While the crowdfunding phenomenon has attracted considerable practitioner and scholarly attention, existing research predominantly reflects a U.S.-centric perspective. This article by Dushnitsky et al. examines crowdfunding platform creation in 15 European countries.

Despite the omnipresent reach of the internet, national boundaries shape the evolution of the European crowdfunding industry. Specifically, crowdfunding platform creation varies across countries and distinct national patterns emerge for crowdfunding activity in general. Moreover, econometric analyses suggest that country level factors influence platform creation in European countries, with interesting variations across four crowdfunding models: Donation, Reward, Lending, and Equity.

Study highlights and key findings:

  • Europe’s 24 national boundaries play a significant role in shaping the creation of crowdfunding platforms.
  • Crowdfunding is associated not only with economic and entrepreneurial activity, but also with the existence of supportive legal environments as well as certain culture traits.
  • There are significant differences in the creation of platforms across the four dominant crowdfunding models. For instance, Lending platforms are sensitive to the level of competition in their segment as well as to certain cultural and legal traits.
  • Contrary to the assumption that crowdfunding is driven solely by startups, this study reveals the important role of incumbent organizations, one that may increase as the crowdfunding industry continues to grow and mature.