Funding is the act of providing financial resources, usually in the form of money, or other values such as effort or time, to finance a need, program, and project, usually by an organization or company. Generally, this word is used when a firm uses its internal reserves to satisfy its necessity for cash, while the term financing is used when the firm acquires capital from external sources.
Money is any item or verifiable record that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts, such as taxes, in a particular country or socio-economic context. The main functions of money are distinguished as: a medium of exchange, a unit of account, a store of value and sometimes, a standard of deferred payment. Any item or verifiable record that fulfils these functions can be considered as money.
Sources of funding include credit, venture capital, donations, grants, savings, subsidies, and taxes. Fundings such as donations, subsidies, and grants that have no direct requirement for return of investment are described as "soft funding" or "crowdfunding". Funding that facilitates the exchange of equity ownership in a company for capital investment via an online funding portal as per the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (alternately, the "JOBS Act of 2012") (U.S.) is known as equity crowdfunding.
Venture capital (VC) is a type of private equity, a form of financing that is provided by firms or funds to small, early-stage, emerging firms that are deemed to have high growth potential, or which have demonstrated high growth. Venture capital firms or funds invest in these early-stage companies in exchange for equity, or an ownership stake, in the companies they invest in. Venture capitalists take on the risk of financing risky start-ups in the hopes that some of the firms they support will become successful. Because startups face high uncertainty, VC investments do have high rates of failure. The start-ups are usually based on an innovative technology or business model and they are usually from the high technology industries, such as information technology (IT), clean technology or biotechnology.
A donation is a gift for charity, humanitarian aid, or to benefit a cause. A donation may take various forms, including money, alms, services, or goods such as clothing, toys, food, or vehicles. A donation may satisfy medical needs such as blood or organs for transplant.
Grants are non-repayable funds or products disbursed or given by one party, often a government department, corporation, foundation or trust, to a recipient, often a nonprofit entity, educational institution, business or an individual. In order to receive a grant, some form of "Grant Writing" often referred to as either a proposal or an application is required.
Funds can be allocated for either short-term or long-term purposes.
Asset allocation is the rigorous implementation of an investment strategy that attempts to balance risk versus reward by adjusting the percentage of each asset in an investment portfolio according to the investor's risk tolerance, goals and investment time frame. The focus is on the characteristics of the overall portfolio. Such a strategy contrasts with an approach that focuses on individual assets.
In economics funds are injected into the market as capital by lenders and taken as loans by borrowers. There are two ways in which the capital can end up at the borrower. The lender can lend the capital to a financial intermediary against interest. These financial intermediaries then reinvest the money against a higher rate. The use of financial intermediaries to finance operations is called indirect finance. Lender can also go the financial markets to directly lend to a borrower. This method is called direct finance.
A financial intermediary is an institution or individual that serves as a middleman among diverse parties in order to facilitate financial transactions. Common types include commercial banks, investment banks, stockbrokers, pooled investment funds, and stock exchanges. Financial intermediaries reallocate otherwise uninvested capital to productive enterprises through a variety of debt, equity, or hybrid stakeholding structures.
Indirect finance is where borrowers borrow funds from the financial market through indirect means, such as through a financial intermediary. This is different from direct financing where there is a direct connection to the financial markets as indicated by the borrower issuing securities directly on the market. Common methods for direct financing include a financial auction or an initial public offering.
A financial market is a market in which people trade financial securities and derivatives such as futures and options at low transaction costs. Securities include stocks and bonds, and precious metals.
It is used for research, in fields of technology or social science. Research funding can split into commercial and non-commercial. Research and development departments of a corporation normally provide commercial research funding. Whereas, non-commercial research funding is obtained from charities, research councils, or government agencies.Organisations that require such funding normally have to go through competitive selections. Only those that have the most potential would be chosen. Funding is vital in ensuring the sustainability of certain projects.
Research comprises "creative and systematic work undertaken to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of humans, culture and society, and the use of this stock of knowledge to devise new applications." It is used to establish or confirm facts, reaffirm the results of previous work, solve new or existing problems, support theorems, or develop new theories. A research project may also be an expansion on past work in the field. Research projects can be used to develop further knowledge on a topic, or in the example of a school research project, they can be used to further a student's research prowess to prepare them for future jobs or reports. To test the validity of instruments, procedures, or experiments, research may replicate elements of prior projects or the project as a whole. The primary purposes of basic research are documentation, discovery, interpretation, or the research and development (R&D) of methods and systems for the advancement of human knowledge. Approaches to research depend on epistemologies, which vary considerably both within and between humanities and sciences. There are several forms of research: scientific, humanities, artistic, economic, social, business, marketing, practitioner research, life, technological, etc.
