Find Capital, Get Fundraising Advice, and More: Relaunch of Our Website

capital finder, entrepreneur hub, alternative finance reports

Technology has the potential to revolutionize the development sector — and we’re relaunching our website to show how this can be done. Our new site features an improved Capital Finder, Entrepreneur Hub, and Reports on alternative finance.

It’s been a long time since we’ve updated our site. AlliedCrowds.com has moved from: a crowdfunding project aggregator, to a live dashboard providing unique insight on crowdfunding in emerging markets, to an early version of the Capital Finder alternative finance database, to a Capital Finder-centric platform. Today, we’re relaunching our site to combine the best aspects of the previous versions, and to highlight how technology can innovate the development sector.

The new site, which launched earlier today, is the best iteration yet. Here’s why:

Updated Capital Finder

The Capital Finder is a unique database of 7,000 alternative capital providers across emerging markets. We’ve worked hard to make it the go-to place for: entrepreneurs looking for investors, development organizations looking for partners, and analysts looking for original data. The database has also been instrumental in compiling unique datasets and analysis for our reports and consulting engagements.

Today, we’re announcing the addition of new funder types to the Capital Finder, as well as a complete re-categorization of each funder on the platform. In addition to angel investor networks, crowdfunding platforms, impact investors, public / semi-public funders, and venture capital firms, we’ve added the following five types of funders:

  • Banks
  • Foundations
  • Microfinance institutions
  • Nonprofits
  • Private equity firms
  • More new categories will be added soon

The new, refined categories mean more accurate results. It’s a significant upgrade with a lot going on behind the scenes that will make the Capital Finder even more useful to entrepreneurs, development organizations, analysts, alternative capital providers, and many more.

We’ve also added profiles for each of the funders in our database:

impact investor renewable africa

Interactive Entrepreneur Hub

Knowing who to reach out to for funding is critically important. But where do you go from there?

We have given entrepreneurs information that helps them better understand the fundraising process. The Capital Finder has always been an effective tool that helps entrepreneurs answer the questions of who to fundraise from. Our Entrepreneur Hub is a natural extension of this, as it helps the answer the question of how to fundraise.

This means providing entrepreneurs with templates of documents they need to present to investors, tips from entrepreneurs who have been in their shoes in the past, explainer videos for key concepts, descriptions of capital types (grant, debt, equity) and funder types (VC, impact investor, etc.), and much more.

The new Hub makes this information more readily-available, and gives entrepreneurs the ability to focus on the aspects they need help with most.

business plan template

Blockchain and Cryptocurrency

Over the last year, we have paid close attention to blockchain and cryptocurrency developments.

We’ve always recognized the disruptive potential, and we recently made the decision to play an active role in this space. We’ve already built tools that allow us to track cryptocurrency prices in a new way, and we’re gathering insights on how that data can be used to further our mission of innovating development.

Based on our research and data, we have engaged with blockchain in the following areas:

  • Governance
  • Finance
  • Contracts
  • Corruption
  • Entertainment
  • Social media

Find out more about our blockchain services here.

More to Come!

It’s an exciting time at AlliedCrowds as we continue to roll out new products and services, improve our current offerings, and engage new clients.

We have some exciting announcements, including new clients,new products, and new reports — stay tuned! If you haven’t already, keep up with the latest by subscribing to our newsletter here.

SDG Capital Finder 1.0 Launch

The SDG Capital Finder is the first searchable database for identifying funders that are aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals. It leverages the globally endorsed SDG framework to help partners find each other and accelerate the transition to sustainable development — country by country and goal by goal.

We’re excited to announce the official launch of the SDG Capital Finder!

Over the past four months, our SDG Capital Finder has been in beta mode — we’ve been fine-tuning our data, finding new investors to include in the database, and creating new products around the database.

Today, we’re launching SDG Capital Finder 1.0! We’ve added new funder types to the Capital Finder, and have re-categorized each funder on the platform.

sustainable development goals, SDGs, funding the SDGs

In addition to angel investor networks, crowdfunding platforms, impact investors, public / semi-public funders, and venture capital firms, we’ve added the following types of funders:

  • Banks
  • Foundations
  • Microfinance institutions
  • Nonprofits
  • Private equity firms
  • More funder types to come soon

The new, refined categories mean more accurate results. It’s a significant upgrade with a lot going on behind the scenes that will make the Capital Finder even more useful to entrepreneurs, development organizations, analysts, alternative capital providers, and many more.

Knowing who to hit up for funding is obviously highly important. But where do you go from there?

We want to give entrepreneurs information that helps them better understand the fundraising process. We’ve always viewed the SDG Capital Finder as a tool that helps entrepreneurs to answer the questions of who to fundraise from. Our Entrepreneur Hub is a natural extension of this, as it helps the answer the question of how to fundraise.

This means providing entrepreneurs with templates of documents they need to present to investors, tips from entrepreneurs who have been in their shoes in the past, explainer videos for key concepts, descriptions of capital types (grant, debt, equity) and funder types (VC, impact investor, etc.), and much more.

The new Hub makes this information more readily-available, and gives entrepreneurs the ability to focus on the aspects they need help with most.

business plan template

We hope the revamped SDG Capital Finder is a useful tool for development organizations, entrepreneurs, private capital providers, and others in identifying funding partners, facilitating public-private partnerships, and raising capital.

