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Crowdfunding meets Amazon: A website that raises money, handles e-commerce

Posting in Design

"Crowdfunding" flies in new directions. After Crowd Supply raises your money, it will take your orders and deliver your goods.

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A new "crowdfunding" site launches today.

"Oh no, not another," you might yawn.

No, it's not just another, at least according to the people behind it. Crowd Supply, based in Portland, Ore., wants to do more than raise money for you. It wants to become your e-commerce reseller, building and running your online order system and shipping your goods. No other crowdfunding company does that, according to Crowd Supply.

"After crowdfunding, our pre-order and fulfillment services allow project creators to focus on their designs and future projects instead of packing and shipping boxes," co-founder and CEO Lou Doctor says in a press release. The release states that Crowd Supply is "the first marketplace that supports project creators from crowdfunding through product delivery."

Crowdfunding is the practice of raising donations to fund a company or project. It has been around for centuries in different forms, but has gained a lot of recent attention with its arrival on the Internet through popular websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, backing everything from films to light bulbs to super duper scooters.

Crowd Supply focuses on companies that sell physical goods. Its early users include Bike Soles, a Portland company that sells bicycle tires that light up in all directions, and Gridcase, a company selling an iPhone case with a recharging crank. Gridcase had previously used Kickstarter for other products, according to a Crowd Supply spokesperson.

The company's business model? It collects a five percent fee on money raised, charges for shipping, and takes a cut on e-commerce sales.

Crowdfunding, meet Amazon. Amazon, meet crowdfunding.

Photo from FedEx

More crowd behavior on SmartPlanet:

— By on March 19, 2013, 9:33 PM PST

Mark Halper

Contributing Editor

Mark Halper has written for TIME, Fortune, Financial Times, the UK's Independent on Sunday, Forbes, New York Times, Wired, Variety and The Guardian. He is based in Bristol, U.K. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure