Katipult is cloud-based software infrastructure that allows firms to design, setup, and manage an investment crowdfunding platform. As a crowdfunding software provider we talk to private equity, asset management, banks, and entrepreneurs on a daily basis who are looking for investment crowdfunding, private placements, and investor management solutions.
Having transitioned from the finance industry to software almost 10 years ago I fully understand that their is a large knowledge gap when it comes to software. I climbed this same curve myself and I’m still learning everyday so I’ll attempt to breakdown the white-label crowdfunding industry and the build versus buy dilemma and the incorrect assumptions many people have.
Now let’s evaluate the white-label crowdfunding platform market and the vendor profiles. Eliminate your assumption that all vendors are apples to apples comparisons as they vary greatly in competence, product quality, service quality, and experience.
You are likely asking yourself “who is the best white-label crowdfunding platform?” Lets look at a few items to consider:
- What is the background of the vendor and qualifications?
How did the white-label crowdfunding platform you are evaluating enter the market? Why did they enter the market? What qualifies them to have entered the market? The founders of Katipult ran a custom development company and built multiple custom crowdfunding platforms for customers before we productized the software. We entered the market after conducting an industry analysis with a 3rd party research firm to understand what software infrastructure needs to be in place for diverse regulatory environments, assets structures, business processes as well as scalability and security required for private capital markets.
Key Takeaway - look at vendors that entered the white-label crowdfunding business strategically and have the staff and processes in place.
- Does the white-label crowdfunding platform include support services?
Like any business you will encounter technical challenges and business pivots, and you will need a competent technical partner to assist you. You should be able to judge if the white-label platform has an experience, attentive team during the evaluation process. Ask for other members from the team join a sales call, the CTO, senior programmer, and get a feel for the people they have on staff. Ask yourself how sure you are this team will be around in 1 year or 3 years.
Key Takeaway - make sure you are confident you will receive quality and personal support during the setup process and once your platform is live.
- Can the software support all business processes from marketing and distribution, payments, investor servicing and reporting?
In a 30 minute demo you can only see so much of a product. You will likely need several comprehensive meetings to understand the capabilities of the product. The first call should be a good overview but it may be an overwhelming presentation as there are many processes and features to cover. Set up several meetings and create question lists for each meeting with the vendor. Make sure you understand all the capabilities of the software and the development roadmap for upcoming months. Katipult has everything you need to run a platform for debt or equity and various use cases from investor management to investment crowdfunding.
Key Takeaway - white-label crowdfunding platforms can look similar at first glance, so dig deep into capabilities.
- Does the company have experience in your specific market or region?
Every market is different for regulatory compliance, business culture, operating processes and it’s important that the vendor has experience outside of their home country. For example, if a vendor considers international platforms (non US platforms) all the same, they likely have zero or very little experience. Look for vendors with customers and support centers in your region. Katipult has platforms in over 20 countries and support teams in three continents so we’ve seen first hand how dynamic this market is and how much rules can vary. Software isn’t flexible to be changed unless it was built to be flexible from day 1.
Key Takeaway - work with a vendor with experience and a support team in your market (if possible)
- Is your software provider also a competitor?
Many existing investment crowdfunding platforms have started white-labeling their technology. If you are an established investment firm with an investment network, you are essentially handing over all your business information that took years to compile to a competitor. If you are a start-up this risk may not be such an issue for you but if you succeed it will be in the future. While an existing platform may have a good product, their own platform and business comes first. It’s an inherent conflict of interest.
Key Takeaway - find a white-label crowdfunding platform that is only a software provider.
Brock is the CEO of Katipult and former CEO of JOI Media, an award winning custom software development firm. Prior to his entrepreneurial ventures, Brock amassed extensive experience in capital markets as an institutional equity research analyst.
Katipult is a crowdfunding software solution for private placements, investment crowdfunding, investor management, and listings. Katipult allows companies to design, setup, and manage an investment crowdfunding platform across multiple distribution channels including web, mobile, and social media. Katipult is being used in over 20 unique regulatory environments to grow investor networks, efficiently manage investors, and streamline deal flow administration.