State of the nation for crowdfunding in Norway


Crowdfunding is, in my opinion, one of the most exciting fields in fintech, and even though the field has had a slow start in Norway compared to other countries, the segment is now blooming. What are the problems that the solutions aim to solve, where is the market heading, and is a threat or a supplement to traditional financial services?

In order to answer these questions, it is useful to take some steps back and first refresh the various kinds of crowdfunding, as they aim to solve different problems and have different characteristics.

Donation-based based crowdfunding is the simplest form of crowdfunding. Individuals are encouraged to support a cause through a crowdfunding platform. This could be a charitable cause or a community project. The contributor receives nothing in return for the donation.

Reward-based crowdfunding allows individuals to contribute to a product or projects while being rewarded with the said product when it is realized. This kind of crowdfunding is widely used by creative projects such as music and literature and is widely known through the popularity of the global platform, Kickstarter. Notable Norwegian companies in the donation- and reward-based categories are Spleis by SpareBank 1,, and Startskudd by DNB.

Crowdlending makes things more interesting. Where the first two forms of crowdfunding are based on at least a portion of idealism, crowdlending is all about return on equity. Crowdlending platforms allow private investors to invest directly in loans, either as unsecured loans to other private individuals or as small business loans to companies in need of capital. Crowdlending platforms offer several benefits to the various stakeholders on both sides of the platform. For potential investors, investments through a crowdlending platform offer an asset class that differs from those traditionally available for retail investors. The possibility of investing directly in loans may be seen as a democratization of the debt-investment market as similar assets historically have only been available for institutional investors, family offices, and similar.   Notable Norwegian crowdlending companies are Monner, Kredd, FundingPartner, Kameo, and Perx.

Equity-based crowdfunding allows individuals to invest in companies as equity investors and receive shares in the company seeking capital. Notable Norwegian companies (limited to those with a license or a pending license from the Norwegian FSA) are Dealflow and Monner.

Investors are also placing their bets on crowdfunding. SpareBank 1 SR-Bank has a 34 percent stake in Monner. DNB, as well as Schibsted, has invested in FundingPartner. SpareBank 1 SMN has invested in Folkeinvest and ABG Sundal Collier has invested in Kameo just to name a few.

According to the Norwegian crowdfunding Association crowdfunding as a whole had a significant boost in capital raised in 2018 with a total of 205 MNOK raised throughout the various categories of crowdfunding. Compared to 2017, where crowdfunding amounted for 94 MNOK in capital raised, this shows a growth of 118%.


Crowdlending experienced the highest growth rate with 324% growth with 71,5 MNOK in 2018 compared to 17 MNOK 2017. This is followed by equity-based crowdfunding which grew by 306% from 13,7 MNOK in 2017 to 55,5 MNOK in 2018. Donation-based crowdfunding may look moderate compared to the two previous categories, but a growth of 48% from 42,3 MNOK in 2017 to 62,6 MNOK in 2018 also shows promise. The only category that saw diminishing numbers is donation-based crowdfunding, which saw a reduction of 26% from 21 MNOK in 2017 to 16 MNOK in 2018. This continues a decline for donation-based crowdfunding which peaked in 2016 at 37,6 MNOK.

With rapid growth, Norway is still behind some of the more mature markets for crowdfunding, but the future looks bright for the sector to grow further. The implementation of debt registry in Norway will give both banks and crowdlending companies aimed at consumer loans better insight on borrower’s financial status. Regulations have for a long time been the biggest obstacle for crowdfunding in Norway, and while Norway still imposes some of the strictest requirements on crowdfunding in the EU, with an investment limit on 1 MNOK for private investors, the regulatory landscape is at least becoming more predictable.

With PSD2 coming into effect just around the corner, potential changing user behavior in the wake of the directive could benefit crowdfunding companies as it becomes easier for consumers to “shop around” for financial services. For crowdfunding companies with a license, the ability to act as a PISP under PSD2 will also reduce friction when transferring money to the platform as well as enable access to transaction data for credit scoring.

There are still several unknown factors in plays, and one wildcard in the regulatory equation is whether the regulatory sandbox will benefit crowdfunding companies.

Crowdfunding is without a doubt here to stay, and what makes crowdfunding appealing for me is that it represent a business model innovation. This fact provides both opportunities and threats to the banking sector.

Donation– and reward-based crowdfunding may live alongside traditional financial products, as it represents something on the side of traditional banking products.

Equity-based crowdfunding in its current state solves an inefficiency in the market by catering to a previously underserved segment. However, it has all the characteristics of disruptive innovation, and will most likely move up the value chain towards bigger deals and challenge the corporate finance sector.

Crowdlending is a double-edged blade for incumbents. While crowdlending for small business loans acts as a supplement to traditional credit products, crowdlending for consumer loans is a head-on attack on one of the most profitable products in banking. With little- to no legacy, crowdlending platforms may provide cost-efficient loan origination where both investors receive premium returns as well as providing loans at a lower interest rate to borrowers. How this plays out remains to see and at the end of the day, it all comes down to user attraction and the ability to keep user acquisition costs low.

In the case of both equity-based crowdfunding and crowdlending, these paltforms provide an alternative asset class that may challenge both deposits as well as funds under management for incumbent banks and asset managers. Looking no further than across the border to Sweden, crowdfunding company Lendify announced that they have received 1 billion SEK of institutional capital to fund loans on the platform.

Whether you as a bank are actively involved or remain on the fence, this area is moving at a pace where it is wise to pay attention. Jeff Bezos is reported to have said, your margin is my opportunity, and this is from my perspective what parts of the crowdfunding sector are aiming for.