Entrepreneurs with a business concept would want to accumulate all the necessary resources including capitals to venture into a market. Funding is part of the process, as some businesses would require large start-up sums that individuals would not have.These start-up funds are essential to kick-start a business idea, without it, entrepreneurs would not have the ability to carry out their concepts in the business world.
Fund management companies gather pools of money from many investors and use them to purchases securities. These funds are managed by professional investment managers, which may generate higher returns with reduced risks by asset diversification.The size of these funds could be a little as a few millions or as much as multibillions. The purpose of these funding activities is mainly aiming to pursue individual or organization profits.
Government could allocate funds itself or through government agencies to projects that benefits the public through selection process to students or researchers and even organisations. At least two external peer-reviewers and internal research award committee review each application. The research awards committee would meet some time to discuss shortlisted applications. A further shortlist and ranking is made. Projects are funded and applicants are informed.
Crowdfunding exists in mainly two types, reward-based crowdfunding and equity-based crowdfunding. In the former, small firms could pre-sell a product or service to start a business whereas in the latter, backers buys certain amount of shares of a firm in exchange of money.As for reward-based crowdfunding, project creators would set a funding target and deadline. Anyone who is interested can pledge on the projects. Projects must reach its targeted amount in order for it to be carried out. Once the projects ended with enough funds, projects creators would have to make sure that they fulfil their promises by the intended timeline and delivery their products or services.
To raise capital, you require funds from investors who are interested in the investments. You have to present those investors with high-return projects. By displaying high-level potentials of the projects, investors would be more attracted to put their money into those projects. After certain amount of time, usually in a year’s time, rewards of the investment will be shared with investors. This makes investors happy and they may continue to invest further.If returns do not meet the intended level, this could reduce the willingness of investors to invest their money into the funds. Hence, the amounts of financial incentives are highly weighted determinants to keep the funding remain at a desirable level.
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Withdrawal of funding, or defunding, occurs when funding previously given to an organisation ceases, especially in relation to Governmental funding.
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Seed money, sometimes known as seed funding or seed capital, is a form of securities offering in which an investor invests capital in a startup company in exchange for an equity stake in the company. The term seed suggests that this is a very early investment, meant to support the business until it can generate cash of its own, or until it is ready for further investments. Seed money options include friends and family funding, angel funding, and crowdfunding.
Social venture capital is a form of investment funding that is usually funded by a group of social venture capitalists or an impact investor to provide seed-funding investment, usually in a for-profit social enterprise, in return to achieve a reasonable gain in financial return while delivering social impact to the world. It deviates from the traditional venture capital model, which focuses on simple risk and reward. However, there are various organizations, such as venture philanthropy companies and nonprofit organizations, that deploy a simple venture capital strategy model to fund nonprofit events, social enterprises, or activities that deliver a high social impact or a strong social causes for their existence. There are also regionally focused organizations that target a specific region of the world, to help build and support the local community in a social cause.
Real estate investing involves the purchase, ownership, management, rental and/or sale of real estate for profit. Improvement of realty property as part of a real estate investment strategy is generally considered to be a sub-specialty of real estate investing called real estate development. Real estate is an asset form with limited liquidity relative to other investments, it is also capital intensive and is highly cash flow dependent. If these factors are not well understood and managed by the investor, real estate becomes a risky investment. The primary cause of investment failure for real estate is that the investor goes into negative cash flow for a period of time that is not sustainable, often forcing them to resell the property at a loss or go into insolvency. A similar practice known as flipping is another reason for failure as the nature of the investment is often associated with short term profit with less effort.
An alternative investment or alternative investment fund (AIF) is an investment or fund that invests in asset classes other than stocks, bonds, and cash. The term is a relatively loose one and includes tangible assets such as precious metals, art, wine, antiques, coins, or stamps and some financial assets such as real estate, commodities, private equity, distressed securities, hedge funds, carbon credits, venture capital, film production, financial derivatives, and cryptocurrencies. Investments in real estate, forestry and shipping are also often termed "alternative" despite the ancient use of such real assets to enhance and preserve wealth. In the last century, fancy color diamonds have emerged as an alternative investment class as well. Alternative investments are to be contrasted with traditional investments.
Impact investing refers to investments "made into companies, organizations, and funds with the intention to generate a measurable, beneficial social or environmental impact alongside a financial return." Impact investments provide capital to address social and/or environmental issues. They can be made in either emerging or developed markets, and depending on the goals of the investors, can "target a range of returns from below-market to above-market rates". Impact investors actively seek to place capital in businesses, nonprofits, and funds in industries such as renewable energy, basic services including housing, healthcare, and education, micro-finance, and sustainable agriculture. Impact investing occurs across asset classes; for example, private equity/venture capital, debt, and fixed income.
