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Lars Hornuf and Armin Schwienbacher

The chapter reviews knowledge of crowdinvesting (or equity crowdfunding). Crowdfunding has emerged over the past decade as a new and promising means of financing new ventures. Crowdfunding includes a broad range of activities, such as donations, pre-purchase and other reward-based forms of funding by the crowd as well as debt and equity financing. The authors focus on a sub-category of crowdfunding that can be defined as ‘crowdinvesting’ – Internet-based investment in new ventures by the crowd with the intention to obtain some residual claim on future cash flow of a venture. As a new development in the market it raises questions regarding the boundaries between crowdinvestors and business angels. The aims of the chapter are to describe the function of crowdinvesting and to analyze the similarities and differences between crowdinvesting and angel investing. The authors argue that in many cases, crowdinvestors are likely to complement rather than substitute business angels and venture capital funds.

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Douglas Cumming, Grant Fleming and Armin Schwienbacher