Alternative finance is gaining traction in the Nordics


Crowdfunding and alternative finance has grown from 6 billion USD in 2013 to 16 billion USD in 2014, and is estimated to have doubled in volumes to 34 billion USD in 2015 globally. As the segment matures, the grey area lenders and not less secure platforms are exposed and either closed down or fading into obscurity. In the Nordics Trustbuddy closed down last year, thinning out the herd and leaving more room for the sustainable platforms. Nordic Crowdfunding Alliance estimates a total of 9,6 million EUR raised through crowdfunding alone in the Nordics between 2012 – 2015. A quick look at the alternative finance space shows no signs of slowing down with a wide array of companies across all categories of alternative finance. I have attempted to categorize the companies by country as well as category, crowdfunding, marketplace lending and invoice trading.

Norway is a crowdfunding platform, with a track record focusing on charitable causes. recently got into the equity-based crowdfunding space. Learn more at

Frunder is a crowdfunding platform focusing on raising capital in a social and a community setting. The service is aiming to help young athletes to raise capital for new equipment from the local community, schools to raise capital from parents and relatives for class trips, or simply to engage your friends and those around you to help out to fulfill a dream. The site is not yet live, but is said to launch in Q1 2016. Learn more at

New Jelly is a crowdfunding platform focusing on raising capital for cultural initiatives for musicians, authors, filmmakers. Learn more at New Jelly.

In addition, the French crowdfunding platform Spark Up has launched a Norwegian equity-based crowdfunding site, and there is yet another promising equity-based platform with an estimated launch in Q1 2016.


FundedByMe is a crowdfunding platform aiming at the international market, and is perhaps the most well-known crowdfunding initiative from the Nordics. The FundedByMe platform operates on the “all or nothing” funding principle, where investments are made on a pledge basis and pledges are not released unless the project meets or exceeds a pre-set funding target. Learn more at FundedByMe.

Tessin Nordic crowdfunding is an equity based crowdfunding platform. Learn more at Tessin Nordic.

Toborrow is a marketplace lending platform directed at small business loans. Toborrow claims to be the first P2P lender in Sweden and is partially owned by Bonnier, a large Swedish media corporation. Learn more at Toborrow.

Föreningsinsamling is a crowdfunding platform directed at sports teams, schools and non-profit organizations seeking to raise capital. Learn more at Föreningsinsamling.

Lendify offers what the claim to be the first real marketplace lending platform in Sweden. The Company operates a marketplace online credit platform that enables people to borrow money and lend money from each other – without the involvement of bank. Lendify has raised a small amount of angel capital from undisclosed investors. Learn more at Lendify.

Kameo is a marketplace lending platform offering SME lending. Kameo is aiming at the Scandinavian market and is providing an efficient marketplace for investors to invest in the SME-segment. Learn more at Kameo.

Lendlink is a marketplace lending platform for consumer loans promising to provide consumer finance at better interest rates than incumbents. Learn more at Lendlink.

Savelend is a marketplace lending platform for consumer loans promising to provide an alternative investment opportunity for their investors than the banks. Learn more at Savelend


Lendino is a marketplace lender providing access to debt investments for both private and institutional investors. Lendino received $42.8k in debt financing in 2014. Learn more at Lendino.

European Receivables Exchange is known as Dansk Faktura Børs in Denmark and is an invoice-trading platform where companies can turn invoices into cash. Dansk Faktura Børs is Denmark’s first and only online marketplace allowing companies to sell outstanding invoices to raise working capital. The first auction was held in May 2012, and since then more than 700 auctions have been completed. Learn more at Dansk Faktura Børs.

Booomerang is a crowdfunding platform. Learn more at Booomerang.

Betternow is a crowdfunding platform for charitable causes. Learn more at Betternow.

Aidbuilder is a crowdfunding platform for charitable causes. Learn more at Aidbuilder.

Donation Road is a crowdfunding platform for charitable causes. Learn more at Donation Road.

Flex Funding is a marketplace lending platform focusing on the SME segment. After experiences from the Danish market, the platform will be launched in other countries, focusing on the market potential in Northern Europe. Learn more at Flex Funding.

Dansk Låneformidling is a marketplace lending platform for business loans focusing on early stage growth companies in search of capital. The service also provide a financial mentor-option for companies in need of guidance, connecting capital with necessary competence. Learn more at Dansk Låneformidling.

Udenom Banken is a marketplace lending platform for property lending aimed at the underbanked/subprime segment. Learn more at

Better Rates is a marketplace lending platform for consumer loans promising to provide consumer finance at better interest rates as well as a profitable investment option for investors. Learn more at Better Rates.

KreditMatch is a marketplace lending platform focusing on the SME segment. Learn more at KreditMatch.


Fixura is a marketplace lending platform for consumer loans promising to provide consumer finance at better interest rates as well as a profitable investment option for investors. Learn more at Fixura.

Fellow Finance is a marketplace lending platform for consumer loans promising to provide consumer finance at better interest rates as well as a profitable investment option for investors. Learn more at Fellow Finance.

Lainaaja is a marketplace lending platform for consumer loans promising to provide consumer finance at better interest rates as well as a high yielding investment option for investors. Learn more at Lainaaja.

Invesdor is a crowdfunding platform that operates an EEA-wide debt and equity crowdfunding platform. Invesdor claims to be the first European crowdfunding player with a MiFID-level license for investment advice, reception and transmission of orders, and placing of financial instruments. Learn more at Invesdor.

Mesenaatti crowdfunding is a reward based crowdfunding platform. Learn more at Mesenaatti.

One things is for sure, with this much activity in the alternative finance segment, things are about to change.

From more in-depth material on alternative finance in both the Nordics and Europe as a whole, I strongly recommend as the most comprehensive sites covering the segment to my knowledge. Please let me know if I have missed any companies.