Indiegogo is an international crowdfunding website founded in 2008 by Danae Ringelmann, Slava Rubin, and Eric Schell. Its headquarters are in San Francisco, California. The site is one of the first sites to offer crowd funding. Indiegogo allows people to solicit funds for an idea, charity, or start-up business. Indiegogo charges a 5% fee on contributions. This charge is in addition to Stripe credit card processing charges of 3% + $0.30 per transaction. Fifteen million people visit the site each month.
Big Society Capital Limited (BSC) is an independent social investment institution in the United Kingdom, which provides finance to organizations that support front-line social sector entities to help them grow. Social investment is about lending or investing money to achieve a social, as well as, financial return. BSC was the world's first social investment institution of its kind, established by the Cabinet Office and launched as an independent organisation with a £600m investment fund in April 2012. The investment fund comes from dormant bank accounts via an independent Reclaim Fund and four leading UK high street banks. The institution was set up as part of the Dormant Bank and Building Society Accounts Act 2008, which defined BSC as an organization that exists "to enable other bodies to give financial or other support to third sector organisations".
Crowdfunding is a process in which individuals or groups pool money and other resources to fund projects initiated by other people or organizations "without standard financial intermediaries." Crowdfunded projects may include creative works, products, nonprofit organizations, supporting entrepreneurship, businesses, or donations for a specific purpose. Crowdfunding usually takes place via an online portal that handles the financial transactions involved and may also provide services such as media hosting, social networking, and facilitating contact with contributors. It has increased since the passage of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act.
Crowdcube is a British investment crowdfunding platform. It was established by Darren Westlake and Luke Lang in 2011.
Symbid is an online funding platform providing access to traditional and alternative finance for small and medium-sized enterprises. Headquartered in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Symbid was founded in April 2011 by Dutch entrepreneurs Robin Slakhorst and Korstiaan Zandvliet as one of the first equity crowdfunding platforms worldwide.
Confidentcrowd was an equity crowdfunding portal based in Phoenix, Arizona. The company was associated with the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012 and was identified as one of the earliest Crowdfunding portals launched in the United States after the JOBS Act made crowdfunding for equity permissible under US law. The company is also noted for its unusual crowdfunding approach which requires investment seekers to undergo screening by FINRA-licensed Broker-Dealers before they can access potential funding.
Mosaic is a solar fin-tech company based in Oakland, California. Founded in 2010, Mosaic created their initial business model using crowdfunding principals to offer loans for commercial solar development projects. For that reason, GigaOM referred to the company as "the Kickstarter for Solar". After shifting their model in 2014, Mosaic Inc. is now focused on financing residential solar projects by leveraging third party capital partners. Through this model, the company aims to democratize the social and environmental benefits of clean energy. Mosaic is a certified benefit corporation.
Assetz Capital is a British peer-to-peer or "marketplace" lender which allows private and institutional investors to lend money directly to small businesses (SMEs) and property developers.
Direct lending is a form of corporate debt provision in which lenders other than banks make loans to companies without intermediaries such as an investment bank, a broker or a private equity firm. In direct lending, the borrowers are usually smaller or mid-sized companies, also called small and medium enterprises, rather than large, listed companies, and the lenders may be wealthy individuals or asset management firms.
Equity crowdfunding is the online offering of private company securities to a group of people for investment and therefore it is a part of the capital markets. Because equity crowdfunding involves investment into a commercial enterprise, it is often subject to securities and financial regulation. Equity crowdfunding is also referred to as crowd-investing, investment crowdfunding, or crowd equity.
Alternative finance refers to financial channels, processes, and instruments that have emerged outside of the traditional finance system such as regulated banks and capital markets. Examples of alternative financing activities through 'online marketplaces' are reward-based crowdfunding, equity crowdfunding, revenue-based financing, online lenders, peer-to-peer consumer and business lending, and invoice trading third party payment platforms.
Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet. Crowdfunding is a form of crowdsourcing and alternative finance. In 2015, over US$34 billion was raised worldwide by crowdfunding.
Patch of Land is an online peer-to-peer or 'peer-to-professional' real estate crowdfunding marketplace that connects professional real-estate developers needing to finance their real-estate projects to willing lenders or real-estate investors. Patch of Land focuses uniquely on relatively short-term real-estate debt or fixed-income loans and, like a mortgage, all their debt-investments - offering returns typically between 8% to 14% annually - are fully secured via first lien by the underlying real-estate property, as well as a personal pledge by the borrower.