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Grow VC

Microinvesting Ventures Start-Ups Funding


Tiny
Published 04/10/2012 and rated Ratingstars3 3 out of 5 stars
by Dorothy Distefano
What can you use the app for?

Early stage funding for startup ventures in an international marketplace. It is set up to enable startups to raise money earlier in the process by providing an investing audience. It connects entrepreneurs with experts, funders, teams, new customers, and partners. It may be used to gain funding, offer funding, or provide services.

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What is the history and popularity of the app?

Grow VC was founded in September 2008 by Valto Loikkanen and Jouko Ahvenainen. Site traffic varies from under 1,000 to about 4,000 unique visitors per month. Headquarters are located in Hong Kong and offices are are also maintained in the US, UK, and Finland.

What are the differences to other apps?

There are many apps available for startup funding that are not nearly as complicated or crowded with information as Grow VC. The site is not intuitive and while it boasts 3,134 startups, it is very difficult to navigate through them or to create one.

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How does the web app look and feel to use?

After verification, users are taken to a Getting Started page. Here, they are prompted to complete their profile and choose their role. The roles include Entrepreneur - a user who will publish startup profiles and seek funding; Funder - a user who will follow startups and invest directly; Expert - a user who can offer expertise to others to make work investments in startups, investing time for equity compensation. The user may then go to the dashboard to complete a profile.

Under the "Me" tab, a picture may be uploaded, along with details such as biography, web presence, tagline, and expertise tags. Further details such as address, Skype, work history, and access levels may be edited here.

To create a startup, users must provide a screen name, tagline, industry tag, short pitch and longer pitch. They may also upload a picture, provide further details such as company name, team members, and information about the business.

The dashboard also offers areas to access the user account and inbox. Users may also view startups and reputations. A Networking functionality is offered and is being used by accelerator programs, universities, startup networks, bootcamps, and more. This beta function is currently free. Once out of beta, a cost will be associated with creating a network.

This app is somewhat difficult to navigate. The amount of information is overwhelming and the text is so close to the left margin that it is difficult to read.

How does the registration process work?

Users may login with Facebook or create an account with an email address, password, full name, screen name, country, and campaign code (if needed). After registration, the user is prompted to invite friends by entering email addresses. This step may be skipped. A verification email is sent to the address provided. Some actions are unavailable until the email verification link is accessed.

What does it cost to use the application?

Users may join for free. A premium subscription allows micro investing for funding startups for $20 per month. There is no statement of whether any percentage of the funds raised goes to Grow VC.

Who would you recommend the application to?

There are many crowd funding apps available online. This one is quite large and has global reach, but a non-intuitive interface. Users looking for a simple crowd funding app should continue looking. Those willing to ask a few questions about fees taken from donations and can navigate the interface may wish to give this app a try.

  • Crowd funding for projects
  • Free to join
  • Tools for founders and funders
  • Experts provide services to startups
  • Microinvestment plans available for a fee


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