Everyman's online investment platform

Cape Town - Crowdinvest, South Africa's first crowd-sourced investment platform, was launched on Monday.

Crowdinvest makes a bid to revolutionise the country's economic landscape by breaking down investment barriers for a broad segment of the population. 

The web-based platform aims to stimulate entrepreneurial development and economic growth through its unique crowd-sourced investment model, which gives even people with limited funds the opportunity to become investors.

The platform offers users the chance to invest however much - or little - they choose into a wide variety of asset classes, and also gives new business owners unprecedented access to necessary capital and intellectual resources.

Seasoned investors can diversify their portfolios and further spread their risk by means of the large investment communities established around various businesses and ventures, which lessen the likelihood of significant losses.

The platform also offers these users the chance to build networks with fellow investors using the online channel.

Crowdinvest is the brainchild of Capetonian Anton Breytenbach, who conceived the project in 2010 in the hope of creating profitable investment opportunities for the average South African.

Concerned that many of his contemporaries had simply accepted the fact that they would never be able to generate the capital required to create an investment portfolio, Breytenbach set about establishing a model that would allow investors to reap returns in spite of financial limitations.

“Many South Africans simply don’t consider investment to be an option, as the vast majority of investment classes require at least R500 000 worth of capital,” said Breytenbach.

“Crowdinvest was devised as a tool to make an investor out of anyone, capitalising on the power of online networks to allow like-minded individuals to effectively collaborate on investment opportunities.”

Crowdinvest will also offer budding entrepreneurs access to comprehensive mentorship and incubation programmes.

Its investor community consists of ordinary South Africans, venture capitalists, seasoned investors and large organisations, all of whom will have the option to invest in these businesses, as well as provide mentorship to entrepreneurs within their fields of expertise.

Based on ratings and feedback from entrepreneurs, it is hoped that a large mentorship community, offering a wealth of intellectual and other resources, will be established.

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