The development of online networks means that in today’s world, everything is global – and that includes fundraising for a business proposition.
Social media opens up a whole new potential for business interactions like never before, whether it is in regards to money, information or our own networks.
The incredible story of Ben Miller, the co-founder and fundraiser for Fundrise just goes to show what can be achieved. Fundrise is a crowd funding real estate platform and has labelled as the first company to successfully crowdfund investment into the real estate market. He experienced the difference social media could make for fundraising as well as business in general.
Miller could never have imagined that 2013 would be the year he would raise $27 million dollars of investment through LinkedIn. It all began with the difficult task of pitching to the well-known names in Silicon Valley and around the United States.
After endless presentations and discussions of the Fundrise business model he realised that his networks in the US weren’t enough and he would have to reach out on a global scale. Business interactions are very much international now, so why would it be any different for fundraising?
Ben was beginning to realise just how beneficial global investment could be when he received the initial LinkedIn message from the COO of Renren. The message suggested an interest in Fundrise and the possibility of meeting to discuss things further. Renren was a business he was not familiar with before, often referred to as “China’s Facebook”.
He said: “I’m what you would call an average LinkedIn user. As a company, we regularly used the platform to source job candidates; vet business partners etc. Using it as a connector of capital? It never crossed my mind.”
Nonetheless, after successful relations between the two companies, Renren offered them a $27 million investment and an outstanding business agreement was created. Obviously, it still required a solid business plan to be in place and great deal of work to secure the investment.
However, it shows the potential of social media on a global scale and how networking can provide a valuable platform to substantially increase your reach. The tangible reach of social media therefore outweighs that of local traditional media and can contribute significantly to any business objectives. With the power of social media there is no limit to your reach.