. As an equity investor, your liability will be limited to the amount you
invested, which means that even though you might not get your investment back, you
can't be called on to pay anything more no matter what happens to the business.
There are three key risks when investing in a startup. The first is simply that the
business will fail, and you won't get any of your money back. But even if the business succeeds, your investment is likely to be illiquid for a substantial period of time - often a number of years - meaning that you are unlikely to be able to sell the investment, and you probably will not receive dividends from it either. Finally, there is the risk of dilution: if the startup raises more capital later on (which most successful startups need to do), the percentage of equity you hold in it will decrease relative to what you originally had.
Absolutely not. We strongly recommend that you invest most of your capital in safer, more liquid assets, such as mutual funds, bonds and bank deposits. As a rule of thumb, active angel investors tend to invest no more than between 5% and 15% of their capital in startups. Whatever proportion of your money you choose to invest, the most important thing is that you can afford to lose all of it.
We think that the better practice is to invest small amounts in multiple startups.
Because the distribution of returns from startups is highly skewed - meaning that the
majority of startups fail, and most of the profits come from a few big successes - you
are more likely to make a profit by investing in a number of startups in the hopes that
the successes of a few outweigh the losses of the rest.
No matter the outcome, we’ll send you an email alert when funding ends.
Absolutely! Anyone who is over 18 years old can pledge money towards an idea by purchasing perks thereby becoming a donor.
You will make a direct (pre)payment or pledge for your perk. This gives the entrepreneur more security that he actually receives the full amount contributed throughout the campaign. It is not a promise to pay in the future, but a direct payment now for an item you will receive in the future (if the funding goal is met). You pay this amount to the Symbid Cooperative UA. This cooperative makes sure that the net amount the developers can use to build the business and pay for your perks is transferred when the funding deadline expires and funding was successful.
If the deadline runs out or the idea is cancelled, your payment will be refunded to you (excluding payment provider costs just like other crowdfunding platforms using pledge-based funding).
The only way to do that is to choose an anonymous username, which you are welcome to do.
No. Only you and the Lead Entrepreneur of the business idea you are supporting will be able to see your pledge amount.
Sorry, we only support payments through our online payment system.
Yes! Anyone over 18 (with a major credit card), anywhere can contribute to ideas through a direct (pre)payment for a perk.
Lead Entrepreneurs dream up their own perks, including pricing and quantities.
To get a perk of an idea, just click the blue “PLEDGE” button on any idea page. You will be asked to select a perk and enter your amount. From there, you will go through the Intersolve checkout process. Note that you must finish the Intersolve checkout process for your payment to be recorded.
The estimated delivery date for a Perk (maximum amount of weeks after funding completed) is entered by Lead Entrepreneurs as their best guess for delivery to pledgers. It’s a good idea to check a business idea's updates and comments to see if the Lead Entrepreneur has set forth a more specific delivery date. If there are delivery delays and the Lead Entrepreneur has been forthcoming and informative about them, we ask that you take that transparency and earnestness into account. If a Lead Entrepreneur is not communicative, and you need to know more, you should reach out to them by posting a public comment or sending a private message requesting updates and information.
The Lead Entrepreneur will send you an email survey to request any necessary info needed to facilitate delivery of you and your fellow pledgers’ perks. Delivery surveys are sent only after an idea has achieved funding success.
Always check the Estimated Delivery Date on the idea page first. Backing a business idea is not the same as simply buying or ordering a product online; it’s not uncommon that business ideas may be in the very earliest stages of production when they are funded. If the Estimated Delivery Date has passed, check for Idea Updates that may explain what the holdup is. Lead Entrepreneurs can hit unexpected roadblocks or miscalculate how much work it’s going to take to complete their business idea or even a specific tier of perk fulfillment. Lead Entrepreneurs are expected to clearly communicate all unexpected delays and stumbling blocks as they occur. If the Lead Entrepreneur hasn’t posted an update, send a private message asking for information about their progress or post a public comment on their business idea requesting status updates.
We take no commission if an idea does not succeed. The only costs are the costs charged by the payment provider.
We ask for a small administration fee of 3% (including taxes of 21%) over the payment you make to pledge on the platform. Besides these administration fees, there will be transaction costs involved, dependent upon the payment method (Paypal, iDeal, CreditCard).
The fiscal implications of the pledging model have been looked into by BDO Accountants. In line with their advice the following structure has been chosen. The perks the pledgers will receive are in almost all cases a product or service the entrepreneur has promised to deliver. To prevent the entrepreneur from entering into unexpected tax liabilities as a consequence of the successfull crowdfunding campaign, the pledgers will be charged VAT at the moment a pledge payment is processed into the Symbid Trust Bank Account. We will take care of paying the VAT to the tax authorithies. The VAT charged over a pledged amount changes per situation of the pledger and is dependent upon the legal structure of the pledger and the geographic location as you can derive from this table:
Individual (VAT charged)
Pledger NL (21%)
Pledger EU (21%)
Pledger Non-EU (0% (Non-EU VAT taxable))
Legal entity (VAT charged)
Pledger NL (21%)
Pledger EU (0% (VAT reverse charged to recipient))
Pledger Non-EU (0% (Non EU VAT taxable))
Ideas need to have at least 100% of their target funding secured by the end of the 90day deadline, but within this funding period there's no limit to the amount of pledged funding!
When the deadline expires and funding is secured:
1. An email is sent to the entrepreneur(s) and pledgers about the achieved financing goal,
2. We will contact the entrepreneur on next steps (sign appropriate forms),
3. Funds are wired from trust account to entrepreneur’s account,
4. Entrepreneur gets list with crucial information on individual pledges to send out their purchased perks in the predetermined timeframe,
5. Business development starts/continues.
Entrepreneurs are solely responsible for fulfilling the promises, claims, and perks of their business ideas.
You can reach us from 9AM to 6PM (GMT +1 *) on the live chat or call us at +31(0)1 041 34 601. We also aim to answer all emails within 24 hours.
*We are located in the Netherlands. Because we have daylight savings time, time difference is not always the same. Roughly the timezones are: November untill March = GMT +1; April untill October = GMT +2.
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