We have some exciting announcements, including new clients, new products, and new reports — stay tuned! If you haven’t already, keep up with the latest by subscribing to our newsletter here.

Introducing the SDG Capital Finder

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are more than a wish list for organizations, individuals, and companies to aspire to as they think about their development objectives. It is also an actionable framework around which stakeholders can build tools and projects.

Aiming to contribute to this framework, we are very excited to announce the launch of the SDG Capital Finder, the first publicly available, searchable database of 7,000 funders across the developing world, categorized by the SDGs!

The SDG Capital Finder, currently in BETA, is an extension of our previous Capital Finder. There are some major changes, so we wanted to take this opportunity to walk you through the differences and explain some of the functionality and added features. The best way to check out the updates is to use it — feel free to let us know what you think of the BETA version by emailing capital.finder@alliedcrowds.com.

Search Criteria

sdg parameters

We’ve made some minor stylistic changes here (country flags, icons for capital types, provider types, and SDGs), but also added new functionality.

Among the most significant additions is the ability to search funders by their alignment with the SDGs. We did this by creating custom ‘sectors’ for each goal.

Furthermore, we expanded the Provider Types — a major update in our database. Starting with Angel Investment Networks, Crowdfunding Platforms, Impact Investors, Public/Semi-Public funders, and Venture Capital firms, we also added Private Equity firms, Foundations, Banks, Microfinance Institutions, and Nonprofits.

We hope these two changes will help users find the funders that best fit their needs.

Search Results

sdg search results

We’ve significantly improved our matching methodology to enhance the results users get when they are searching for funders. We’ve implemented a new scoring mechanism that takes into account data points like location of social media followers, office location, domain name, and more. This is meant to filter the most relevant ones to the top of the results.

It’s a major improvement, and we’re looking forward to receiving feedback on the results from our users.

Funder Profiles

profile page

We are making the funders the stars of the database. Click on a result to see a funder’s profile and discover information we didn’t have publicly available before: mapped office location, currencies, languages, and much more.

One of the most powerful aspects of the profile page is the Goal analysis, which provides a keyword breakdown of how each funder fits within the SDG framework. This breakdown allows us to compare funders across the goals.

As an example, below is the breakdown for Water.org, a nonprofit that funds water projects across the globe. Not surprisingly, the vast majority of words on its site have something to do with water, sanitation, and hygiene.

waterorg_wheel

On the other hand, the breakdown below is for Golden Palm Investments, a Ghana-based VC firm that invests across multiple sectors:

goldenpalm_wheel

Additionally, we added other interesting data points. This includes a dynamic map that shows the likelihood of a capital provider to invest / fund a project in a given country, and a chart showing the breakdown of Facebook followers by country.

country probs

fb likes

We hope this data makes the SDG Capital Finder more fun to use, encouraging participation and promoting partnerships between capital providers and seekers.

To Sum Up

The SDG Capital Finder is an innovative, customizable tool to help organizations, companies, project managers, analysts, and others find funders categorized by the internationally-endorsed SDGs.

It’s a highly customizable and scalable tool, which can be modified to suit organizations’ needs. If you’d like to find out more about how the Capital Finder works, feel free to reach out to capital.finder@alliedcrowds.com.

Impact Investing in Africa: Insights from Latest Report

Impact investing in Africa is in these days, with numerous established firms and startups looking to figure out how to blend strong financial returns with a social or environmental impact.

Looking to add to the emerging literature on the topic, our latest in the series of Developing World Alternative Finance reports examined how impact investing in Africa has developed to date. The data for the report comes from the Capital Finder, which you can try out for free on our site.

The Findings

Our data revealed some interesting findings. One of the headline charts is simply the top ten countries for impact investing in Africa — as in, the countries with the most active investors.
impact investing in africa

Continue reading →

How to Create a Free VPN in 5 Minutes

Free VPN

The following was written by Malcolm Kapuza, CTO.

Visiting in Nairobi so far has been an incredible experience. AlliedCrowds works with lot organizations in Sub-Saharan Africa and to be able to experience different issues and pain points on the ground has allowed us to rework how the Capital Finder is structured (and we have some very big changes coming soon!).

Now, more to the point, we have a lot of subscribers in the expat community living in various developing countries across the world. I am sure that many of them have been forced to deal with a problem that I have had to deal with while in Nairobi: firewalls and IP address blocking.

There are a lot of cases where US and European websites will restrict access based on the IP address you are using. Yeah, this is a real problem.

Anytime you have ever been forced to pay for a VPN  from some sketchy company peddling proxy server access, you have faced this problem.

Now, I wouldn’t be writing this blog if it were about tricking Netflix into letting you watch House of Cards. I had a much bigger issue: accessing the Massachusetts Department of Revenue’s website. Yeah, the tax man. Normally, you can pay your taxes online, except that for fraud prevention purposes, Mass DOR blocks foreign IPs.

Saying I can’t pay my taxes because I am staying in Nairobi is akin to “the dog ate my homework” and probably not going to fly.

The solution

Introducing Amazon Web Services!

It is rare that I get to apply my tech knowledge outside of building tools and applications for the AlliedCrowds team and our clients. So I am especially excited to be able to give everyone a neat hack to solve a real problem in their everyday life by creating a free VPN. Continue reading →